For a low-cost laptop, the Dell Inspiron 15R N0015R33 is remarkably well made. Its curved corners make it stand out from the usual range of laptops that hover around this price and you can boost its looks on Dell's website by adding a coloured lid. Our standard metallic grey model would look dowdy sitting next to Peacock Blue, Lotus Pink or Fire Red, any of which add £30 to the price. See also Group test: what's the best budget laptop?
There is a bit of give in the lid which might not bode too well if you need to travel a lot with this laptop and at 2.74kg it will make your bag feel considerably heavier. See also: Laptop Advisor.
The trackpad is sensitive but not overly so. We found it comfortable to use. It's indented into the wrist rest as though actually part of it rather than a separate component, and this helps your fingers find the trackpad when you're looking at the screen. Visit Asus K55VD review.
The keyboard isn’t backlit, but this isn't surprising at this price. Many laptops with 15.6 inch screens manage to incorporate a number pad in their keyboard, but not the Inspiron 15R. Instead the isolated keys are fairly generously spaced and there's lots of space to the left and right of the keyboard. It makes for clean looking lines, but anyone who does a lot of work with numbers might feel disappointed.
With 6GB of RAM to help it along, the Intel Core i3 processor performs reasonably well, scoring 109 in WorldBench 6, but you can get faster laptops for similar money. Dedicated graphics in the shape of AMD’s Radeon HD 7670M chipset mean that gaming performance is reasonably good too. Our Fear benchmark clocked 42 frames per second which is enough for smooth gameplay. [See also: Dell Inspiron 15R Ivy Bridge review]
We were pleased to find that all four USB ports are USB 3.0. This is backwards compatible with the older USB 2.0 standard and means your new, fast USB 3.0 peripherals won’t be held back when it comes to data transfer speeds. The presence of a 1TB hard drive is great to see too.
Dell bundles Microsoft Office Starter edition with this laptop. That’s the free ad-supported productivity suite from Microsoft that is perfectly good enough for creating simple Word documents and Excel spreadsheets.