The Dell I3565-A453BLK-PUS is an inexpensive 15-inch laptop that offers good AMD A6 processing power and good battery life at a price that will impress students and home-office buyers on a tight budget.
PROS: Very inexpensive. Good battery life. Slim profile.
CONS: Low-res screen. Slow hard drive.
When buying a budget laptop, it’s always about accepting a few sacrifices, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for a boring, clunky system, with a dated design and lean features. With the Dell I3565-A453BLK-PUS, you get good performance in a narrow, textured 15-inch chassis for just under $400. Granted, it uses the entry-level version of AMD’s A6 architecture and the screen can’t display full HD (1080p), but if all you want is a functional laptop for emailing, surfing the Web, and light home-office tasks, this value is hard to beat.
The Inspiron looks like most budget notebooks, but it doesn’t feel cheap at all. Measuring only 0.9-inch thick, its thinner than both the Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM (1.19 inches) and the HP Pavilion J9148A (1.7 inches). At 5.07 pounds, it isn’t the lightest notebook around, but its way lighter that most behemoth in the same category. The lid sports a textured black finish with a shiny Dell logo inscribed in the center.
The keyboard deck is cut from the same textured finish as the lid. It’s a matte finish, automatically it will pick fingerprints here and there, but not worse as a high-gloss finish does. It comes with a firm, full-size keyboard that has nice travel, and you don’t expect backlighting at this price range. Amazingly, it has a numeric keypad on the right, and a slightly recessed multi-gesture touchpad. The touchpad has a smooth surface and seamlessly responds to swipe, pinch and zoom inputs.
The 15-inch display has a 1,366-by-768 resolution which, means you won’t be watching your music in full HD (1080p) instead, you’ll do with 720p HD content. The screen doesn’t support touch, but again, you’ll take months finding a notebook in this price range offering either of these features, let alone both –unless you opt for a knock off refurbish. Still, the display is fairly bright and delivers good color quality, although viewing angles are extremely narrow.
Despite being at the lower cadre of budget laptops, the Inspiron I3565 offers decent connectivity options, including two USB 3.1 ports, a single USB 2.0 port, HDMI video output, a LAN port and a headphone jack. There’s also an SD card reader on the front panel and a 1-Megapixel webcam on the upper bezel. Wireless connectivity comes via 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 combo.
The Dell I3565-A453BLK-PUS uses last year’s AMD Dual-Core A6-9200 (2.5GHz) processor, AMD Radeon R4 graphics, 4GB of system memory and 500GB (5,400RPM) hard drive. The hard drive is the slower version, but we didn’t expect a faster SSD for this price, not even a 7,200RPM storage drive. The AMD A6 performs pretty much as it should, trailing the faster Intel Core i3-7100U equipped Acer Aspire E15, but it’s better alternative to Intel Celeron notebooks like the ASUS VivoBook E203NA-YS03, that uses a slower Intel Celeron N3350 processor.
Graphics performance is just fine for simple tasks, since the AMD Radeon R4 solution can’t handle any complex graphics tasks but can suffice for simple projects and media consumption. If you’re planning on play the latest games, be prepared to shell out a few more bucks for a notebook with a powerful graphics solution.
The Dell I3565-A453BLK-PUS’s 4-cell lithium-ion battery lasts 4 hours 39 minutes on our battery rundown test, which is impressive for a 15-inch budget desktop-replacement laptop. In fact, it does beat competitors in the same price range, some don’t even manage to beat the 3-hour mark. The AMD-powered laptop gets an edge here.
Dell I3565-A453BLK-PUS: Bottom Line
With the Dell I3565-A453BLK-PUS, all you’re getting is a capable 15-inch laptop for basic daily use at an amazingly low price. Granted, it doesn’t have the latest chip and lacks touch-screen capabilities, but its better than chromebooks that can be had for the same amount and, it has enough horsepower to handle the basics. For students or anyone looking for an inexpensive home office computing solution, it’s a nice spot to start.