Product Type: Dell laptops
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Bow down to the Inspiron!
Dell Inspiron 1545
Member Name: FowlerFP
Dell Inspiron 1545
Date: 28/07/09, updated on 28/07/09 (1362 review reads)
Advantages: Fast, good priced and easy to use and set up
Disadvantages: Short battery life
Intel Core 2 Duo Processor
Vista Home Premium
250 GB hard drive
In built Webcam
It cost £399. There was a cheaper pre made package which was £349 although the processor wasn't as good and i wanted a better processor so i chose the slightly more expensive processor. You can build your own from £329 although it is cheaper to start with a pre made package and then upgrade the specific areas you want. This laptop can easily support running multiple programs at once so it won't freeze when you have more then 2 programs open.
As i didn't want to pay the £30 (ish) upgrade to have a different colour, i chose to say with the default black. It does look pretty stylish still and looks alot better then my old laptop. The only bad thing about the appearance is that the lid is a magnet for finger prints. Every time you finish cleaning the lid, it gets full of more finger prints again. It is a task and a half to keep the lid clean.
It looks very sleek and does lack a few things such as lights to show if caps lock is on and so on. You soon get used to not having those lights but it would have been nice for those to be included though in my opinion. It is just what i am used to. It also isn't full of buttons on the side like alot of other laptops. This laptop allows you to control the volume aswell as alot of other things using the F1 to F12 buttons on the keyboard.
While waiting for my laptop to arrive i had loads of worries about setting the laptop up. Whenever i do something on computers it always seems to not go well. When it arrived and i started it up, it was very simple to set up. It was quite slow on the first start up though which is expected. You get a few options to fill in like giving your computer an name aswell as picking a name and background for your account. Once all that was done it took a minute or 2 to load the desktop and all was good. This is my first time using Vista properly as my old laptop was XP so it was really good to use Vista and explore everything new. I then installed my modem software for my internet and installed iTunes and managed to restore my backup of my iTunes library fine. There was a few problems as my old laptop messed up completely and my latest backup of the files was from a while before so i had to install an older version of iTunes to then update it to the latest release.
I haven't had any problems with my laptop what so ever since getting it. It has had a few slowness spells which was caused by Mcafee updating which used to make all the programs stop responding until it decided to finish its update. Since Mcafee was only a trial i now have Norton Internet Security 2009 which updates more often in the background which causes no problems what so ever. Dell did install alot of programs on the laptop before shipping it out. There was an ebay icon which i deleted straight away and there is also the Microsoft Office Trial which i activated and still use and Mcafee trial which i used but have since removed for Norton. They also install Dell Dock on all the laptops they sell. I also disabled this and replaced it with Rocket Dock. I found that Dell dock was using a high amount of CPU all the time and it used to take a while to show up after start up where as rocket dock shows up and loads slightly faster and it is just as good in my opinion. The start up time was around 50 seconds from the time i pressed the power button to seeing the desktop. Since changing my Anti-Virus software, removing the dell dock and altering the programs that start up on start up it is now down to around 40 seconds. I have also installed Windows Vista SP2 on the laptop. It was very simple to do with no problems. I was a bit worried about doing it as i heard alot of stories on the internet about people upgrading and losing sound, installation not working, programs not working and even start up taking up to 4 minutes to boot up on every start up so i did think twice about doing it. I decided to give it a go though in the end and it worked perfectly and also helped actually speed up everything. Everything seems alot faster and it did further speed up my boot time. It was quite a big update as the download which i installed via Windows Vista's Update centre was around 345mb big. It took a while to actually install (about 20-30 minutes) but when it did install it was a bit slow. After a few restarts and de-fragmenting the hard drive made it alot faster then it was before
*Ease of use*
It is really easy to use. I find it alot more user friendly then XP was. I feel comfortable using it and it is easy to use the programs and update the operating system and even update the drivers and BIOS for the laptop. On the laptop there is a bit of software called "Dell Support Centre" which when opened gives you a link to the drivers download section of the dell website and shows all the drives for this version of the Inspiron Laptop so you can just download the new ones and run them and then restart the laptop and then they are up to date. The webcam on the laptop is easy to control and use. I haven't really used it properly as the whole reason i got it was that it was included in the price. It isn't the best webcam but i have seen alot worse though. It does include a light next to the cam to allow you to easily spot if the web cam in switched on. The keyboard is very comfortable to use and it isn't squashed either so it is easy to type on.
As you probably have noticed my review so far has been very complimentary which i think is fair. It is brilliant for the price and i have had no problems with it. As mentioned quite alot with this laptop, the battery life is pretty short. I rarely use my laptop on just the battery as i use it normally plugged into the mains. With the right power plan it can last for quite a while. It does vary what you are doing though. Basic tasks will make the battery last longer but doing resource intensive actions will make it alot shorter. It is possible for you to upgrade the battery though when ordering so get get put off by the bad reviews of the battery life. If you need to use it mainly for mobile purposes, it would be very worthwhile to pay slightly more for a better and longer lasting battery. As mentioned before, the lights for the caps lock would be useful aswell.
I would definitely buy again from Dell. I would definitely recommend anyone to buy this laptop as for the price i feel it is really good. It does need a bit of tweaking to get the best out of it like uninstalling some of the rubbish Dell ship it with and disabling some of the start up programs.
Summary: Well worth the money and it is a brilliant laptop
|Ease of use:|
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