The Dell Inspiron i5577-7359BLK-PUS can play modern titles in full HD, can suffice for daily productivity, boasts good battery life and is very reasonably priced. If shopping for a budget gaming laptop with the right features, the Inspiron 15 is a deal that is hard to pass.
- EDITORS RATING
PROS: Very reasonably priced for a gaming laptop. Smooth 1080p gaming. Attractive design.
CONS: Display is a bit subpar. Would do with a USB Type C port.
When I reviewed the Dell 15.6-Inch Gaming Laptop (I7559-763BLK) in 2016, it was the most powerful and reasonably priced laptop that easily earned our Editors’ Choice award for budget gaming laptops. Now enter the Dell Inspiron 15 (i5577-7359BLK-PUS) $859.99 at Amazon , successor to last year’s model, boasting even better gaming performance on all but the highest settings with its full HD display and discrete Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card. And, it has an all-round aptitude that allows it to perform daily work and media tasks, when you’re not playing. The Acer Predator Helios 300 (G3-571-77QK) $1,049.99 at Amazon , our Editors’ Choice, sits at the very top of the price for the category, and does offer a significant increase in gaming performance for the price. But if you want to play and work at the same time, the Inspiron i5577 is our top pick for entry-level gaming laptops worth having in your short list.
A Familiar Look
Having an all-metal premium build wasn’t ever in the card for the Inspiron 15 5000 Series –especially at this price range, but Dell managed to craft a pleasing design, without taking the cost high. The Inspiron 15 comes in a black body with red and accents and logo. The body is all plastic, but it has a soft finish on the lid and a generally sturdy body that prevent it from feeling cheap. As a whole, this simple but stylish design is more preferable to, say, the Acer Aspire VX 15 $999.00 at Amazon , which comes off screaming gamer and boxy despite the solid gaming performance.
Measuring 1 by 15.7 by 10.42 inches (HWD) and 5.7 pounds, it strikes me as relatively slim and light, which is very reasonable for a gaming laptop. Last year’s model was slightly trimmer (1.0 by 15.1 by 10.4 inches), but all you getting is essentially the same size and looks, with improved performance. For a 15-incher, it is portable enough that you won’t scream at the prospect of carrying it around. While it’s slim, there exist more compact 15-inch laptops out there, though the 14-inch Razer Blade is an ultimate example of what’s possible when manufacturers decide to slim things here-and-there, but it comes with a price tag.
Bright Screen, Spacious Storage
The 15.6-inch screen of the Dell Inspiron 15 comes with all the bells and whistles: IPS display (superior to cheap TN panels in terms of colors and viewing angles), anti-glare coating and FHD (1920-by-1080) resolution. Touch is not supported, but for gaming purposes such a display should be very decent at least. A 1280×720 webcam makes for a few moments of filming videos or chat with your friends on Skype, with Waves Maxx Audio Pro for clear sound output.
The keyboard is backlit with white light, which is a walk from the red lighting in most gaming laptops. Not all laptops in this category include backlighting, but it’s generally a nice feature to have. The keys themselves are of good quality, though with, rather, short key travel. The touchpad has a smooth fee; and sturdy, though its positioning is slightly offset to the left.
Connectivity is excellent. The system comes with three USB 3.0 ports, HDMI-out is also present, although DisplayPort is missing which is quite a drawback, and might upset some hardcore gamers. Optical drive isn’t something you find here either; if you need to install games from discs you’d better get an external DVD drive. Wireless connectivity comes via 802.11 A/C + Bluetooth 4.2 adapter; wired connectivity comes via an RJ-45 port.
Unfortunately, at this price something has to give, and in this case, sadly it’s the connectivity. Truly, it isn’t that bad to be a deal breaker, but it’s the only aspect in this system that would give me a pause. Having a 1,920-by-1,080 resolution is a good choice, as it looks sharp and games will definitely run smoothly while running hardware at 1080p –but expect the picture to be not-so-crisp and viewing angles to suffer, since it uses a Twisted Nematic (TN) panel rather than AN In-Plane Switching (IPS) screen.
You have no excuse to complain of not finding more bang for your buck than the Inspiron 15’s Intel Core i7-7700HQ CPU, 8GB of memory and 4GB of Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1050 at this price. It is the prime choice for general productivity and multitasking, with more than adequate gaming prowess. As the year begun, we’ve seen Intel’s Kaby Lake processor and Nvidia’s Pascal GPUs outfitted in laptops and desktops with very good performance benchmarks.
Currently, it is possible to get hold of beefier systems in the same line with an edge over the Inspiron 15, but they can be pricier, afterall it’s not a world of difference for daily productivity like web browsing, word processing or enthusiast-level photo editing. Inside, the storage is both speedy and spacious, thanks to a 128GB solid-state drive (SSD) which is better than the slower hard drives, and an additional 1TB 5400 RPM hard drive for storing all your downloads and files.
Given that Nvidia’s Pascal architecture is fairly new, a number of entry-level gaming laptops are getting the GTX 1050 and 1050 Ti graphics cards. On the game grid, these cards do crunch numbers on most modern games, albeit at medium-quality (1,366 by 768 resolution) settings, although you can still do 1080p at reduced frames per second (FPS), which doesn’t deliver much eye candy.
Still, you’ll be able to get the system to play at native resolution that will involve some tweaking with antialiasing and quality settings. Generally, the Inspiron 15 can run modern games on all but the highest settings, which is good for an entry-level gaming laptop, hanging closely with more expensive laptops.
On battery life, the Inspiron will give you around 7 hours 38 minutes. That’s remarkably longer that competitors like the Acer VX 15 (5:28) among others. Machines with better graphics performance, such as the Asus ROG (G752VT-DH72) Check on Amazon at Amazon and the Origin EON15-X, only last a little more than 2 hours given their processing power combined with large, hi-res screens sucking up power.
Bang for Your Buck
While the Dell Inspiron i5577-7359BLK-PUS $859.99 at Amazon isn’t one with the most powerful components around, it impressively combines build quality, performance and battery life, setting a new bar. It’s well-designed, offers a good mix of ports, and packs the newest graphics technology, all while staying reasonably affordable. The display is the weak spot, but I don’t think it’s a deal-breaker, period. If you’re shopping on a budget but hunting for a machine that can cruise new games, it’s certainly tough to beat this value, making the Dell Inspiron i5577 an easy choice to recommend for inexpensive gaming laptops.