The Dell Inspiron N4010 is an entry-level laptop in terms of hardware, performance and functionality, but, in terms of aesthetics, this one is a head turner for sure. As a matter of fact, it’s the aesthetics and overall design that make it a total winner. What’s most exciting is the price, it retails for about Rs 35,800.
Both the models, the 14R and the 15R enjoy the same privilege, aesthetics, they look truly stunning, and certainly appear to be worth more than what they’re priced at. While there are various colors to choose from, our test unit (N4010) has a gun metal brush finish (Dell calls it the Obsidian Black) on the lid and the wrist rest. The lid is of a darker color and the wrist rest is light, and both surfaces have fine horizontal lines giving the machine an all-metallic stylish look. However, there’s a major downside, or is there? The entire unit is glossy, which is turning the laptop into a finger print magnet.
Usually it’s the Dell Studios and XPSs that boast rock solid build quality, but it seems the Inspirons are following the trail. So much so, that this machine’s ruggedness can be compared to that of the Acer Aspire 4740 and 5740 series of laptops, except that the Aspires have a matte finish. With a solid chassis, stable screen, and very good hinges, there’s almost nothing to complain about the N4010. Another plus point is the ergonomics; it was like typing on a regular desktop keyboard. So the only matter of concern is the overly glossy body.
When it comes to hardware and features, there’s nothing extraordinary about this machine, except that, it features 4 GB RAM and a 500 GB hard drive, a combination that’s uncommon in laptops priced similarly. Though it doesn’t brag in the features department, it still has everything that makes a well equipped entry-level laptop for home and office use. In fact, even business people and professionals who want entry-level performance on the move may go for it. Also, a 2.4 Kg laptop is rather convenient to carry for long hauls.
With an Intel HM55 chipset, the N4010 runs off a Core i3-330 CPU, and with sufficient memory and ample room for office documents and multimedia content, there’s nothing lacking, well almost nothing. The 14-inch glossy screen (1366x768) with onboard Intel graphics should suffice for light multimedia and office work. At this price, we’re not considering the absence of discrete graphics a downside, but it would have been great to have a dedicated GPU. Nevertheless, the N5010 features a discrete ATI Radeon HD 5470, has a larger screen and is only slightly more expensive. (37,800).
The N4010 has three USB and an eSATA/USB combo port, and the display options include VGA and HDMI. Connectivity options are 10/100 Ethernet, Wi-Fi N and Bluetooth. Finally the machine comes pre-loaded with Windows 7 Home Basic (64-bit).
The performance of N4010 and the N5010 is almost the same, mainly in terms of processing power. In fact, this machine can be compared with any other laptop which performs well with an Intel Core i3-330 CPU. However, while using heavy applications, you’ll notice how the additional RAM is beneficial. And ofcourse, the N5010 will be better at GPU-intensive tasks. Take a look at the benchmarks and the scores of both the laptops are almost the same.
A rung higher
The Inspiron N5010 has a very similar feature set. Powered by the same processor, same amount of RAM, 320 GB hard drive, it’s practically the same machine in terms of hardware and features. By paying a couple of thousand rupees extra, what you do get, is larger screen estate, discrete graphics, Windows 7 Home Premium (as opposed to Home Basic), Gigabit Ethernet and an additional USB port. However this 15-inch variant is considerably heavier (it weighs 3 Kg) than the 14-inch one. Also it cost Rs 37,800. So essentially, if you’re looking for a desktop replacement for your home or office, which looks identical to the 14-inch version, pick the N5010.
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