Technophile

Dell Inspiron 15 5575: An all-rounder for regular use

Mirza Mohammed Ali Khan | Updated on June 27, 2018 Published on June 27, 2018

Powered by AMD’s Ryzen processors, this line-up will suit students and working professionals who can do without the portability

Many thought the dawn of the tablet era would spell the death knell for laptops. But that prediction fell flat, with very few companies still persisting with making tablets and innovating with them. However, tablets and what they offer did herald some major changes in laptops, one of the most significant being the development of hybrids — laptops that double up as tablets when folded back.

Despite all this, the good old laptop continues to survive and do well for itself, given how students and professionals alike prefer it for the powerful utilitarian value it brings to the table (or your lap). But even the traditional laptop has undergone a bit of what I would like to call ‘tablet-ification’. The tablet mode on laptops is any indication, although I still cannot fathom the need for it beyond the cosmetic appeal. I mean, how cumbersome is it to lift that screen up while pressing down on the mouseclick on the laptop’s touchpad? Of course, gestures make it easier to operate otherwise.

Then again, these aren’t deal-breakers, really. And the tablet-aping finds its way to some pretty useful features such as getting voice assistants like Cortana (on Windows laptops) and easy connectivity options to hook your mobile phone or tablet to your laptop. Dell recently brought out its new line of the Inspiron, a brand that is familiar to college students and working professionals alike, with the new AMD Ryzen processors that come with integrated graphics, and sent the top-end spec model to try out. The integrated graphics bit will appeal to those looking to cut costs, and students who prefer an all-rounder to get through college might appreciate this. Still, though economical, the Dell Inspiron 15 5575 line isn’t exactly your definition of budget, starting at a little over ₹39,000 and going up to around ₹52,000.

The chipset and specs

Let’s talk about what’s under the hood. The review unit was powered by the AMD Ryzen 5 2500U Mobile Processor with Radeon Vega8 Graphics, and if you were to weigh this performer in terms of the Intel standard, think of it roughly as the i5. RAM size is 8 GB, and it is expandable to 32 GB so that is a plus, although 8 GB should suit you just fine for regular use, including movies and a bit of gaming. Storage is a 1 TB hard drive, and Windows 10 Home Plus comes with it, making set-up quite easy. A nice touch is the presence of a DVD drive with read and write capabilities and this could’ve been included keeping the needs of students in mind. A 42WHr, three-cell Battery juices the machine, which comes with 2 USB 3.1 slots, 1 USB 2.0, an HDMI 1.4 port, and an SD card reader is also thrown in. An Ethernet port is also present, so Dell seems to have got the ‘student starter pack’ of sorts right. There’s an audio-out 3.1 mm jack as well.

Display, keyboard, audio

The Dell Inspiron 15 5575 comes with a 15.6-inch HD display sporting a resolution of 1920 x 1080 p. It also gets Anti-glare and this helps. However, viewing angles can get a little iffy, if one is going to be leaning back or lying down and I found myself adjusting the screen as I moved. Also, the screen isn’t the most vibrant going around, but does the job for movies and games. Keep in mind that this isn’t a gaming laptop, so temper expectations. Brightness is good and doesn’t eat up battery drastically when boosted.

The speakers are mounted on the bottom and when set on a flat surface, audio is compromised owing to this. Dell has something called Waves MaxxAudio Pro that enhances and optimises audio output and while this may work well for some light listening, to really enjoy a movie or music, getting external speakers is recommended.

The chiclet keyboard is pretty standard, with the keys spaced out well and easy to use. But they can get a little noisy. There is a fair bit of travel ensuring good feedback. It isn’t back-lit however, and for the price, Dell could have thrown that in, given how it is becoming more and more of a necessity on laptops. The power button is on the top right, above the keyboard.

The touchpad works well and apart from the fact that the left and right mouseclicks are a little laborious, functioned very smooth. Gestures are buttery and work well and the soft-touch mouseclicks register without any glitches. It’s also fairly roomy to make usage easier.

Looks

Looks, again, are fairly standard. Starting at well over 2 kg, it tips the scales, but doesn’t look too bulky. Given its size, it actually manages to look sleek. The build is plastic, but thanks to the finish and quality, it feels premium. It gets four stubs on the bottom for good support and the hinge is central. There’s an indentation to get a finger hold when you’re opening the laptop, which is a good addition, as the hinge is firm.

Given the screen size and DVD drive, this isn’t exactly easy to carry around, so professionals on the move might have to look elsewhere. The Inspiron is always perceived as more of a ‘set it up for more grounded use’ sort of a product, anyway.

Performance

Fire it up and Cortana comes to life. Setting it up is fairly simple and a guided process. It is during this time that one is prompted to connect their mobile phone to make one-screen multi-tasking easy. The processor holds its own and is complemented well by the RAM. I didn’t get to test it intensively and reviewed the laptop like a daily, regular user would — browsing, MS Office, movies, music, and videos — and it handled all that without breaking a sweat. While we are on sweat, the underside warms up soon, but this didn’t seem to affect its running and the heat didn’t make it to the functional usage areas, so it wasn’t too big a problem.

However, and I don’t know if this is an issue confined to the review unit, but running a streaming service on the Microsoft Edge browser gave me trouble a couple of times. The video player stopped working and the machine had to be restarted. There was also the time when the Bluetooth kept turning off by itself and I couldn’t connect my earphones to it. But these could be individual glitches.

Battery life is okay, with mine lasting close to four hours on a full charge, after using it for browsing, music, and work.

It’s good to see Dell bring AMD integrated processors to the market, and we could expect other manufacturers to follow suit. The Inspiron 15 5575 makes no bones about being a workhorse and it’s quite a capable one at that.

Price: ₹39,990 onwards

Pros: Integrated graphics, handles daily tasks well, good connectivity options

Cons: On the heavier side, audio could be better, noisy keyboard with no back lighting

Published on June 27, 2018
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