Overall, the Inspiron 15 performed well during our tests. The Haswell Core i7 processor coupled with a whopping 16 GB of RAM let this computer blaze through everyday tasks such as browsing and word processing, and Metro apps ran smoothly as well. The computer is definitely powerful enough for low-end gaming, though it is not a dedicated gaming laptop by any means.
The biggest problem we had with the device was its hard drive. The 1 TB 5400 RPM hybrid drive is definitely not as fast as a solid state drive. This means that boot times for the computer, even just from sleep, were very slow. However, it does not interfere much with actual work when the computer is in use. Otherwise, it has a good graphics card for its price, the RAM allows for excellent multitasking capability, and the processor never faltered while we used it.
The Dell Inspiron 15 7000 we reviewed had the following specs:
- Windows 8.1
- 15.6-inch 1920×1080 LED backlit Truelife touch display
- Intel Core i7-4500U (4M cache, up to 3.0 GHz) processor
- Nvidia GeForce GT 750M with 2GB GDDR5 discrete graphics card
- 16 GB DDR3L RAM
- 1 TB 5400 RPM Hybrid Drive with 8 GB cache
- Intel Wireless-N 7260BGN Wi-Fi
- Bluetooth 4.0
- 58 WHr 4-cell battery
- 4x USB 3.0 (1 with PowerShare)
- RJ45 Ethernet
- HDMI port
- Headset jackf
- 8-in-1 Multi-media card reader
- Kensington lock port
- 5.7 lbs
- Price: $1149.99
wPrime processor comparisons (listed in seconds – lower scores mean better performance):
PCMark 7 is a newer benchmark and measures overall system performance (higher scores mean better performance):
3DMark 11 is a benchmark that measures overall graphics card performance for gaming (higher scores mean better performance):
CrystalDiskMark storage drive performance test:
The Powermark “Balanced” battery life test that we use at NotebookReview is more demanding than a typical battery drain test; it includes web browsing, office productivity, multimedia and gaming tasks. The Inspiron 15 7000 series that we had lasted 3 hours and 59 minutes. However, if a user were to do a lot more work that requires the GPU as opposed to word processing or web browsing, this time would likely decrease.
Powermark “Balanced” battery life test results (listed in minutes – higher scores mean better battery life):
Heat and Noise
Despite having a hybrid drive, the device remains very quiet even under heavy use such as benchmarking, with most of the noise coming from the fan on the bottom, which is muffled by the rest of the device. The keyboard and mouse are quiet in use as well.
The Inspiron 15 heats up moderately under benchmark testing, and remains warm through normal use, but overall the heat is dispersed well across the bottom and back of the computer. Even when the graphics card was in use during the 3DMark test, it never reached blazing hot temperatures.