The new Dell Inspiron i5577 gaming laptop series looks like it had been designed with the modern user in mind. It’s affordable, understated and somewhat overpowered for its price. Today we’ll have a look at the Dell Inspiron i5577-7342BLK-PUS notebook.
I’ve noticed that in the last couple of years, laptop manufacturers have gradually started to steer clear of designing aggressive or flashy looking gaming laptops. The audience has matured since, and companies took notice. We can see this trend with the new Dell Inspiron i5577 series.
Unlike Alienware et al, Dell have opted for a more balanced look for their gaming device. And even if this is no flagship material, the amount and quality of gaming you’ll be able to achieve is impressive. Even moreso if we take into account the $1150 price tag (available at the time of this review).
So, this is a device that’s not screaming at you, but does keep some distinct pedigree ingrained within, such as red tinted cooling grills and speaker bar. Also, a red logo on its lid and outlined trackpad complete the discretely tuned-out look of this impressive notebook.
I personally believe that Dell have done a good job combining color accents with an otherwise traditional laptop look. It still looks different, and I don’t see anyone being ashamed of bringing it to the office or a co-working space.
The Dell Inspiron i5577-7342BLK-PUS has some impressive hardware under its chassis. For starters, it features a quad-core, 7th generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor. This state of the art CPU has a base clock speed of 2.8 GHz, with a maximum of 3.8 GHz under turbo mode. Also, the 6 megabytes of cache will greatly help in dealing with the most intense tasks.
Being a powerful processor has one downside, however. It will drain your battery faster than a normal one. Overheating shouldn’t be an issue thanks to a dedicated heatsink and superior heat management technology employed by Dell.
System memory is rated at 16 gigabytes of DDR4-2400 SDRAM. It comes as a dual channel setup (two memory modules of 8 gigabytes each). I think this should prove plentiful for most gamers and power users. However, I haven’t been able to check if this amount can be further upgraded by the user.
Still, 16 gigs of system memory will allow you to handle very large data sets, play all your games without having to suffer from bottlenecks or glitches, and multitask with ease while also using RAM-intensive software, like Photoshop, Illustrator or CAD.
The Dell Inspiron i5577-7342BLK-PUS comes with a new-generation 512-gigabyte PCIe NVMe M.2 Solid-State Drive. This is an SSD which is several times faster than older generation drives, and up to 15 times more fast and (arguably) reliable than a traditional Hard Disk Drive. Anyone who needs more storage space than what this laptop comes with either should invest in an external hard drive or already has multiple storage systems in place already.
Graphics and Display
Being a gaming laptop means that the Dell Inspiron i5577-7342BLK-PUS comes with a dedicated graphics card. While not being the best of the bunch, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX1050, with its 4 gigabytes of GDDR5 memory will allow you to play games such as COD: Infinite Warfare, Titanfall 2, CIV 6, Battlefield 1 or FIFA 17 at high settings close to 60 fps. On the other hand, games like Mass Effect Andromeda or Watch Dogs 2 will hover at around 30fps @ FHD and high settings.
Therefore, while not being the absolute best graphics card you can have, the compromise isn’t that high after all. Getting to play almost any AAA title that’s been launched this year is what a gaming laptop should be able to achieve. And this one, the Dell i5577 does it at a reasonable price, nonetheless.
Now, the display quality, as is the case with many other non XPS Dell devices is a bit lacking. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t bad at all, but it could have been better. The 15-inch screen sports a FHD AG LED-Backlit display. Notice the lack of IPS technology.
However, I must also mention that you’d be hard pressed to find a fantastic display in an affordable gaming laptop, so this is a quite a necessary tradeoff. If you want exceptional quality, you should plug in an external monitor while at home.
Interface and connectivity options
Interface options are plentiful for avid gamers, and not only. I have no complains over the fact that it doesn’t feature a USB-C port, or a mini-Display port for that matter. You’ll be able to hook up to three peripherals and one external monitor to the Dell Inspiron i5577-7342BLK-PUS. Here are the available ports:
- 3 x USB3.0 (one with SleepCharge)
- 1 x HDMI
- 1 x RJ-45
- 1 x COMBO audio jack
- 1 x SD card reader
Connectivity is also rather standard:
- 10/100/1000 Ethernet
- Dual Band 1×1 802.11ac
- Bluetooth 4.2
Portability and battery life
As is the case with almost all gaming laptops that haven’t been designed with improved portability in mind, the Dell Inspiron i5577-7342BLK-PUS is on the heavy side of things. It weighs 5.7 pounds, which isn’t what anyone would call “lightweight” in 2017. Considering that it’s also 15.6 inches diagonally and 1 inch thick, I can safely state that it isn’t much of a portable device. At least not in this context.
However, it’s worth noting that although it’s quite heavy, it doesn’t look big at all. It seems as if it’s thinner than it really is.
Battery life is also not impressive. A full charge will likely take you no farther than 6 hours of use before needing to plug it in.
All in all, despite some glaring issues such as portability, battery life and display quality, the Dell Inspiron i5577-7342BLK-PUS is a solid gaming laptop. One that should be considered if your budget is hovering around $1000 – $1200. Great all-around specs, solid build, a somewhat understated design and an attractive price make this notebook a good choice for folks in the search of a mid-range gaming rig.