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Dell Inspiron 15 3000 Review, Performance on a Budget

Image by PC World

Pros Cons
  • 5th gen Intel Core i3 processor
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • 500 GB of internal storage.
  • low price (check pricing here)
  • Hard drive instead of an SSD.
  • Integrated GPU (shared graphics).

Most mid-range laptops have to sacrifice their looks and most of the quality of their builds to ensure that the price is at its lowest, but that never seemed to be a problem for Dell. The north-american company has always managed to make attractive and powerful mid-range machines, and the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 is no exception.

To sum it up, the Inspiron 3000 comes with 4 GB of RAM, 500 GB of internal storage and a pretty powerful dual-core Intel i3 processor. And the best part, it has one of prettiest designs of the mid-range market. If you want to know more about it, then walk with us as we review the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 with it's pros and cons to help you decide if it's worth your money.

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Full Review of the Dell Inspiron 15 3000

Screen & First impressions

Despite having an all-black, relatively simple design, the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 manages to stand out from its competitors. 

Maybe it’s the weight distribution between the screen and the rest of the laptop (meaning that screen is way thinner than the lower part of the device) or maybe it’s just the textured finish on the outside (an outside which also has super attractive squared corners, unlike most rounded laptops that flood the market today).

I don’t know exactly why, but the Inspiron 15 3000 is simply easier on the eyes than most of the mid-range laptops we've reviewed so far. 

The 15.6-inch screen is pretty good as well, packing an HD (1366x768p) resolution. It’s big enough for most multitasking needs and good enough for watching high-definition movies. Also, it’s very thin when compared to the lower part of the laptop, meaning that it shouldn’t be that hard to open the laptop with one hand (like you can do with a MacBook Air, for example)

If you still want a higher resolution or just a bigger display, you can simply connect the laptop to your TV or monitor through the HDMI port. Another advantage of the design is the big keyboard with an integrated numpad, something particularly useful for people that writes for a living.

CPU, RAM & Graphics

Moving on with our review of the Dell Inspiron 15 3000, the truth is, it's a very powerful machine for its price. In the processing department, it comes with a 5th generation, Broadwell based Intel i3 processor that packs 2 cores, 4 sub-processing threads (2 per core), 3 MB of cache, a 64 bit architecture and a clock speed of 2.0 GHz.

Along with that CPU, you’ll find 4 GB of DDR3L SDRAM running at 1600 MHz. Said memory is single channel and it will work at its maximum capacity all the time thanks to the 64 bit architecture of the CPU.

The Intel HD 5500 graphics card has to share its memory with the CPU, so it will not be as powerful as a dedicated GPU. Nevertheless, it’s still good enough for  video and photo editing (because that depends more on the CPU cores and RAM memory) as well as some casual gaming (League of Legends, Dota 2, Counter Strike: GO and many other popular games run just fine as long as you tweak the visual quality a bit).

Basically, with this set of specs you get as much bang for your buck as possible within this price range.

Storage & Battery life

I know I wrote in the beginning that the lack of an SSD is a disadvantage, but at this price range it all depends on what you’re planning to use the laptop for. If what you want is to quickly transfer huge files between multiple drives, an SSD is definitely your best choice, but the thing is that not many people need that.

What most people need, though, is enough internal storage for them to not carry around an external drive everywhere they go, and that just couldn’t have been possible with an SSD (unless you're willing to fork over 1K, of course).

That’s why I’m glad that Dell chose a 500 GB hard disk drive (HDD) instead of an SSD that would have provided, at best, 32 GB of flash memory storage. The good thing is that you still have one USB 3.0 port if you want to connect an external SSD drive.

When it comes to battery life, the new Dell budget laptop brings us a 40 watts-hours, 4-cell battery capable of handling between 4 and 5 hours of mid-to-heavy use, which is more than enough for the average user.

Connectivity & Extras

The best extras we can point out to in this case are its DVD/CD optical drive and the “facial-recognition compatible webcam” (according to Dell). This, along with the big keyboard and screen, make for a very good work/study laptop.

As far as ports go, this model comes in with two USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0 port, one HDMI port, one headphone/microphone jack, one SD card reader and an ethernet port for your wired LAN connections. Regarding the wireless connections, you’ll find WiFI (802.11 b/g/n) and Bluetooth (v4.0) compatibility.

It comes with Windows 8.1 out of the box, but Windows 10 is already available as a free update (at least until mid-2016) so you’ll have the latest software versions for the next few years without any extra charge.

Veredict : Is it worth it?

Wrapping up our review of the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 pros and cons, we gotta say; it's an A+ in our book. I mean, aside from being a very attractive budget laptop, Dell managed to cram into a $380 machine a Core i3 processor, 500 GB of storage, 4 GB of RAM and a pretty nifty Intel HD 5500 graphics card.

All in all, dare we say; we're looking at one of the best budget laptops in the market. That said, besides being in love with this laptop's design you might wanna also check out the Asus F555LA-AB31 which also brings a Full HD display to the table. Is it better? Hard to say, either way both are great options and neither will let you down.