For years 15.6in has been the most popular screen size for laptops, so there is lots of choice in this segment. Dell has the Inspiron 15 at the bottom end of the spectrum, and at the opposite end the Inspiron 15z Ultrabook, also for consumers. Today we take a closer look at both.
The Inspiron 15 is clearly the entry-level model and comes in a plain, black chassis. The Inspiron 15z has a more deluxe colour scheme, with a combination of light and dark grey. It also carries the Ultrabook sticker, something the 15 does not.
The Inspiron 15 looks like a dime-a-dozen laptop and could be from pretty much any brand. The plastic features a pattern design you can feel, and is a bit thin in places. It again reiterates the fact that this is not the most high-end product from Dell.
The hardware consists of an Intel Core i3 processor - if you want to spend less you can instead get the Intel Celeron or Pentium. The Core i3 in our test sample is the 3227U. It's a chip that's actually designed for Ultrabooks, which means it's more energy-efficient. That should be good for the battery life, in theory at least.
The processor has integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000 which provide the graphics for this laptop. There's 4GB of RAM, which can easily be upgraded. On the bottom of the laptop there's a cover fastened with two screws. This grants access to the hard disk (in this case a Toshiba 500 GB, 5400 rpm disk) and the two memory slots, of which one is used.
There's also a DVD burner in the Inspiron 15. The upgradability of the RAM is important if you're considering the entry-level model with Intel Celeron, because it only comes with 2GB. You can read the rest of Dell Inspiron 15 and 15z preview on Hardware.info.