The Dell Inspiron i5559-3347SLV is a mid-range all-purpose laptop. Designed as a desktop replacement and home media center, this notebook features some good hardware under its plastic case, but don’t expect too much from it.
The Dell 5000 series
The iconic series from Dell has been for years one of the most appreciated in the world of laptops for being affordable and dependable enough for most average users. People who don’t need a host of resources to do their jobs or to relax in front of the monitor usually find that a laptop from this series is a best-buy.
These devices don’t necessarily shine at anything in particular, but the sum of their individual parts such as the price, build quality, value for money, hardware specs and battery life makes them really well balanced. It’s hard not to appreciate such an offer, especially when it comes at a discount.
The Dell Inspiron i5559-3347SLV: Performance
The Dell Inspiron i5559-3347SLV is a mid range laptop equipped with a new, 6th generation Intel Core i5-6200U processor. It has 3 megabytes of cache and a frequency range between 2.3 and 2.8 GHz. More importantly, it’s the newest generation of processors you can get from Intel, making the notebook a bit more future proof. This CPU is great for a laptop, providing the right balance between power efficiency and performance output with a thermal design power of just 15 Watts and a benchmark score just shy of 4000 points.
This model also comes with 8 gigabytes of system memory installed which is user upgradeable to 12 gigabytes. However, I don’t really believe you’ll need more than eight gigs, no matter what you plan to do with this notebook.
Storage space is comfy: 1 terabyte is available on a mechanical hard disk drive to hold your media collections. This is a bit of a letdown honestly. Considering the price (around $600 MSRP at the time of this review) I would have expected to see a 128 GB SSD installed instead. I think the hard drive doesn’t do the processor justice and should be replaced with a solid state drive to get a more responsive and faster notebook despite sacrificing storage space.
All these hardware choices make for a good all-rounder, guaranteeing a hassle-free environment while browsing the internet, listening to music, watching movies, editing photos and documents. Multitasking won’t be problematic thanks to the CPU-RAM combo.
Graphics and display
Unfortunately, the Dell Inspiron i5559-3347SLV doesn’t have a dedicated video card, meaning new game releases are out of the question. You can play older games however and less demanding ones like Minecraft or CS:GO, since they don’t rely on lavish details and new game engines.
Also, if you plan to do any graphics work like editing videos, illustrating or rendering you must keep in mind that the physical system memory can only take you so far. You will struggle with such programs, so I can’t recommend it for this type of work.
The 15.6-inch screen features a standard HD LED-backlit display with a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. Pretty standard for this kind of laptop. It’s not full HD, so for movies you may want to invest in some HDMI cables or Chromecast to connect it to a much bigger TV.
Interface and connectivity
As expected with any desktop replacement, the Dell Inspiron has enough ports for all your needs: one USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports, one HDMI 1.4a port and a SD card reader. No VGA-out on this one, so we might expect to start seeing this port disappear even in low-end models as well in the near future.
Connectivity is also surprisingly good: it has a new generation dual band 802.11ac wireless card which will give you download speeds of up to 300 Mbps via WiFi if you’re connected to a compatible router. Also, you get an Ethernet card with the associated RJ-45 port and integrated Bluetooth 4.0 technology.
Another thing worth noting is the presence of a DVD-Writer unit, which may be useful for folks with CD’s or DVD’s still laying around. I think it weighs it down unnecessarily, but I guess many people will find it useful.
By today’s standards, the Dell Inspiron i5559-3347SLV is a heavy laptop. It weighs 5.1 pounds, a bit much if you consider travelling with it, considering you’d also have to take the charger with you. The battery holds a charge for maximum 7 hours, an estimate which in real life situations and under normal use is shorter by 2 hours. It’s quite thin however: just under an inch in thickness is pretty respectable for an all-rounder.
With these aspects in mind it’s clear that this notebook is best suited for home/work/dorm environments only. If you want a portable device there are better options in the same price range, like the Acer TravelMate or the ASUS ZenBook, not without sacrificing performance of course.
So, should I buy one?
Well, it depends. It’s not a must-have or a best-buy, but rather a jack of all trades. It’s great around the house and doubles as a media center, effectively replacing your desktop and/or tablet. You can also use it for related office tasks, either from home or from work. It’s perfectly designed to work as a college laptop as well.
The Dell Inspiron i5559-3347SLV blends performance with a durable chassis and a fair price point. Just don’t travel with it.
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