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Dell Inspiron 15 5000 (5580) first look Review


Key Specifications

  • Intel Core i7-8565U, Core i5-8265U and Core i3-8145U processors
  • Intel UHD Graphics 620
  • Nvidia GeForce MX130 or MX150 (both with 2GB GDDR5 vRAM)
  • Intel Optane memory and storage options
  • 359x249x19.5mm
  • 1.77kg

The Dell Inspiron 15 5000 (5580) features Intel’s new 8th Gen Whiskey Lake CPUs and lets you pick and choose from a range of storage and memory options, so you’ll be able to tailor it to your working requirements.

Processor-wise, versions with three of the Whiskey Lake processors will be available to buy, and in terms of storage, you get a number of SSD, HDD or SSD and HDD configurations, if you want the best of both worlds.

How much choice you have when combining hard drive options with memory isn’t yet known. We also note that the Dell Inspiron 15 5000 has a ‘starting weight’ of 1.77kg. Once you start adding big SATA drives, the weight’s going to creep up.

While the presence of Whiskey Lake means that gigabit Wi-Fi is an option, flaky and congested conference Wi-Fi access points don’t play nice with the Dell Inspiron 15 5000 (5580) so I can’t say what this thing’s like for browsing the web. The looped video that played back on the screen sure looked nice on the 15.6-inch screen at least.

While there’s IPS tech present here, which promises great viewing angles, I wasn’t really able to take any photos that do the display justice thanks in part to the harsh booth lights of Dell’s IFA stand.

Related: Intel Whiskey Lake and Amber Lake

The Dell Inspiron 15 5000 (5580) viewed from the rear.

Dell Inspiron 15 5000 (5580) – Design

The Dell Inspiron 15 5000 (5580) will be available in a range of colours, including this fetching metallic burgundy hue which really stood out on Dell’s stand at IFA. The laptop feels dense, solid and sturdy, though I wonder about how resilient it is and how that red paintwork will look after a few years.

The Inspiron range is typically aimed at students, researchers, reporters, or anyone who needs something solid and reliable to write and file copy on while being on the move. They’re historically not that flash-looking. They’re there to get the job done.

Spending a few minutes with the Dell Inspiron 15 5000 (5580) allowed us to get a bit of a feel for the keyboard, which is nice, springy and responsive. Key travel feels shallow, the layout is intelligent and nicely spaced. I appreciated that, unlike some Dell laptops (I’m looking at you, Dell XPS15 2-in-1), Page Up and Page Down keys have been done away with, with those commands actionable by holding down Function and using the relevant arrow keys.

While 1.77kg is as light as the Dell Inspiron 15 5000 (5580) is going to get, it’s not a big unwieldy thing. It’s not quite as light as something like the Acer Swift 5, sure, but here you get more in the way of storage options and ports, so while it’s not quite as spry, it’s arguably more versatile for those who can’t stand to embrace the dongle life.

Related: Best laptop

A close-up of the Dell Inspiron 15 5000 (5580)'s keyboard.

Dell Inspiron 15 5000 (5580) – Specifications

Dell Inspiron 15 5000 (5580)
Display 15.6-inch Full HD LED with IPS
CPU Intel Core i7-8565U, Core i5-8265U, Core i3-8145U
Graphics Intel UHD Graphics 620, Nvidia GeForce MX130 or MX150 (both with 2GB GDDR5 vRAM).
Memory 4GB, 8GB, 8GB (4G x 2) 12GB (8G + 4G), 16GB (8G x 2), 32GB (16GBx2) DDR4 2666MHz, 20GB (4GB 2666MHz DDR4 + 16GB Intel Optane Memory)
Storage 128GB/256GB/512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD

1TB/2TB 5400 rpm 2.5-inch SATA Hard Drive

128GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD + 1TB 5400 rpm 2.5-inch SATA Hard Drive

128GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD + 2TB 5400 rpm 2.5-inch SATA Hard Drive

256GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD + 1TB 5400 rpm 2.5-inch SATA Hard Drive

256GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD + 2TB 5400 rpm 2.5-inch SATA Hard Drive

Wireless Connectivity 802.11ac, Bluetooth, 2×2

802.11ac, Bluetooth, 1×1

Ports HDMI 1.4a, 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1, USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C (Power Delivery), USB 2.0, SD card reader (SD/SDHC/SDXC), Headphone/Mic, Ethernet (RJ45)
Battery 3-Cell 42WHr Battery (estimated battery life not specified)
Dimensions 359x249x19.5mm
Weight 1.77kg

Unlike the Dell Inspiron 15 (5482) 2-in-1, there does not appear to the same M.2 limitation here, so in theory, you should be able to pick an SSD + HDD option and take Optane memory to boot.

Related: Dell Inspiron 2018 update

Close up view of white stand of LG OLED88Z9 TV

Dell Inspiron 15 5000 (5580) – Price

The Inspiron 15 5000 (5580) range will start at £499.

It’s currently unclear by how much the price will climb once you start adding things. Typically, it’s storage that’ll see prices shoot up, so if you’re eyeing up one of those SSD and HDD options, expect to dig deep.

The Dell Inspiron 15 5000 (5580)'s SD card reader, USB port, Ethernet port and lock port.

Dell Inspiron 15 5000 (5580) – Release date

The Dell Inspiron 15 5000 (5580) goes on sale in the UK and Europe on September 20.

The Dell Inspiron 15 5000 (5580), viewed from the front.

Dell Inspiron 15 5000 (5580) – First impressions

The Inspiron range has historically been pitched at people who are more bothered about substance than style and at a first glance, that appears to be what you’d get with the Dell Inspiron 15 5000 (5580). While it’s not uneasy on the eye, it’s not quite as arresting as other slimmer notebooks and ultrabooks doing the rounds these days. While it’s pretty solid-feeling, not being actually able to do much with it on Dell’s stand obviously limits what I can tell you about how the Inspiron 15 5000 (5580) performs. I like the fact you get a good number of ports here, including an SD card reader and Ethernet and get the impression that this will appeal to those who want a dependable machine that’s flexible in a variety of situations.

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Used as our main laptop for the review period

Tested for at least a week

Used consistent benchmarks for fair comparisons with other laptops

Reviewed using respected industry benchmarks and real world use

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