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271 of 281 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Laptop for the tight budget
My First Week Review:

This laptop is The Dell Inspiron 15 3521 (Entry Level Non-Touch Version) with MS Windows 8.1

For what I paid for this laptop, I am very impressed. So far it functions very well. Everything seems to work very well. Even HD videos, and graphics designing apps work smoothly.

Few things they left out in the specs that...
Published 7 months ago by JaguarXT

versus
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Re: User: Christian De Freitas
User Christian De Freitas is putting out fake reviews and linking to different laptops with links that generate affiliate cash for himself. I've found many many "reviews" where he says, don't get this one, get the one linked. LOL, he's sure got a lot of laptops.
Published 4 months ago by OWEN


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271 of 281 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Laptop for the tight budget, February 19, 2014
By 
JaguarXT "JaguarXT" (San Francisco Bay Area) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Dell Inspiron 15.6-Inch Laptop (i15RV-954BLK) (Old Version) (Personal Computers)
My First Week Review:

This laptop is The Dell Inspiron 15 3521 (Entry Level Non-Touch Version) with MS Windows 8.1

For what I paid for this laptop, I am very impressed. So far it functions very well. Everything seems to work very well. Even HD videos, and graphics designing apps work smoothly.

Few things they left out in the specs that this laptop, which is Inspiron 15 3521, has is:
* Microsoft Windows 8.1 64bit basic
* Webcam with mic: 0.92 megapixel, 720 HD at 30 fps max
* Two built-in speakers at 2 watts each
* Ethernet LAN on motherboard (LOM) at 10/100 Mbps.
* Wireless Mini-card at Wifi 2.4 Ghz, 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0 (on the same card)
* RAM can be expanded to 16 GB (8 Gb RAM each slot) Dual channel DDR3 SoDIMM up to 1600 MHz (1.6GHz) PC3-12800. Two RAM slots.
* Linux distros friendly laptop
* Battery is Dell 40 WHr 4-Cell Lithium-Ion Battery: Manufacturer Part# : V8VNT | Dell Part# : 312-1387
* There is an AC Adapter (Charger) w/ cord with this laptop
* Weight is about 5.10 pounds w/ power adapter
* There is a Dock Station for this laptop. The Dock doesn't come with the purchase of the laptop. You have to purchase the dock separately. The Dock is "Dell Computer SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Docking Station (YWDN0)".
* This laptop doesn't come with Windows 7 pre-installed. You can't purchase this laptop on Amazon with Windows 7 pre-installed. You can't get a free "downgrade" to Windows 7 with the purchase of this laptop. This laptop is sold with Windows 8.x only. No matter what you do you can't change that.
* CD/DVD Burner/Player drive within this laptop. 8X CD/DVD Burner/Player Drive (Dual Layer DVD+/-RW Drive)
* This is Not a serious gaming system nor a professional video production system. A system like that starts around $1250.00 no matter what the OS (Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac or Linux). You have been Forewarned!

* Please read the Questions & Answers * There are lots of answers to common questions in the Question & Answer section.
* Please read the Product Information (Detail) * There are product information there that will answer some of your questions.

The negativity that I see is the plastic parts, especially with the CD/DVD drive drawer can break very easily. I would not want to bump something to the CD/DVD drawer or drop this laptop. So ruggedness doesn't come in my mind when I look at this laptop. They had to cut cost somewhere.

What Applications comes with the laptop?

1. NO Microsoft Office: Microsoft Office: The Microsoft Office is not actually pre-installed in this laptop. There is just an icon link (an installer) to download and install Microsoft Office 2013 as a 30 day trial or as a paid subscription. You can still buy Microsoft Office 2013 that will work on only one computer (one license copy) and install it in your laptop. You can also install and use LibreOffice suite for free. There is Google Drive has word processor (Google Docs) and spreadsheet (Google Sheets) web apps that you can use for free as well. You can install and use AbiWord as a word processor for free. Microsoft has the online version of Microsoft Office 365 with online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote with 7 GB of online storage for free.

I went with the Microsoft Office 365 Home (formerly Office 365 Home Premium) $99.99 per year subscription with all the online office suite, 20 GB of online storage per user, offline Microsoft Office 2013 professional (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher, and Access) that I can install on 5 computers and 5 mobile devices, and can save documents on offline (on computer).

If you are a student then you can go for the Microsoft Office 365 University which is much the same as Office 365 Home but with a few differences. The differences are that Office 365 University allows to install Microsoft Office 2013 professional only on two devices (computers/mobile devices), only one user gets 20 GB online storage, the other user only gets 7 GB of online storage and the good news is that you only pay $79.99 for a 4 year subscription.

2. There is a trial version of McAfee Security security suite. I recommend to uninstall this system resource hog. This maybe a reason that some experience freeze ups. Windows 8 already has Windows Defender (anti-virus program) and Firewall built-in.

3. There is also PowerDirector Suite aka Media Suite Essentials (the basic level package, but still good) with Power DVD 12 , Power2Go 8 (for burning CD/DVDs), Power Director 10, Desktop Burning Gadget, CyberLink LabelPrint 2.5, ISO Viewer, and Virtual Drive (for mounting to ISOs). This is a keeper.

My recommendations:

1. I would say that this laptop is NOT for serious gaming, professional video production, creating motion animations, 3D graphics and animations, 3D CAD and CAM work, system resource hungry games, resource hog virtual reality, resource hog simulations, haevy duty VM, or anything else that is a system resource hog. For those kinds of activities you need to spend some seriously more capital. No way around that no matter which angle you try.

2. I would say that this laptop would be GOOD for IT professionals, Office work, Office management, remote managing, business level usage, class room learning, on the job learning, taking online courses, taking online classes, doing your homework both locally on the laptop and online, many (but not all) games for preschool and up (depending on the demand on the system resources), games like Minecraft, social media, hacking, exploiting, Linux lovers, graphics work and editing, surfing the Internet, Emailing, word processing, spreadsheets, Microsoft Office work (purchase separately), 2D CAD, Database management, project management, accounting, network management, remote managing servers and networks, music listening, video watching, editing photos and graphics, printing productions, VPN to work, etc. (need to upgrade to Pro version of Windows), remote managing systems, work at home and on the go, connecting to your corp network to do work with (need to upgrade to Pro Version of Windows), running a couple OSes on VM (this depends on what you are doing on the OS that you are VM into. Your system doesn't have the resources for resource hog applications. More RAM will give you better results), etc. Note: Few things here, like IT work, VPN, Corp domain logging in, etc. would need you to upgrade to Windows 8.1 64bit Professional version at $99.99 one time cost. And some things may run better if you add some RAM too.

