Heat and Noise
Throughout our testing the Inspiron 17R handled heat very well without excessive noise or hot spots. The large chassis handled the Intel Core i3 370M processor with its GMA HD graphics with ease, spreading out the thermal load over a large area. Under normal use the fan stayed off, only coming on in short bursts to cool the heatsink. The fan was very quiet at low speeds, and just above a whisper at high speed. Under a full load while performing benchmarks, the system reached a maximum of 88F on the top edge of the keyboard.
The Dell Inspiron 17R comes standard with a 48Wh 6-cell battery, which worked surprisingly well in our tests. An optional 9-cell 90WH battery is also offered with some configurations if you needed extended runtime. In our tests with the screen brightness reduced to 70%, wireless active and refreshing a webpage ever 60 seconds, and Windows set to the Balanced profile, the Inspiron 17R stayed on for 3 hours and 43 minutes. For a 17.3-inch notebook on a mid-sized battery this was a pretty good time and should easily get you through a few classes or meetings if you so desire.
For shoppers interested in an affordable 17-inch desktop replacement notebook, the Dell Inspiron 17R is a very good choice. Starting at $499, the 17R offers the latest Intel Core processors, Intel GMA HD integrated graphics, optional ATI HD4570 dedicated graphics, and optional Intel Wi-Di for viewing HD movies wirelessly. The new design looks great, with equally impressive build quality inside and out. The full-size keyboard was very comfortable to type on, with a design that crossed between standard and Chilet-style. Overall we were very impressed by all the features of the Inspiron 17R and highly recommend it if you are in the market for a large laptop.
Software & Support
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