Dell Inspiron 15 3501 Review: Decent Performance, Great Battery

In 2021, there will be fierce competition for budget laptops due to PC component shortages. Students looking for a powerhouse laptop should consider Dell’s Inspiron 15 3501. The machine is no-frills and reasonably priced. As a result, it is with great pleasure that I present Dell Inspiron 15 3501 Review in this article.

Dell Inspiron 15 3501 Specifications:

  • Design & Build: Plastic build, 14.33W x 9.80D x 0.78H-inches, 1.96 kg
  • Display: 15.6″ WVA panel, FHD (1920×1080) resolution, 141 PPI
  • Keyboard: Standard Qwerty keyboard with number pad
  • Trackpad: Plastic multi-touch trackpad, Windows Precision drivers
  • Processor: 11th gen Intel Core i5-1135G7, 2.40GHz
  • RAM: 8GB LPDDR4X RAM
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Graphics: Intel Iris Xe (Integrated)
  • Audio: Dual speaker setup
  • Battery: 42Whr
  • Power Supply: 45W adapter
  • Webcam: 720p front-facing camera
  • Connectivity: Dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0
  • I/O Ports: 3x Type-A, 1x 3.5mm audio jack, 1x charge jack, 1 x RJ-45, 1 x microSD card, 1 x HDMI
  • Price in Nepal: Rs. 82,000

Dell Inspiron 15 3501 Review:

Design and Build

  • Plastic build material, matte finish
  • 14.33 x 9.80 x 0.78-inches, 1.96 kg

This budget laptop has a plastic-built body, which is to be expected considering its price tag. The top and bottom bezels are quite wide, while the sides get a narrow plastic border. In addition to the glossy finish, Dell also offers a matte texture for a firm grip and less fingerprinting.

Dell Inspiron 15 3501 Review

Considering its size and weight, it measures 14.33 x 9.80 x 0.78-inches without the lid open. For students, that is a little too much, although similar priced products do not cost as much. A small air-intake chamber is located on the bottom, while an Inspiron logo appears in the center.

As well, the rubber feet at the bottom allow for better airflow so that the laptop does not overheat and you are able to type comfortably.

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Display

  • 15.6″ non-touch WVA panel, 141 PPI
  • 1080p FHD resolution, 45% NTSC gamut

Inspiron 3501’s display is its only weak point. It has a 15.6-inch display with a Full HD (1,920 by 1,080 pixels) resolution, which is a good feature, but the screen is faded in appearance. A slight reduction in brightness does however help. Neither the panel nor the screen seem particularly sharp. I could clearly notice that Dell made a mistake by choosing an extremely inferior panel.

Because it has a wide viewing angle panel (WVA), the laptop offers satisfactory viewing angles. Because of this, even when viewing the screen from the side, the color tones aren’t compromised.

Breaking the promise

A few tweaks with the SypderX Pro color calibrator will also make the colors look better. The display in our unit was advertised as having a brightness of 220 nits, whereas ours reached just 131.7 nits. It would be disappointing if the outdoors provided clear visibility.

Keyboard, Trackpad

  • Full-sized keyboard, Spill-resistant design
  • Plastic trackpad, Integrated left/right keys

There is a dedicated number pad on the keyboard. Plastic keys are also made in a rough, rugged style, like the chassis. With Dell’s spill-resistant keyboard, an accidental spill is delayed from reaching the notebook’s mainboard, providing protection for the laptop. If juice or water spills on the laptop, it will not be damaged.

Dell Inspiron 15 3501 Keyboard and Trackpad

In fact, these keys are quite stiff, which is why you need to push them firmly. If you type for just a few minutes, this won’t be a problem. My arms start to hurt after a couple of hours of having Google Docs open almost 9-10 hours a day.

Additionally, it comes with an integrated left/right key on the plastic touchpad. However, Dell could have improved the operation by making it smoother. Nevertheless, since I’m a mouse-e boy, anything like that isn’t that big of a deal to me. I would also highly recommend purchasing a mouse if you are looking to purchase the Dell Inspiron 3501.

Performance

  • 11th gen Intel Core i5-1135G7, 2.40GHz
  • 8GB LPDDR4X RAM, 256GB M.2 SSD

In terms of performance, the device is powered by Intel’s latest Core i5-1135G7 processor coupled with 8GB LPDDR4X RAM and 256GB of internal storage. A single-core clock speed of 4.20GHz is achieved by this CPU with a base frequency of 2.40GHz.

This configuration, though it contains a quad-core processor, is enough for my everyday tasks, such as opening 10-12 Chrome tabs, Adobe Photoshop, a text editor, and sometimes Spotify.

Benchmarks

This is the benchmark list for nerds. Inspiron 3501 has pretty good read/write speeds for a budget laptop. A similar result was obtained in Cinebench R23, where it scored 3,637 on the multi-core test, compared to 1,116 on the single-core test. In conclusion, these are excellent scores for a budget laptop.

CrystalDiskMark
Read (MB/s)Write (MB/s)
SEQ1M Q8T12465.05972.15
SEQ1M Q1T11308.66956.71
RND4K Q32T1405.87420.87
RNK4K Q1T146.68145.34
Cinebench R23
CPU: Multi-Core3637
CPU: Single Core1116
MP Ratio3.26x

Battery

  • 42Whr battery, 45W AC adapter

As a student, you need a battery that will last for as long as possible. According to my testing, the Inspiron 3501 is one of the best laptops I’ve seen in this respect. In my use of the device, its 42Whr battery provided me with screen-on time of up to 7 hours.

Dell Inspiron 15 3501 Review

Notably, I did not use the computer to perform power-consuming tasks like gaming. Additionally, the laptop’s battery can be fully charged in three and a half hours using a 45Wh charger.

Ports

  • 3x Type-A, 1x 3.5mm jack, 1x RJ-45, 1x microSD card, 1x HDMI

A good number of ports are available on the Dell Inspiron 3501 in terms of I/O connectivity. One 3.5mm audio jack, three Type-A USB ports, one USB charging port, one LAN port, one microSD slot, and an HDMI port are available. Since USB-C is slowly becoming the standard for many gadgets, I’m disappointed to not see it here.

Dell Inspiron 15 3501 Review: Conclusion

To conclude this review, the Dell Inspiron 15 3501 won’t turn any heads when it comes to design. For the price, it’s a decent laptop. Although it has a sub-par display, it doesn’t miss out on a Type-C port, which I think Dell should have included as well.

In terms of battery life, it has an impressive capacity, perfect for students or office workers. Therefore, this laptop is recommended for those who need all the essentials but do not want to break their bank.

Dell Inspiron 15 3501 Review: Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Well spent money
  • Good keyboard quality
  • Performs fairly well
  • Batteries last long enough

Cons:

  • Brightness is low
  • Poor quality of the trackpad
  • Would be better if the design were more appealing

 

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