Dell inspirson 1545

The Dell Inspiron 1545 is pretty much what we expected from a low-price laptop, and its sheer size makes it obvious that Dell has spread itself a little thinly.

The look and feel - keyboard aside - is that of an inexpensive laptop, but Dell has surprised us in some areas.

We liked:

The epic screen on the Inspiron 1545 is what makes it stand out from the crowd, and even the most basic model is actually reasonably specced.

Battery life is better-than-average, and it's a good option for people who aren't tempted by the fiddliness of netbooks, as well as film fanatics.

We disliked:

The innards may be okay, but the chassis makes this feel like one of the cheapest laptops we've come across.

The screen itself is disappointing, and the lack of extras feels like profiteering frugality on Dell's part. In a time of svelte, lightweight laptops the Inspiron feels like it comes from another age.

Final verdict:

It's easy to criticise the Inspiron 1545, but for the price it's actually a very competitive machine.

If you must use it for gaming, our advice would be to invest in the ATI card at purchase, and then upgrade the hard disk and RAM independently of Dell.

That way you'll be able to get a semi-decent gaming laptop for under £450.