3. At this time I would recommend this laptop to someone that is on a tight budget. And despite the shipping issues, I am glad that I got this laptop.

=====================================================================================
Please read my comments here in this thread. There are some good information there.
=====================================================================================

Note 1: A few problems users expressed maybe due to spinning drives being what they are. On average 30% of spinning drives will fail within the first 30 days of usage.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Note 2: I have ran into an issue that is most likely what users are running into that is not hardware issue. That issue is unwanted software that is really add/spyware that behaves as Trojans and Worms is being unwilling and unknowingly installed with poplar software.

I ran into this two times within two weeks and had to waste time fixing it. If I was not a professional then my system would be in a huge mess right now.

First Time:
First time is an Open Source software that was downloaded from Forge Source depository. Source Forge is one of the oldest and most respected and trusted Open Source depository in the world for variety of OSes including Microsoft Windows OSes. I always install software in Custom mode so I can say NO to any and all unwanted software. But when I chose Custom mode installation the software didn't give me any options, but instead just installed. That got me worried. So I checked and indeed it installed unwanted software. You can't even update your Windows or Anti-Virus software. I thought "Ohhh Blank!!!!!" as I started to troubleshoot and work on fixing this problem by reformatting and re-installing Windows.

The Second time:
I looked at my WinZip app that I bought ten years ago. You install by Custom mode and no Unwanted Software. But I could use a newer version. So I downloaded the new version of WinZip. I chose Custom Install. But it did't give me any options. Instead it just installed. That worried me very much, since this is commercial software and shouldn't happened like that with commercial software. So I investigated and troubleshooted the issue. Find out that it installed addware/spyware that took control of my browsers and wouldn't allow my Windows or Anti-Virus to update. Major fixing and much hours later I fixed it.

But if it wasn't for my professional experience that triggered my instinct I would not know what happened. If I was the average user then I would just blame the problems that would come up to the laptop instead of the Unwanted Software that was installed without my knowledge.

There are good practices to follow. But even if you do follow them you can still step into a mine without knowing it. So be so very careful. Software like Yahoo Messenger and WinZip are just a couple of many software that will bring Unwanted Add/Spyware that will make sure that you will never find out (by preventing your Anti-Virus and such from updating and finding them). This will cause your computer to slow down, freeze up, and reboot itself or you will need to reboot the computer to get out of freeze up.

-------------------------------
I just wanted to add this here since several have ran into slowdowns, freezes up, re-boots, popups, redirects and other malware like behaviors.

Question:
How can you stop "popups" and "redirects" from happening?

Answer:
Adware (form of Malware)
The term adware is frequently used to describe a form of malware (malicious software), usually that which presents unwanted advertisements to the user of a computer. The advertisements produced by adware are sometimes in the form of a pop-up.

When the term is used in this way, the severity of its implication varies. While some sources rate adware only as an "irritant", others classify it as an "online threat" or even rate it as seriously as computer viruses and trojans. The precise definition of the term in this context also varies. Adware that observes the computer user's activities without their consent and reports it to the software's author is called spyware.

Programs have been developed to detect, quarantine, and remove advertisement-displaying malware, including Ad-Aware, Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware, ADWCleaner, Spyware Doctor and Spybot - Search & Destroy.

But these software don't guarantee that they got everything. I don't care what they claim, that still doesn't guarantee that you are now clean of any and all malware. That is because these malware bring other bad software with it without your knowledge and hide them for a point of time from these Anti-Malware and Anti-Virus type programs that are design to find them.

And even if these programs did clean out your system of all malware and such from your computer your system will still not work correctly. The reason is that these malware change your system files and the Anti-Malware and Anti-Virus type programs try to clean up and reverse the damage of the system files, but never seem to completely reverse the damage to the system files. So your system will still act slow, freeze ups, reboots, etc...

The only way to clean that up is to reformat and reinstall Microsoft Windows.
* First thing to do is backup your personal data files into an external drive or USB thumb drive.

After backing up your personal data, you can start reformatting and reinstalling your operating system.
* The way to do that is first make a Dell's "Bootable Backup Rescue Disk" with Dell's "Dell Backup and Recovery" app and with either a 128Gb USB thumb drive or an USB external drive (I used an USB external drive).
* Connect your 128Gb USB thumb drive or an USB external drive to one of the USB 3.0 ports on the left hand side of laptop.
* Within "Dell Backup and Recovery" app chose "Bootable Backup".
* Wait for the program recognize The USB media.
* Then chose "Reinstall Disk" option within "Bootable Backup" page (not from Dell's "Dell Backup and Recovery" home page). "Reinstall Disk" option will give you what you need to restore the laptop the way it came to you.
* Make sure that "System Backup" is unchecked if available to you. (No need to do "System Backup" option until after you restored the system. If you restore your laptop with "System Backup" option right now then you may be bringing the problem with you.)
* Then click on "Create Rescue Disk" and follow instructions.

* After created the "Bootable Backup Rescue Disk" then you can restart the laptop having the USB media with the "Bootable Backup Rescue Disk" still connected to one of the USB 3.0 ports.
* While the laptop starts to boot press the F12 key several times until you get to the "Boot Menu".
* Within "Boot Menu" chose USB or the media with "Bootable Backup Rescue Disk" to boot into and press Enter key.

* After the "Bootable Backup Rescue Disk" starts then follow instructions.
* You already backed up your personal data, so chose not to backup before starting the recovery (restoring) the system.
* Complete the restoring you laptop.

Basically "Bootable Backup Rescue Disk" reformats, re-partition the drive, adds all the stuff on each partition that was there when you first got the laptop, including the UEFI partition, and installs Windows 8 with drivers and all software that was included in the laptop.

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How to make Windows 8.1 to be 100% complete desktop experience!

The "Start" (Metro) GUI is not the greatest. But within Windows 8.1 you don't have to live in the "Start" (Metro) environment. You can actually live on the desktop in Windows 8.1. Here is how:

If you are not in Windows 8.1, then please update to Windows 8.1. And please don't fear the upgrading. This upgrade is a good thing.

How to upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1:
Click on the green "Store" icon. You should be asked to upgrade to Windows 8.1. Choose that and follow instructions. If you don't see that, then do a search in the "Store" for Windows 8.1 and choose Windows 8.1 and follow instructions.

Upgrade from Windows 8.1 to Windows 8.1 Update "1" (April 2014 version):
Then go to your "Windows Update" to update Windows. Keep upgrading until you see the Shut Down Icon by your User Name on the Start "Metro" environment or the "Store" icon on your desktop Taskbar. When you see that then you are in Windows 8.1 Update "1" (April 2014 version).

