Dell Inspiron 157000 Review (2014)

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Review model:

Operating System: Windows 8.1 Pro

System Type: 64-bit

Hard Drive: 1TB hybrid drive (5400 RPM)

Ram: 16GB

CPU: Intel Core i7 2.00GHz

GPU: Nivida GeForce GT 750M

Video Memory: 2.0GB

Laptops are becoming more ubiquitous in the modern world. For many people, purchasing the right laptop can be a steep hill to climb. Many factors come into a person’s mindset when looking for the right laptop, and some need a laptop to meet their multimedia and work demands at a reasonable price, others want great performance for PC gaming without breaking their wallets.

The Inspiron 157000 is an Ultrabook laptop, a specific class of laptops with slim body’s and long battery life. Ultrabooks are normally not suited for PC gaming, but the Inspiron 157000 is a unique creation of the Ultrabook class. It comes with a optional Nivida GeForce GT 750M GPU, a mid range class 2 graphics card able to play most modern PC games at modest quality settings in full HD resolution. (1920×1080)

This makes the Inspiron not only powerful in multimedia thanks to its hybrid hard drive and excellent 16GB Ram, it is also a strong contender as a modest gaming laptop, able to play 3-D games such as Tomb Raider 2013 and Deus Ex Human Revolution once optimize on the GeForce Experience, an optimisation program that comes with the GT 750M. However PC games such as Evolve, Dragon Age Inquisition and Metro Last Light are too powerful for the 750M to handle, even when optimized on GeForce Experience.

The Inspiron 157000 laptop is a fantastic laptop for everyday life with an impressive 6 hour extended battery life, and a convincing choice for PC gamers who need a decent laptop without having to pay obscene amounts of money. $1900 is expensive in general for a laptop, but when most quality gaming laptops have ridiculous prices of $2500 and all the way up to the MSI GT80 Titan SLI’s money sucking $6300 price tag, $1900 suddenly looks like great value for a laptop with mid range gaming capacity.

 Design

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With a 15.6 inch display, aluminium build, spacious keyboard, 4 3.0 USB Ports, HDMI Input, and a plethora of Multi-media Card Readers the Inspiron 157000 is a slick looking laptop that feels solid to the touch. But two design elements stand out the most.

1080P Display

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The LED Back-lit Touch Display is a gorgeous screen that shows vivid colours with hardly any pixilated patches,making it great for watching movies online along with browsing images, but is very reflective and hard to see in sunlight. It is also a touch screen that works great for both the desktop and Windows 8 UI. However having both the keyboard and touch screen turned on proves exceptionally difficult, and a system refresh might be needed to have them both turned on, but this is not a good solution as a system refresh removes all programs from the laptop, including the Nivida GeForce, one of the  Inspiron’s best features.

The touch screen is a complementary to the navigation experience, and navigation is just as smooth with the traditional mouse and keyboard.

HDMIinput = Display on TV

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Depending on what specific modal the consumer chooses, the Inspiron will not have a DVD drive, but to make up for that a HDMI will allow the 1080P display to be shown on a TV. Not only will the TV screen bring out the best in the laptop’s display, but one can watch movies and TV shows online if not yet released on DVD.

 The keyboard is spacious and has a back light for dark environments, but the mouse pad has woeful click pads that often lead to accidental inputs, and it is best to get a wireless mouse as soon as possible.

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The laptop has 4 3.0 USB ports along with a card reader which is very useful for people with a lot of media workload.

SD card, Multi Media Card on the right

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Charger, two USB 3.0 Ports on the left

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All these qualities make the Inspiron a well-designed laptop with a secure weight that comes only in sliver grey.

User Interface

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The Inspiron 157000 comes with Windows 8.1 Pro, with two Interfaces, the desktop and Windows 8.1 UI. The Windows UI is an elegant interface with a user’s favourite applications ready for easy access with simple drag and size options for organisation. The desktop is the same familiar interface of the beloved Windows 7 and where most of the laptop management takes place.

