Friday, July 1, 2011

Dell Inspiron 17R (N7010)

The newly designed Inspiron 17R is the latest 17.3-inch desktop-replacement notebook from Dell. Equipped with the Intel Core i3 and i5 processors with Intel GMA HD graphics, this budget-friendly system is aimed at the masses. In this review we take an in-depth look at this new system and see how it performs.

Our Dell Inspiron 17R (N7010) Specifications:
  • Intel Core i3 370M processor (2.4GHz, 3MB cache)
  • 17.3-inch 1600x900 display with LED backlighting
  • Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
  • 4GB DDR3 memory
  • 500GB 5400rpm HDD
  • Intel HD integrated graphics
  • 10/100 Ethernet, 802.11n wireless, and Bluetooth
  • 6-cell Li-ion 48Wh battery
  • Dimensions: 16.54 x 10.87 x 1.24-1.38-inches
  • Weight: 6.67lbs starting
  • MSRP: $679
Build and Design
The newly redesigned Inspiron 17R offers a much cleaner and sleeker look and feel compared to past models. Similar to the Adamo-series, the layout has a hinge-forward design with the screen positioned just slightly in front of the back edge of the chassis. This has the added benefit of moving the screen closer to the keyboard and bringing the action to you. The outside appearance of the new 17R is very stylish, with a faux-brushed metal screen cover. The look gives the appearance of metal, although with an easier to clean painted surface. This look it also shared inside the notebook, with the palmrest and keyboard trim.

Build quality is great with a strong chassis and very durable feeling plastic. Even with its large footprint, the thin chassis resist flex and doesn't creak when you lift it up from the corners. The keyboard and palmrest both have more than adequate support, and don't sag under strong pressure. The screen cover has moderate protection for the LCD, with only strong pressure to the back of the panel causing ripples. The large 17.3-inch screen has no problem staying put with two strong hinges that get the display into position and hold it without any wiggle.

Users looking to upgrade the Inspiron 17R will find it easy through one access panel on the bottom of the notebook. With a few Phillips head screws removed, you gain access to the system memory and hard drive. Components like the wireless card and processor require more disassembly to get at.

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