I have had this laptop for a little over a month now and I am thinking I have close to nothing to complain about but that is not to say that Dell has finally won me over after a miserable incidence with the Dell 5030. It’s something I love to mention every time because I didn’t use it up to 3-days before it died on me. However, that’s pretty an old product and I saw one of Dell’s rep commenting in the company’s defense in an article I had attempted to solve Dell’s problem.
Dell Inspiron 15-3521 looks really attractive for a personal computer and one of the strengths I have come to love about this device is that it is thinner and lighter than most other computers within the same specs rage. It comes with a pleasing surface pattern which generally makes the laptop scratch-proof and provides a better grip.
Moving away from glossy chassis seems to be a good decision. Glossy casing could be love at first sight, but after usage for a few months, it becomes really unpleasant. So the haptic pattern of the Dell Inspiron 15-3521 definitely earned the PC a nice score.
Dell decided to use the low-voltage processor Core i3-3227U which is typically found in inexpensive ultrabooks. Performance still look decent for users whose main interest would be just about browsing the internet, watching movies as well as using a few productivity programs. 4GB of DDR3 memory is available to the PC right out of the box and effectively runs Windows 8.1. If you think you need additional RAM, you can easily upgrade to 8 GB. The hard drive and main memory is located at the bottom of the PC, you only need to open the maintenance hatch, and these components would be revealed. What’s difficult is accessing the fan for cleaning purposes.
|A:||Intel Core i3-3227U Dual Core Mobile Processor|
|B:||4 GB PC3-12800 DDR3 Memory|
|C:||500 GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive|
|D:||Dual Layer DVD+/-RW Burner|
|E:||15.6″ WXGA (1366×768) Display With 1.0 Megapixel Webcam|
|F:||Intel HD Graphics 4000 Integrated Graphics|
|G:||Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth|
|H:||Two USB 3.0, Two USB 2.0, HDMI, 6-in-1 Card Reader|
|I:||14.8″ x 10.2″ x 1.0″ @ 5 lbs|
You have a decent primary storage, providing you with 500 GB storage capacity to store your media files, data and application. This looks impressive for a low cost PC, it also comes with four USB ports, the first two USB ports on the left section of the PC, right before the network port are USB 3.0 for use with high speed external drives while the last USB port as well as the only USB port on the right section of the PC are USB 2.0. The system also comes with a dual layer DVD burner for playback and recording of CD and DVD.
Graphically, the system sees an upgrade from Intel HD Graphics 3000 to 4000. This enhances the 3D performance but it’s still mediocre for a gaming. Games demanding enormous resources will quickly make the system look like a joke, unless you are gaming in casual mode with low resolution and detail levels. The display is 15.6 inch TN panel offering a 1366×768 native resolution. The result is a low pixel density of 100 dpi. This is common to all low cost notebooks.
Dell Inspiron 15-3521 has a decent battery life, like most other low cost notebooks. It utilizes the four cell 40WHr unit battery. This should give you a little above four hours of battery usage. However, most people who purchased from Konga, seem to have been gifted with the six cell 48 WHr battery capacity, which should give you seven hours of battery life when tested with video playback.
The system is normally priced under $450 [N70,000]. This makes it extremely affordable in comparison to other notebooks in the same specs range. Dell Inspiron 15-3521 primary competition is Acer’s Aspire E1 and the ASUS X55C.
Verdict:Dell Inspiron 15-3521 Notebook has a pretty good performance. It is extremely affordable, thinner and lighter than most low cost notebooks with similar build. The haptic chassis gives the system a nice rough pattern as well as firm grip. Value for money.