 These two interfaces can work together to solve issues that would irritate users of Windows 7. If an application has made a glitch in which the user can’t access the desktop, they can press the Windows button to open the Windows UI, open Google Chrome and bring up the Desktop’s apps on the bottom right and close the affected application stopping the glitch. The union between the interfaces creates a smooth navigation experience, visually impressing onlookers and blitzing through office work.

Features

GeForce Interface

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For PC gamers, the Inspiron’s killer app is the Nivida GeForce Experience. This program allows users to easily optimise their games for the best player experience. In games like Dota 2, the default resolution makes text impossible to read and graphics blurry, but once optimized on the GeForce, presentation significantly improved.The only unfortunate aspect is that the program as of the 2nd January 2015 supports only 214 titles. http://www.geforce.com/geforce-experience/supported-games

While a broad range of games are GeForce supported, it’s unfortunate that it isn’t a universal  game optimisation program. The program also has features like Shadow Play for recording gameplay and FPS that require more powerful Nivida GPU’s to work, which the Inspiron cannot use because it’s  GPU isn’t powerful enough to use this feature.

My Dell Interface

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All Inspiron 157000 models come with My Dell. My Dell performs checkups and backups on the laptop and sort out performance issues and backup computer files on a USB. It also offers cloud storage for the users files, and is a handy back up option. There’s also Onedrive, a free cloud storage service that comes with Microsoft Office, so users can rest easy knowing the Inspiron offers plenty of back up options should something ever go wrong with the laptop.

Performance

With 16GB’s of RAM and 1TB storage, the Inspiron is highly capable in internet browsing and media storage, easily handling a plethora of tasks without any hiccups.

In the realm of PC gaming, the Nivida GeForce GT 750M with 2.0 GB of video memory makes the Inspiron excel in 3-D gaming when setting are optimised on GeForce Experience, as optimisation is tailored to what the user’s PC can handle. It will also handle less powerful 3-D games like Team Fortress 2 with ease.

Tomb Raider 2013 Benchmark (In game benchmark)

FPS (Frames Per Second)

min: 32FPS

max: 52FPS

Average: 40.6

Settings:(Optimized on Nivida GeForce Experience)

Anti-aliasing: Off

Depth of Field: Ultra

Hair Quality: Normal

High Precision: On

Detail: Normal

Post-processing: Off

Reflections: High

Resolution: 1920×1080

Shadow Resolution: High

Shadows: Normal

SSAO: Ultra

Tessellation: Off

Texture Filter: Anisotropic 16X

Texture Quality: Ultra

  Value

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For $1900, the buyer is getting a commendable gaming laptop that will play lesser 3-D games at smooth frames rates, with a number of advanced 3-D games being modestly playable once optimised on GeForce Experience. If the user’s gaming interest resides in 2-D and less intense 3-D games like Shantae and TF2, they will be getting their money’s worth with the Inspiron.

But the true quality of the Inspiron lies in being a powerful laptop for universal computer use in work, media and video production thanks to its excellent specifications and potential when users explore its capacity in media programs and gaming. The two issues with the laptop are of a touch display that is hard to turn on and off, and the mouse pad is of poor quality and users will need a wireless mouse to effectively navigate windows without keyboard control.

Overall, the Inspiron 157000’s high quality specifications, slick design and good gaming capacity will satisfy and delight many consumers. PC gamers won’t choose this laptop for high end gaming, but its specification qualities shall make mid range gamers content, as well as allowing them to venture into creative pursuits.

Summation

 My first laptop review took longer than I expected. My initial thoughts with the Inspiron was that it was not able to play 3-D games like Far Cry 3 because of their advanced graphics, but after playing Tomb Raider 2013, my thoughts changed when the game looked and performed wonderfully. I also feel that my review lacks any detail on the internet experience. People reading this review should know that it’s based on the 157537 model, not the 157000 model, but the 157000 modal has a faster CPU at 3.1GHz and retains most of the 157537’s specifications, but the Nivida GeForce Experience is OPTIONAL, so make such your clear with the Dell website that you want the Nivida GeForce.

Once again, feedback is greatly apprenticed, and don’t be afraid to point out an inaccurate detail.

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