4.5 star rating

Dell Inspiron E1505 (dual-core) Review

$966.00
Pros: Good performance and battery life; Fast enough for 3D gaming; Robust instant-on functionality
Cons:   Bulky for screen size
The Verdict: This dual-core bargain is stylish, powerful, and media-savvy.

REVIEW

SPECIFICATIONS

If you don’t want your budget notebook to look like one, the Dell Inspiron E1505 is for you. Silver and black with white edging, the design is retro-future chic. And with its blazing performance, there’s a lot to like about this multimedia powerhouse.
 
The centerpiece of the nearly seven-pound unit is a gorgeous 15.4-inch glossy widescreen that delivered rich colors and nearly blur-free images during DVD playback. Add impressive sound quality from the built-in speakers and you’ll be putting the included Media Center Edition OS (which is upgradable to Windows Vista Home Premium for free) to good use for music, photos, and imported video. There’s also a multiformat DVD burner, so the only item on our multimedia wish list is an external TV tuner and remote for using the 80GB hard drive as a DVR (an $84 upgrade).
 
Dell MediaDirect enables E1505 owners to play multimedia files without booting into the OS. The Instant Office feature includes viewers for PowerPoint, Outlook, and Outlook Express that let you see a presentation or check your calendar or contacts without starting Windows. The screen’s 1280 x 800-pixel resolution will disappoint those who prefer a high-res panel, but we found working on it very easy on the eyes, and we didn’t have to strain to read smaller text.
 
The big screen allows room for a full-sized keyboard that was comfortable and quiet (no cost-cutting here). We also appreciate the oversized, near-silent mouse buttons that accompany the scroll-equipped touchpad. Handy multimedia control buttons are located on the E1505’s front edge, and the usual ports, including a 5-in-1 memory card reader are spread around the other edges.
 
Dell includes a 15-month antivirus subscription in the price, as well as its own QuickSet utility for accessing Wi-Fi, hotkey, display, and power-management options. The E1505 is also configured with PC Restore preloaded on the hard drive.
 
Performance from the 1.6-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T5500 CPU is good choice for a budget mainstream portable and performed the very well on five of the seven tests, with a score of 231 on MobileMark 2005. Battery life, at 4 hours and 51 minutes, is excellent for a mainstream notebook. The 128MB ATI Mobility Radeon X1300 graphics engine means you can even play 3D games. The E1505 delivered 85 fps on F.E.A.R., using autodetect settings. Although that was at lower resolution and with some eye-candy turned off, it’s more than we expected from a notebook in this price class.
 
The Dell Inspiron E1505 is truly a dual-core bargain, delivering a very satisfying multimedia experience at a very good price.
 
Don’t miss our comparison product roundup: Dual Core Notebooks Under $1000.

Tags: Dell Inspiron E1505 (dual-core), notebooks, reviews, laptops

Technical Specifications
Dell Inspiron E1505 (dual-core)
www.dell.com


The central processor unit, or CPU, is the brain of your notebook.
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CPU
1.6-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T5500
Operating SystemMS Windows XP Media Center
The amount of memory our reviewed configuration comes with.
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RAM
1GB
The maximum amount of memory this notebook supports.
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RAM Upgradable to
2GB
Amount of data your storage drive can hold.
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Hard Drive Size
80GB
The rotation speed of a mechanical hard drive.
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Hard Drive Speed
5,400rpm
Your notebook display is the primary viewing device for your laptop computer.
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Display Size
15.4
The number of pxiels (wxh) displayed on your screen at once.
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Native Resolution
1280x800
An optical drive allows you to play or record to DVDs, CDs, or Blu-ray discs.
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Optical Drive
DVD+/-RW/+R DL
The speed of the optical drive.
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Optical Drive Speed
8X
Graphics chips are responsible for processing all images sent to your computer’s display.
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Graphics Card
ATI Mobility Radeon X1300
The amount of memory available for graphics processing.
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Video Memory
128MB
Wi-Fi connects you to a router or hotspot for wireless Internet access.
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Wi-Fi
802.11b/g
Ports allow you to connect to external devices such as monitors, printers, MP3 players, and hard drivse.
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Ports (excluding USB)
Ethernet; Firewire; Microphone; Modem; S-Video; VGA
USB ports allow you to connect many external devices, from MP3 players to external hard drives.
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USB Ports
4
Card readers allow you to plug memory and expansion cards directly into a notebook.
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Card Slots
5-1 card reader; ExpressCard
Warranty/SupportOne year limited warranty/mail-inservice/hardware warranty support
Size14 x 10.5 x 1.4
Weight7.2 pounds
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