Dell Inspiron 17 5000 Review: A Budget Multimedia 17-inch Laptop
The Dell Inspiron 17 5000 multimedia laptop was created to entertain the masses that need a desktop replacement on a budget. Equipped with the latest Intel processor that is powerful and power-friendly, the Inspiron 17 5000 comes with some extra graphics power, owing to the AMD Radeon R5 GPU. With the trustworthy name of Dell and a wallet-friendly price, this 17-inch multimedia laptop delivers quality in every way. See our full review below.
Design and Build
Considering that the machine has been marketed as a budget laptop, the plastic chassis and casing is justified. The lid of the laptop and the sides are dipped in silver color, while the bottom and the rear are black. The Dell logo rests at the centre of the lid, which is covered by soft and grainy silver, which provides a certain amount of grip to the laptop.
Despite being entirely made out of plastic, the Inspiron 17 5000’s casing is rigid to an extent, and should not be easily damaged under regular usage. However, the lid and the keyboard deck are susceptible to yielding when a certain amount of pressure is applied to the casing. The hinges are made out of plastic, but are sturdy enough to avoid vibrations and wobbling.
Weighing 2.83Kg, the Inspiron 17 5000 does qualify as one of the lightest 17-inch laptops, and the silver sides of the laptop make it appear even slimmer. In terms of Input/Output, the laptop comes with just one USB 3.0 port which is a big no-no in 2016, 2 x USB 2.0 ports, HDMI port, SD Card Reader, combo audio jack, and an Optical Drive as well.
The Inspiron 17 5000 comes fitted with a 17.3-inch which has a native resolution of 1600 x 900 pixels. There is no IPS panel equipped with the laptop, and while the resolution is less than FHD, it does not pose as a significant drawback. The images are sharp and the colours are vibrant, owing to the TrueLife technology of the screen. The higher end model (Y510857AU) comes with a FHD screen.
The decision to go with the TN display panel is a cost-cutting measure, but the quality ensures that visual entertainment is never compromised. The brightness of the display is about average, although the glossy surface of the screen does result in glare and reflections, which makes it difficult to view outdoors. Despite the TN display technology, the viewing angles of the screen are fairly wide, however, image distortion becomes apparent at 120 degrees.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The interior of the Inspiron 17 5000 is completely black, and the keyboard deck comes with a thin rubberised coating, which makes it pleasant to work with. The chiclet-style keyboard is large and has been designed to replicate the usefulness of a desktop keyboard, with the numpad integrated into it as well. The backlight illuminated keys offer crisp strokes and short travel, which is perfect for prolific writers.
The Inspiron 17 5000 boasts quality with its touchpad, which blends into the aesthetic design of the keyboard deck. The mouse keys have been integrated into the touchpad itself, which give it a premium look. In terms of precision and accurate feedback, the touchpad is spot on, and recognizes multi-touch gestures without any hassle.
Under the Hood
Upgrading the hardware to the latest components available, our reviewed version of Inspiron 17 5000 (Y510856AU) comes equipped with the 6th generation Intel Core i5-6200U processor, based on Skylake architecture. The power-efficient processor from Intel comes with a base clock speed of 2.3 GHz, and can be overclocked for added performance up to 2.8 GHz with the Turbo Boost technology. A higher-end i7 model is also available.
In terms of system memory, the Dell Inspiron 17 5000 has been jacked with 8GB DR3L RAM, which works seamlessly with the processor to send all of your tasks and processes flying. Being a budget friendly laptop, it does not come with an SSD by default to achieve blazing fast transfer speeds. However, the laptop does come equipped with 1TB HDD storage, which should be plentiful to hoard all your content in one place. You could always take out the sata drive and put in an ssd drive instead if you want.
The Dell Inspiron 17 5000 (Y510856AU) comes with a little extra graphical firepower, owing to the AMD Radeon M335 GPU, which comes with 2GB of DDR3 memory. The GPU is useful for tasks such as video editing, media streaming, and does enable some light gaming as well. Most of the latest gaming titles can be played at low settings, and some of the other games, such as FIFA 16 offer a decent frame rate at high settings as well (35 FPS)
• Equipped with the latest battery-efficient Skylake processor.
• Comes with an AMD Radeon R5 graphics card for light gaming.
• The WaveMaxx Audio speakers offer decent sound.
• Good quality build, considering the budget-friendly price.
• No Full HD IPS display panel.
• Absence of SSD storage makes boot time and transfers slower.
The Final Verdict
Dell has always been considered to be a premium brand, so a budget offering can always make the buyers a bit sceptical. However, the Dell Inspiron 17 5000 is an offering that not only fits the description of a great multimedia desktop replacement, but comes with a price that fits the wallet as well. Equipped with plenty of RAM, one of the latest and most efficient CPU’s from Intel, and with some decent amount of graphical power as well, the laptop leaves very little to be desired.
The budget price limits the laptop to a TN display panel, which, to be fair, is better than most of the other budget laptops out there. Since the laptop can be upgraded effortlessly through its maintenance hatch, adding an SSD would definitely give the Dell Inspiron 17 5000 the speed it needs to be the perfect 17-inch multimedia laptop.
Review date: January 28th 2016
Price at the time of review: $1099
Buying advice: Buy this model on eBay, as Dell is selling it there for just $899! Unbeatable value for money!