Disclaimer: 9to5gadgets.com is a participant of the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Any valid purchases made through clicking on the links on this site (when directed to Amazon) will garner us a commission.

[Review] Dell Inspiron i3552-4042BLK Not Loving It

Pros: Sleek design, Windows 10, 8 hour battery life, DVD tray, 4 GB of RAM, cheap price.
Cons: Basic Computing laptop

As of late it's becoming increasingly more common for entry level laptops to dismiss the optical drive all together. We can't really blame them, many people don't really make use of CD's anymore so this tendency is understandable.

However, that doesn't mean that everyone can live without a DVD tray and that's not enough reason for these people to fork out hundreds of extra bucks to get a mid range laptop. It's with this in mind that today we're going to talk to you guys about a very interesting model under the name of Dell Inspiron i3552-4042BLK.

This particular model has only been in the market for a few months but it's already starting to make a name for itself in the entry level segment. It's affordable price coupled with a stylish design and decent components make up for an ideal student laptop. But don't take our word for it, judge it by yourself in our in depth review of the Dell Inspiron i3552-4042BLK. 

Dell Inspiron i3552-4042BLK Detailed Review

A standard display in a sleek design

Upon first glance, one of the things that first strikes us about this laptop is it's elegant and sleek design. The Inspiron i3552-4042BLK measures up to less than an inch of thickness and its weight is a little under 5 pounds, making it a very portable device.

The display, as is common within entry level models, occupies a 15 inch diagonal and features an LED-Backlit technology over a standard HD resolution in a 16:9 aspect ratio. Basically what we're saying here is that it's the same display you'll find in 95% of the current laptop lineup, nor better nor worse.

The keyboard is not backlit and it comes in the standard island design which offers better spacing between keys to offer the maximum ergonomics for our everyday typing needs. Also, as is the norm within 15 inch models, it comes with a dedicated numeric pad for your convenience.

Can I get any Work Done? How does it handle Multitasking?

After reviewing the Dell Inspiron i3552-4042BLK's externals it's time to take a look under the hood and see what's beneath. At its heart we're going to find an Intel Celeron N3050 CPU. This is a dual core, dual threaded processor that houses 2 MB of L2 Cache and clocks in at a standard 1.6 GHz, going up all the way to 2.16 GHz with the turboboost feature.

I know that to many of you guys -those who aren't complete geeks like me- this doesn't really mean anything so i'm going to break it down to you guys. Basically this is a processor that's fairly good for basic computing tasks. Stuff like reading your favourite gossip site, watching movies online, editing docs and storing photos are all stuff that this CPU can do without breaking a sweat. 

More intensive tasks such as editing video and compiling code will not be received particularly well by this CPU.

As for your multitasking needs, they will be met by a standard 4 GB of DDR3 SDRAM that works at 1600 MHz. This translates into you being able to work with 2-3 programs at a time and be a "tab hogger" with your browser without much of an issue. However, I would not really recommend going beyond a couple of tasks at a time as this mix of CPU and RAM won't endure much more.

What's the deal with gaming?

As you might have guessed by now after looking at the overall performance this laptop is hardly suitable for gaming. It comes with an Intel HD graphics card and unless you're looking to play SIMS 4 at the lowest settings you really aren't going to get any decent performance in games with this machine. 

Superb battery life and "ok" storage

One thing that the i3552-4042BLK has going for it -other than price and design - is its battery life. To be specific, it features a 4 cell battery which, in accordance to the company, can give us up to 8 hours of battery life. We all know that companies tend to "inflate" this number (unless that company is called Apple) so this would translate into a good 5-6 hours of battery life after about a year of usage, all in all pretty good considering the current situation.

Storage-wise there aren't much surprises, we've got a standard 500 GB hard drive that works at a speed of 5400 rpm. Not really that much more to say over here. 

What are the available ports? How about the WiFi connection?

As we reach a wrap on this review we take a quick look over at the connectivity options. To this point we've got a stand alone USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI plug to connect it to a TV, ethernet entrance, SD card reader as well as the aforementioned DVD tray.  

There's also your typical Bluetooth 4.0 to connect to other peripherals such as a set of interesting wireless speakers and b/g/n WiFi connection.

Is it worth buying?

After crafting our Dell Inspiron i3552-4042BLK review we've gotta say that the answer to this question in a nutshell is: "Maybe". It really depends on your budget and needs. If you want a laptop to surf the web and watch movies then this should be enough to fit the bill without costing you much money in the process. But let's not kid ourselves, it's not really gonna go much beyond that. That said, you can check out pricing for this notebook over here.

On the flip side, if you believe that you're going to need more horsepower or would like to buy a machine that is more "future proof" then we gotta be honest over here and point you towards the Asus F555LA-AB31 we reviewed a few months ago

It's stretching your budget just a little bit more but you also get a 5th generation Core i3 processor as well as a Full HD display, overall a much better laptop.