• Pros /

    Good battery life; Strong performance; Comfy soft-touch deck; Plenty of storage

  • Cons /

    Bland, low-res display; Shallow keyboard

  • Verdict /

    Dell’s Inspiron 15 5000 is a strong performer with a solid and comfy soft-touch design, but its display doesn’t wow.

    The Dell Inspiron 15 5000 combines strong performance with a comfortable and colourful soft-touch design, but is that enough? For $600, you get a roomy 1TB hard drive, a 6th Generation Core i5 Processor and 8GB of RAM. However, a dull and low-res display and stiff keyboard hold this laptop back.

    Design

    Our review unit of the Dell Inspiron 15 5000 was an industrial silver-and-black machine that looks like it’s meant to do a job. Dell.com allows you to select some vibrant colours, however, including red, blue and gold. The silver lid on our unit features Dell’s logo in black and has a gritty texture that makes the system easy to grip and carry. Inside, the deck is a dark grey with a soft-touch coating that felt comfortable against our wrists and a black, island-style keyboard. The 15.6-inch, 1366 x 768 display is surrounded by a black bezel that isn’t as horribly thick as we’ve seen on some other notebooks.

    Dell Inspiron 15 5000 display

    Keyboard and Touchpad

    With just 1.3 mm of travel, the backlit keyboard on the Inspiron 15 5000 Is shallow, and though the keys require a strong 70 grammes of force to press, I could still feel them bottoming out rather easily. On the bright side, your wrists won’t get sore when you place them against the soft-touch palm rest.

    When I used the keyboard, I typed 96 words per minute on the 10fastfingers.com typing test, which is a little lower than my average range of 100 to 110 wpm, but my 1 percent average error rate remained unchanged. Dell claims that the keyboard is spill-proof, which should save your laptop from the occasional small spill. Excel masters will be thrilled to learn that this notebook features a full number pad.

    The touchpad is accurate and comfortable to use; the pointer went exactly where I wanted it to go as my finger glided over the smooth surface. At 4.1 x 3.1 inches, the touchpad has plenty of room for navigating as well as accurate gestures like clearing the desktop, summoning Cortana and scrolling with two fingers.

    Display

    The 15.6-inch display on the Inspiron 15 5000 doesn’t impress and is a noticeable downgrade from the panel on the 2015 model we reviewed last August. I found colours to be inaccurate and bland. I also wish the resolution were higher than just 1366 x 768 pixels; competing notebooks in this price range offer full-HD, 1080p screens.

    When I watched a trailer for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, nothing on this screen popped — not even the brightest colours. When the Batmobile’s headlights pointed directly at the yellow and red insignia on Superman’s chest, the colours were washed out, while they were bright and clear on other displays. The relatively low-res panel left out detail in the character’s faces, and the screen had a slight blue tint that threw off skin tones.The Inspiron 15 5000’s display has an average brightness of 239 units, which is darker than the mainstream category average of 253, but still brighter than its rivals; the Lenovo Ideapad 500 has a brightness of 219 units, but the Asus F555LA and Toshiba Satellite L55-C5340 didn’t even break 200.

     

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