Customer Review

1,134 of 1,167 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inexpensive laptop that performs decently, June 13, 2014
This review is from: Dell Inspiron 15.6-Inch Laptop Intel Celeron Processor, Black (Personal Computers)
This is no I7 laptop, let's just get that straight. But, it makes a good second back up laptop for me. I'm using it to write this review right now. I ordered mine from dell, at the time it was cheaper than amazon, and dell had them in stock. I did remove the hard drive and replaced it with an SSD I had laying around which helped speed it up considerably. It is a bit laggy at times, but overall it is usable and better than I would have expected for this price range.

Here are the pros as I see them:
-The price, the price, the price
-The weight is much lighter than my I7 high end laptop
-Battery lasts 5-7.5 hours depending on use, many Windows laptops in this price range only last 3 hours so this is a huge advantage.
-The battery is user replaceable, which you can't take for granted anymore in a laptop. Press two buttons and it pops right out!
-Many laptops recently make it very hard to get access to the RAM and Harddrive for upgrades. Several dells require you to completely disassemble the entire laptop to get to the hard drive including removing the screen, motherboard, track pad etc. Which is a huge pet peave of mine. This laptop has an access panel on the bottom to access the RAM and HD which is great!
-A large 15.6 inch screen for a great price
-This CPU doesn't run hot at all and has decent performance for the price.
-It runs so cool it doesn't even have a fan at all!
-Keyboard has a number pad, many don't in this price range.
-Keyboard feels nice and doesn't feel too cheap, we will see with time though how it holds up.
-Trackpad works good, buttons are loud when clicked though.
-Nice to have a Windows laptop for this price, I like chromebooks but I can't connect to my at home Samba server from a chromebook so I gravitate to Windows.

Cons:
-There are the obvious ones like no USB 3, no Bluetooth, no wired ethernet, no CD/DVD Drive. But in this price range I'm ok with that. I have an external USB CD/DVD that I used to install Office on it so that wasn't an issue for me.
-Windows 8.1, is better than 8.0 but if you have never used it before there is a learning curve for sure compared to Windows 7/Vista
-Not blazing fast but you can't expect that from any pc in this price range.
-Case feels cheap, it creaks and groans when I pick it up by a corner.
-The quality of the video is pretty low, but once again it is usable for watching youtube, netflix videos, etc. Just is less sharp than my high end laptop and can be a tad laggy occasionally.

Would I recommend this??? Depends on your needs. If you are on a tight budget and are a light PC user who wants to use it just for basic web surfing, Word Processing, and light youtube/netflix watching this will work fine for most people

If you are a high end, heavy user, I'd only use this as a backup laptop. I would not be happy with this as my primary laptop personally since I'm a very heavy user.

If you are a gamer, you of course know enough to not even look at this laptop as an option.

Upgrade possibilities: If you know what you are doing upgrading the hard drive to an SSD will help it feel more useable. Also, I have not done so yet, but my understanding is that you can upgrade this to 8GB of ram which could help too. It only has one slot for ram so you will have to remove the stock 4gb and replace it with an 8GB. Make sure to get the DDR3L (The L stands for low voltage). You want the 1.35 volt not 1.5 it may work with the 1.5 but will run hotter and use more battery. The laptop comes with 1333mhz ram, but I think 1600mhz will work and run faster. Take this with a grain of salt as have not tried it yet, but I believe the following RAM will work, and this is the type I plan to try upgrading to someday.

http://www.amazon.com/Kingston-Technology-1600MHz-PC3-12800-KVR16LS11/dp/B00CQ35HBQ/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1402328644&sr=8-2&keywords=8GB+DDR3+1600MHz+sodimm+DDR3L

Update 6/23/14: I did buy and install the 8gb of Ram above. It works great, but it does down clock the ram to 1333mhz as the CPU won't handle 1600mhz speeds. But, the 1600mhz 1.35v ram does work great in here. It feels even snappier now. Between the SSD I installed and the 8gb of ram this computer is very usable and fairly snappy for most tasks. The only time I see the video and cpu lagging a bit is if I am on a webpage with heavy adobe flash usage on it. But, right now I have two browsers open and about 30 browser tabs open with now slowdown. I'm still quite happy with this laptop for the money. It is just important to throttle your expectations, this can't be compared to an Intel I7 CPU $1000 laptop, but it is good for basic web browsing!

