The brand new Dell i5565 series laptop promises mid-range to high-end performance at a fraction of what an ultrabook or a gaming laptop would cost. This model, the Dell i5565-A973GRY-PUS, has the potential of becoming a new favorite among AMD fans and those who look for affordable reliability.
Although its design lines don’t stray away too much from Dell’s well known shapes and proportions, this model does feel somewhat different from the rest. Perhaps it’s because of the more rounded front corners, or the brushed aluminium look. One thing is certain, though: it manages to stand out as an elegant all-purpose machine.
OK, since the exterior looks are nice, yet rather usual for a laptop in this price bracket, let’s focus on what really matters: performance.
The Dell i5565-A973GRY-PUS features a new-generation AMD A12-9700P quad-core processing unit. Since AMD chips aren’t as widespread as their Intel counterparts, I think it’s a healthy practice to compare them using benchmark tests. As we can see here, the AMD has managed to score almost 4000 points, while a similar Intel CPU (i5-7200U model) has scored around 4700 points in the same tests.
Although the difference between the two isn’t that significant, you should really take this lack of power into account if you need the laptop to perform more advanced tasks (think video editing, 3D rendering, and so on). Average users won’t notice sluggish behaviour in everyday tasks and under normal usage scenarios.
System memory is rated at 12 gigabytes of DDR4-2400MHz SDRAM. With the i5565-A973GRY-PUS, Dell gives users the option to upgrade the existing memory up to 16 gigabytes, but why would anyone want to? In order achieve that amount, you’d have to replace the 4GB module with an 8GB one, effectively rendering the former useless. I believe the slight increase in RAM size isn’t worth it, so you’d better stick with the standard memory.
Storage capacity is plentiful. The Dell i5565-A973GRY-PUS comes equipped with a 1-terabyte, 5400 rpm Hard Disk Drive. It’s enough to hold your photo, media and video collections all at once. However, if you want some extra speed out of your system, you’d have to buy a replacement Solid-State Drive in order to boost up the performance by some margin.
Graphics and Display
The graphics department features a Radeon R7 video card. This is an entry-level component, perfect for undemanding games, such as CS:GO, Minecraft, LoL, DOTA and so on. Don’t expect to be playing any recently released AAA titles with it, as you’ll certainly have problems even at medium quality settings.
Its display, however, is great quality. The 15.6 inch screen features a Full HD (1920 x 1080) True-life LED-Backlit Touch display. Touchscreen capabilities aside, it’s a shame no IPS technology has been added, so expect rather average viewing angles.
Interface and connectivity options
As I mentioned earlier in this review, the Dell i5565-A973GRY-PUS is a all-rounder, multipurpose machine. As such, I’ve found interface options to be ample and useful for a wide range of applications. Here they are:
- 2 x USB3.0 ports
- 1 x USB2.0 port
- 1 x HDMI-out port
- 1 x RJ-45
- 1 x COMBO Audio Jack
- 1 x 3-in-1 card reader
- 1 x DVD-Writer
The presence of an ethernet port and a DVD writer indicates this is a device more suited to act as a desktop replacement unit rather than be alongside you in your travels.
Connectivity options are rather standard for a modern laptop:
- 802.11ac WLAN
- 10/100 Base-T Ethernet
- Bluetooth 4.1
Portability and battery life
With Dell mid-range laptops, portability is always an issue. You should expect a moderately heavy device. The Dell i5565-A973GRY-PUS makes no exception: it weighs 5.1 pounds without the adapter, so carrying it around town with you will prove burdensome. There are better alternatives for ultraportable needs.
That being said, its weight is of no concern indoors. With all its ports, memory size and adequate processor, it makes for a great office/home office or workspace laptop. Perfect on the desk, useful when having to move to a different place within the same building.
Also, you should expect a somewhat modest battery life. Its 3-cell battery pack won’t hold a charge for more than 6 to 7 hours, which by today’s standard is less than impressive. Still, almost a full day’s worth of work can be achieved on battery – nothing to scoff at nonetheless.
All in all, I believe the Dell i5565-A973GRY-PUS is a fine choice for those users who are searching for a reliable, simple, traditional laptop. It’s perfect for home use, office use, it’ll work great as a multimedia device around the house, as a student notebook or a laptop replacement for your older folks.