The Dell Inspiron 1545 notebook
Affordable all-purpose notebook with 15.6in display and 3GB of RAM
- High quality keyboard, 15.6in display, excellent specifications for the asking price
- Drab design (unless you pay to spruce it up), heavy and not very portable, integrated graphics
There's nothing spectacular about the Dell Inspiron 1545 notebook -- until you take its price into account. With an RRP of just $999, it's one of the best-value all purpose notebooks we've tested.
Price$ 999.00 (AUD)
The Dell Inspiron 1545 is an affordable all-purpose notebook with a 15.6in widescreen LCD. While it's unlikely to turn heads with its pedestrian style, this Dell Inspiron laptop remains a perfectly serviceable notebook that punches well above its weight. (We use the term figuratively, as it is far from a petite notebook.)
Weighing in at around 3kg and measuring 374x25.938mm, the Dell Inspiron 1545 is one of the bigger entry-level notebooks on the market. This makes it a bit of a pain to lug around, but it will make an adequate desktop replacement — provided you’re not into gaming. The main benefit of this added real-estate is a 15.6in screen with a native resolution of 1366x768. The display did a good job during movie playback, with excellent viewing angles and minimal reflective glare. While the inbuilt speakers are a little on the weak side, they’re more than adequate for a notebook in this price range.
If the Dell Adamo Admire is the catwalk model of the notebook world, then the Inspiron 1545 is a faceless spectator in the crowd. While there’s nothing overtly wrong with its appearance, it lacks the ‘wow, look at me’ factor that has become de rigueur amongst certain notebook owners. The version we tested came in a matt black finish that collected quite a few fingerprints despite the lack of sheen. Like the Dell Inspiron 1520 before it, you can also opt for a blue, red, white or pink lid — though these will set you back an additional $45. The price we pay for colour!
Despite its hefty size, the Dell Inspiron 1545 lacks a numeric keypad, which makes it less than ideal for gaming. Of course, with its modest integrated graphics chipset, the Inspiron 1545 was never going to cut it as a games machine anyway (more on this later). On the plus side, the keyboard is one of the nicest we’ve seen on a notebook in some time. It looks, feels and behaves like a desktop model, albeit without a numeric keypad.
Curiously, Dell has decided to do away with media buttons entirely on the Inspiron 1545. There is no mute button, no quick-launch keys, no wireless connectivity button and no volume controls. To be fair, most of these functions can be accessed via the ‘F’ keys, but we prefer having a dedicated interface; especially when using our notebooks in the dark.
Connectivity is also a little light-on, it consists of three USB ports, an Ethernet output, a headphone and microphone jack, a 34mm ExpressCard slot, a 7-in-1 card reader and a VGA video connector. For wireless, the Dell Inspiron 1545 sticks to 802.11g rather than its zippier 802.11n counterpart.
Compared to other notebooks in its price range such as the BenQ Joybook Lite U121 Eco, Toshiba Satellite L300 and the HP Compaq 6730s , the Dell Inspiron 1545 is a very able performer. It comes with an Intel Core 2 Duo T6500 running at 2.1GHz, 3GB of DDR2 RAM (upgradable to 4GB) and a 320GB hard drive (5400 RPM). The only downside is an underpowered Intel GMA4500 graphics accelerator, but these are still impressive components for the asking price.
The Dell Inspiron 1545 notebook’s processing potential was demonstrated in our benchmark tests. When we ran the WorldBench 6 application suite, the Inspiron 1545 achieved an overall score of 85. This makes the Inspiron 1545 laptop suitable for almost any office application, along with multitasking and some photo/video editing. In our Blender 3D test, the Inspiron 1545 recorded a time of 1min 27sec, while our iTunes MP3 encoding test took just 1min 21sec to complete. These are all impressive results for a sub-$1000 notebook.
The Dell Inspiron 1545 fared less well in our 3D gaming tests, but we weren’t expecting it to shine. It scored 896 in 3D Mark 06 — enough for older game titles and casual gaming only.
In our battery rundown tests, the Dell Inspiron 1545 lasted a reasonable two hours and 51 minutes. This will get you through all but the most long-winded and butt-numbing of movies. For less intensive tasks, such as word processing or Web browsing, you can expect the Dell Inspiron 1545 notebook to last even longer.
Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu
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
- Settings in iOS 10: Every notable change you need to know
- FBI faces lawsuit because it's stayed mum on iPhone 5c hack
- Early iPhone 7 reviews: You'll miss the headphone jack, but the camera and battery life are tops
- Toshiba's new SSD line features rock-bottom pricing
- Watch out: iOS 10 install is reportedly bricking some iPhones
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.
- Huawei P10 smartphone review
- Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- Moto G5 smartphone: full, in-depth review
- 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
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- FTFull Stack DeveloperQLD
- FTSenior Solution Designer, Investment and Trading PlatformNSW
- FTSenior iOS DeveloperNSW
- CCProject Manager - Grant managementNSW
- FTL&D Manager, Transformation Program in Finance ServicesNSW
- FTEnterprise Architect - Technology and StrategyQLD
- FTSolution Architect - NetworksACT
- CCSenior Project Manager (Office 365) - Finance - Contract - Sydney CBDNSW
- CCState-wide Business Transition Lead - BrisbaneNSW
- FTIntegration & Business Intelligence ManagerNSW
- CCGraduate DeveloperQLD
- TPEOI - JAVA DeveloperACT
- TPProject ManagerVIC
- CCSenior Systems EngineerQLD
- FTSharepoint SpecialistsQLD
- CCSSIS / SSRS DeveloperNSW
- FTSolution ArchitectVIC
- CCInfrastructure Project ManagerNSW
- TPBusiness AnalystQLD
- FTIntegration and Implementation SpecialistVIC
- CCVDI EngineerACT
- CCSoftware DeveloperVIC
- CCJava / J2EE DeveloperVIC
- FTWintel Engineer - Website hostingNSW