"At the front there are two speakers which give cracking sound for a mid-range laptop, and handled our bassy music selections without a hint of distortion."
We have included the 15R and 17R in the same review as they are, barring one or two minor differences, the same laptop in two different sizes.
The R Series Inspiron laptop range have been designed with students and young people in mind. They come in a choice of colours with a brushed metal effect on the, albeit plastic, lids.
The 15R comes with a 15.6 inch screen and the 17R comes with a…you guessed it, 17.3 inch one. Both laptops are very customisable from the Dell website, featuring the very best Intel Core i3 or i5 processors and are pretty cheap.
What we like best
The Inspiron R feels sturdy despite an all plastic construction thanks to the moulded rim, suggesting the body and top plate won’t part company as you may find with other laptops. Our review model came with a metallic pink lid and was resistant to mucky fingerprints.
The Inspiron R packs a 1 Gb ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5470 graphics card, which makes it good for gaming and means it’ll easily handle HD content on the 15.6 inch (1366 × 768) WLED display.
At the front there are two speakers which give cracking sound for a mid-range laptop, and handled our bassy music selections without a hint of distortion. Though the placement of speakers on the front means they’re angled down and lose some volume.
The internals specs are standard for a laptop in this price range, with an Intel Core i5 CPU (M430 2.27 GHz) with 4 Gb RAM and a 500 Gb hard drive.
There’s a 7-in-1 card reader, one USB e/SATA combo, three USBs, a wired LAN, a security slot, VGA port, audio in, audio out and an HDMI port.
There’s a disable touchpad key, which could be useful if you’re in for a long typing session, and the actual pad is very responsive with two physical buttons.
It’s also nice to see a proper tray drive for the DVD-RW, sure they’re not as swish as slot drive, but they’re hell of a lot quieter.
The keyboard is good to type on and usefully comes with a dedicated numeric keypad. The only annoyance is the arrow keys, which have been shrunk down in order to accommodate the number pad.
What we like least
The display is one of the few faults on this machine; very glossy it becomes difficult to read in environments with light interference.
The placement of two of the USBs at the back of the laptop is a minor inconvenience and watch out for the wireless switch which is now on the F2 key.
Battery life was average tipping four hours of light use on standard setting.
This is an attractive and fun laptop with a nice design that will appeal to its target audience, with good build quality, powerful components for a modest price tag. However at its most basic low cost level, you are getting a pretty poor configuration so expect to go at least mid-range before the good times to kick in.
Intel Core i3 - i5 Dual Core Processors
Up to 8 Gb 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM
Standard Intel HD Graphics, Optional ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5470 1 Gb
Hard Drive Storage
Up to 640 Gb SATA Hard Drive 5400 RPM
6-cell 48 WHr Li-Ion Battery
Integrated 1.3MP webcam with microphone
Built in speakers SRS Premium Sound 2 watt
Built in mic and mic Jack
Stereo headphone jack
7-in-1 Card Reader
DVD or Blu-Ray
3 X USB 2.0 including
1x eSATA combo
1 x VGA video connector
1 x HDMI
1 x Ethernet
Weight & Size
376mm (W) x 31.8-34mm (H) x 262mm (D)
2.648Kg (with 6 cell battery)
Standard Dell Wireless 1501 802.11 g/n
or Opt. Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6200 802.11 a/g/n
Dell Wireless 365 Bluetooth Internal (2.1) mini-card (optional)
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit
The Dell Inspiron 15R offers students embarking on a new academic year a great range of different features. You can choose from a variety of different drivers and processors – the model that we saw in the PC Site UK office performed brilliantly with an Intel Core i5 processor.
This model would also appeal to students who have a knack for gaming in their spare time. It’s got a great set of speakers which can play even the most bassy of songs with a clean, sweet air. Its graphic card is well-equipped to handle HD too, perfect for visual-rich games and home cinema.
There is a good lot to advertise the Dell Inspiron 15R. A consideration for many will be its shiny good looks, dividing it from a host of other laptops in an instant. Its backlit keyboard will also appeal to a raft of students who have already submitted to the prospect of some midnight work as exams approach.
"portable and light. value for money."
Sajeev 19 December 2011
"I got the 15 inch version before I went to uni and it's served me well. I used it mainly in the library and for essay writing, but I did have to move the screen around becuse there was some reflection and glare. Still would recommend it though"
Jen 13 February 2012
"If you want a basic machine that does the job, this does the job very well. Love it!"
Mike 26 April 2012
"i buy it, its so cool i like it..................................... "
navedita gupta 01 June 2012
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