There are many people whose laptop hunger can’t be satisfied with budget models. Because those people are power users, they need performance. They want a computer that can run heavier software without lagging. Also suitability to some gaming is often important. If that’s you, Dell Inspiron i5558-4286SLV might be a laptop worth your while. It features powerful components such as Core i5 processor, solid 8GB memory and a terabyte drive to hold all your data and some more. But are there any drawbacks and blunders that might make the laptop a bad choice? Might be, we’ll try to figure them out for you here…
The components in Dell Inspiron i5558-4286SLV are up to the standards of 2015. The processor is Intel Core i5-5200U, a dual-core model from this year with 2.2GHz clock speed and 2.7GHz turbo. A distinctive feature is the low voltage design which should have positive effect on battery life. But a power efficient processor can’t be extremely fast: the i5-5200U is indeed ~10% faster than the older i5-4200U, but many regular i5s (without the U suffix) are respectively faster than this. For a laptop that is acceptable, and any i5 has sufficient performance for both lightweight and more taxing use.
The notebook has 8GB dual-channel DDR3L (1600MHz) memory installed. Both slots are taken by 4GB chips. In order to reach the maximum 16GB you have to take out the old chips and put two 8GB sticks in place. That is certainly doable, but not a whole lot of users would benefit from going above 8GB.
There’s a conventional 5400RPM hard drive offering a terabyte’s worth of storage. The interface is SATA 6 Gbps. Should you have many large files such a big drive is excellent. But many don’t, or store their data on the cloud, and appreciate more performance than absolute storage. In this case, SSD is your solution. You can replace the hard drive here, just make sure it’s a 2.5″ drive and you’re good to go.
Screen and graphics
Dell Inspiron i5558-4286SLV features a basic 15.6-inch display with 1366×768 resolution. Refresh rate is 60hz. It is not a touchscreen on this model, prepare to use Windows 8.1 with the laptop’s own input devices. The hinge turns up to 135 degrees, so the unit couldn’t be used in tablet mode anyway.
This Dell does not have a dedicated graphics card. It’s an integrated Intel HD 5500 that will be powering your games. It’s tad better than older HD 4000 but still far from dedicated engines. For example, people have successfully been playing GTA V on HD 5500 and reaching ~25 frame rates, but details were medium at best and resolution 1366×768. But that is considered heavy gaming, for lighter titles the situation is much brighter. Games such as Minecraft, Sims 4 and all browser based titles are a piece of cake for this rig.
There are three USB ports in Dell Inspiron i5558-4286SLV. However, just one is USB 3.0 with faster transfer rates. The obligatory HDMI port is also available, you can use the notebook with an HDTV or PC display if you wish.
Networking interfaces include 100Mbps RJ-45 port and excellent dual-band 802.11 A/C WiFi + Bluetooth 4.0 card.
The unit has a tray load DVD burner, so friends of discs need not purchase an external drive. Also SD card slot is there, it accepts memory cards from cameras, music players and such.
A 0.92MP (1280×720 at 30fps video) webcam will let you have video calls on Skype.
Anything else to keep in mind?
Dell Inspiron i5558-4286SLV weighs 4.94 pounds according to the manual. An average 15-incher is the same. The notebook comes with a 4-cell 40Whr battery and those things usually last for 4 hours non-demanding use. The battery is a removable one, something not every laptop has, so you can switch it for a better battery if you want.
The keys are illuminated with one color. A dedicated numpad is available on the right hand side.
Dell Inspiron i5558-4286SLV is useful for dealing with heavyweight applications. Its modern 5th generation CPU and eight gigabytes memory are unlikely to bog down, and you can even try the laptop for some gaming if you’re good with keeping eye candy at lower levels. Display seems to be decent enough for the price, and connections include everything one needs to get most out of this notebook. Lack of premium features, such as 1920×1080 display or solid-state drive might be seen as disadvantages. But for this price, getting all of them just doesn’t happen. This Dell is a solid laptop, far superior to cheaper Celeron-based models. So if you want performance without paying an arm and leg, this Dell should be a good candidate for you.