Product: Dell Inspiron 1525 15.4" Hi-Def Widescreen Laptop
Manufacturer: Dell
MSRP: $799 as configured (Varies by configuration)

Introduction
The Dell Inspiron 1525 Laptop is Dell's mid-range productivity laptop offering, with a standard 15.4" LCD that is the sweet spot for productivity as well as portability. It doesn't have the exciting design that the XPS series laptops have, but what it lacks in design it tries to make up with simplicity. Is the Inspiron 1525 the right laptop for your needs? Read on to see our take on this laptop.



Dell introduced the Inspiron 1525 hot on the heels of the bulky Inspiron 1520, which is one of the most dissatisfying Dells I have ever owned. The Inspiron 1520 was unbelievably bulky with the 9-cell battery at 6.4 lbs. The Inspiron 1525 slims down slightly to about 6.1 lbs (or 5.9 lbs with the 6-cell battery). The dimensions are also shrunk down, as the 1525 loses 9.4% depth, 12.6% width, and 5.5% thickness as compared to the 1520.



Specifications
  • Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T7250 2.00GHz
  • 3574MB DDR2 Memory
  • Vista Home Premium 32-Bit
  • Seagate ST9160823ASG Momentus 7200.2 SATA 160GB Hard Drive
  • TS-L632H DVD+-RW Drive
  • Integrated 2.0 MegaPixel Webcam
  • Glossy 15.4" 1440 x 900 LCD Display
  • Integrated Ethernet & 802.11g Wireless
  • High Definition Audio 2.0
  • 9-Cell Battery

    Design
    The Inspiron 1525 shares many similarities with the higher end XPS m1530, as you can see from the expansion port configuration comparison images below. The major differences are that the Inspiron 1525 has a standard tray-loading DVD drive (vs slot loading), an extra USB Port (4 total), and a 56k modem. The overall size is virtually identical to the m1530, which itself is considered to be a fairly slim laptop.





    Because of the compact size, the USB ports are situated very close to other adjacent ports (as well as to each other). This may cause fitment problems if you have USB devices with a large plug-print.

    An interesting design point for the Inspiron 1525 is how the touch pad seamlessly blends with the keyboard palm rest. There is no seam, just a smoothly beveled edge, which gives just the right feel so that you know where the edge of the touch pad is. I prefer this design over the hard edge on the XPS m1530.



    One annoying aspect that became apparent during everyday use is that the multimedia control buttons are very hard to see. The labels are unpainted sections with LED lighting beneath. The problem is that when the LEDs aren't active (i.e. most of the time, since they activate only momentarily when you press the buttons), the labels nearly impossible to read in many lighting conditions. I suppose you'll have to memorize the layout.





    In terms of visual appeal, the Inspiron 1525 seems rather bland. Yes, Dell gives you an array of color options for the lid, but other than that it is a very utilitarian design. Don't count on your friends being impressed by this computer.

    Performance
    Because it doesn't have a dedicated graphics solution (it uses the integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100 chipset), the Inspiron 1525 will not satisfy performance gamers. This is reflected in the Vista Experience graphics rating of 3.4, which can be compared to previously reviewed XPS m1530 with the 8600m GT video card clocking in at 5.9 on the same benchmark.



    The SuperPI calculation (to 1 million digits) took 30 seconds, as compared to 18 seconds on the XPS m1530. The raw number crunching capability is clearly not robust enough to give this laptop front-runner status. However, on a less quantitative note, this laptop was able to handle older 3D games (a la UT 2004) at a decent clip.



    Battery Life
    Under general office operations & web surfing using wireless, the Dell Recommended power setting gives a battery life of about 4 hours (with the 9 cell battery). Going to Power Saver mode enhances the battery life to just under 5 hours. As with all laptops, the screen is one of the main power hogs, so keeping the brightness setting as low as acceptable will help the battery life. Overall, the Inspiron 1525 in conjunction with the 9-Cell Battery has excellent battery life. It should be enough to get a good chunk of work done while you're away from the power socket.



    Conclusion
    My overall impression is that the Inspiron 1525 Laptop is a utilitarian piece of machinery. It has a very neutral design overall, leaving me with a lack of excitement when faced with the prospect of owning one. Performance is middle of the road, as is the price, which will appeal to budget conscious customers who want a simple laptop. The battery life with the 9-cell battery option is outstanding, and should be suitable for taking notes through a day of meetings or lectures, or just playing solitaire.

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    • Was this useful?
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      mtpaul Ben's cred: 16
      Posted 7:33 am PST 11/6/08

      get the warranty if you are tough on your laptop.

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      l_h_5 Ben's cred: 1
      Posted 10:40 am PST 11/6/08

      Never been a big fan of DELL

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      batteryfast Ben's cred: 1
      Posted 2:49 am PST 01/12/09

      You've made an excellent choice. My wife got a 1525 almost precisely two months ago and it's a really good notebook. If I had to buy one for myself right now, I'd go for the exact same model. I got a dell Inspiron 1525 Battery from http://www.batterygoshop.co.uk/dell/inspiron-1525-battery.htm . It can last more than 3 hours.

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      milf_hunter Ben's cred: 288
      Posted 11:59 am PST 01/16/09

      batteryfast wrote:
      You've made an excellent choice. My wife got a 1525 almost precisely two months ago and it's a really good notebook. If I had to buy one for myself right now, I'd go for the exact same model. I got a dell Inspiron 1525 Battery from http://www.batterygoshop.co.uk/dell/inspiron-1525-battery.htm . It can last more than 3 hours.


      That's not saying much when you look at my mom's standards.

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      shawnwilliams Ben's cred: 1
      Posted 11:20 pm PDT 08/26/09

      Hi all
      I have Toshiba laptop from 3 years. Now I am thinking to buy a new laptop. Here I have seen DELL Inspiration 1525 15.4” Hi-DEF Wide screen Laptop which looks good, even price is affordable too.

    • Was this useful?
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      adapterlist Ben's cred: 1
      Posted 9:09 pm PDT 08/27/09

      thank you batteryfast,iI had bought a dell laptop battery from batterygoshop.co.uk. and find it very useful to me.the battery has very longlife time.but i am an America,I find it's difficult to buy it from uk.in january 2009 i've bought some from www.adapterlist.com. i find i made an excellent choice.

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