Product Type: Dell laptops
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Dell Inspiron 1525 - nothing too inspiring
Dell Inspiron 1525
Member Name: Holland1
Dell Inspiron 1525
Advantages: Does the basics, good sized keyboard and buttons, reasonably quick
Disadvantages: Battery failure, quite heavy, gets hot quickly
I've owned this laptop for about 3 years now, after a series of events leading to me moving back in with my parents led to me being without a PC, and in this day and age that just wasn't conceivable! I know very little about technology, so I enlisted the help of my dad to make the decision regarding which laptop to buy based on what I'd be using it for. I ended up buying the Dell Inspiron 1525 and am still using this laptop. Although it's a bit dated and has a few annoyances, it still fulfils its purpose so I see no reason to replace it until absolutely necessary.
==Price and Availability==
I bought this laptop directly through Dell, basically because I didn't really know what I was doing so I let my dad lead the way! There was an offer on at the time and I think I paid around £300 which was good value compared to the others on the market. Obviously this was a good few years ago, and whilst the price of living goes up, the price of technology comes down and you can now purchase these online for around £200.
==Initial Purchase and Observations==
The laptop comes with Windows Vista operating system, and is a blank canvas for you to install any software you need, and also your own anti-virus software. It didn't come with a carry case but this is the case with most laptops. It came with a charger which I had to use to charge the laptop before I could start experimenting with it. There are plenty of USB ports, and a camera memory card reader for you to upload photographs from your camera. The laptop has a built in speaker which is located across the top of the keyboard, but you can also plug headphones in to listen to music this way.
==Style and Size==
The laptop itself is very stylish looking, with a silver keypad and the fold-down screen is black on the back with the Dell silver round logo in the middle. One thing to mention is that it is matt-black, not shiny like many more recent models. It is probably quite heavy by today's standards, which is something to consider if you're going to be carrying it round a lot. I only use mine at home so it isn't an issue and I like the fact it feels quite solid, but if I was carrying it to work or college every day I'd probably opt for something lighter.
The screen is a standard size (15.4 inches), and one of the things I like about it is that it doesn't reflect the light so you don't get much in the way of glare. It has the option to adjust the brightness but I've never bothered with this as it seems fine to me.
==Memory and Speed==
The laptop is fairly quick to start up, although I tend to hit the power button then go off and make a brew and get myself comfy before I start whatever I'm doing, so I've never actually sat and watched it boot up. Some of my applications are running a little slowly at the moment, but I think this is due to some old software that's slowing my laptop down, for example I have Sage Accounts which is usually found in offices, installed on my laptop from a training course I completed ages ago. I think the running speed would benefit from a good tidy up. I'm casting my memory back now and I think the laptop came with 1GB memory, and I've since had to add another 1GB as it wasn't quite sufficient for what I needed it for. If I'd just been using it for word processing, photo storage and internet storage it would have been fine, but as mentioned I had to install an accounts program for a course I was doing, so this meant I needed a little more memory.
The battery life was initially ok on this laptop, and I used to keep an eye on the battery icon on the taskbar which warned when the battery was running low so I could just plug the charger in.
Unfortunately, about six months ago, the battery failed on this laptop meaning it either needs replacing or has to be charged in the whole time I'm using the laptop. Typically, I haven't got round to replacing it yet, so am having to plug it in to be able to turn it on and use it. When this first happened, my fiancé (who works in IT) did some research online, and found there were a lot of complaints about the short battery life on various websites. I don't know how long laptop batteries are supposed to last for, but I would expect to get more than a couple of years out of one.
Another thing to note is that the laptop does get quite warm very quickly, and also heats up the longer you have it on for. I tend to sit with a cushion on my knee with the laptop on top because it's just too uncomfortable otherwise.
The keypad is well laid out with the buttons taking about two thirds of the laptop, leaving a third for the mouse and to rest your wrists when typing. This makes it quite comfortable to use.
The buttons are an adequate size, apart from the function buttons along the top which are a bit smaller so if you had large fingers or bad eyesight you might accidentally hit more than one button. The return button is larger than the others, making it easy to locate.
One thing I would like my next laptop to have is a calculator-style layout for the numbers at the side of the letters, rather than placing the numbers along the top. Normally, this wouldn't be a big deal for most people, but as I work in accounts and use Sage on my laptop, and I also use spreadsheets quite often for personal matters (finances usually!), it can take longer when you're having to locate the numbers along the top line, rather than having them laid out to the side.
The mouse is on a tracker pad rather than a ball style mouse, which is fine but takes a little while to get used to as it can be quite sensitive, so you can find the cursor just skips somewhere you don't want it to every now and then. There are left hand and right hand click buttons below the mouse, and the touch pad is a good size. I have got used to it now (although I hated it at first), but if you really didn't like it you can plug an ordinary mouse into the laptop.
I think if you were looking for a basic laptop for using the internet, word processing and spreadsheets, and for storing photos and music, this would be a good buy if you could shop round and get it very cheap. If you're looking for something that's going to withstand a lot of use over a long period, it might be worth investing in something which is better equipped to cope. For me, it does the job for what I need it for, so as I'm not exactly rolling in money, I don't see the point in replacing it. I would also not recommend this laptop if you need to carry it to work or college, as it is a little on the bulky side.
Summary: Nothing overly inspiring about this Dell Inspiron
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