Heat and Noise
The Inspiron 15R handled its heat output pretty well, but it did get warmer in some areas compared to the larger 17R. Under the stress of constant benchmarks, the only hot spot that formed was an area on the bottom of the chassis that measured 93 degrees Fahrenheit. The highest temperature on the top was only 89 degrees Fahrenheit. Under normal conditions the notebook was fairly tame in its heat output, cycling the fan on occasionally, but at a very slow speed. Noise output even under the worst conditions was still at whisper levels though.
The Dell Inspiron 15R 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 15R stayed on for 3 hours and 43 minutes. While the number was fairly decent for a budget notebook, we were surprised the time was identical to what we saw on the larger Inspiron 17R.
The Inspiron 15R is a budget-friendly 15.6-inch notebook based around the latest Intel platform. With a base configuration including the Intel Core i3 370M processor, 4GB of RAM, and Intel GMA HD graphics, the 15R easily outperforms budget and midrange notebooks of yesteryear. For the average user, this machine is more than capable for pretty much all activities except gaming. Even when it came to decoding HD movies, the 15R handled it with ease. With a starting price of $549, the 15R deserves a spot on your shopping list if you are looking for a new notebook.
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