Updated March, 2019
The first price range in which we will look for the best laptop is the 400 dollar price bracket. Here we can’t really expect much of most laptops yet there are some models that really stand out on top of their competition both in terms of performance and reputation among users. One prime example to that is this 15 inch Dell Inspiron Core i3 gaming laptop.
The Dell Inspiron is a line of laptops that are very budget-oriented and the price cuts can sometimes be quite obvious. Nevertheless, these laptops deliver an overall good performance at a very low price, making them really desirable for people on a tighter budget such as students or younger kids. This particular model is perfect for light gaming and has enough processing and RAM power to push through most daily tasks with ease.
If you are interested in more expensive laptops that can handle a more demanding game, we suggest checking out our best gaming laptops reviews guide where we’ve reviewed 4 more models and have given countless of tips on how to choose the perfect laptop for your needs. Now, without further ado, let’s get into this.
Features That Make It Stand Out
Even though this model is now almost 2 years old it still dominates this price bracket as it was more than well-packed at the date of its release. This is usually how Dell makes their products – time proof. The combination of a 7th gen i3 with fast RAM memory and an SSD make this an ideal machine for games like:
- CS: GO
- League Of Legends
- GTA V
- World Of Warcraft
- Need For Speed (Until “Rivals”)
The bottleneck of this laptop is its graphics processing potential. It doesn’t have a dedicated GPU and therefore struggles with more visually demanding games such as the Battlefield and Call Of Duty series. Let’s take a look at each of the components individually now.
Powered by the 7th gen i3 processor by Intel core (7100U version) it can pack some serious computing power for games, document editing programs, or intensive web-browsing. This mobile processor has a 3MB cache and works at 2.4Ghz. This isn’t ideal by today’s standards but then again, you really can’t get anything better for the price of this laptop.
What is good here is that Dell have configured the elements of this laptop to work flawlessly with each other. A prime example for that is the fact that this processor works great with 2400Mhz RAM memory sticks, as we will discuss now.
The RAM memory here is 8GBs DDR4 @2400Mhz. This is one of the best features of this laptop and is what really makes it stand out from all the rest. Even the more expensive laptops we review have that same RAM configuration, which is insane considering that this laptop is almost twice as cheap as some of the others we’ve reviewed, and more than 100 dollars cheaper than models like the Lenovo IdeaPad.
There is no graphics card on this laptop. Instead, it uses the Intel HD graphics drivers from the intel core i3 chip. Those HD620 graphics are great for running most games today but don’t expect to be able to crank them at their highest settings without a significant FPS-drop or lag.
This is one of the places where Dell decided to cut and it can often be felt, especially from people who demand more from this laptop. If there was a graphics card here, expect the price to bump up at least a hundred dollars.
Still, this laptop supports an HDMI connection, which is rare for models that don’t even have a graphics card of their own. This will allow you to connect it to an external monitor. The lack of thunderbolt won’t allow you to plug in an external GPU, though.
Another place where this laptop really surprises us and all of its users is the fact that it doesn’t have an HDD hard drive but uses an SSD instead. The 128GB SSD hard drive here is more than enough to place your OS on it and a couple of large games to play at a time.
It is fast and increases the overall performance by a lot.
The display is clean, bright enough, and very sharp. It isn’t Full HD but is high-definition packing a 1366×768 resolution in its 15.6 inch screen size. It has a LED backlid meaning it will have true black colors and won’t be hard on the battery. That screen size is ideal for both gaming and media consumption.
Click here to get some of the best tips for beginner gamers.
Dimensions & Build Quality
For a 15 inch laptop, this model in particular isn’t very slim nor light but it is still just slightly above the industry’s average in terms of dimensions. The build quality is all right. Nothing too special about it as there is a little body flexing and you will have to use both hands when opening it. The keyboard is nice and clicky but it can be a bit too noisy at times. The track pad is using the latest Windows operating system precision drivers meaning it is accurate but feels small to the touch as a whole.
Now, let’s take a look at which are the strong and weak points of this Dell Inspiron…
Advantages & Disadvantages
- Very Cheap
- Best price-to-value ratio
- Good processor
- Very good RAM properties
- Can run most modern E-sports games
- Has a good amount of additional ports
- Screen is bright and sharp
- Comes with a card reader
- Doesn’t have a proprietary graphics card
- Will struggle with some visually intense game titles
- Construction isn’t of the highest quality
Conclusion & Rating
Product Rating Updated March, 2019:
For the price you are paying, this laptop is a bargain. It will allow you to play most of the modern online multiplayer games but won’t work for some of the more demanding ones. With a good processor, enough RAM, and a sharp LED display, it will be enough to satisfy the needs of people who are on a tighter budget. As a whole, we gave it five out of five stars rating just for being that much cheaper than other laptops with similar capabilities.