Dell Inspiron i5558-2144SLV is a new Windows 10 powered laptop with components like Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM and 1000GB mechanical hard drive keeping many programs (and even some) games running smoothly. But would this be enough for you, and is the value of this laptop exceptional, mediocre or perhaps just poor? Below, you’ll find our opinion about these matters.
Dell Inspiron i5558-2144SLV features a popular processor, the Intel Core i5-5200, which is often planted in these upper mid-range notebooks. The CPU offers two cores and 2.2GHz clock speed which is upped to maximum 2.7GHz with turbo. The CPU Mark grade, ~3500, is not too shabby – i3s from the same 5th Generation tend to get around 3000. Thanks to the (quite) powerful processor, you’ll be able to use this system for everyday programs but also heavier stuff, including photo editing, virtualization apps and other demanding software.
The notebook includes 8GB dual-channel DDR3L 1600MHz memory. It comes on two 4 GB sticks that occupy the RAM slots on mainboard. Naturally, those slots also accept 8GB sticks, meaning the maximum memory is 16 GB. That would, however, be unnecessarily large amount for most, pretty much everybody is good to go with the current eight.
Hard drive is a spacious 1TB one but suffers from the same thing than all mechanical drives: a poor performance. At 5400RPM spindle speed such HDD is much slower than solid-state drives. But the cure is simple: take out the hard drive and put in an SSD. That’s possible with some tech knowhow, any 2.5″ SATA 3.0 drive should fit in. If you wanted to keep HDD, that would be possible too, but in that case you’d have to remove the DVD drive to make room for an additional drive.
Graphics and screen
Dell Inspiron i5558-2144SLV has a typical 15.6″ screen. There is no excellent Full HD support but just 1366×768 resolution available – a feature that might bother some power users. This particular model doesn’t support touch, but there’s also a version with touch support if you need one. However, Windows 10 being the operating system the good old keyboard-trackpad combo should work wonders again.
This laptop has the same problem than most sub-$1000 machines: weak gaming performance. The graphics engine Intel HD 5500 is integrated to the processor, with ability to keep decent frame rates only on some less demanding games (like Tomb Raider, SimCity, StarCraft II and Minecraft). Newer games with heavy requirements might just be playable: for example, Grand Theft Auto 5 gets ca. 20 frames per second when settings are medium and resolution 1366×768. With similar setup, The Witcher 3 would be worse, with around or below 10 FPS on average.
Dell Inspiron i5558-2144SLV is happy to accept many peripherals you might want to plug in. There are three USB ports at your disposal (however just one of those is USB 3.0). And in case you want to connect a monitor, feel free to use the laptop’s HDMI output.
There’s a tray load DVD drive installed, in another words burning and reading discs will work. Also uploading data from memory cards (like photos from digital cameras) is possible, the notebook features SD card reader.
To get Internet access you can utilize the 10/100Mbps LAN (RJ-45) port or 802.11ac WiFi adapter. Bluetooth 4.0 is supported, too.
Having a 1280×720 webcam means you can use the notebook to (video) chat with your buddies on programs like Skype.
Other relevant things
Portability-wise, Dell Inspiron i5558-2144SLV is in the same boat than other 15.6″ notebooks. This non-touch version weighs 4.95 pounds and has a maximum thickness of 0.94 inches. There’s also a removable 4-cell 40Whr battery that works around 4 hours on a single charge, when used for things like web surfing or paper writing.
The keyboard lights up, and there’s also a numpad installed on its right hand side.
Dell Inspiron i5558-2144SLV is faster than basic laptops, this one being able to run most advanced programs on its i5 processor and 8GB RAM. Having said that, a better storage drive certainly wouldn’t hurt, you could make this system a lot faster (in terms of application/OS startup time) by installing an SSD. Another positive thing is Windows 10, it’s much more intuitive to use than Windows 8 they say. Hardcore gaming on this system won’t work, but for all non-players requiring solid performance and a working operating system this Dell should be something to think about.