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Dell Inspiron 15 7000 review

This unlikely gaming notebook goes boom

Dell Inspiron 15 7000 review

Affordable yet powerful, the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 is a fine option for someone looking for a strong-performing entertainment system. Although the system is a little on the heavy side and radiates a noticeable amount of heat during long sessions, those issues are balanced out by generally impressive performance for the price.

We liked

The notebook has full, loud speakers, backed by a built-in subwoofer, which wonderfully compliments the clear, 15-inch screen and its wide viewing angles. While the Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M might not let you crank settings up all the way, it offers decent enough performance across a variety of games. Together, these qualities make this laptop great for everything from games, to movies and even music.

Topping it all off is the battery life, which surpasses the competition by an hour or more.

We disliked

The 1TB hybrid hard drive forces you to play the waiting game as programs and applications load. You'll need to relaunch games a few times before enough files are copied over to the cache, which eventually lightens some of the load times. But, you may be stuck staring at slow moving progress bars – wondering whether a game has actually locked up – until that happens.

Despite the lack of an optical drive, the system still ends up feeling heavy enough that it almost makes the long battery irrelevant. Lastly, even though the cooling system helps prevent the notebook from becoming too uncomfortable, there is still a noticeable amount of heat and fan noise during multi-hour gaming sessions.

Final verdict

The Dell Inspiron 15 7000 strikes a strong balance between value and performance. Although you might get better features from competitors, you'll probably have to pay significantly more.

While the slow hard drive can be quite a nuisance, stand out features, like the impressive battery and loud sound system, definitely help make up for it. You might have to turn up the volume quite a bit to drown out the noise from two cooling fans, but that's ultimately a small price to pay when you the value and performance you out of the Inspiron 15 7000.