Dell's Inspiron 15 3000 is a workhorse, but felt sluggish in testing. Read the review.
At $598 for the minimum spec model, which is built around a i3-4005 CPU @ 1.7GHz, 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive, the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 is what you’d call a no-frills and solid workhorse.
The 15.6inch non-touch screen eschews the shift towards high-DPI with a resolution of 1366x768 – but is perfect fine to use. You can bump the CPU up to an i5-4210U (2.7GHz) or an i7-4510U (3.1GHz). Memory can be upgraded to 8GB and the hard drive to 1TB (there’s no SSD option).
We tested a top-spec i7, 8GB and 1TB model, which currently goes for $899 on the Dell site. Compared to others in this ‘luggable’ category, it’s a relatively slim and classy design, all-black with no bits of questionable trim.
It felt sluggish, though. Testing showed that to be a particular slow hard drive, with 95MB/s read and 87MB/s write speeds. Not devastatingly short of expected performance, but the 5400rpm drives are certainly the weakest link.