If you are amazed by style and affordability of the Dell Inspiron 15R (5520) series for 2012 but you want a cheaper model than the recently presented $650 I15R-2106SLV, you can take a look at the $100 less expensive Dell I15R-1633SLV model.
The main trade-offs when compared to its pricier sibling are a slower processor and less RAM and HDD capacity. The included CPU on the I15R-1633SLV is the 2nd Generation Intel Core i3-2370M “Sandy Bridge”, whereas the 2106SLV sports the 3rd Gen Intel Core i5-3210M “Ivy Bridge” chip. Not only that the i3 is generally less powerful than the i5, mostly due to absence of TurboBoost technology on the former, but in this case they are from different generations, with the i3 sporting last year’s technology and the i5 with the latest Intel tech, delivering a better performance-per-Watt ratio. In the graphics field, the performance hit is also big, considering the i3-2370M uses the old Intel HD 3000 integrated graphics, while the 3rd Gen chips sport the much faster HD 4000. When you translate it to benchmark numbers, the CPU score of the i3 versus the i5 is 3,228 vs 3,980 in Passmark test. The HD 4000 is generally about 30 to 40 percent faster than its precursor on comparable 2nd Gen CPUs.
The I15R-1633SLV has 6GB of RAM and a 750GB hard drive, down from 8GB and 1 Terabyte. However, that amount of RAM is above the usual 4GB across the affordable laptop category, and you will hardly notice any difference between 6GB and 8GB when the notebook is in use.
Other than the main components, the 2012 Inspiron 15R versions are pretty much the same and sport four USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, built-in webcams, stereo speakers, plastic cases, and switchable LCD lids. The exception is the aluminum-clad 15R Special Edition, such as the I15RSE-6167BK which has a fixed lid. The I15R-1633SLV comes with a silver-colored back.
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