We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Laptops Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Dell Inspiron 1545 review

From £299 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Dell

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

The Dell Inspiron 1545 is an affordable all-purpose notebook with a 15.6in widescreen LCD.

The Dell Inspiron 1545 notebook is an affordable all-purpose notebook with a 15.6in widescreen LCD.

While it's unlikely to turn heads with its pedestrian style, this Dell Inspiron 1545 laptop remains a perfectly serviceable notebook that punches well above its weight. (We use the term figuratively, as it is far from a petite notebook.)

Weighing in at around 3kg and measuring 374x25.938mm, the Dell Inspiron 1545 is one of the bigger entry level notebooks on the market. This makes it a bit of a pain to lug around, but it will make an adequate desktop replacement - provided you're not into gaming.

The main benefit of this added real-estate is a 15.6in screen with a native resolution of 1366x768. The display did a good job during movie playback, with excellent viewing angles and minimal reflective glare. While the inbuilt speakers are a little on the weak side, they're more than adequate for a notebook in this price range.

If the Dell Adamo Admire is the catwalk model of the notebook world, then the Dell Inspiron 1545 is a faceless spectator in the crowd. While there's nothing overtly wrong with its appearance, it lacks the ‘wow, look at me' factor that has become de rigueur amongst certain notebook owners.

The version we tested came in a matt black finish that collected quite a few fingerprints despite the lack of sheen. Like the Dell Inspiron 1520 before it, you can also opt for a blue, red, white or pink lid - though these will set you back an additional £29. The price we pay for colour!

Despite its hefty size, the Dell Inspiron 1545 lacks a numeric keypad, which makes it less than ideal for gaming. Of course, with its modest integrated graphics chipset, the Inspiron 1545 was never going to cut it as a games machine anyway (more on this later). On the plus side, the keyboard is one of the nicest we've seen on a notebook in some time. It looks, feels and behaves like a desktop model, albeit without a numeric keypad.

Curiously, Dell has decided to do away with media buttons entirely on the Dell Inspiron 1545. There is no mute button, no quick-launch keys, no wireless connectivity button and no volume controls. To be fair, most of these functions can be accessed via the ‘F' keys, but we prefer having a dedicated interface; especially when using our notebooks in the dark.

Connectivity is also a little light-on, it consists of three USB ports, an Ethernet output, a headphone and microphone jack, a 34mm ExpressCard slot, a 7-in-1 card reader and a VGA video connector. For wireless, the Dell Inspiron 1545 sticks to 802.11g rather than its zippier 802.11n counterpart.

Compared to other notebooks in its price range, the Dell Inspiron 1545 is a very able performer. It comes with an Intel Core 2 Duo T6500 running at 2.1GHz, 3GB of DDR2 RAM (upgradable to 4GB) and a 320GB hard drive (5400 RPM). The only downside is an underpowered Intel GMA4500 graphics accelerator, but these are still impressive components for the asking price.

The Dell Inspiron 1545 notebook's processing potential was demonstrated in our benchmark tests. When we ran the WorldBench 6 application suite, the Inspiron 1545 achieved an overall score of 85. This makes the Inspiron 1545 laptop suitable for almost any office application, along with multitasking and some photo/video editing. In our Blender 3D test, the Inspiron 1545 recorded a time of 1min 27sec, while our iTunes MP3 encoding test took just 1min 21sec to complete. These are all impressive results for a sub-£500 notebook.

The Dell Inspiron 1545 fared less well in our 3D gaming tests, but we weren't expecting it to shine. It scored 896 in 3D Mark 06 - enough for older game titles and casual gaming only. In our battery rundown tests, the Dell Inspiron 1545 lasted a reasonable two hours and 51 minutes. This will get you through all but the most long-winded and butt-numbing of movies. For less intensive tasks, such as word processing or web browsing, you can expect the Dell Inspiron 1545 notebook to last even longer.

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

PCWorld.idg.com.au

Dell Inspiron 1545 Expert Verdict »

Dell Inspiron 1545 T1600 Scores 8.5 out of 10 based on 78 reviews
Intel Celeron Processor 900 (2.20GHz, 1MB L2 Cache, 800MHz FSB)
4GB DDR2 RAM
Microsoft Windows Vista
15.6in, 16:09, WXGA Widescreen
5,400rpm 320MB
Built-in Microphone (Mobile)
supports Memory Stick, Secure Digital (SD), Multimedia Card (MMC)
Microsoft Works 9.0
Wireless 802.11g
VGA, DC In, ExpressCard, Headphone Jack, Microphone Jack, RJ45, 3x USB 2.0
Li-ion rechargeable battery
244x373.5x25.9mm
2.64g
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

There's nothing spectacular about the Dell Inspiron 1545 notebook - until you take its price into account. With an RRP starting at just £298 inc VAT, it's one of the best-value all purpose notebooks we've tested.

  • Dell Inspiron 1720 power laptop PC

    Dell Inspiron 1720 power laptop PC

    Dell's Inspiron 1720 is a robust system available in seven colours besides black.

  • Dell Inspiron XPS M1330 Laptop

    Dell Inspiron XPS M1330 Laptop

    If cutting-edge tech is what you're after, consider the Dell XPS M1330, which performed near the top of its class.

  • Dell Inspiron Mini 9 review

    Dell Inspiron Mini 9

    At first glance, the Dell Inspiron Mini 9, Dell's entry into the mini-notebook category, looks like what you might get if you left a notebook from Dell's full-size Studio line of laptops in the dryer too long.

  • Dell Inspiron 1525 review

    Dell Inspiron 1525

    The customisable Dell Inspiron 1525 will please those for whom good performance is a priority.

  • Dell Inspiron Duo review

    Dell Inspiron Duo

    The Dell Inspiron Duo is an innovative netbook / tablet PC hybrid with a screen that revolves so it can be used as either a traditional laptop or a convertible tablet.


IDG UK Sites

Nexus 6 vs Sony Xperia Z3 comparison: Lollipop phablet takes on KitKat flagship smartphone

IDG UK Sites

Why people aren't upgrading to iOS 8: new features are for power users, not the average Joe

IDG UK Sites

Free rocket & space sounds: NASA launches archive of interstellar audio on SoundCloud

IDG UK Sites

iPad Air 2 review: Insanely fast and alarmingly thin. Speed tests, camera tests, beautiful...