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Dell Inspiron 1525 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £469
inc VAT

The Inspiron 1525, apart from the coloured, rubberised finish on the lid, is a rather plain 15.4in laptop, with a matt silver finish and rounded edges.

It looks smaller and lighter than it actually is, and at 2.7kg it’s bordering on the comfort limit for portability.

It has an excellent keyboard, with large keys that have a good balance between travel and feedback. The inclusion of a large, double-height Enter key is especially welcome. The touch pad is small, but smooth and responsive, and the buttons are easy to press. The case feels solidly built with the exception of the small panel above the keyboard that has touch-sensitive LED media player controls – it flexes under pressure.

The screen is bright, and colours are accurate if not vibrant. The glossy finish is reflective, but it’s fine as long as you angle the screen away from windows and overhead lights. The default resolution of 1,440×900 is higher than usual for a 15.4in screen, which means there’s more room for applications.

The Inspiron 1525 is the only laptop here with an integrated graphics chip, and its 2GHz Core 2 Duo T5800 processor isn’t particularly powerful either. Its PCMark scores were some of the lowest here, and it scored a miserable 3.7fps our Call of Duty 4 test. The Dell is best with 2D games. A light-use battery test result of just over two hours isn’t great either.

It’s good to see four USB ports, an S-video output and a Media Center remote control that can be stowed away in the ExpressCard/54 slot. With only 160GB of hard disk space, you won’t have a lot of room for video files though. At this price, it isn’t too surprising that there’s no support for the latest Draft-N wireless standard.

Overall, Dell’s Inspiron 1525 isn’t the best laptop here for use on the move, and it can’t run the latest games. However, if you’re after a laptop for basic tasks, then this is the cheapest by £116 and offers good value.

Basic Specifications

ProcessorIntel Core 2 Duo T5800
Processor clock speed2GHz
Memory slots2
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory4GB
SoundSigmaTel HD Audio
Pointing devicetouchpad
Power consumption standby1W
Power consumption idle22W
Power consumption active58W


Viewable size15.4 in
Native resolution1,440×900
Graphics ProcessorIntel GMA X3100
Graphics/video portsVGA, S-video, HDMI
Graphics Memory128MB


Total storage capacity160GB
Optical drive modelHL-DT-ST GSA-T21N
Optical drive typeDVD+/-RW +/-DL

Ports and Expansion

USB ports4
Total Firewire ports1
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support802.11b/g
PC Card slots1x ExpressCard/54
Supported memory cardsSD, MMC, Memory Stick Pro
Other ports2x minijack audio output, minijack microphone input


Carrying caseNo
Operating systemWindows Vista Home Premium
Operating system restore optionrestore partition
Software includednone

Buying Information

Warrantyone year collect and return

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