If you are in the Windows 8.1 Update "1" (April 2014 version) with a laptop that is non-touchscreen, like this laptop, then you will be automatically be in the Desktop GUI interface. There are few more things that you can do to completely change Windows 8.1 into desktop experience OS.

Here are some tips and setup to change the Windows 8.1 back to desktop experience:

Change to complete Desktop GUI environment within Windows 8.1:
Click on the Desktop tile to get to Desktop. Right click on bottom Taskbar. Left click on Properties. Click on Navigation tab. Go down to "Start screen". Put a check in the box by "When I sign in or close all apps on a screen, go to the desktop instead of Start". Put a check in the box by "Show the Apps view automatically when I go to Start. Put a check in the box by "List desktop apps first in the Apps view when it's sorted by category". Put a check in the box by "Show my desktop background on Start. Take check out of the box by "Search everywhere instead of apps when I search from the Apps view". Click on "Apply". And click on "OK".

How to turn off activating Charms on the upper-right corner:
If not already on Desktop then click on the Desktop tile to get to Desktop. Right click on bottom Taskbar. Left click on Properties. Click on Navigation tab. Go to "Corner navigation". Take out the check by "When I click the upper-right corner, show the charms. Click on "Apply". And click on "OK".

To fix touchy Touchpad from activating the Charms:
Go to your Control Panel > Mouse > Dell Touchpad > "Click to change Dell Touchpad Settings" > Gestures > One Finger Gestures > take out check by "Right Edge Swipe". That should stop the Touchpad from activating the Charms. Yes I agree that Dell's Touchpad is touchy, but don't believe it is not functioning properly.

How to shutdown with Windows 8.1 desktop GUI:
To shut down: Right click the Navigation button (The four window icon button at the bottom left hand corner). Move mouse to "Shut down or sign out". Then Click "Shut down".

Once you setup the way I described above, How to get to your Apps and back to desktop:
Left click on the Navigation button (The four window icon button at the bottom left hand corner) to get to your applications. Hover over the bottom left hand corner to get the Navigation button back. Then click Navigation button to get back to Desktop

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My long-term ownership review.

I was going to recreate a review. But instead I tried to help people by answering their questions. Please look through the Questions section. There is lots of info I gave there. (My First Week Review is above)

I took this laptop through lots of stuff to see what it can do and what problems I would run into. Here are the paces that I put this laptop through:

1. I triple booted with Windows 8.1 Pro 64bit (upgraded to Pro in order to log into corp domain type networks), Kali Linux 64bit and Kubuntu Linux 64 bit.

2. I ran both Kali Linux 64bit and Kubuntu Linux 64bit at the same time thru VMWare and Oracle VM VirtualBox on top of Windows 8.1 Pro 64bit. And ran large processes on all three OSes at the same time.

3. I used QuarkExpress Passport, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop and Autodesk AutoCAD all at the same time while doing my graphics work.

4. I ran HD video as high as 1080p both on the drive and streaming on this 720p system.

5. I ran in cold and hot environments.

The only time I noticed a problem is when I VM both Kali Linux 64 bit and Kubuntu Linux 64 bit at the same time on top of Windows 8.1 Pro 64 bit while running processes on all three operating systems at the same time. Running all three 64bit OSes (two of them on VM) all running processes was too much for 4Gb of RAM. Once I added 8Gb of RAM all OSes running at the same time (two running thru VM) all running processes at the same time ran with ease.

Outside of that this system handle very well. So well that I am questioning about the problems that others are running into. It is not like the programs I ran are light. I wouldn't call Adobe Creative Cloud Suite or the other software light. And it is not like I am not pushing this machine. Heavy duty graphics work, 1080p video watching on the hard drive & streaming on a 720p system, downloading gigabytes of data like HD videos, full Linux images, etc., running two Linux 64 bit versions in VM on top of Windows 8.1 Pro 64 bit , triple booting, and much more. If that is not pushing this laptop then what is? If I can do that then the problems others are running into are fixable. Rather it be bad drive, bad RAM, user needing to learn what to download, what not to download, how to install without unwanted and malicious software being installed as well, user, having unrealistic expectations with this lower end budget laptop, needs to have more realistic expectations, or something else. After all I am doing all of this with this same laptop. They should be able to do the same. That is why I question.

Like I said before: For what I pay for this laptop I am completely amazed of what it can do. Completely amazed. I know that this is not a miracle machine that can do all. In fact I sometimes recommend higher end laptops to people that would serve them better than this laptop.

But sometimes it is more like my dad said to me "It is not what the professional has that makes a professional, but it is what the professional does with what they have at the moment that makes them a professional". Which may explain the whys.

But I still believe that this laptop is a very good value to the budget minded user. Just don't expect this laptop to do what a mid to high end laptop can do. Because that is not being fair to this very low end budget laptop.

And yes, by the nature of lower end technology there may be a problem that you might run into (There are technical reasons for this. If you want to know, then ask me).

So this review is more just a few thoughts of mine rather than a review. If you want more information than check out my comments in the Questions section.
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218 of 233 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything That One Needs, February 7, 2014
This review is from: Dell Inspiron 15.6-Inch Laptop (i15RV-954BLK) (Old Version) (Personal Computers)
I have been using the Dell Inspiron series for quite some time and have found each model to be good -- with the newer ones outperforming the earlier ones in this series.

This 15.6 inch model is very kind on the eyes due to the large screen, very kind on the body because of its under 3kg weight in spite of higher capacity, high speed and high memory.

With every kind of software becoming increasingly massive, one requires the highest possible processing power even for using a good Wordprocessor comfortably. If one is a power-user, the requirements are higher.

I have always been a power-user with a large number of programs running on the laptop simultaneously. I find that this model satisfies all my current power needs. I strongly recommend it.
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77 of 85 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For the price and size...great for a student, February 17, 2014
This review is from: Dell Inspiron 15.6-Inch Laptop (i15RV-954BLK) (Old Version) (Personal Computers)
The specs are all listed in the description, so I won't go into trying to explain what I don't fully understand anyway. This is a personal experience review:

My son loves this laptop. It has a very large screen and a nice display. The keys on the keyboard are, I don't know, somehow a little stiff -- but not bad. I think for typing a LOT, this might not be the greatest choice. However, normal everyday work on it isn't tedious.

Overall he is pretty happy with it. I've used it for streaming and for Internet and have been pleased by the speed and display. His complaint is that it isn't powerful enough to run his huge nerdy video games. However, he has a desk top gaming computer for that and this was purchased for school, so I am simply happy that he is able to operate Office on it just fine.