Update 8/22/14 I noticed several people that complained about the performance realized if they removed the demo anti virus and crapware that it runs better. I reinstalled windows from scratch from my USB DVD when I put in the SSD so I effectively removed all of the crapware by reinstalling and only putting the essential drivers back on. That is probably why mine runs much faster and better than some of the reviewers. I would remove the anti virus and just use the built in windows 8.1 antivirus as that is less cpu and memory intensive. Then uninstall of the other factory junk, like wild tangent games, toolbars etc. If you don't want to do that manually in the past I used a free utility called PC Decrapifier that automated the cleanup and worked pretty good. Also, you might need to change your power saving settings to be less restrictive so it is optimized more for speed. Hope that helps...
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Comments

Tracked by 9 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 82 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 13, 2014 10:51:08 PM PDT
Ben says:
do you think i can run league of legends on this laptop?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 13, 2014 11:25:13 PM PDT
J. Wollens says:
I would be highly surprised. For this game currently the minimum system requirements for the cpu is 2Ghz and the recommended is 3Ghz, plus the video card is very weak in this laptop. For the game they recommend GeForce 8800 or equivalent video card (Dedicated GPU with 512MB+ Video Memory(VRAM)) which this laptop definitely doesn't have. Even if you could get it to work somehow, I would think it would be too laggy and would not be an enjoyable experience. I would plan on only using this laptop for basic web surfing, email, word processing, etc. but I would not plan on being able to use it for gaming. Hope that helps...

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 18, 2014 8:12:30 AM PDT
Yes it will play. I went to the League of Legends site and they list the Celeron n2830 as being supported, but with a yellow explanation mark. So, you might not get more than like 30 frames per second, but much more modest CPUs are listed, so I think you would be fine.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 18, 2014 8:40:44 AM PDT
J. Wollens says:
Interesting, is the video card listed as being supported? Seems to me like the video card is the weakest link on this system...

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 19, 2014 9:33:57 AM PDT
The Celeron n2830 is sort of like the Atom chips, the 4th generation Intel HD graphics is built in. So if a program says the n2830 is supported, they are taking into account that it is running the Intel HD graphics. The graphics run at a modest 313 MHz, but with burst speeds up to 750 Mhz. (What do you want from a chip that is running at 7.5 watts?)
I am not sure if I can post a link, but Game Debate is a good place to check out what games a CPU can run.
http://www.game-debate.com/cpu/index.php?pid=2109&pid2=2098&compare=celeron-n2840-2-16ghz-vs-celeron-n2830-2-16ghz

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 19, 2014 9:36:09 AM PDT
J. Wollens says:
Thanks, maybe that will help Joseph out then!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 19, 2014 10:39:09 PM PDT
J. Wollens says:
Ok, I just installed League of Legends on the laptop and tried the tutorial. The tutorial did play, but in the upper right hand corner it said I was getting 20 Frames Per Second. It was a bit a jumpy and choppy, so it was playable however not very impressive. But, for a very low end laptop it did better than I thought it would.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 4, 2014 3:42:56 PM PDT
Victor says:
How much did you pay for this laptop?

It's $248 offered by Amazon now. I want to buy it with a replacement of 250 GB SSD (around $100) on Amazon. Thanks.

Posted on Jul 7, 2014 12:41:02 PM PDT
Craig Leslie says:
Hey J: What kind of solid state drive will this computer handle. I would want to upgrade to SSD drive. Thanks so much. Also, with respect to replacement Ram, is it easy to access and replace with 8GB?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 7, 2014 2:17:46 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 7, 2014 2:22:26 PM PDT
J. Wollens says:
Hello Craig! I'd expect any 2.5in laptop SSD should work, I put in a Kingston V300 120gb since that is what I had laying around. Both the ram and SSD are fairly easy to access because there is an access panel on the bottom. The only problem is that in addition to a few screws holding on the access panel there are also alot of clips, the panel was hard to pop off after the screws were removed and a broke one clip. It was a bit difficult to get the panel back in place properly too. But, it is doable for sure.

The Hard Drive location is kind of weird inside of that panel. You have to get it in and out at a weird angle. But, it is doable as there is a plastic strap on the bracket that you can use to help pull when needed. It was a tight fit getting the new SSD in the slot, but it worked. Then since I was trying to image (copy) the old large HD and put it on a smaller SSD I had problems, I finally gave up and used a work copy of Windows 8.1 pro and installed from scratch then downloaded the drivers from Dells site.

One warning on the economics though. I had a free extra version of Windows 8.1 and a spare SSD sitting around. But, if you buy a $80 SSD and spend about $80 on RAM this computer costs over $400. If you have to buy windows 8.1 this laptop would make no sense. And it will still have a slow processor (CPU) that will struggle on adobe flash heavy websites. For $400+ or so you may be able to find an i3 laptop on sale somewhere that might then end up being a better deal, I'm not sure.
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