The 2011 Dell Inspiron 15R starts at just $499, and includes modern facial appearance such as following-gen Intel Core i-series processors, USB 3.0 ports, and an HD Webcam, along with discretionary swappable lids.
The Inspiron 15R’s bulky body is heavy, and its array life is a huge downer.Adding discretionary extras makes it near as high-priced as a mainframe from Dell’s premium XPS line.
The underside line:
Dell’s Inspiron 15R is an perfectly priced financial statement consumer mainframe with a welcome set of up-to-date facial appearance and point options, but beware of the cost of customizations.
Solid, beefy, and clad fundamentally in plastic, the best thing the Dell Inspiron 15R point has going for it is its clean looks. At 1.3 inches at its thickest point and near 6 pounds without its AC adapter, this Dell isn’t a frivolous. Even if, open up its thick lid and you’ll find a crisp interior awaiting, moderately free of the glitz and crud that often plague laptops.
This is, fundamentally, a akin point to the Inspiron 15R we reviewed last year, which first introduced the revamped “hinge-forwards” point and restyled upright. (Before I forget, last year’s Inspiron R is still available early at $449, but we wouldn’t urge it; this year’s revamp is worth the extra $50.)
The Inspiron 15R wastes modest room. The edge-to-edge raised upright includes a digit pad, and the multitouch touch pad is very large, near as huge as a MacBook’s. The huge, sharp 15.6-inch cover fills most of the upper lid’s space, with modest bezel. We’re still not a fan of the thick rear lip that houses some of the back ports, but if you’re export an entry-level $499 manufactured goods it’s hard to complain about the 15R’s point. At higher-end configurations, it feels a modest cheap. And the glossy plastic, with a sample that resembles brushed metal, is an incredible fingerprint pull.
Stylistically speaking, the largest innovation in the new Inspiron R series is its swappable lid. The thought behind this figure is to offer some of Dell’s above all large back catalog of mainframe lid designs without forcing customers to commit to any above all odd floral print or psychedelic landscape for the full life of the pad. With a austere button-press and swap you can change sign or designs straightforwardly. Of way, we say straightforwardly, but it took four public at CNET to even figure out how to eject the lid by the book, guided by an e-mail from Dell. Laugh at us if you must, but the administer is a modest less intuitive than you’d guess. Still, that’s OK with us taking into account you’ll liable thrash your mainframe lid occasionally, if at all (in fact, we wonder how many Dell Inspiron R owners will never grasp the lid is swappable–unlikely taking into account the ad campaign, but we wouldn’t be bowled over).
The lids, existing in dozens of designs, aren’t cheap, at $35 for a plain color or $60 for any of the other designs. They’re like the swappable cases for Nokia phones back in the ’90s, or the faceplates on the first Xbox 360: a attention-grabber, sure, but right fans will doubtless buy at least one lid for the sheer novelty. Being able to change the lid could also save you the frustration of trying to buy a fastidious color of mainframe only to find it’s sold out or been discontinued, a problem we’ve heard some readers complain of. We wonder how long it’ll be previous to licensed sports lids and top bolt from the blue-journal seasonal designs start popping up, much as they by now do for Dell’s non-comes off lids.
Now, back to the ergonomics of the Inspiron 15R. While the logic feels heavy on a lap, its dimensions and proportions make for comfortable typing. The upright is generous in size and simple to steer, even if the keys feel a bit stiff for our tastes. We can’t type as quickly or kindheartedly as we have on other laptops, but it’s still better than the mean upright. Even better is the touch pad, which was both open and unusually large. The discrete buttons below feel a modest mushy, but we were able to steer nearly the Web and use other programs straightforwardly.
The large 15.6-inch sight has a standard pledge of 1,366×768 pixels that can’t be upgraded, but games and videos looked vivid, with rich sign. Depiction feature deteriorated at wide viewing angles, but head-on the Inspiron 15R looked better than we expected.
While the Inspiron 15R has “SRS Premium Sound” stereo speakers, front-firing and seated under the front edge, the sound feature was nowhere near the distinction of the higher-end Dell XPS series. Number levels and bass were excellent enough to delight in Netflix movies and games, but listening to rich music such as jazz was disappointing.