It is lightweight and easy to carry around in spite of being a little on the large side. Overall we are having great luck with this laptop.
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114 of 130 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good deal but +$100 for 2x power and touch? Advice from Doc TechGuy, February 10, 2014
This review is from: Dell Inspiron 15.6-Inch Laptop (i15RV-954BLK) (Old Version) (Personal Computers)
Update: amazon.com sells at $345 Free shipping. as of this review.

To give you guys an idea what type of user experience to expect from this machine, ive made this table below. rating goes form: Excellent>Average>Poor

<><>Expected Performance Meter<><>
<>ENTERTAINMENT<>
[Poor] PC Gaming or [Poor to Average] Minecraft, Microsoft Store games, Facebook Gaming
[Excellent] Social Media surfing (Twitter,Facebook,Linkedin)
[Average] Video Chatting (Skype)
[Average] Streaming Shows HD (Netlfix,Youtube,Hulu,iTunes)
[Excellent] Music Library (iTunes,Amazon MP3,Lastfm,Spotify)
<>PRODUCTIVITY<>
[Average] MS Office Suite
[Excellent] TurboTax, Quickbooks
[Excellent] Education Free Courses (from basic algebra at Udacity to Advanced MIT's Open Courseware)
<>EXPRESS YOUR CREATIVITY<>
[POOR] Music Creation (create music recordings, Audacity)
[Poor to Average] Photoshop editing (Photoshop Elements)
[POOR] Video Editing (Sony Vegas/MovieStudio, Adobe Premier)
[Average] Website development (Adobe Dreamweaver CS3)

The notebook you're looking at is from the budget 15" nontouch offerings released in 3quarter of 2013, the Dell Inspiron i15RV. The backbone is handled by Intel Pentium 2127U (from IvyBridge architecture release summer of 2013, just couple of months before Intel CPU based Haswell notebooks was introduced to the market), computer's response time is good even for a lower tier CPU its very capable in delivering on performance for most users. It also comes with an Intel HD Graphics that's certainly great for light gaming such as Mindcraft, Microsoft Store games and Facebook games. Sadly its not touch capable screen 15.6" 720p screen delivers good detail and clarity but slightly washed out but that's standard for budget priced notebooks (if ur really picky with your screens then go out to bestbuy and check it out in person). Great built in features including webcam, hdmi port, card reader, disc drive, 2x USB 2.0, 2x USB3.0 which makes this laptop very versatile to be considered as a secondary main home pc. The sound speakers on this is rather louder than some other notebooks in this class, such as Gateway's budget 15" notebook. Its made out of plastic, all around which is again not a surprise. I like the feel and quality of the plastic they used on here but other companies such as Lenovo or Asus's budgetline feels a bit more sturdy and solid in weight and touch.
A good 500GB 5400RPM for storage capacity means more storage for music games videos and files. This notebook brings a lot of value for the money. Although if you have time, take a closer look at the vast catalog in Amazon, you may find a better deals in the jungle.

Its kind hard to say I would recommended this Non-touch screen Dell Inspiroin at its current asking price of $359.
But then again its a Dell computer..so expect high level of customer service support.
As the title suggest, if you can up your budget by $100 you can get a touch capable panel and 45% increase in speed. Look at my recommened 15" touch laptops below for more details(sold by Amazon.com)

[...]

==CONTENTS==
1) Alternative Options
2) TOP 3 ($280-$399)-(11.6"-14"Touch between (3.7-2.6 lbs)
3) TOP 2 ($399 - $499)-(14"Touch between (4.7lbs-5.6lbs)
4) TOP 2 ($500-$800)-(15"Touch between (4.8 Ibs - 5.6 lbs or higher)
5) Windows 8.1 Tips & Computing Safety between

==Alternative Options==
I was doing my research my goal was to find the value laptop without hurting my wallet, I continue to update and filter through the entire amazon laptop list! YES indeed! I've done the hard work of searching for the best performing, best priced, that best fit our needs. This is a list of economical touch-screens Windows8 laptop which also offers excellent performance+battery

==TOP 3 ($280-$399)-(11.6"-14"Touch between (3.7-2.6 lbs)==
Here are the best choices for 11" functional, portable, light weight, bang for your buck notebooks.

<><>Expected Performance Meter<><>
<>ENTERTAINMENT<>
[Average to Poor] PC Gaming or [Average] Facebook Gaming
[Excellent] Social Media surfing (Twitter,Facebook,Linkedin)
[Excellent] Video Chatting (Skype)
[Average] Streaming Shows HD (Netlfix,Youtube,Hulu,iTunes)
[Excellent] Music Library (iTunes,Amazon MP3,Lastfm,Spotify)
<>PRODUCTIVITY<>
[Average] MS Office
[Excellent] TurboTax, Quickbooks
[Excellent] Education Free Courses (from basic algebra at Udacity to Advanced MIT's Open Courseware)
<>EXPRESS YOUR CREATIVITY<>
[POOR] Music Creation (create music recodings, Audacity)
[Average] Photoshop editing (Photoshop Elements)
[POOR] Video Editing (Sony Vegas/MovieStudio, Adobe Premier)
[Average] Website development (Adobe Dreamweaver CS3)

<> NO.1 +/- $359 Lenovo IdeaPad S210 59387503 11.6-Inch Touchscreen Laptop, 1.9 GHz Intel Pentium 2127U ULV(dualcore,2 MBCache, 3rdgen/Ivy Bridge,July2013chip$134), 4GB RAM, 500GB HD(Black)

PROS: Light weight at 3.1lbs,.9"thick. Great 720p camera for Skype, 1usb 3.0, TouchScreen.
[CPU Passmark Score: 1865]
CONS:Battery life, No Bluetooth. not a great deal if prices increase to closer to $400. at +$400 price rage, I'd advise looking into 14" notebooks options listed below, to get more for your money. Sold by 3rd Party seller, not amazon

<> NO.2 +/- $335 HP Pavilion 11-e015nr TouchSmart 11.6" Touch Screen - AMD Elite Quad-Core A6-1450(06/01/2013) / 4GB DDR3 / 320GB HD / Windows 8 64-bit OS

PROS: Quadcore A6-1450 SoC are usually in notebooks at +$450 category but for HPs asking $350ish ? DEAL! but downgraded the Hard Drive , Touch, 4GB, / one of the better CPU/APU options in this category for gaming(Portal 2 and Torchlight 2 on high settings but lag free! /Upgradable to 8GB verified) 3.37lbs
[Passmark Score: 1642]
CONS: 320GB instead of 500GB, HP build quality is avg compared to ASUS or Lenovo but thats subjective. Prices fluctuates too much, if sellers increase their prices closer to $400 i would not recommend buying this or any 11.6" note books. At $400, finding a better 14"-15" touch screen size is possible. I made my Top Notebooks List at $400 tag below, for details. Sold by 3rd Party seller, not amazon

