Inspiron 15 (5566), Could It One of the Most Attractive and Budget Friendly Options out There?

The veteran manufacturer that is Dell pretty much has it down when it comes to the category of $500 laptops. Inventing a well-rounded machine, in budget form, is kind of an art form. Opening the door to compromise is key, and Dell’s 15.6-inch Inspiron 15 5000 series is a well put together contender to the other lower-end laptops out there (and there’s sure as heck a lot of those). The question though, is whether this is an across-the-board hit, and not just something glaringly pretty. Read through, and you’ll surely find out the answer.

When reviewing lower-end laptops, you’ve got to expect some compromises. As the photos make it quite apparent, this Inspiron model does not look anything like a laptop that would cost 500 dollars. It’s slick, it’s well-rounded, it’s got a brilliant blue diamondback lid, and a good LCD screen size, at 15.6 inches. Now that we know the design is there, let’s talk downsides. Although the screen size is comfortable in theory, the cheap 1366 x 768 may really falter the resolution, creating a shabby picture. Boo!

Another factor to take into consideration- the Inspiron 15 5566 takes on a somewhat cramped set of keys, especially when taking other 15-inchers into consideration. The keyboard itself performs a bit wonky, as consumers may find themselves missing the occasional keystroke, yet it’s most definitely satisfying enough for that $500 price. Another “womp, womp” is an under-sensitive/under-tuned trackpad that ultimately results in missed swipes, and annoying phantom-clicks.

While this hard drive isn’t meant to set any speed records, it’s enough to get the job done. The 5566’s internals are as follows- under the hood sits an Intel Core i3-5005U clocked at 2GHz, Intel HD 5500 integrated graphics, 6GB of DDR3 RAM, and a 1TB 5,400 RPM hard drive. Remember, most rigs of this price range won’t get ya more than 4GB of RAM, not to mention 6GB, so that right there is a nice cushion. The Intel inside is a real Core i3, so you’re definitely doing good here (good meaning anything is better than being stuck with an Atom processor).

Surely it’s become obvious of the certain flaws that lay their mark here, but the Dell Inspiron 15 5000 is still being dubbed as “one of the most attractive machines of its caliber”, in a price-range that usually means cheap plastic chassis and lackluster display. Although the display here isn’t fantastical, it’s still a good deal, and perhaps slightly less run down than competitors. Speaking of competition, all-in-all, there’s more potential in this above-average performer than many of its contenders. It has all the accessory ports consumers desire, and it performs pretty well. Under the hardware circumstances, Dell fell to the similarly specced HP 15T Touch, scoring a benchmark of 2,210, a bit higher than HP’s 2,159.

Dell can do better, and has. This machine has a relatively good balance between design and power, yet when taking a comparative look at the ($299.99 to start) Inspiron 15 3558, which became a favorite budget desktop-replacement among editors, you might find a happier medium there. You could swap the 3558’s more basic looking appearance for its more responsive touchpad and keyboard, as well as better viewing angles. However considering everything else in between, hardware and memory-wise, the 3558 is pretty much a match to this newer Inspiron 15 5566 model. In conclusion, and to honestly answer the question the title of this article ensues, yes, this a pretty attractive machine, externally, but more of the outer build, and not so much the design once opened up and ready to play with.

Topics: Technology News Dell Laptop Trends Laptops & Ultrathin Ultrabooks Tech Reviews

Join the conversation!