But to describe the 5000 series in a table above is a bit constraining. The 5000 series includes 13” and 14” 2-in-1s, 15” and 17” Intel laptops, and 15” AMD laptops. All offer great value.
The first impression
The Dell Inspiron 15.6” 5000 won’t win a beauty contest – a large platinum silver slab with a huge front palm rest and oversized touchpad. While the case looks like metal, it is injection moulded plastic to keep costs in check.
For the price, it is a whole lot of laptop at 380 x 258 x 22.7mm and 2.2kg.
It is a typical Windows 10 setup. You can read more about that
in the Dell Inspiron 27” All-in-one review here.
Be prepared to download more than 4GB of updates (mainly
Windows) and invest a couple of hours in getting it up to date. Dell provides a
Support/Assist app that handles hardware updates and can run a series of tests
to see if it is in peak condition.
It is a 15.6” FHD (1920 x 1080) low-glare (matte) LED screen.
We measured brightness at 150 nits and contrast ratio of 300:1. It’s a little darker
than some competitors but fine for a well-lit
office where you will run it at 100% brightness most of the time. It is not
good under direct sunlight.
There was no annoying backlit bleed from the bottom bezel,
but it suffers from poor off-angle horizontal viewing.
Colours are average at 55% sRGB or about 30% DCI-P3 (movie) gamut.
Its fine for office use if you don’t expect movie quality.
Gaming response is slow – 33ms black to white and 43ms grey
Screen summary: Fit for purpose as an office style screen
Keyboard and trackpad
A full-sized keyboard with a numeric keypad. Keys are 16 x 16mm and well-spaced. The throw is 1.5mm and actuation is 50g. It is very good, and the slightly roughened keytops give a good tactile feedback. It is not backlit.
The trackpad is huge at 415 x 315mm and again slightly roughened
for good tactile feedback.
Keyboard summary: Very good for the price bracket
The Intel i5-8250U is a solid performer scoring a 7660 PassMark. It is a similar speed to AMD Ryzen 5 2500U. GeekBench gives it 3981/11937 in single and multi-core use.
The i7-8550IU has a PassMark of 8,343 so its not a major power increase but probably worth the extra
hundred dollars as it includes 8GB of RAM as well.
The Intel UHD Graphics 620 supports H.265 decoding. It will support most Internet games, but 4GB of shared memory means it’s not going to get much over 30-40fps.
We have already covered storage performance in the Intel
Optane segment here.
We suggest you click through to see what a fantastic difference it makes to a 1TB
At full load fan noise reached 42dB (quiet) and about 45°
over the processor location.
2 x USB-A 3.1 Gen 1 (5Gbps) with sleep charging
3-in-1 SD Media Card Reader (SD, SDHC, SDXC)
capable of 30MB/s
HDMI will support a 4K monitor, and USB-A 3.1 Gen 1 will support up to 5GBps for fast data transfers
from an external SSD.
However as this is the 8th
generation Intel processor, I would have
hoped for a USB-C 3.1, Gen 1 port as well.
Port summary: All pretty standard stuff for a laptop of this
Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and comms
The Intel 3165 chipset is a bit of a slouch when it comes to Wi-Fi AC. While more recent Intel Wi-Fi chipsets can achieve 867 Mbps, it is happy at 433Mbps which is about 350/300Mbps in half-duplex (up and down). It’s not bad, but it is a dated chipset.
Bluetooth is 4.1 and again a dated chipset, but it does the job. It supports SBC codec.
Sound, camera, mic
We measured maximum volume at 80dB with low apparent distortion.
It has MaxxAudio Pro software with basic EQ,
but regardless the result is no bass, high-mids
and some treble giving it a clear vocal signature.
Bluetooth is the standard SBC codec and delivers better sound to headphones from the Realtek,
signal processor. There is an option of
purchasing the Dolby Atmos codec from the Windows store. This is for headphones only.
Sound out via the 3.5mm jack to an external amplifier showed
a relatively flat 20Hz to 20kHz response with moderate
The camera is .9MP good for 1280×720 images and 720p@30fps.
Colours are OK and fixed focus works to about 500mm from the screen. An LED
shows when the camera is active.
Dual mics either side do a good job in video and voice conference.
Summary: Sound is fit for purpose for an office-based device.
Under full load, it
was just under two hours. In general office use,
you can expect six-to-seven hours. An FHD
video loop (aeroplane mode and 50% screen) lasted just over 5 hours.
Recharge time with the 45W charger was just over two hours.
Summary: It falls within the specs of most brands of laptops.
GadgetGuy’s take. Dell Inspiron 15.6” 5000 with Intel Optane
It is a low-cost, reasonable performance large 15.6” laptop.
Intel Optane takes poor disk performance specs and gives it a sizeable turbo
If screen brightness and better colour accuracy is your need
then you will look elsewhere – the Dell Inspiron 7000
series has USB-C and a Touchscreen for
only a couple of hundred dollars more.
If good small office performance is what you need, then this is great device at a great price.
Value for money
Ease of use
Reader Rating5 Votes
Big 15.6” screen
Good build quality
Top Intel 8th generation Core performance
Supports up to 4K external screen
Reasonable battery life
Intel Optane at that price!
Large keypad and good keyboard
Screen colour is average
Plastic chassis is strong enough but prone to scratches