<> NO.3 +/- $454 Acer Aspire V5-122P-0637 11.6-Inch Touchscreen Laptop (Chill Silver)(1.0 GHz up to 1.4GHz AMD Elite Mobility Quad-Core A6-1450 Accelerated Processor, 6GB DDR3 SDRAM, 500GB 5400RPM hard drive, Windows 8 64-bit

PROS: IPS screen better color and viewing angle(probably best screen on this list), Same CPU/APU as HP Pavilion TouchSmart 11 listed above thus Pros are identical, + 500GB Hard Drive , 6GB RAM! best gaming capable system at the light weight 11.6" Touch screen category. Enough power in this noteboko to deliver performance that it could act as secondary main PC.
[CPU Passmark Score: 1642]
CONS: Expensive at $450 but it has 6GB RAM(instead 2GB) and 500GB HD(instead of 340GB) with the AMD A6-1450 Quadcore (instead of poor performance AMD A4-1250 Dualcore AVOID at all cost!)

______________________________________________________________________________

== TOP 2 ($399 - $499)-(14"Touch between (4.7lbs-5.6lbs) ==
These 14" touch screen laptops are designed for those who are always on go or need a portable computing device, bigger than 10.1-11"display without sacrificing performance. These notebooks are powerful enough to act as your secondary main PC machine for school, work and home.
WHAT YOU DESERVE AT $400 (Typically an increase in price fallows an increase in quality of parts. At this price range expect a 14" Screen Touch , with CPU Intel i3 or AMD's A6 or A8 processors) I favor AMD due to their graphics performance doubling that of Intel variant.

<><>EXPECTED PERFORMANCE METER<><>
<Entertainment>
[Average] PC Gaming or [Excellent] Facebook Gaming
[Excellent] Social Media surfing (Twitter,Facebook,Linkedin)
[Excellent] Video Chatting (Skype)
[Average] Streaming Shows HD (Netlfix,Youtube,Hulu,iTunes)
[Excellent] Music Library (iTunes,Amazon MP3,Lastfm,Spotify)

[Average] MS Office
[Excellent] TurboTax, Quickbook
[Excellent] Education Free Courses (from basic algebra at Udacity to Advance MIT's Open Courseware)
<Express Your Creativity>
[POOR] Music Creation (create music recodings, Audacity)
[Average] Photoshop editing (Photoshop Elements)
[POOR] Video Editing (Sony Vegas/MovieStudio, Adobe Premier)
[Average] Website development (Adobe Dreamweaver CS3)

<> NO. 1 +/- $448 Lenovo IdeaPad S415 59385549 AMD A6-5200M(May 23, 2013) 2.0 GHz Processor (2 MB Cache05/23/2013, Kabini), 4 GB DDR3 RAM, 500 GB 5400 rpm Hard Drive, 14-Inch Screen Touchscreen, ATI Radeon HD 8400 Integrated Graphics,Windows 8, 5-hour battery...,

PROS: Its an IdeaPad brand+build quaity, 14" touch, Battery life 5hrs!, 720p HD webcam , Sold by Amazon.com
CPU Passmark Score: 2450
CONS:

<> NO. 2 +/- $479 HP Pavilion 14-f027cl 14" Touch Laptop, AMD A8-5545M 6GB Memory 640GB Hard Drive

PROS: Battery life, +5hrBig 14" touchscreen, Higher grade AMD Elite Quad-Core A8-5545M Accelerated Processor with 4MB L2 Cache, Bigger 640GB Hard drive, and 6 GB RAM, More USB 3.0 . A8-5545M is higher step APU compared to next 2 laptops below sporting an A4-1450 APU thus this is faster and better choice for gaming.
[CPU Passmark Score: 2539]
Cons: 1.7lbs heavier than 11.6" notebooks, Expensive if your budget goal is to get a capable notebook for under $400. don't buy if +$475 asking price. +$500 price range there are better product selections at 15" Notebook category. Sold by 3rd Party seller not Amazon.com

______________________________________________________________________________

== TOP 2 ($500-$800)-(15"Touch between (4.8lbs - 5.6lbs or higher) ==
These touch screen laptop is designed for those who requires performance over portability.

<><>EXPECTED PERFORMANCE METER<><>
<Entertainment>
[Excellent] PC Gaming or [Excellent] Facebook Gaming
[Excellent] Social Media surfing (Twitter,Facebook,Linkedin)
[Excellent] Video Chatting (Skype)
[Excellent] Streaming Shows HD (Netlfix,Youtube,Hulu,iTunes)
[Excellent] Music Library (iTunes,Amazon MP3,Lastfm,Spotify)

[Excellent] MS Office
[Excellent] TurboTax, Quickbooks
[Excellent] Education Free Courses (from basic algetbra at Udacity to advance MIT's Open Courseware)
<Express Your Creativity>
[Excellent]Creation (create music recordings, Audacity)
[Excellent] Photoshop editing (Photoshop Elements)
[Average] Video Editing (Sony Vegas/MovieStudio, Adobe Premier)
[Excellent] Website development (Adobe Dreamweaver CS3)

<> No.1 $479 Acer Aspire E1-572P-6857 15.6" Touch,Intel i3-4010U Processor 1.7Ghz,6GB RAM, 750GB HDD

PROS: SOLD by Amazon. an Intel i3 touchscreen at 15" for under $480 is rare. Way under priced for what you're getting. Could easily be marked up close to $600 for sure. Battery life is good due to (new)Haswell processor. Great IPS screen. SD card reader , Nice solid Metalic feel unlike most notebooks in this price range made of plastic.
[CPU Passmark Score: 2514]
CONS: Weight, standard weight 5.6lbs for 15" notebook. Great for Video chat with 720P HD camera.

<> No. 2 $599 Acer Aspire V5-552P-X440,A10-5757M,8GB Ram, 1000GB HDD 15.6-Inch Touchscreen Laptop (Cold Steel)

PROS: SOLD by Amazon, 4.8 lbs, Thin .9" Ultrabook, Powerful A-10 Quadcore processor, 8 GB of RAM, Huge 1000GB Hard drive(1TB), Fastest APU/CPU for gaming. Powerful still managed to be thin+lighter than standard 15" notebooks. 4.5hrs battery. Back-lit Keyboard, High end non-plasticy shell, Great for HD Video Chats, Acer.com sells this for $700! Great for business, gaming, traveling, home use, main PC, etc. Superb IPS screen. Its the best of both worlds, ease mobility, super thin and ultra light but powerful enough for everything, all premium features without Ultrabook's $1k Premium prices.
[CPU Passmark Score: 2922]
CONS: Need to manually upgrade from Windows 8 to 8.1(free) via Windows Marketplace, No Disc drive, At $600 you shouldn't complain. The power and portability you get from this notebook could easily cost you somewhere near $1000 Ultrabook category. No cons, its perfect at its price.
==Windows 8.1 Tips & Computing Safety==
Bring back the start button: Installing one of these two software will help new Windows8.1 users to ease into "Modern" user interface of windows 8.1
1) Classic Shell (free) or 2) Start8 (Stardock $5)

___________________________________________________________________

Avoiding major damages caused by those pesky malware,virus etc by simply not using an "Administrator Account" with your main MS Account.

