Dell Inspiron 1764 – 17.3in Laptop Review


Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £577.98

Dell’s Inspiron brand has been around for ages and has seen plenty of transformations in its time. These days it represents Dell’s entry-level, value range, which is why its netbooks go by the title Inspiron Mini. At the opposite end of this spectrum is the Dell Inspiron 1764 (aka Dell Inspiron 17). With a massive 17.3in display and weighing 3.2kg it is about as far as you can get from a netbook without turning into a full-blown desktop.

As is increasingly the case now, the Inspiron 1764 comes equipped with processors from Intel’s new Core ix range. In this instance it’s a Core i5-430M, a dual-core processor that defaults to 2.26GHz but can be ‘turbo clocked’ to 2.53GHz where the need arises. This is effectively the mid-range option on the 1764, since you can also get a Core i3-330M, if you’re willing to sacrifice raw performance to save money, or a slightly faster Core i5. In our test system the CPU is backed up by 4GB of DDR3 RAM, Intel’s GMA HD graphics and a 320GB hard drive.

Being Dell there are various configurations available. Our review model would cost you £577.98 and sits somewhere in the middle of the price-range, but this does include the extra £29 for the ‘Promise Pink’ lid. Without that optional extra (as standard the lid is black) it would cost £548.98, while the most basic spec will set you back just £449.

We won’t go through all the potential permutations here, but it’s worth pointing out that you can get discrete graphics (from a choice of two ATI cards) and up to a 500GB hard drive. These options, however, are only available as broadly defined upgrade packages – you can’t tailor the machine to your exacting requirements like the company’s more expensive models.

Most models, including the version sold by PC World and other e-tailers, feature Wireless-G Wi-Fi. N Wi-Fi is only available on the most expensive base-spec, as is Bluetooth and a Blu-ray drive. Not that you’d really want the latter given the only display option is the standard 1,600 x 900 resolution, LED backlit effort. It’s a good resolution for normal users after a large, readable display, but it’s not ideal for Full HD video content.

Connectivity covers all the basics, but not a lot else. There are four USB ports, a couple of audio jacks (1x headphone, 1x microphone), a multi-format card reader, VGA and HDMI for video and a Gigabit Ethernet port, but no eSATA a no standby powered USB ports. We’d have at least liked the latter, particularly as competing models from Samsung have them.

Unlike other sites, we thoroughly test every product we review. We use industry standard tests in order to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever accept money to review a product. Tell us what you think - send your emails to the Editor.