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Daily workhorse

india Updated: Feb 14, 2011 19:27 IST
Roshan DSilva
Roshan DSilva
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

The new Dell Inspiron 15R sports a revamped design that ditches the old plasticky look and instead, uses a brushed faux-metal finish on the lid. Add to that a bright red colour and the big Dell logo in the centre and it looks more modern than its predecessors. You can even opt for another colour from Dell’s range.

Construction
The same brushed-metal finish is carried on the inside as well. Both the matte black keyboard and touchpad are recessed, allowing for a very flat and clean look. The entire keyboard is moved forward, nearer to the screen, which allows for a lot more space for you to place your palms, helping ease the stress on your wrists. One small little detail which looks good is the LED indicators for the CPU and battery usage; they have a cool white glow which is different from the other generic indicators and is a nice touch from Dell. While the keyboard is a bit of a downer as it flexes quite a bit when in use, the touchpad is brilliant because it has a smooth finish, but with enough resistance to track your movements perfectly. One thing worth noting is that the keypad is half the size it would be on regular laptops, which could be an issue for those with big hands.

Specifications
The Inspiron 15R is powered by an Intel i3 processor and has 4GB of RAM. Graphics are powered by an Intel HD GPU, which is good enough for watching HD movies but don’t think of playing the latest games on this machine. But then again, this laptop was designed for those who choose productivity over gaming. The LED backlit screen is 15.6 inches with a resolution of 1366x768 pixels. While it has good colour reproduction, the glare from the glossy finish will distract you every so often. Storage comes in the form of a 500GB hard drive along with a host of connectivity options. These include four USB ports, eSATA and an SD card slot. Here’s HDMI output and two more USB ports at the rear.

Usability
The Inspiron 15R performed quite well in our tests. Running multiple applications at the same time or watching an HD video is accomplished without breaking a sweat. The speakers are loud and clear enough to enjoy movies but sound tends to get muffled as they’re located on the underside of the laptop.

Battery Life
The 15R is generally quite cool with just a hint of heating after long usage. It’s very silent too. The 6-cell battery, on a full charge can fetch you a good 3.5 hours of
multimedia usage.

Verdict
Priced at R 52,800, it seems to be a tad bit
overpriced. While a discrete graphics card is available, it does not come as standard — that is a flaw.
The Inspiron 15R is a great laptop for those who like clean and understated looks and has enough power to do heavy-duty tasks. In short, the Dell Inspiron 15R is a great
all-round notebook and should be on your list, if you are looking for a new workhorse.

Rating ****

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