Viruses will likely cause more damage and will be impossible to completely remove if they gained Admisitrator's right and have dug deep inside your computer. An "Administrators" account is a backdoor route viruses/malware uses get in and cause unrecoverable distruction to your data. With Admin rights those malware can easily infect deep within your "recovery partitions'! meaning, these's not turning back and you're royally screwed. Theres many more problems that can happen but I think you already get my point.

GOALS: 1) Don't use your Main MS Account as an" Adminitrator" but instead "standard"
2) Create a secondary account called "local account" and set that up as the Administrator instead.

Account Management: steps creating a local account(administrator) and MS Account(standard)

Charms search: type"control panel" > "User's Accounts and Family Safety" > "Remove User account" > " Add a new user in PC settings " located at bottom of window > Bringing you to Metro > click "add Account" > "Sign in without MS accout" located at bottom of page > "Local Accout" > create new user name and PW

You have 2 options on Signing IN
1) Microsoft account or 2) Local Account

1) Create or sign in with your MAIN Microsoft Account. If you already an MS account or uses windows phones/ xbox live or Hotmail/live/MSN email address you can use these as well to link those services to 1 master MS Account.

2) Create a Local Account. Thise secondary account will not connect to MS's ecosytem but only in your local computer. I identical to USERS login on Windows 7,Vista,XP etc.

Once you've setup these two accounts, you must set each account type to: >
Change ACCOUNT TYPE for Main MS Account to "Standard"
Change ACCOUNT TYPE for 2ndary Local Account to "Administrator"

Please do these steps, it only takes 5minutes. Its a small price to pay considering, it may potentially rescue your entire data from a completely erasing your data after sending it for repairs.

__________________________________________________________________________

Making Back ups/ Etc

Another tip is to make a recovery image.

First install Setup all your programs , setup your custom settings, etc
After personalizing your PC. > Its time to Create a Recovery Image right after you've set everything up. This image will allow you to revert back to this pc's state in time, and in perfect working order.

Sometimes system recovery doesn't solve your problems so having secondary backup plan like Recovery Image is key.
______________________________________________________________________________

CYBERATTACKS
Not optional, must practice these 3 regular computing habits.

#1 (Install AVG/free) or Kaspersky Internet Security 2014 is the leading software in the market today at $50 or Norton. These Antivirus' are categorized as: Preventor and a Remover.

#2 (Install MalwareBytes/free) Is the best software in removing infected systems. This is the best in the business and its FREE! scan your pc every month with this program or whenever you expeirience dramatic system slowdown/sluggish or seeing your browser redirect you to different sites on its own, to obvious signs like, your bank account has been compromized) Because this is a free software, as a user you must manually start the scaning process or by buying retail version you'll unlock the autoprotect and autoscan scheduler feature. MalwareBytes(free) is categorized as a Remover not a Preventor.

#3 (Install Superantispyware/free, Scan pc every 2wks)
SuperAntiSpyware SAS; often cleans up tracking cookies.
Because this is a free software, as a user you must manually start the scaning process or by buying retail version you'll unlock the the autoprotect and autoscan scheduler feature. SuperAntiSpyware is categorized as - Remover not a Preventor.

#4 (Install SpywareBlaster/Free)
A popular choice Unlike other programs. SpywareBlaster does not have to remain running in the backroound inorder to do its job. SpywareBlaster is categorized as a Preventor not a Remover.

Its ok skip a few scans between months, although not advisable, especially if your a heavy web surfing maniac spending 2-3 hrs daily websurfing. But please dont go without using at least 1 Remover program on the list more than 2-4 Months in between scans.

Furthermore i'd like to discuss the misconceptions regarding the built-in security solution in Windows 8, called Windows Defender. Windows Defender is definitely not sufficient to protect typical home users during a period of what is considered a renaissance like advancement in black technical field of melicious software development. If you think or belive those "techsavy" people, thinking windows defender is enough, you're clueless. But I also believe Windows Defender on Windows 8 is a very strong addition to Windows OS in general.

________________________________________________________________________

Another way to avoid spreading your personal information out there into the wild unknowingly is to un-google yourself.

yes ladies and gents! google or yahoo especially yahoo LOL..... but google is key here.

Microsoft sells Primarily Software.
Apple sells Primarily Hardware
Google sells neither, that's why their products are so CHEAP, once they suckered in their backdoor ridden ecosystem, Google Inc. sells Primarily Everything about YOU!
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Steps in upgrading from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 (2-3hrs)

Key here is to ensure your windows 8 is fully updated before upgrading to win8.1

Therefore repeatedly "check of updates" on windows

How to upgrade to windows 8.1 for dummies.

Step 1: Go to Metro and not desktop

Step 2: Start typing : "Control Panel"

Step 3: Click "Windows Update" > "Check for Update"

Step 4: install updates

Step 5: restart computer

Step 6: Repeat step 1 -5 until result "no more updates"

Step 7: Run HP Update client, install all updates from HP to ensure all drivers and bugfixes are updated.( or whichever OEM you may have, lenovo,dell, sony etc.)

Step 8: Uninstall your Antivirus Software (important) then RESTART PC

Step 9: Go to Windows Store and upgrade to 8.1

Step 10: leave computer on for 2hrs as it upgrades.

Step 11: Repeat Steps 1 - 7

Step 12: if you're not a complete fool, 8.1 upgrade should be straight forward. \

After steps 1-8 ONLY THEN you should install WIndows 8.1 at the marketplace. Goodluck.

