Judging from the $177.99 discounted Black Friday price tag at Best Buy, the Dell Inspiron I15RV-1952BLK 15.6-inch laptop will be one of the bestsellers, if not the most wanted model. It is all about affordability, but that doesn’t mean it’s an utterly useless one. On contrary, the Intel Celeron 1017U dual-core processor (a tad faster than the 1007U) in the I15RV-1952BLK will enable you to complete your daily web, office, and multimedia playback tasks and gives the Dell a great deal of performance advantage over the competing 178-dollar HP 2000-2d09WM with the AMD E-300 CPU. However, the 1017U won’t be able to edit movies or high-resolution images smoothly, nor handle large number of opened applications simultaneously.
Another major advantage of the Dell I15RV-1952BLK is design, since it’s much sleeker and portable and has textured matte surfaces instead of glossy. That makes it less prone to fingerprints. The machine measures 1″ in profile as opposed to 1.4″ and weighs 5.1 pounds instead of 5.4. On the other hand, the HP has a larger 500GB hard drive and it’s the weakest point of the Dell, which has a 320GB unit, the smallest one on the market. 4GB of RAM is present in both machines, which is a minimal and standard size in laptops today.
The 15.6 display delivers widely used 1366-by-768 pixel resolution and it sports TruLife technology, which basically means it’s glossy, with more glare but also more vivid colors thanks to that.
Rounding off the most important features of this system, let’s say it has a built-in DVD burner, full-size chiclet non-backlit keyboard with numeric pad, a fairly spacious trackpad with physical left- and right-click buttons, stereo speakers, web cam, Wi-Fi wireless and wired Ethernet LAN. Furthermore, there are four USB ports, whereas the majority of similar systems have three USBs, as well as HDMI output, and 8-in-1 media card reader. A VGA port is missing, so the laptop won’t be compatible with some older monitors and projectors with VGA but no HDMI. As an extra feature rarely found on the budget laptops, the I15RV-1952BLK has built-in Bluetooth 4.0, quite suitable for those who often tether their smartphones and other BT devices to the laptop.
We have no info on battery life, but given that it has a 4-cell battery combined with a power efficient ultra-low voltage processor, we assume it’ll last at least four hours.
Undoubtedly, if you’re on an extremely tight budget, this Best Buy’s Black Friday offer is worth of serious consideration. For under $200, you’ll hardly find any serious replacement for it. However, it makes sense to look further if you want some features not present on the I15RV-1952BLK, such as touch-screen. For budget-minded customers wanting it, Best Buy has prepared the 11.6 touch Asus X200CA-HCL1104G ultraportable for $250.
- 15.6″ display with 1366 x 768 resolution, TruLife / glossy
- Intel Celeron 1017U dual-core processor at 1.6GHz, 2MB cache
- Intel HD graphics
- 4GB DDR3 RAM, up to 8GB
- 320GB hard disk at 5400rpm
- DVD writer
- 1MP 720p webcam
- Stereo speakers
- Wireless-N Wi-Fi, Ethernet LAN, Bluetooth 4.0
- Full-size chiclet-style keyboard with numeric keypad, touchpad with multitouch support and physical mouse buttons
- Ports and Slots: 2 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0, HDMI-out, 8-in-1 card reader, audio jack
- 4-cell lithium-ion battery
- Dimensions: 1.0″ x 14.8″ x 10.2″
- Weight: 5.1 pounds
- Windows 8 operating system
- Warranty: 1-year