Dell Inspiron 560 desktop PC
Dell Inspiron 560 review: Dell's entry-level Inspiron desktop PC can only be used for basic tasks
- Acceptable power for basic computing tasks like word processing and Web browsing, four case colour options
- The Inspiron 580 is more powerful at only slightly more expensive, only powerful enough for basic computing and media playback
The Dell Inspiron 560 would be reasonably well suited to a family or user that only has the most basic computing needs. It's significantly less powerful than other models in the Dell Inspiron lineup despite only costing a little less. Basic users will find it acceptable, but we'd go for a more expensive model.
Price$ 849.00 (AUD)
Dell's Inspiron 560 is one of the company's cheapest desktop PCs. The configuration we tested comes with very basic specifications, but includes a 18.5in Dell monitor — so it's a simple computing package that doesn't require you to buy any extras. We think it's a reasonable system for basic use, but it's made less attractive by the existence of slightly more expensive models that are significantly more powerful.
Not sure what computer to buy? Take a look at our desktop PC vs. notebook buying guide.
Browse our other Dell PC reviews.
Dell Inspiron 560 desktop PC: Design, software and features
The Dell Inspiron 560 isn't an all-in-one PC like the Dell Inspiron One 2310 — it uses a separate monitor and tower. You can select from four different colours for the tower's fascia, with purple, blue and red available in addition to standard piano black.
The rear plate of the Inspiron 560 houses all the ports you'd expect to find on an entry-level desktop PC. There's an HDMI output as well as VGA, four USB 2.0 ports, Ethernet networking and audio jacks. Hidden behind a flip-down panel on the Inspiron 560's front are two additional USB 2.0 ports and microphone/headphone jacks.
The Inspiron 560 ships with a 64-bit version of Windows 7 Home Premium, as well as a small suite of Dell security and maintenance software applications. We didn't find these applications intrusive or troublesome in our testing, which is a rare thing in the world of bundled PC software. When it comes to extra features, the Dell Inspiron 560 is pretty bare-bones. It's about as basic a desktop computer as you can buy #&8212; you don't even get a wireless keyboard or mouse.
Dell Inspiron 560 desktop PC: Specifications and performance
Since it's one of Dell's cheapest and most basic PCs, the Inspiron 560 has low-end specifications. A dual-core Intel Pentium E5700, clocked at 3GHz, is old tech compared to the Intel Core i3 and i5 processors in most other manufacturer's desktop PCs. Thankfully the Inspiron 560 has plenty of RAM, with 4GB of DDR3 preinstalled — there's no option to add more when customising the system. The integrated Intel GMA X4500HD graphics chipset is similar to one you'd find in an entry-level notebook like the Toshiba Satellite C650 — it'll handle all the Windows 7 graphical bells and whistles as well as 1080p HD video playback, but any taxing 3D tasks make it struggle. A 750GB hard drive is plenty for media storage; this is a positive point in the configuration of the Dell Inspiron 560.
|Dell Inspiron 5860||$849||N/A||1min 24s|
|Dell Inspiron 580s||$999||2154||39s|
|Apple Mac Mini||$999||N/A||46|
|Dell Inspiron 545s||$1199||1780||N/A|
|Apple iMac 27in||$1599||N/A||33s|
Our iTunes media encoding test exposed the Dell Inspiron 560's mediocre CPU performance. The Inspiron 560 took 1min 24sec to convert 53min of WAV files to 192kbps MP3 files — this is over twice the time taken by the $999 Dell Inspiron 580s.
The Dell Inspiron 560 is perfectly fine if all you want to do is browse the Web and look at Flash videos, read your e-mails or type up Word documents. It handles video playback at up to Full HD resolution with no issues, but the system took a short while to load high resolution photos.
Dell Inspiron 560 desktop PC: Environmental policy and conclusion
Dell maintains an environmental policy on its Web site. It covers a range of programs to reduce its environmental impact including its Plant a Tree for Me option that allows customers to elect whether an additional fee is deducted to cover the cost of planting a tree when purchasing.
The Dell Inspiron 560 is a capable desktop PC for anyone wanting a simple machine — as long as a significant amount of computing power isn't necessary. It has the specifications to handle Web browsing, word processing and other basic tasks, but anything more taxing than basic multitasking leaves it struggling. It's not appropriate if you intend to be doing any gaming or serious photo or video editing.
If it were up to us, we'd spend the extra $150 and get the Dell Inspiron 580s. It's more attractive, more powerful, comes with a larger monitor and will suit a family's diverse computing needs better.
Become a fan of PC World Australia on Facebook
Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu
Stay up to date with the latest news, reviews and features. Sign up to PC World’s newsletters
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Kogan Atlas UltraSlim Pro laptop: full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
Latest News Articles
- Microsoft reinstates My People for Windows 10, connecting you to your BFFs
- This overclocked EVGA GTX 1050 Ti costs less than reference models
- This week in games: Forza Horizon 3 gets Hot Wheels, Terry Crews gets a wild Old Spice PC
- Radeon owners rebel when AMD drivers stealth drop Quake Champions links on desktops
- Surface sales sag and Windows Phones fade, as Microsoft's hardware business takes a hit
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
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.
- Samsung Galaxy S8 phone: full, in-depth review
- Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5 CPU Australian review
- Mass Effect Andromeda review: One for the fans
- 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
- FTMidrange Application Developer (.Net)ACT
- CCVirtualisation / Infrastructure ArchitectACT
- FTFront-end Developer (UX/UI)NSW
- FTEngineer Control Systems SpecialistSA
- TPRegional Level 2/3 Desktop Support AnalystVIC
- FTInfrastructure Architect - UrgentSA
- FTWindows Dev Ops EngineerNSW
- TPEnterprise ArchitectQLD
- FTSecurity and Technical Risk ManagerQLD
- FTOracle Database Administrator (DBA)SA
- FTICT Sales Account ManagerQLD
- FTTest Analyst - Application TestingACT
- FTSystems Engineer | Managed Services ExpVIC
- CCSenior Infrastructure Project ManagerNSW
- FTBI Report DeveloperQLD
- FTOSS Developer - BPM (Business Process Manager) SMEVIC
- FTSenior Business Analyst, FinanceNSW
- CCSenior Full Stack Web DeveloperACT
- FTPERMANENT Business AnalystsSA
- TPBusiness Project Manager - DigitalNSW
- FTLevel 2 Software & Hardware Support position.VIC
- FTBusiness Specialist - TelecommunicationsNSW
- FTMid-Level .NET DeveloperVIC
- FTSenior Business Analyst - UX experience NeededNSW
- CCSenior Devops EngineerVIC