(note: steps above removes a lot of failures users experience after 8.1 update)
___________________________________________________________
Not many want to shell out their dollars on Office 360 if all they intend of using is standard word processors.
you can use a free web version of office called
Bing.com search: "MS Office Web Apps"
just sign in with the same MS Account user name used on your PC.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice laptop, March 4, 2014
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Dell Inspiron 15.6-Inch Laptop (i15RV-954BLK) (Old Version) (Personal Computers)
This is decent laptop for internet, school work, and a little photoshop. The battery life for me is about four hours. It boots into Windows faster than my desktop. I like that I can pair the blutooth audio to my home stereo.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good value (w/ Win8 is more bearable with 8.1.1), May 22, 2014
By 
YourName (San Francisco, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dell Inspiron 15.6-Inch Laptop (i15RV-954BLK) (Old Version) (Personal Computers)
As a college student on a budget, I really needed a computer that would do many tasks on the road without hurting the wallet. I have a prehistoric 7-8 year old Dell Dimension E510 desktop that is super slow. So, I made the decision to buy a laptop under $400 yet still faster than my desktop.
I set my eyes on this laptop from a local electronics store. I compared specs, from the size and weight, to the nitty features like the number of USBs. And so, here I have it.

Let's start off with the design.
The design of this notebook is, well, plastic. However, it isn't cheap plastic. The materials used are actually pretty good for its price point. The notebook is nice and rounded around the corners and the thickness of this notebook is about one inch. Now, most notebooks for this price point would be much thicker...Around 1.3in-1.4in, but Dell managed to squeeze everything in 1 inch. This is pretty darn good considering the tools this notebook provides. On the left side of the computer you have a headphone/microphone jack, 3 USB (2 USB 3.0) (1 USB 2.0), Ethernet, HDMI cable, and a power outlet. On the left side you have the optical drive and one more USB port (2.0). So the total amount of USBs this notebook has is 4. 4 USB ports, 2 of which are 3.0. USB 3.0 is relatively new for the market, and this allows much quicker transfer speeds compared to the 2.0s. However, most computers at this price point do not have USB 3.0s, or if they do, it would only be one or two. But keep in mind that this notebook has 4 USB ports. And at this price point, most if not all computers only have about 2 or 3. The optical drive is also a neat feature. For a 1 inch laptop that has an optical drive is pretty impressive considering the price. Most notebooks that are 1 inch or less usually skip the optical drive. Now, the bad thing about the thinness of this notebook is that it does not have a VGA port. You might need a HDMI to VGA port adapter for that. However, considering VGA's thickness and the thinness of notebooks that are coming out each year, VGA is bound to be obsolete due to the benefits of HDMI.

On the interior, the notebook has a LARGE track pad. And this is good especially when it is running on windows 8 (I'll get to that later).
Below the track pad, there are two left and right buttons. These buttons feel and sound cheap but that is not to be unexpected. When running, the track pad get quite warm. You really can't fault the computer for this because this is a one inch notebook. Since the ram sticks are essentially below the track pad, prepare yourself to have warm fingers. The keyboard is an island style keyboard that are evenly spaced. The key travel is okay. After writing a 5-6 page essay. It's also got a 10 key number pad. However, I do wish that number lock had a tiny light located on the button like the caps lock does. As I'm typing, I sometimes reach over to the number lock while attempting to backspace. One minor complaint is keyboard flex towards the F8-F10 keys, not a big deal since these keys aren't often used. Also, like other reviewer have mentioned before. This computer has a sharp lip. As you are typing, the sharp lip is somewhat irritating. Doesn't hurt to take out a fine grit sand paper is smooth out that lip.
Lastly, the spacing between the keys have a glossy finish. I notice that this attracts dust and requires occasional cleaning.

As for the hardware,
You get 500gb of storage but only 456gb of that storage is usable (the non-usable storage has to be used for the operating system. It runs on 4gb of ram and although it is sufficient, you may want to upgrade to 6 or 8 gigs of ram as you load more programs. But if you're an average web browser, 4 gigs is good enough. To just give you a idea at idle, it is using about 46% of the computers ram. The computer has one extra slot. [edit] The computer will accept 16gb of ram storage. I would suggest throwing in another 4gb as it will give you extra performance due to the dual channel configuration. After removing all the bloatware and Windows finally settled in after dozens of updates this notebook starts up well under a minute. Considering a startup to be when the computer starts to idle.
-by the way, uninstall the additional trial anti-virus. Windows 8 already has Defender and so that antivirus will just eat up your resources, I think it comes with Kaspersky or McAfee-

The operating system,
Now, I'm coming from Windows XP and 7, to be honest...Windows 8 is actually pretty cool. However, if you're an old geezer who likes the traditional interface, Win 8 probably wouldn't be a great option. Anyway, the big benefit of this laptop that allows you to enjoy Windows 8 without the use of a touch screen is the large track pad. This Dell has a 4 and 1/2 inch track pad and using multi gestures features makes it extremely easy.
Of course, you can always disable the Windows 8 start up and have it behave like Windows 7. (Look up Windows 8 RetroUI) Other than that, the OS would definitely benefit with a touch screen but without it the system is still enjoyable.

Battery life,
On a full charge, I get around three to four hours of regular internet browsing.
Now for the thinness of this laptop, this computer has a 4 cell battery vs the 6 cell that are in most laptops. Under intense radio loading such as streaming, it will drop to 2 hours...Maybe 3. Keep in mind; you do not want to torture your batteries. The lithium ion batteries used in modern laptops do not like to be charged and discharged abruptly as this will diminish battery life. But, I'm willing to sacrifice 2 cells for a thinner and lighter laptop than have a big and heavy 6 cell.

Screen:
15.6 inches, 1366x768 glossy.
Screen resolution isn't an issue here since most laptops--especially at this price point, have this type of resolution. The problem I commonly have is the viewing angles. This Dell uses a TNF panel, which is offers a distortion of colors when it isn't at the right angle.
As for the glossy finish, well, it sucks. It still amazes me why computer corporations still use a glossy finish. The glossy finish and the bad viewing angles makes it somewhat of an unpleasant experience.
The WLED screen is bright but the colors could use more saturation.

Webcam:
It is equipped with a 1 megapixel camera.
After using Skype, the picture quality is pretty good.
If I compared it with my other Lenovo G560 which has a 0.3 megapixel camera, the difference is like light and day.

Processor
Okay, so it doesn't have TurboBoost or 4-way processing.
I have using an Intel Pentium Processor on a Lenovo notebook on Windows 7 and it's pretty good. It gets through most tasks however you must know your limitations.
Considering the computers size, weight, and battery configuration, the processor is clocked at 1.9ghz on dual core. I have previously used a Pentium 4 @ 3GHz (a single core processor) and this laptop is significantly faster considering the dual core. Out of box, it scored a 4.7 on the Windows Experience Index. After everything got settled in with the way I liked it, it dropped to a 4.6. Using my way of testing the processor speed, I calculated Pi (Using SuperPi) to one million digits and it did it in 21 seconds. Not bad considering my Dell Desktop does it in 43 seconds... It handles HD streaming off YouTube without problems however when you stream in 720p you CPU usage hovers around 35-60%. Yet, doesn't give you a lot of room of other tasks.
Gaming? Well, not much. Don't expect to play WoW or Crisis. It should handle basic games.
This processor is equipped with Intel HD Ivy Bridge graphics. Very similar to Intel HD 2000.
I was able to play RuneScape on the highest screen settings (other than full screen) with the use of their client rather than the browser. The CPU usage hovers around 80-90%. Game play was still smooth considering it is a 3D game. However, with 80-90% usage, again, does not leave much room for other tasks.

