Saturday, October 8, 2011

Dell Vostro 3555 Notebook Review

Back in Black. Dell currently offers the Vostro 3555, the Vostro family member existing around 500 euros. 15.6-inch black model features a quad-core processor, 6 GB of RAM and the Radeon HD 6620G graphics chip. One of the strengths of the laptop keyboard is lighting it easy to type at night.

Dell Vostro 3555 AMD Vision Technology is a new addition to your existing set. This laptop uses AMD CPU A8 3500 with integrated graphics chip. This graphics chip to handle all the graphics on your laptop. Quad-core is a standard 1.5 GHz clock speed and activate the "Turbo" to increase the clock speed of the processor maanitteli performance of the group.

Your 3555 is a 15.6-inch anti-glare display that runs a native resolution of 1366x768 pixels. Our test model with 6 GB of RAM, 2.5-inch hard disk with a capacity of 750 GB and a DVD-ROM drive. Dell has intalled a full HD camera this model as well. Size of the RAM modules, and our test model is unusual: two modules are installed - the Samsung module 4 GB and 2 GB Micro module. Dell Vostro 3555 costs around € 499 (taxes included).

Specifications Dell Vostro 3555 :
  • Processor : AMD A-Series A8-3500M 1.5 GHz
  • Mainboard : AMD Hudson-3, AMD K12
  • Memory : 6144 MB, 4 GB Module Samsung M471B5273DH0-CH9, 2 GB Micron 8JSF25664HZ-1G4D1 Module
  • Graphics adapter : AMD Radeon HD 6620G - 512 MB, Core: 276 MHz, Memory: 400 MHz, AMD Catalyst 11.3
  • Display : 15.6 inch 16:9, 1366x768 pixel, AUO23EC, glossy: no
  • Harddisk : Seagate ST9750420AS, 750GB 7200rpm SATA-II
  • Soundcard : ATI Radeon HDMI @ AMD K12 - High Definition Audio Controller
  • Connections : 1 Express Card 34mm, 3 USB 3.0, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 1 x Headphones - Stereo 3.5 mm, 1 x Microphone - 3.5 mm, Card Reader: 8-in-1-cardreaader, 1 Fingerprint Reader, 1 x eSATA/USB-2.0-Combo
  • Networking : Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Dell Wireless 1702 802.11b/g/n (bgn), 2.0 +EDR Bluetooth
  • Optical drive : TSSTcorp CDDVDW TS-L633J
  • Size : height x width x depth (in mm): 30.4 - 34,8 x 375.4 x 260,4
  • Weight : 2.475 kg Power Supply: 0.39 kg
  • Battery : 48 Wh Lithium-Ion, 6 cell
  • Price : 499 Euro
  • Operating System : Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit
  • Additional features : Webcam: 2.0 Megapixel , Trend Micro Worry-Free Business Security 3.5 (15 months), 12 Months Warranty, incl. 1 year pickup and repair service
The case of our test model is almost identical to its predecessor Intel: Vostro 3550th The main difference between the two models is the actual color instead of red, Dell has opted for a smooth platinum mixed with some copper for Vostro 3555th

Our test model looks simple but captivating. All interior surfaces are matte black. The keyboard and touchpad for each line of silver, which distinguishes them from their immediate surroundings and adds style to the laptop.

Closing the laptop turns the device on a laptop with a matte black brushed aluminum exquisite. The display cover the sides and about half of the bottom of the laptop are brushed aluminum. The team provides sufficiently robust reliable laptop.

The display cover can be forced inland in some places. For example, nearly half of the screen (in the area of ​​the Dell logo), the cover can be pushed inward. Fortunately, the lid is strong enough and prevents the user from pushing through the panel. The two screen hinges hold the screen well but still trembles slightly when the base of the laptop is moved.

The basic unit is even stronger than the bell of the screen: all parties sitting here, and would not scream or move. Areas of palm rest, keyboard and touchpad are strong enough to force. Surfaces not to yield under pressure, except near the optical drive, where the material can be pushed slightly inward.

Overall, the finish of the laptop is decent. We did not see the design flaws. The display can be easily opened and rattle a little when closed as Dell does not install a locking mechanism.

Dell Vostro 3555 weighs (as a 6-cell battery), approximately 2.47 kg. The power adapter adds another 390 grams of this figure. Measures the laptop is 35x375x260 mm, and the laptop is thinnest near the front - 30.4 mm.

Our test model was equipped with ports on all sides except the front (as above: the Vostro 3550) and all interfaces are well positioned. A total of three USB 3.0 ports are available on the laptop. Each side (back, right and left) has a USB 3.0 interface.

