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Dell Inspiron 15r N5110 review

Relatively pricey, but offers excellent performance

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1366 x 768
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Great performance
  • Dedicated graphics
  • Connectivity

Against

  • Portability
  • Usability

Dell has impressed us lately with a great range of laptops to suit all users, and the Inspiron 15r N5110 is no exception. It's quite expensive for a mid-range laptop, but still offers great value for money, thanks to its excellent performance.

That extra cash buys you the latest Intel Core i5 2410M processor, which is a step above the Core i3 processors found in most of the other machines at this price. While other laptops can comfortably run all of your applications, the Dell provides an extra bit of future-proofing and won't need replacing any time soon. Even the most demanding software loads quickly and runs smoothly.

You also get a powerful dedicated Nvidia GT 525M graphics card, while most other laptops make do with basic integrated graphics, where the processor also has to handle image rendering. The result is much better multimedia performance. High-definition (HD) movies run perfectly, you can comfortably edit all of your media, and gamers can play the latest titles without sacrificing graphics quality for a smooth frame rate.

Tech Labs

Tech labs

Battery Eater '05: 166 minutes
Cinebench: 9743
3DMark 2006: 18,968

If you enjoy kicking back with action games after a tough day of studying, this is the laptop for you.

Bright screen

The 15.6-inch screen is bright, although the Packard Bell EasyNote NS44 HR-033UK compact screen is sharper. However, we found the Dell's screen was vibrant enough to fully enjoy our photos and films, with decent viewing angles.

The built-in SRS speakers are some of the most powerful, making them good for music and movies, although audiophiles will prefer a dedicated external pair.

While the Dell offers good performance, it's by no means the most portable. We didn't quite get three hours of use from the battery when watching films, although this isn't a bad result, and if you're simply typing out an essay or doing some other light work, you can expect to get another hour or so out of the battery.

At 2.7kg it's quite heavy for a laptop, which also limits portability. Still, it can be carried around if needed and the body isn't too chunky to be a pain when you have to cram it into your backpack.

This laptop might not be perfectly portable, but it's certainly attractive. The dark brushed-metal finish looks slick, with only a little flex around the edges, and our model came with one of Dell's swappable SWITCH lids. You get a choice of over twenty colourful designs, which make a refreshing change from the standard plain efforts. If you get sick of one design, just order a new one from Dell and they'll ship it out.

Like many of the laptops here, an isolation-style keyboard has been used. The keys are well spaced, but we found the board to be spongy, with considerable flex in the middle when typing. It's not a serious issue and you soon get used to it, but we expected better.

Dell inspiron 15r

Connections are plentiful, with VGA and HDMI ports for hooking up external displays and even an eSATA port for attaching external hard drives. With 500GB of built-in storage, you'll most likely only need an external drive when backing up your important files.

If you need the extra power and have the cash to spare, the Inspiron 15r is a great student laptop that will last you for a few years. However, portability and usability aren't as strong as we would have liked.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Hard Drive Capacity320 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelHD Graphics
Optical Drive TypeDVD-Writer
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
HDMIYes
eSATA/USB ComboYes
Product FamilyInspiron 15R
Processor Modeli3-370M
ColourBlack
Operating SystemWindows 7 Home Premium
Brand NameDell
Processor Speed2.40 GHz
Processor TypeCore i3
Screen Size39.6 cm (15.6")
Screen Resolution1366 x 768
Standard Memory3 GB
Weight (Approximate)2.64 kg
Cache3 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
64-bit ProcessingYes
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelHM57 Express
Optical Media SupportedDVD±R/±RW
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Ethernet TechnologyFast Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports3
Height34 mm
Width376 mm
Depth262 mm
Screen ModeWXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product Series15R
ManufacturerDell, Inc
Product NameInspiron 15R Notebook
Product LineInspiron
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part Number5010-9723
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.dell.co.uk
Marketing Information

The Inspiron laptop's sleek new design is not only an ease for your eyes, but it also seamlessly travels by your side without getting in your way. Upon opening the Inspiron, your eyes will be immediately drawn to the brushed metal appearance of the smudge-proof palm rest. The keyboard's 10-key numeric keypad makes it easy to work with applications that require data entry or directional moves.

Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • Inspiron 15R Notebook
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter