Updated: November 21, 2020 5:42:28 pm
When a professor friend asked me to suggest a laptop under Rs 35,000 for a student, I had no clear answer. This was around the time the nationwide lockdown 2.0 was announced. After months of searching, my (nearly) impossible hunt for a budget laptop seems to have ended with the Dell Inspiron 15 (3505), a 15-inch laptop with AMD Ryzen 3 3250U CPU. At Rs 32,990, the Dell Inspiron 15 makes sense for people who want a laptop for web browsing, checking emails, online classes, and basic routine tasks. I spent a week with the Inspiron 15, and here are the good and bad aspects of the laptop.
Dell Inspiron 15 (3505) specs: 15.6-inch FHD WVA display|AMD Ryzen 3 3250U processor| 4GB RAM +1TB storage|Windows 10|720p HD web camera|1.86kg|3-cell lithium-Ion battery
Dell Inspiron 15 (3505) price in India: Rs 32,990
Dell Inspiron 15 ( 3505) review: Design and build
The Inspiron 15 is a basic-looking laptop with a mostly plastic build that doesn’t look cheap. Both the lid and the keyboard deck have a metallic finish that makes it an attractive machine. With narrow bezels around the display, the Inspiron 15 looks like a modern laptop. Despite a 15.6-inch screen, this machine isn’t too heavy and large to carry around. I had no trouble fitting the Inspiron 15 in a backpack.
On the left edge is a port to charge the device, an Ethernet port, an HDMI port, two USB Type-A ports, and a headset jack. On the right side, you will find an SD card, a USB Type-A port, and a wedge-shaped lock slot.
Dell Inspiron 15 ( 3505) review: Display and speakers
The 15.6-inch FHD WVA non-touchscreen looked good. The screen size is right for web browsing, attending online classes, or watching movies. Colours weren’t washed out on the Inspiron 15’s screen, a common issue with entry-level laptops. The display provides wide viewing angles and a bright image, something I have never seen on a laptop as affordable as this. Even the speakers sound surprisingly good. They get loud enough and the speakers are good enough for joining a Zoom call. The laptop’s 720p HD web camera is nothing great but it’s perfectly fine for attending online classes or video calls.
Dell Inspiron 15 ( 3505) review: Keyboard and trackpad
The keyboard is roomy and responsive. The keyboard delivers deeper travel and feels comfortable to type on. Though I wish the keyboard featured backlighting, a feature that’s mostly missing on budget laptops. The decently-sized trackpad sits below the keyboard and is surprisingly wide. It’s reliable and accurate.
Dell Inspiron 15 ( 3505) review: Performance and battery
The Inspiron 15 is no speed demon but it’s fast enough for schoolwork and routine tasks. It is powered by AMD’s Ryzen 3 3250U CPU with Radeon Vega graphics. My review unit had 4GB RAM and 1TB 5400 RPM hard drive. I did not encounter any lag while browsing the web or streaming videos on YouTube. In day to day use, the Inspiron 15 felt fast with 13 Chrome tabs open. But while the laptop is fine for writing stories on Google Docs or streaming movies, I don’t think the Inspiron 15 is designed for editing videos or playing games. That said, the Inspiron 15 is fast enough for most people’s needs, especially students whose requirements are limited to web browsing or doing assignments. Speaking of the battery life, the Inspiron 15 lasted 4 and a half hours in our rundown test. I won’t say the battery life is fantastic, but it is still decent.
Dell Inspiron 15 ( 3505) review: Conclusion
Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic hit, millions of people suddenly needed laptops for attending classes online and to work from home. While the market saw the increased supply of mid-range laptops, the affordable segment was largely ignored. The launch of Dell Inspiron 15 is a bright spot in these bleak times. It is affordable and offers acceptable performance and a decent keyboard. In addition, it is not too heavy and has a bright 1080p display. The battery should last till the time your kid is done with online classes. If you feel that this laptop wouldn’t meet your demands, I suggest you look for the model with the Ryzen 5 CPU. It would be faster than the model I reviewed, but you have to shell out Rs 46,990.
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