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I purchased the Dell Inspiron 1545 laptop nearly two years ago, to replace my freestanding home computer system. I did a lot of research before choosing the Dell Inspiron 1545 and it has lived up to all the good reviews out there, proving reliable, efficient and relatively problem free.
After checking around I ordered my laptop from Tesco online, and at £349 including one year’s subscription to Norton Antivirus software, it was definitely a bargain at the time. Within an hour of taking it out the box everything was installed and ready to go. Windows Vista took a little getting used to after using the earlier version of the operating system for so many years. However it is extremely user friendly, being clear, simple and easy to customize to your own preferences.
The one issue I have had with the operating system stems from the Dell Dock – a feature added it would seem to compete with the similar style adopted by Apple. The Dell Dock is simply a list of shortcuts down the side of the screen which niftily appear when you hover the mouse over the area. It’s great for opening programmes without having to minimise what you are doing or sift through the Start Menu. However, after one year I kept getting error
messages about Dell Dock malfunctioning, appearing when I started up the computer. After hunting the internet for solutions it seems this is a fairly common problem in Dell Inspirons once they are over a year old. Unfortunately, having just exceeded the year warranty I had no choice but to reformat the computer and reinstall the operating system. A hassle at the time but it sorted the problem out and I have had no issues since. Although this was quite a serious problem it is the only one I have encountered with the laptop in over two years of use.
So, onto the good points… The 15.6 inch screen is fantastic for watching movies and I’ve had plenty of comments from fellow laptop users about the quality of crystal clear screen. The clear glossy black frame enhances the experience, but be prepared to dust your laptop daily as it does seem to attract rather a lot of that. I expected the glossy black keyboard surround to get easily scratched, but amazingly it looks as good as the day I bought it (and I wear a lot of bracelets and rings, so that is quite an achievement!).
The keyboard is a nice size and feels very nice and responsive to use. The mouse pad is very responsive but you can alter this in the settings, and after a little tinkering it is now scrolling and clicking at mostly the right time. I have bought a mini mouse to plug in and would advise this if you are unfamiliar with mouse pads or plan on spending a lot of time using the mouse, for example using spreadsheets, publishing software or on the internet.
The Dell Inspiron 1545 has a long speaker across the back of the keyboard. The sound is of pretty good quality at whatever sound you prefer, perfectly adequate for films and music. It can be a little tinny but that can be sorted out in the equaliser settings.
The durability of this laptop is amazing. It’s one of the reasons I chose it after reading positive reviews on the general durability of Dells over other brands. I spend a lot of time travelling round the world carrying out research in remote and rustic environments, and my laptop has to come along with me. Travelling in just a thin neoprene sleeve in my rucksack and getting thrown around, manhandled and occasionally splashed with seawater, it has never even got a scratch, let alone the cracks and breaks I see on other peoples laptops faring in the same conditions.
Working in environments with limited electricity I have to use the battery power a lot. At approximately 2 hours on a medium screen brightness its maximum battery life is no better or worse than average. Additionally the laptop can put up with temperatures of over 40 degrees centigrade, without overheating.
The 160GB memory is ample to store thousands of songs, photos and hundreds of episodes of my favourite television series’, and all without compromising the speed of the machine. There are three USB ports and it could perhaps do with one or two more, as I often have to unplug my mouse or printer to accommodate my camera or a second USB stick. The wireless network card seems better than other laptops, in my experience, often connecting automatically to wireless networks that friends sitting right beside me cannot seem to connect to. It does not have Bluetooth and so if you require this choose it as an option when you are ordering the Dell Inspiron 1545.
Overall I’ve been extremely happy with this laptop and expect it to go on for many more years. For such a competitive price I’d recommend it to anyone who wants a durable, reliable, general spec laptop. And as a further bonus the newer spec models seem to have even more memory RAM and features but are still available at the great price I paid two years ago.
I loved my Inspiron, sadly it was stolen and I replaced it with a Dell Latitude that turned out to be rubbish.
liolia79 01.11.2010 12:30
RICHADA 01.11.2010 11:18
That's what this site is all about! Unlike the tecchie magazines, full of data and stats that we only pretend to understand, this is a good, personal, review - written after two years experience. R. xxx
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