The laptop also has a 34 mm ExpressCard slot, a DVD, two audio jacks (headphone 1x microphone 1x) on the right side. At left, a card reader, HDMI interface and placed eSATA/USB2.0 combo. RJ45 LAN port and a VGA interface can be found at the back.

The location is pretty good, and the user can use any port without worrying about blocking all adjacent ports. On the front of the laptop does not have doors, and portable does not have an interface docking port on the bottom.

The user can use the RJ-45 port on the back (Gigabit-LAN) for Internet connection wired or wireless LAN module (802.11 b / g / n) for wireless Internet browsing. The laptop also has Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR. Unfortunately, the modem is not installed 3G-/UMTS-compatible.

The Vostro 3555 offers extensive security functions. The laptop has a fingerprint reader that allows the user to use a biometric protection for computer logon. The fingerprint scanner can also be used with the DigitalPersona software for other user names, such as a mail client.

Virus protection offered by Dell has McAfee Security Center and Trend Micro Worry-Free Business Security Services, which is free for 15 months. In addition, Dell also the absolute data protection, in the form of LoJack (initial release), pre-installed. After recording (which requires the payment) of the laptop can be tracked if lost.

The delivery unit includes a series of multilingual guides and three DVDs, plus a laptop and power supply. DVD-ROM contains Windows 7 Professional 64-bit operating systems (including SP1), Worry-Free Software, Trend Micro and the necessary drivers and applications, including Microsoft Office 2010 (appetizer, with the ads).

The warranty period for the base configuration is 12 months. This includes pick-up and repair service.

In Dell's online store, the buyer can configure the installed modules and content delivery packages to meet his / her preferences. A service of protection against accidental damage are not provided by Dell for this model. Dell ProSupport offers an additional service in most of the year pick-up and repair service.

ProSupport service includes on-site next business day and costs around 80 euros / year and 160 euros for 3 years. A standard service is also available, which includes "next business day service" for 65 Euros / year and after three years, the user gets a discount and guarantee, but for another 3 years to 130 euros.

Input Devices

The Vostro 3550 keyboard is identical to that of our test model, and also the backlight. This feature allows the user to distinguish the characters on the keyboard, even in the dark.

A large touch pad with a black surface is placed in front of the keyboard on our test model. The trackpad supports multi-finger input and gestures that the touchpad Vostro 3550th

The touchpad has two buttons that act as left and right buttons on a mouse. The user can easily disable the touchpad by pressing "Fn + F3". Users will be notified automatically by the computer when the touchpad is de-/activated (with a pop-up screen) and a LED above the touchpad turns on when the power is off.

The 2-megapixel webcam HD is located in the center top of the screen 15.6 inches and can take photos or videos.

Our test model has a 15.6 inch screen has a resolution of 1366x786 pixels and a 16:9 aspect ratio. The screen is anti-reflective, which means it does not glare. External monitor / TV can be connected to the laptop via VGA (back) or HDMI (on the left side) of the interface. The panel used in our test model was named AUO23EC. This is a panel different from that tested in Intel Vostro 3550 (LGD02E3).

Integrated AMD Radeon HD 6620G CPU chip is responsible for printing graphics. Unfortunately, this graphics chip lacks its own VRAM (video RAM), and as such must be installed in main memory modules.

We measured nine fixed points of data on the screen when it is set to maximum brightness. Values ​​between 164-180 cd / m (the average is 170.8 cd / m²). Display lighting is 91 percent. These values ​​indicate that the panel is much darker than your panel 3550.

We measured the contrary, when the screen had a maximum brightness. The screen contrast is 189:1 and the black value is 0.87 cd / m².

We realized that the top corners and the edge of the screen at the bottom of the screen were much brighter when the screen showed a black. This effect appears to be a "Smiley Bad" and affected the overall viewing experience particularly negative when viewing dark scenes in videos.

The colors are also displayed by the panel. Unfortunately, the measured color space is far from professional Adobe RGB and sRGB color spaces.

The display provides an acceptable image on the outside in bright sunlight. The contents of the 15.6-inch screen is clearly legible and the colors of the video test was also clearly visible. The brightness has decreased considerably, but this should not hinder the user while sending an email or administrative tasks often use a lighter background. As such, the user will be able to make this, although longer periods of use will test his / her eyes.

Steady-viewing angle display is very limited. Content is displayed and the strong colors and good contrast, as long as the user sits in front of the screen. However, when the user changes position, rotate the image, or light.

When the screen is turned at an angle of 45 degrees or -45 degrees of the screen content is no longer recognizable. At these angles, it is the content that appears on the screen or reverse light, making it impossible for us to recognize the content.

