Dell Inspiron 15z Ultrabook Review

  • price

    ₹74,990.00

  • tech2 rating

    3.2/5

  • user rating

    4.5/5

Today, we have with us Dell’s latest addition to the Inspiron z family. The Inspiron 15z,  which was launched early last month, is designed to give you an Ultrabook experience on a budget and without having to compromise on some of the basic features of a notebook. Dell sent us its fully spec’d out Inspiron 15z, which isn’t exactly light on the wallet. Let’s see how it manages to justify this price tag.

Design and build
The Inspiron 15z is similar to the notebooks in the series and features the same matt silver and grey finish. The notebook is fairly slim for a 15-incher with a depth of just 21 mm. With a weight of around 2.17 kg, it’s not as heavy as we expected it to be. The chassis is made up mostly of plastic in order to cut costs and that’s where we ran into a small issue. Although the notebook looks sturdy, the build quality isn’t very reassuring. For example, the seal around the edge of the lid kept opening up, exposing the panel. In case you were wondering, this was a brand new piece, and no, we hadn’t dropped it.

caption

Nice design

 

For connectivity, we have a total of four USB 3.0 ports, a memory card reader, DVD drive, LAN jack, HDMI and a headphone and microphone combo jack. Even though Dell calls this an Ultrabook, you don’t compromise on ports, which is a good thing. Even though this is a 15-inch notebook, you don’t get a full-sized keyboard. You do, however, get backlit keys that are comfortable to type on even for long durations. Overall, the notebook feels quite slim and compact for a 15-incher, although we weren’t completely thrilled about the build quality.

Features
The fully spec’d out 15z that we received consists of an Intel Core i7-3537U, a dual-core multithreaded CPU running at 2GHz and the ability to turbo up to 3.1GHz. You also get 8GB of RAM, 500GB hard drive along with a 32GB SSD for IRST. For graphics, we have a dedicated Nvidia GT630M with 2GB of dedicated graphics. This version of the 15z also has a multi-touch panel, but it’s not a very good one. The trouble is not with the panel itself but more with the resolution and colour reproduction. At just 1366 x 768, everything appears bloated and huge, and Modern UI in regular desktop mode is not the easiest to use. We also don’t really see the point of touchscreen on this form factor as there’s no way to swivel or adjust the screen in order to use the touchscreen comfortably.

caption

Good set of connectors

 

Performance
The Inspiron 15z puts up a good show when pitted against high-end Ultrabooks like the Acer Aspire S7. Acer manages to maintain its lead due to its dual SSD in RAID configuration. The Inspiron 15z redeems itself in the graphics test where the Nvidia discrete card gets to flex its muscles.

 

 

Dell Inspiron 15z

Acer Aspire S7 MS2363

PC Mark 7 (Higher is better)

 

 

Overall

4203

4880

Lightweight

2376

3363

Productivity

1756

2392

Creativity

7546

9626

Entertainment

3242

3293

3DMark Vantage - Entry (Higher is better)

 

 

Overall

13203

9988

GPU

18504

10447

CPU

7100

8825

CineBench R11.5 (multi-core)

2.01

2.7

Real World Tests(Lower is better)

 

 

File compression: 100MB files to 7zip @ultra, 256-bit encry

69

73

Video encoding: 1 min MPEG to x.264 MPEG-4 (2nd pass)

57

62

Ray tracing: POVRay (800x600 AA 0.3)

39

40

CrystalDiskMark (Higher is better)

 

 

Sequential read MB/s

277

907.8

Sequential write MB/s

57.5

701.1

4k read MB/s

17.5

19.7

4k write MB/s

1.12

159.4

The keyboard is incredibly comfortable to type on even for extended durations and the backlight helps in dimly lit rooms. The trackpad functions well and the same goes for the mouse buttons as well. The SkullCandy speakers face outwards and manage to produce good sound that’s loud and has decent definition. The low resolution screen is a bit of a problem as images and text are not sharp; the colour reproduction also could have been a lot better. 

caption

Backlit keys work well

 

Battery life
The 44WHr 6-cell battery manages to last about 2 hours in Battery Eater Pro, which means you should get about 4-5 hours under normal usage. The discrete card also features Nvdia’s Optimus technology, so it can dynamically switch between the onboard and discrete card when the need arises.

Verdict and Price in India
The flagship version of the Dell Inspiron 15z will set you back Rs 74,990, plus taxes. This makes it quite expensive for an Inspiron, which were originally supposed to be budget-oriented notebooks. The high-end model then really doesn’t make much practical sense since you’ll seldom use the touchscreen. We weren’t very impressed with the build quality either. Overall, the Inspiron 15z is a decent buy if you pick the one that costs around Rs 50,000, but any configuration above that is not worth the premium.


Specifications

Meet the powerful Inspiron 15z Ultrabook with up to 3rd Gen Intel Core i7 processor, Window 8, 39.6 cm (15.6) display, backlit keyboard and built-in DVD drive. Boost interactivity by adding the optional touch screen. With 3rd Gen Intel Core processors and the performance-enhancing features of Windows 8, the Inspiron 15z Ultrabook is as powerful as it is portable. And, the Intel Rapid Start Technology means your Inspiron 15z rapidly wakes up from sleep mode. Experience hands-on interactivity with the Inspiron 15z's touch functionality.3 The things you do with a mouse and keyboard are more intuitive with touch. Access your email and favorite websites, view and edit your pictures and movies, and switch between apps, all with the touch of your fingers on the resilient edge-to-edge Corning Gorilla glass display. Turn any room into an entertainment center. Optional 2GB NVIDIA performance graphics,4 built-in Skullcandy speakers and DVD drive bring your favorite movies, music and games to life.

Processor Description

Processor Intel Core i7-3537U
Speed 3.1 GHz
Cache 4MB

Memory

RAM 8GB
Type DDR3
Speed 1600 MHz
Memory Slots 2

Hard Drive

Inbuilt HDD 500GB + 32GB SSD
Speed (RPM) 5400
Format 2.5 inch

Display Features

Screen Size 15.6 inches
Maximum Display Resolution 1366 x 768
Panel Type LED Backlit Display with Touch and HD

Chipset

GPU Model NVIDIA GeForce GT630M
GPU Memory (shared) 2GB

Networking

Ethernet Port (Nos) 1
Ethernet Type 10/100/1000
WiFi Type 802.11b/g/n

Audio

Speakers Stereo Speakers
Sound Technologies Waves MaxxAudio 4.0

Connectivity

USB 3.0 ports 4
Bluetooth 4.0
Built-in Camera Yes
Microphone Yes
Digital Media Reader SD, SDXC, SDHC, MS, MS-Pro, MSXC, MMC, MMC+

Battery

Battery (Type) Li-Ion
Battery Life 4 Hrs
Battery Cell 6 Cell

Operating System

OS Windows 8

Dimensions

Dimensions (W x D x H) 382 x 250 x 21 mm
Weight 2.17 Kg

After Sales Service

Warranty Period 1 Year

Price

Warranty Period 1 Year

Published Date: Mar 04, 2013 06:29 pm | Updated Date: Mar 04, 2013 06:29 pm