Dell Inspiron 15N 15.6" (500 GB, Intel Core i3 2nd Gen., 2.2 GHz, 4 GB) Notebook - Black - I15N-2591BK Reviews
Click to see larger image

Dell Inspiron 15N 15.6" (500 GB, Intel Core i3 2nd Gen., 2.2 GHz, 4 GB) Notebook - Black - I15N-2591BK

2 ratings (1 Epinions review)
Share This!
  Ask friends for feedback

Great Student Laptop - Feels Flimsy

Dec 29, 2012 (Updated Jan 6, 2013)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

  • Ease of Use:

Pros:Big, bright display; good processing power, ample HDD capacity

Cons:Lacking asthetics; flimsy, noisy keyboard; weak graphics; no scroll pad

The Bottom Line: Good laptop for students and those needing power balanced with price. Not friendly for upgrading the hard drive. Should serve well for years, but you'll miss the scroll pad.


One correction to the specifications listed by Epinions:  this laptop uses a Core i3 processor operating at 2.3 GHz, not Pentium III (but still dual-core and still 2.3 GHz).  Many of the laptops in this series have slightly different specifications with regard to RAM, CPU, and Hard Disk Drive (HDD) capacity.  Most of the information in this review is applicable to the entire N5050 series.

My wife and I bought this laptop for our son who was starting his first year of high school.  I am not partial to Dell computers, but this was a good buy at $400 when we bought it in July of 2012.  It had all the specs I was looking for (500 GB hard drive, Core i3, and 4 GB of RAM were my minimum requirements).  I took a few days to set it up and play with it to get a feel for it.

The keyboard feels flimsy.  When the keys are pressed, there is no solid stop and half the keyboard vibrates and has a rattle, so it's not a silent keyboard like some laptops.  That being said, the keyboard should hold up just fine in the long run.  Also the keyboard comes out easily with the correct tools, which is handy for cleaning.

The built-in wireless adapter has pretty good range.  We live in a two-story home, with the wireless router upstairs.  In my office (downstairs) signal is often weak, but this laptop seems to have a strong connection compared to my laptop (a Toshiba).

There is an HDMI port on the left side.  The boy uses this to connect his TV and use it as a second, very large monitor.  He uses it as an extended desktop display; it could mirror the built-in display or take over as primary.  The picture when he does this is pretty sharp and the machine remains responsive, so I’m pleased with the graphics capabilities on this laptop.

The system is quiet; in fact it’s nearly silent.  When leaning over the top of the laptop, the CPU fan is just audible.  The hard drive is quiet, too.  This is definitely a good system for those who need low noise.

One complaint that I have is the lack of a scrolling pad.  Every laptop I’ve had for the last 10 years has had at least an up/down scroll pad to the side of the mousepad (often built-in and indistinguishable).  This laptop doesn’t.  It’s not a feature I was specifically looking for, and the boy will probably never miss it.  For those who have become accustomed to them, it is a pain when it’s not there.

I’m not fond of the hardware layout, although some people will probably love it.  The RAM and optical drive are both accessed from underneath the keyboard.  This has the advantage of never having to turn the laptop upside down to do things like upgrade RAM and replace the optical drive.  What Dell missed when they made this decision is that upgrading RAM and replacing the optical drive are extremely rare occurrences.  By removing the keyboard, some owners are likely to damage or inadvertently remove the keyboard ribbon cable.  Reconnecting these is often a pain.  If you opt to upgrade (or need to replace) either the RAM or the optical drive, use a plastic tool for the job; they’re cheap and readily available at many stores.

Even worse than upgrading the RAM is replacing the hard drive.  One of the reasons I set 500 GB as my minimum on the hard drive is that usually it’s a breeze to upgrade the hard drive.  Not so on this computer!  In most laptops, a single cover can be removed to gain access to the hard drive.  In this computer, two screws must be removed from beneath the laptop, then the keyboard is removed (and disconnected), then the palm rest is removed (exposing most of the motherboard), and finally the hard drive is accessible.  So what is usually a five minute activity just became closer to half an hour with more chances to hurt the computer in the process.

The power cord plugs into the back, just off of the battery (left side of screen).  This shouldn’t be a major factor for most users; some may not like the placement as a matter of preference, so I mention it.

The computer comes pre-installed with Windows 7 Home Premium.  As I’ll explain below, the laptop boots nicely.  I’ve used this computer for playing videos and music, editing pictures, running office applications (currently MS Office 2010, though I’ve tested others with great success).  The boy has used it for video chatting, making PowerPoint presentations, and moderate gaming.  It handles the typical workload easily and likely will for many years.  For those interested, the Windows Experience Index scores are as follows (based on Windows 7 Home Premium w/ 4 GB of RAM):  Processor - 6.7, Memory (RAM) - 6.4, Graphics - 4.7, Gaming Graphics - 6.0, Primary Hard Disk - 5.9.  By upgrading to 8 GB RAM as I did (maximum supported is 8 GB), the memory score improves to 7.3; overall performance will be relatively unchanged for this upgrade unless some serious memory hogs are installed.

Boot speed is pretty good.  After removing the bloatware (which every laptop seems to come loaded to the hilt with these days), the startup time decreased from 45 seconds down to about 30 seconds.  After installing anti-virus and firewall protection, it was back up to about 40 seconds.  Now that the boy has had it for 6 months it's over 45, but still less than a minute.