Dell Inspiron 3555 uses quad-core AMD CPU. Vision 3500 A8 1.5 GHz AMD laps (32-nm CPU production of a billion transistors Die size 218 mm ²) and a level of 4 MB of L2 cache. APU (Accelerated Processing Unit) can work with four threads simultaneously, and the nucleus is a turbocharged 2.0 (equivalent to the Intel Turbo Boost). When this "turbo" mode is activated, the processor speed of 2.4GHz. This means that each core of the APU can be easily overclocked until there is adequate cooling.

We tested the ports for all latency problems with DPC Latency Checker tool. This software allows us to control synchronization of computers may have problems with external hardware.

As the screenshot below, all values ​​will remain a green area. Synchronization errors tone green bars of red, and if there is a visible red points, then the system is free from latency problems. How to plot points are all green, we can certainly conclude that the laptop has no problem of synchronization with external devices (problems, especially audio and video).

Vostro 3555 hit 2085 points in Cinebench R10 (single Rendering - 64-bit mode), which places it at the same level as a Core i3 @ 2357M (powered) 1.3 GHz or Athlon P340@2.2 GHz. In rendering test multi (64 bits) of the test pattern of performance as high as 6852 points. This score is comparable to the performance delivered by an AMD Phenom X4 II P960. The test model scored 1.88 points in the last benchmark Cinebench R11.5 (64-bit CPU calculations).

The laptop has reached 5030 points in PC Mark Vantage. The score is not as bad as it looks in relation to the performance of an Intel Core 2 Duo P7550 or P960 AMD Phenom X4 II. In PC Mark 7 (the most recent reference) test model has scored 1634 points.

In direct comparison with the Vostro 3550 previously tested, we found that our test model scored much lower. On average, the Dell Vostro 3555 was 56% lower than its predecessor (the Vostro 3550) in Cinebench R10. However, this is probably due to the strong 2620m Core i7 (@ 2.7 GHz) in the Vostro 3550. Even in PC Mark Vantage (-35%) and PC Mark 7 (-20.6%) of our test model scored lower.

Our test model using the integrated graphics chip to its APU for its graphical output. The integrated model of AMD Radeon HD graphics chips is 6620G, which supports DirectX 11 and that would have occurred at the same level as a Mobility Radeon HD 5650 graphics card middle class. In addition, the AMD graphics chip is supposedly much faster than Intel integrated graphics chip HD 3000 which is used by the second generation of Core processors.

In the benchmarks from Futuremark, and 3D graphics performance of the AMD Radeon HD launch on hold 6620G: 15,023 points (3D Mark 2001se), 10 589 points (3D Mark 03), and 7033 points (3D Mark 05). The Dell performed particularly well in 3D Mark 06: 4.053 points. Finally, in the latest graphics benchmark from Futuremark 3D Mark 11, scored 809 points integrated graphics.

Against the Radeon HD 5650 integrated graphics chip, and the 3500-A8 processor will lose about 29.4% on average (in 3D Mark 2001SE: - 26.4%, 03-40% in 3D Mark 3D Mark 05: - 28 %, 3D Mark 06: - 43.7%, 3D Mark 11: - 9.7%).

When comparing the graphics performance of your models (3550 and 3555), we found that the successor has a lower performance graphics. Your 3550 uses the Radeon HD 6630M, while the 3555 uses an ATI Radeon HD 6620G. Test results show that your 3555 results on average 31% smaller than your 3550.

In this direct comparison, we found that AMD Radeon HD 6620G generates about 13.6 percent better (marked increase) than HD 3000 Integrated Graphics (second generation Core series).

Stress Test
Internal temperature of four CPU cores A8 3500m just increased our stress test (a high load on the CPU and the GPU using prime95 and Furmark). CPU clock frequency is a bit 'shaken to 1.5 GHz Turbo mode is not widely used. Clock speed down to 200 MHz for a moment.

In our stress test of 90 minutes, the standard clock rate (@ 1.5 GHz) of the APU was constant most of the time.

Hard Drive Performance
Dell Vostro 3555 uses a 2.5-inch drives from Seagate for data storage. The hard drive, model ST9750420AS is running at 7200 rpm and has a capacity of 750 GB. The hard drive is for the Momentus series and has a Serial-ATA with a cache of 16 MB The average transfer rate of 91.9 MB / s was measured using the "HD Tune Pro."

The rate of break is at 155.1 Mb / s. These values ​​are confirmed by two other test programs: "Hard Crystal Mark" and "AS SSD." AS SSD tool is designed for the SSD models, but it works fine with hard drives too.