Upgrades:
The only upgrades you can do to this laptop is RAM and hard drive. The stock hard drive runs at 5400rpm and although it is pretty quick, a solid state would be pointless because you'd be most likely dissatisfied with SSD's price and storage (until they get cheaper). If 500gb is too little, a 7200 rpm hard drive won't hurt.
The computer comes with 4gb of ram. Although this is sufficient for basic tasks, it isn't configured as dual channel. Filling that extra DIMM slot will give you better memory storage as well as graphics performance. So why not do it?
The CPU/Processor--unfortunately, cannot be upgraded. This is because it is a Ultra Low Voltage Processor (ULV) that is soldered onto the motherboard. This is a big down side since later down the road, you can't upgrade to a used processor at a significantly low price.

It's portable, offers a large track pad, good keys, and is loaded with 4 USBs and an optical drive @ just one inch. Overall, this is a great laptop but I wouldn't consider this to be a everyday user. (I use it as a primary since I'm coming from a prehistoric computers, in fact this computer is twice as fast than my old desktop) The processor is the caveat. If you have the option, go for their higher end "i Series" of Intel Core Processors.

-UPDATE-
I reran the Windows Experience Index (WEI) and it jumped from a 4.6 to a 5.1. I guess Windows obtained a better score after removing bloatware and installing the latest drivers. Additionally, a dual channel RAM configuration will allow a slight bump in graphics performance.

So here are the subscores that the WEI came up with:
Processor: 5.9
Memory (RAM): 7.7 <-- I upgraded to 8gb
Graphics: 4.6 to 5.1 <-- Graphics performance increases due to a 8gb dual channel configuration, Base score determined by lowest subscore.
Gaming graphics: 6.2
Primary hard disk: 5.9

The WEI scores are based on a scale of 1.0-9.9

-Update 2-
This would probably fall under build quality. Earlier today I found a missing screw lying on my desk when plugging the notebook for charging. It turns out that this screw was one of the missing screws that was attached to the bottom of the notebook. I was thinking, "lucky me, good thing I didn't lose it". So I screwed it back and, and while I was at it I went ahead and checked the rest of the screws. It turns out that all of the screws were not secured tightly (about 2-3 rotations loose). Although they had blue loctite on them, it was not firmly screwed on. Keep in mind, I did not touch any of these screws other than the RAM slot panels which were already secured. I don't know if it just my computer or an entire batch, but a simple production step like secured screws worries me.
I would drop a star off my rating (3 stars), but I'm relatively satisfied with my purchase.

-Update 3-
Running Windows 8.1! The transition was almost flawless except that there was a program I had to uninstall (w/ a little difficulty).
Windows 8.1 makes the non-touch situation seem more enjoyable.
Couple of complaints is that the two finger tap stopped functioning even after installing the latest drivers designed specifically for 8.1. Sleep functions seems to be a hit and miss as well. Windows 8 slept fine, but 8.1 won't sleep when the computer idles. While searching around the internet, this seems to be a fault by Microsoft and not Dell.
If you can live through those gripes, upgrade to 8.1.

-Update 4-
Now running Windows 8.1 Update 1 (8.1.1). Microsoft added several features that makes Win8 more barable with a keyboard and mouse. Highly reccomended if you already updated to 8.1, get the Update 1.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Laptop For The Budget Minded, March 25, 2014
This review is from: Dell Inspiron 15.6-Inch Laptop (i15RV-954BLK) (Old Version) (Personal Computers)
My old computer died, and I looked at all the reviews on-line and asked friends for recommendations. I need the computer for basic computer work, so the Dell Inspiron 15.6 Laptop was my choice. I have had Dell laptops in the past, and I was satisfied with them.

This does not look like a thrifty laptop, it is an attractive black with what feels like scales on the lid. It is lightweight at 5.1 pounds and measures 1 inch in height, very easy to carry. The screen is large and there is little if any glare. The keyboard is fine and easy to use. There are two USB 3.0 ports and two USB 2.0 ports. Other ports include an HDMI video output, a LAN port, and a headphone jack. There's an 8-in-1 card reader on the front edge and a 1-Megapixel webcam embedded in the display's upper level. It came with Windows 8 preloaded, and I have had no difficulty with navigation. It also came with a multitude of apps to choose from. I use the Kindle and a few others. The rest are non-starters for me. McAffee came with a trial version which I rejected, and there is a one year limited warranty. The battery is said to last 8 hours. I have not had a chance to test how long the battery does last.

I am very pleased with this computer, it is what I need, no big frills, no complicated software. I have a very useful 15 inch laptop at a great price. I noted on my research that PC Magazine gave this Dell is budget laptop of the year prize.

Recommended. prisrob 03-25-14
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37 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid machine, February 12, 2014
This review is from: Dell Inspiron 15.6-Inch Laptop (i15RV-954BLK) (Old Version) (Personal Computers)
Windows 8.1 is a challenge to get used to to say the least but hopefully worth the aggravation. We nearly purchased one from Amazon but through a stroke of luck I decided to search for one at MicroCenter and saved us $70. The photo does not do the size justice as it is blessedly larger than expected. It comes with McAfee installed so I nearly gave it only three stars but I found the control panel and can uninstall the McAfee virus easily (McAfee is junk). It is a slim machine with a textured surface on the deck top and lid. The no frills sleek look is typical of dell.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspired by Inspiron, April 1, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Dell Inspiron 15.6-Inch Laptop (i15RV-954BLK) (Old Version) (Personal Computers)
This computer was purchased for my wife who uses it mostly for social media and gaming. It works outstanding for our needs. It is very fast, nice size key board, etc. I did not know this at the time, but it is the same one our daughter owns and she has used it all through college. I would highly recommend this. Also, the price was fantastic.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First time ordering computer offline, March 1, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Dell Inspiron 15.6-Inch Laptop (i15RV-954BLK) (Old Version) (Personal Computers)
great computer with the latest update!! a great dvd/cd burner drive! u can design in anyway you want and its pretty neat with all the apps! great so far its only been a week so lets hope it stays that way
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