Dell Inspiron 1525
- Good value for money, stylish, a good variety of connectivity options, HDMI port
- Networking options aren't the latest or fastest, the screen is reflective and feels fragile
Despite lacking the latest and fastest networking options, the Dell Inspiron 1525's chic design and HDMI output make this a good choice for the home user.
Price$ 1,240.00 (AUD)
For notebook consumers wanting a low-cost option with plenty of features, things have rarely been better. We've recently reviewed the $899 Acer Extensa 5620Z-3A1G12Mi, which includes fantastic connectivity, as well as the very stylish $1,499 BenQ Joybook S32B (BV14). Not to be outdone, Dell has come out swinging with its HDMI-enabled Inspiron 1525 costing just $1,240.
From the outside, the Inspiron 1525 is an attractive package. Thanks to a customisable lid and slim design, the notebook looks good in a variety of environments. The review model we received was jet black with a matte finish, and certainly looked stylish.
Inside this particular model is a 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7250 processor that features a 2MB level two cache and an 800MHz front side bus speed. The 2GB of 667MHz DDR2 RAM is more than we'd normally expect in a notebook at this price point and the 160GB Serial ATA hard drive, which spins at 5,400rpm, should be plenty for a home user.
The 15.4in screen has a native resolution of 1280x800, which plays DVDs crisply and without dithering issues. Reflectivity becomes an issue under bright lighting, especially when the screen is displaying dark colours.
In our WorldBench 6 tests, the Dell handled itself fairly well. Its score of 76 shows it has a good ability to multitask a number of programs, and it can handle more intensive functions such as video encoding, albeit slowly.
The CPU's abilities were also shown in our MP3 encoding test where we convert 53 minutes of .WAV files into 192Kbps MP3 files. The time of 1min 28sec is fairly quick and spot on with what we predicted from this processor's performance.
The 3DMark06 scores were also in line with our expectations, with the X3100 integrated graphics card, which shares system memory, producing a low score of 585. This restricts all but the least intensive modern games from playing on the Inspiron 1525.
Although the keyboard has adequate keys and good button response, some people may find that in the course of typing their hands will constantly brush the touch pad. This can cause a range of problems and it's annoying to watch your words appear two lines away from where they should because your left hand reached for the "g" key.
Despite strong hinges, the thin LCD screen feels fragile, but for such a low price point, this is to be expected. If you treat the notebook with care, you won't have any problems.
Weighing in at 2.75kg without its power supply unit (PSU), the Inspiron 1525 is somewhat heavy for use on laps. When carrying both the notebook and the PSU, the total weight is 3.15kg.
In our DVD rundown test, where we loop a DVD and measure how long the batteries can last as they're drained by the screen, DVD drive, sound and processor systems, the Dell managed 1 hour and 44 minutes — a fairly good result. Normal usage and effective energy management will keep the unit running for longer.
Apart from the previously mentioned HDMI port, the Inspiron also offers a good range of other connections. Four USB 2.0 ports are installed, with two on either side of the unit. A FireWire port will allow easy access to devices such as cameras, and a 4-in-1 card reader (SD/MMC/MS/MSPro) is located on the front of the unit.
An ExpressCard/54 slot is a welcome addition to this budget notebook, although we are slightly disappointed to see that the latest and fastest networking options (Gigabit Ethernet and wireless-N) aren't available as standard. Note, the standard 10/100 Ethernet and 802.11a/b/g will be adequate for many users and an upgraded wireless card is available at extra cost if fast wireless is important. A 56Kbps modem sits next to the Ethernet port and gives Internet access to those with only a phone line.
The S-Video out and VGA ports make video output very simple, and the internal dual-layer DVD-RW drive runs smoothly. If you need to watch movies without annoying your immediate neighbours you'll appreciate the two headphone ports, and the mic port works well with the built-in microphone and 2-megapixel webcam for video conferencing.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Lexar® Portable SSD
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Acer Swift 7
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Google Daydream VR headset
Huawei Mate 9
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Surface Pro 4
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Everything we think we know about Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S3
- Lenovo's ThinkPad P71 will work with HTC, Oculus VR headsets
- Lenovo's Yoga A12 Android 2-in-1 has futuristic touch panel keyboard
- In PC comeback, ARM will battle Intel in Chromebooks and Windows 10
- Dell: Mainstream laptops with wireless charging are still years away
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCMDM Consultant/DesignerVIC
- CCTechnical Support AnalystACT
- TPBusiness AnalystNSW
- TPScrum MasterVIC
- CCProject Manager - Adelaide basedNSW
- FTPrincipal Architect - Infrastructure | Major BankVIC
- FTApplication Support Analyst/DeveloperNSW
- FTData Conversion LeadNSW
- CCNetwork ArchitectWA
- CCSenior Technical Business Analyst - ITMSP - Melbourne CBDVIC
- CCData Engineer (SQL/Big Data/Scala)VIC
- FTService Desk Analyst / Security EngineerQLD
- TPSolution Architect - Real-Time Tracking SystemVIC
- FTBusiness Intelligence Analyst / DeveloperNSW
- CCBusiness Test Lead - BRT/UATNSW
- FTDevelopment Manager - SaaSQLD
- FTFront End DeveloperQLD
- CCSenior Storage System Engineer - NetApp SpecialistNSW
- CCData Migration Consultant - LeadNSW
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)NSW
- FTSenior Dot Net Backend Orientated DeveloperNSW
- FTStorage Solution ArchitectVIC
- FTMicrosoft ProgrammerSA
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)ACT
- FTInfrastructure Architect (Adelaide Based)VIC