Heat and Noise
The Inspiron 15R handles the heat output from the CPU and graphics just fine, but you'll still find a few warm spots on the exterior of the notebook after serious multimedia or gaming use. Under the stress of constant benchmarks, the hottest spot that formed was an area on the bottom of the chassis that measured 94 degrees Fahrenheit. The highest temperature on the top was only 88 degrees Fahrenheit. Under normal web browsing conditions the notebook remains reasonably cool and only cycles the fan at a slow (and quiet) speed. Noise output even under the worst conditions was still barely enough to be noticed by the person seated at a neighboring desk in my office.
The Dell Inspiron 15R comes standard with a 48Wh 6-cell battery and an optional 9-cell 90WH battery is also offered if you need to use your notebook for extended periods of time away from a power outlet. 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 new Inspiron 15R with 9-cell battery stayed on for 7 hours and 14 minutes. If the per-cell average is reasonably consistent then you should be able to get around five hours of battery life for "coffee shop web browsing" with the standard 6-cell battery.
Battery life test results (higher scores mean better battery life):
The new and improved Inspiron 15R N5110 is an appealing 15.6-inch laptop for general use and multimedia tasks but also remains very budget friendly. The a base configuration priced at $499 might not be as impressive as the system we reviewed which is almost $400 more expensive, but even the less expensive model packs enough punch to more than satisfy the technology demands of a typical family.
If you need a notebook with a little extra muscle then the Intel Core i5 processor and optional AMD Radeon 6470M graphics should handle all but the most graphically intense modern games. I would have liked to see a backlit keyboard option as well as higher resolution screen options such as 1920 x 1080 or 1600 x 900 ... but those are pretty minor complaints for a budget notebook.
Software & Support
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