Dell Inspiron i3542-5000BK 3000 Series 15.6-Inch Touchscreen Laptop Review

Dell Inspiron i3542-5000BK 3000 Series 15.6-Inch Touchscreen Laptop Review

Dell Inspiron 3000 i3542-5000BK (6003BK)
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Dell Inspiron i3542-5000BK, also known as the i3542-6003BK is a 3000 series versatile 15.6 inch touchscreen notebook that promises good entertainment and multimedia experience with decent features at a reasonable price. It is an entry level model with mid-range features for performing daily tasks efficiently with its Haswell i3 processor, including editing photos and videos and surfing the net- basically anything except for complex multimedia and the most recent games.

Dell Inspiron comes with the 4th generation Intel Core i3-4030U processor (3M Cache) clocked at 1.9GHz speed, 4GB (1x4GB) Single Channel DDR3 RAM at 1600MHz to multitask easily, 500 GB SATA hard drive at 5400rpm as more than adequate storage space for photos, songs and music and fast read/write times and 64-bit English Windows 8.1. Intel i3-4030U is a very low voltage processor with a Thermal Design Power of 15 watts and was released in the second quarter of 2014. It doesn’t have the Turbo Boost function and the speed is clocked at 1.9GHz but comes with hyper-threading to use two cores for 4-way smart processing and to utilise the CPU better for good performance overall.

Spacious 15.6 inch LED backlit 10-finger capacitive touch display (capacitive is more natural and responsive than the optical touch that uses cameras in the bezel) and allowing multiple users to share the screen, with 1366 x 768 maximum pixel resolution and Intel HD 4400 integrated graphics offer clear and sharp images with vibrant colours for photos, videos or games- Intel HD 4400 graphics is between Intel HD 4000 and 4600 in terms of performance and somewhat equivalent to the Radeon HD 7550M dedicated card. Sound performance is satisfactory with the HD Audio enhanced with Wave MaxxAudio and dual speakers and includes a combo headphone / microphone jack. Webcam is a 720p high definition one with a built-in microphone for easy trouble-free live chats on Skype.

Dell Inspiron i3542-5000BK 3000 Series 15.6-Inch Touchscreen Laptop Review
Sleek and compact Dell Inspiron weighs 4.8 pounds with measurements of 15 x 10 x 1 inches (source:Dell website). You get an average of over 5 hours battery life on a single charge from its 40 WHr, 4-Cell lithium ion battery. The English keyboard is not backlit but spill-resistant (according to manufacturer’s website) for when spillage accidents happen and has a 10-key numerical keypad for faster figuring. Connectivity options are Dell Wireless-N 1705 802.11bgn, Bluetooth 4.0 tied to wireless card, Gigabit Ethernet with RJ-45 connectivity, 2 x USB 2.0 ports, 1 x USB 3.0 port to transfer data to external devices, Tray Load DVD drive to load software, play videos and archive files, Media Card (SD, SDHC, SDXC) to transfer from external devices such as cameras, FastAccess Facial Recognition, an HDMI port, a VGA port, Kensington security lock, a HD webcam with a built-in microphone.

Conclusion: Dell Inspiron 3000 series i3542-5000BK (6003BK) seems to offer quite a bit for how much it costs, including long enough battery life- having a Haswell processor with a low TDP, decent performance power for multimedia- entertainment and office- work purposes and most programs and apps except for 3D games and the very demanding stuff, adequate storage space and memory for most computer users. As negatives, touchpad seems to be a little tricky or awkward according to a couple of customers- they don’t find it to be very responsive and it would have been nicer to have more USB 3.0 ports (one of the USB 2.0s could be replaced by a USB 3.0). It comes with a 12 month Mail-In Warranty if you need it within a year and good customer support by Dell. It is great for those on a budget, including students and home office workers, as one of the best options for its price offering solid value for money.

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