Gaming Performance Verdict
The integrated graphics of the A8-3500M-Prozessor (AMD Radeon HD 6620G) worked well in all games tested. In "Dirt 3", "Trackmania nation forever" and "FIFA 11", AMD's integrated graphics can deliver up to 170 fps (frames per second) at a resolution of 800x600 pixels. With a resolution of 1024x, the yield fell: Dirt 3-36 fps was still "playable").

Fifa 11 and TMN better performance and can run in all resolutions. The demanding "Mafia 2" game ran on the test model with a resolution of 800 x pixels at 35 fps. In comparison, a graph HD 3000 (integrated graphics processor Sandy Bridge) could only run Mafia 2.9 fps at a resolution of 800x600 pixels.

To see the games that run on AMD's graphics chip, and how they run, please take a look at our performance table depth, which contains the latest games, "games on the laptop graphics ".


Noise emissions
While the Vostro 3555 does not operate a high performance CPU (A8-3500m), the fan still works (even when idle). When available, the noise of the laptop around 33.3 dB (A). DVD playback caused emissions to jump slightly to 35.9 dB (A) (distance between portable unit of measurement - 15 cm).

Even at full load, only the laptop emits 35.9 dB (A). The built-in hard drive running quietly at 32.1 dB (a) despite the fast operating speed of 7200 rpm. Noise emissions are down from its predecessor.

Emissions remain low temperature in our tests. The Vostro successful thanks to its CPU power-conservative (AMD A series A8-3500), and temperatures in 3550 were significantly lower than its predecessor: The 3550th Vostro laptop ran relatively cool, even when the material was full load - about 40.6 degrees C (near the middle of the bottom of the laptop). Other laptops was to break the boundary 50 degrees under the same conditions. The surface is still fresh in front of the keyboard and touchpad area, with a maximum of 30.6 degrees Celsius.

When the computer is idle or when the user performs a light office work or surf the web, the surface temperature was maintained at 29.5 degrees to 33 degrees Celsius.

The power supply had to deliver high performance in stress tests, and it was relatively warm. Temperature measurements from 53 degrees Celsius, while the laptop running at full load to 28.6 degrees Celsius, while the laptop was idle.

The laptop has impressed us with decent sound quality when playing music and video files. The speakers are hidden behind small openings in the book. Our quest to locate the exact location of the speakers did not have any results. The noise comes from below and from the laptop base amplifies the sound. The sound output is good, even if the speakers are turned on.

Battery Life
The energy consumption of the Vostro 3555 in standby mode is 0.9 Watts. Our measuring device has shown the power consumption, while outside a W. At rest, the energy consumption varies from 9.1 to 13.3 watts. For our reading, we had to put the screen to minimum brightness, WLAN off, and activate all energy saving options.

The second step was taken with maximum brightness, high performance profile, and WLAN. These values ​​are low for a laptop with a quad-core. The consumption of energy as possible (at full load, at maximum brightness, no WLAN energy) is 55.0 W.

The Vostro 3555 battery has six cells as the 3550th Vostro The lithium-ion battery lasted 1 hour and 23 minutes (minimum execution time) in the first round of the "Classic Test" of BatteryEater. In "Test Drive" (minimum brightness, the power saving features enabled), the battery lasted 348 minutes (5 hours and 48 minutes - the maximum duration of execution).

Users can surf the web via WLAN without power cable for 2 hours and 52 minutes. The laptop lasted 1 hour and 50 minutes while playing a DVD. Recharging the battery takes approximately 137 minutes (2 hours: 17min).

Interesting: While the system uses less energy and have a longer battery life when it is available, the Intel Vostro 3550 is still ongoing as more you surf the Internet using the WLAN module or reading a DVD. It seems that the test pattern can not keep power consumption as low in daily use as it boasts.

When the handset closed his eyes with a brushed aluminum surface of platinum, and when you open the "Black Pearl" was born. The limits of the screen, and the base of laptops are made of black aluminum and Matt. The keyboard and touchpad surrounded by a chrome frame emphasizing the design is refined.

The 15.6-inch HD (high definition)-the screen is backlit and has a native resolution of 1366x768 pixels. The screen is anti-glare (matte), which means that users are not distracted by a multitude of reflections. Unfortunately, the viewing angles are not so great on the outside and bright colors fade quickly.

Within the laptop, an AMD quad-core (A8-3500) works with its integrated graphics chip (GeForce 6620G), 6 GB of RAM (1 GB + 1 x 4 x 2 GB) and 750 GB hard drive. The equipment has proven reliable and fast in our benchmarks with very low emissions.

Dell announced the Vostro 3555 will be available for 499 euros. Currently, the configuration we tested is available on Dell's online store (discounts +) to 449 euros. (Prices from 22/09/2011)

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