If it’s an affordable yet popular laptop you’ve been looking for I got a possible target for you: Dell Inspiron i5748-2143sLV. It’s one of the better selling notebooks, equipped with a mid-range Core i3 processor and 17.3 inches screen. People have left favorable reviews for it so the item can’t be all bad. Let’s see what TechForPennies.com review team thinks about it…
Is it powerful?
Dell Inspiron i5748-2143sLV features a dual-core processor called Core i3-4030U. It has a clock speed of 1.9GHz but there is no turbo. This chip gets 2700 points in Passmark tests, about the same than other i3s meant for laptops. Compared to Celerons (~1000) and Pentiums (~1800) it’s much more. If we’re talking about home or office use, this kind of Core i3 is all you need.
This model has 4GB (DDR3L 1600MHz) memory installed. There’s just one SODIMM slot on the system, so additional memory can only be added by replacing the old chip. Indeed, the maximum RAM supported is 8GB.
Dell Inspiron i5748-2143sLV relies on old storage technology. It has a 500GB 5400RPM (SATA 6Gbps) hard drive giving you a lot of space but lacking in performance. To make the computer faster, swapping the hard drive for an SSD is a very popular hobby these days. You can do that here too, any 2.5″ SATA drive fits.
Does it have a decent display?
The display is big, 17.3 inches, so this system is more of a desktop replacement than very portable unit. Resolution is 1600×1900, acceptable for 17 inches. At this price point Full HD would be very rare anyway. It is not a touch screen so feel free to learn Windows 8.1 with trackpad and keyboard.
Do games run on it?
Many games run on Dell Inspiron i5748-2143sLV if you don’t expect full graphics and high resolution. The integrated Intel HD 4400 graphics engine is somewhat ready for heavier games, such as GTA 5 at ~20FPS, but only if you keep details low. It won’t be very enjoyable, lag will be visible but it’s playable nonetheless. Titles not so taxing to the system – such as various sports and browser games, also Sims 4 and World of Warcraft – will run flawlessly.
What peripherals can I connect?
You can plug in several peripherals to Dell Inspiron i5748-2143sLV. There are two USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 for that. Also, connecting your living room TV or desktop monitor is possible, the laptop has a full-sized HDMI out.
Networking options are the usual ones: 100Mbps RJ-45 port, a WiFi card (802.11b/g/n) and support for Bluetooth 4.0.
The laptop has a tray load optical drive that works for burning CDs and DVDs. There’s also SD card slot for working with memory cards.
The notebook features a 720p format webcam and microphone.
Other things to keep in mind?
As briefly noted above, this Dell is not too portable a machine. The laptop weighs 6.61 pounds (and has 1.15″ height & the 17.3″ display) so it probably doesn’t work for traveling. The running time will be 4-5 hours non-taxing use on the removable 4-cell 40Whr battery.
The laptop keys are not lighted, although a numeric keypad is available on the right.
Dell Inspiron i5748-2143sLV is a home/office laptop for people who value large screen and affordability. Processor and RAM are good enough for common programs (browsing, light entertainment, MS Office) and the integrated graphics engine will handle many older games without issues. With USBs and HDMI, connections should be enough for most. I can’t see too many disadvantages here, also user reviews speak good about the notebook, so you might as well give it a try.