Dell Inspiron 15Z Ultrabook Review

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DELL Inspiron 15Z Ultrabook Review

DELL Inspiron 15Z is an Ultrabook. Well an Ultrabook because it is slightly thinner than traditional laptops. It has various models to target various segments. I have the top notch model which will cost around $1100 in US or ₹79,990 in India.

Design

  • DELL Inspiron 15Z Ultrabook has a brushed Aluminium finish.
  • It weighs 4.76 pounds which is approximately 2.15 Kg.
  • On the left hand side we have power port, exhaust vents, Gigabit Ethernet port, HDMI out port, two USB 3.0/2.0 compatible ports which are evenly spaced and a 3.5mm headphone jack. On the right hand side we have a SD Card slot, two USB 3.0/2.0 compatible ports and an Optical Drive. At the front we have 4 LEDs. Each LED signifies something. The first LED shows the power whether your computer is ON or on SLEEP or on STAND BY. Then we have the Storage LED, then we have the Battery LED and fourth is the connectivity LED. At the back we have got two speakers. And we have got some exhaust vents and four rubber pads.
  • Moving to the interior, we have a power button on the top left and we have got three additional buttons, each of which have some functions
  • The device has a beautiful Backlit keyboard. And I personally feel that, DELL actually got inspired from the Apple MacBook Pro’s design. And that’s why they have got these evenly spaced keyboards. And this particular keyboard, Apple deployed like 5 years ago.
  • Even the mouse resembles the Apple Trackpad on the MacBook Pros. But the only difference is, it has got two buttons and it is slightly smaller. It supports touch gestures too. However it is not that fluid and responsive like the MacBook Pro. But definitely they have added some features which users will enjoy. Let’s move on to the display.

Display

  • The device has a 15.6 inch LED Backlit display which is touch sensitive and has a screen resolution of 1366×768. This is very average in comparison to the other laptops out there in the market.
  • The color accuracy, contrast, brightness, etc is average which makes it really poor display. Even my 4 year old MacBook Pro beats this display.
Display DELL Inspiron 15Z Ultrabook

Display (DELL Vs MacBook Pro 15 Inch Mid 2009)

  • The touch is not that great too. It is handy for Windows 8 gesture based features and for clicking on macro objects. One of the Windows 8 gesture features which can be used through the touch is the swipe feature. Searching applications using the touch is also fun at times and quick. Using Maps and Images application is super fun.

Specifications

  • The device is powered by the 3rd generation Intel Core i7 3537U CPU which is clocked at 2GHz.
  • 8GB of DDR3 RAM is also embedded inside the device.
  • A total of 500GB of storage is provided which is quite less considering the cost is high as well as the requirement of certain users is also very high.

For complete specifications vist DELL.

Software

  • Windows 8 is a new operating system from Microsoft which brings in the new Modern User Interface as well as the old Windows 7 User Interface.
  • There are apps specifically built for the Modern User Interface. Multitasking is different. At first it may be difficult for the user to get a hang of the Operating System but later it will becomes simpler.
  • Applications open fast and the OS runs fluidly.
  • Along with the software, we have got some additional features from DELL, added into the software. And these features are the 3 buttons provided next to the keyboard.
  • The first button opens the Mobility Control Center. Second button opens the MaxxSense Audio presets and the last button has to be user customized (like open an app when you click it).

Performance

  1. Music – The Music performance is simply awesome. The SkullCandy speakers give a loud and clear audio output. Furthermore user can also use some of the pre-defined audio presets. The speakers have been situated at a very good location for this curved design of device. They are slightly above the ground. And thus they reflect sound from ground to give a better output.
  2. Video – As I said earlier, the display is average. The color accuracy, contrast, brightness, etc is average which makes it really poor display. Even my 4 year old MacBook Pro beats this display.
  3. Temperatures – The cooling system is very good. The device gets hot on the top left and bottom left corner. But I could only observe the device getting heated on one or two occasions. Even on playing high graphical games, the device remained cool and silent. The maximum temperatures were close to 100˚C and minimum temperatures were close to 50˚C.
  4. Read/Write – The performance for reading files was really good compared to the 5400RPM HDD available in the market. A maximum read speed of 113.2MB/s was obtained. The maximum speed for writing files was close to 83MB/s. USB 3.0 performs slightly below par. I got a maximum of 88MB/s but I have used other DELL laptops which give speeds as high as 95MB/s.
HDD Read On DELL Inspiron 15Z Ultrabook

Read Performance

HDD Write On DELL Inspiron 15Z Ultrabook

Write Performance

  1. Benchmarks – The benchmark results were poor but considering all the tests like the GPU test were done at High settings. The GPU test yielded FPS of around 19. However playing games on low settings and native resolution gave FPS of 30 to 50.
Software Overall Score
NovaBench 619
3DMark Vantage GPU – 4366 & CPU – 4576
NovaBench DELL Inspiron 15Z Ultrabook

NovaBench

3DMark Vantage DELL Inspiron 15Z Ultrabook

3DMark Vantage

Far Cry 3  On DELL Inspiron 15Z Ultrabook

Far Cry 3

  1. Battery – The battery lasted for only about 4 hours on a low usage. Comparing with MacBook Air (7 hrs with Ivy Bridge and 12 hrs with Haswell), MacBook Pro (7 hrs with Ivy Bridge), the DELL Inspiron 15Z Ultrabook performed way below par.

Video Review

Verdict

If you saw the gaming performance of this particular device, you would have observed that this device is capable of playing almost any sort of games. And I mean high graphical games that are available in the market. However at low settings and at native screen resolution. So casual gamers who can compromise on high graphics can buy this device but again you need to go for the top notch model that’s the ₹79,990 ($1100) model which is a bargain because you are paying a very high amount and you will get to play on low graphics. So its up to you, you need to decide on that.

Second if you are a music lover who likes to go to the Internet, browse the Internet, use day to day applications like Microsoft Office, Open Office, etc then you can go for a lower version of this device because its got a really good music performance. But for video lovers this device is not going to be awesome at all.

And if you are a high end user who likes to do Multimedia editing, you can go for a high end device and it will definitely help you out.

  • Pros – Good Design, Speakers, Cooling System
  • Cons – Display, Battery, Storage
Type Ratings
Design ★★★★
Display ★★★★★
Memory ★★★★★
Hardware ★★★★★
Software ★★★★★
Performance ★★★★★
Overall 3.1
 

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