Recommend this product? Yes


Amount Paid (US$): 399.99
Operating System: Windows
Processor: Other
Screen Size: 15 inches
RAM: More than 256
Internal Storage: DVD
Hard Drive (GB): Over 50

Read all comments (1)

Share this product review with your friends   
Share This!


Related Deals You Might Like...

Dell-Inspiron 15.6 Laptop - 4GB Memory - 500GB Hard Drive

Dell-Inspiron 15.6 Laptop - 4GB Memory - 500GB Hard Drive

PRODUCT FEATURES Intel Pentium processor 2117U 4GB DDR3 memory Multiform at DVD RW/CD-RW drive with double-layer support. 15.6 WLED high-definition di...
Sears Marketplace
Inspiron 15 i15N-1900BK, Intel Pentium B950 2.10 GHz, 4GB, 500GB, 15.6-Inch Laptop (Obsidian Black)

Inspiron 15 i15N-1900BK, Intel Pentium B950 2.10 GHz, 4GB, 500GB, 15.6-Inch Laptop (Obsidian Black)

Intel Pentium B950 2.10 GHz 4 GB DDR3 500 GB 5400 rpm Hard Drive 15.6-Inch Screen Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Sears Marketplace
Dell - Inspiron 15V 15.6 Notebook Computer, Black, Intel Celeron Dual Core N2830 2.16GHz,

Dell - Inspiron 15V 15.6 Notebook Computer, Black, Intel Celeron Dual Core N2830 2.16GHz,

Dell Inspiron 15V 15.6 Notebook Computer, Black, Intel Celeron Dual Core N2830 2.16GHz, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, Windows 8.1 - Bing Search Engine
Adorama

$249.99

+$10.00 shipping
Inspiron 15N I15N-2364BK, Intel Core i3-2350M 2.3GHz, 4GB, 500GB, 15-inch laptop

Inspiron 15N I15N-2364BK, Intel Core i3-2350M 2.3GHz, 4GB, 500GB, 15-inch laptop

Intel Core i3-2350M 2.3GHz 4 GB DIMM 500 GB 5400 rpm Hard Drive 15-Inch Screen Windows 8
Sears Marketplace
Dell Inspiron 15 15.6 Touch HD i3542-3334BK Notebook PC - Intel Pentium 3558U Proc.

Dell Inspiron 15 15.6 Touch HD i3542-3334BK Notebook PC - Intel Pentium 3558U Proc.

Specifications: Processor - Intel Pentium 3558U processor (2M Cache, 1.7GHz) Operating System - Windows 8.1, 64-bit Memory - 4GB Single Channel DDR...
Beach Camera.com

$429.99

FREE Shipping
Dell Inspiron 15 15.6 Touch HD i3542-3334BK Notebook PC - Intel Pentium 3558U Proc.

Dell Inspiron 15 15.6 Touch HD i3542-3334BK Notebook PC - Intel Pentium 3558U Proc.

Specifications: Processor - Intel Pentium 3558U processor (2M Cache, 1.7GHz) Operating System - Windows 8.1, 64-bit Memory - 4GB Single Channel DDR...
BuyDig.com

$429.00

FREE Shipping
Dell Inspiron 15-3531 Laptop

Dell Inspiron 15-3531 Laptop

15.6-inch HD display Intel Celeron N2830 4GB memory/500GB HDD Up to 6.25 hours battery life
Microsoft Store

$249.00

FREE Shipping
Dell(TM) Inspiron 15 3000 Series Laptop Computer With 15.6in. Touch Screen 4th Gen Intel(R) Core(TM) i3 processor, i3542-5000BK

Dell(TM) Inspiron 15 3000 Series Laptop Computer With 15.6in. Touch Screen 4th Gen Intel(R) Core(TM) i3 processor, ...

15.6in. touch-screen display. HD resolution (1366 x 768) offers stunning clarity. LED backlighting gives you a thinner, more energy-efficient screen. ...
Office Depot

$479.99

FREE Shipping
Dell Inspiron I15N-3455BK Intel Core i3-2370M 2.4GHz 4GB 500GB DVD+/-RW 15.6 Win7 (Black)

Dell Inspiron I15N-3455BK Intel Core i3-2370M 2.4GHz 4GB 500GB DVD+/-RW 15.6 Win7 (Black)

Technical Details Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit Operating System Intel Core i3-2370M 2.4GHz Processor 4GB DDR3 1333 Memory 500GB @ 5400 RPM Hard Drive...
Sears Marketplace
Inspiron 15 Intel Celeron Dual-Core 2955U 1.40GHz Laptop - 4GB RAM  320GB HDD  15.6 HD LED  Fast Ethernet  802.11b/g/n  Bluetooth  4-Cell Li-Ion

Inspiron 15 Intel Celeron Dual-Core 2955U 1.40GHz Laptop - 4GB RAM 320GB HDD 15.6 HD LED Fast Ethernet 802.11b/...

Intel Celeron Dual-Core 2955U 1.40GHz 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 320GB 5400rpm SATA 15.6 HD LED Intel HD Graphics Fast Ethernet 802.11b/g/n Bluetooth Micr...
MacMall