Notebookcheck

Dell Inspiron 15-7548 Notebook Review

Sascha Mölck (translated by Andreas Osthoff), 04/11/2015

Slimmed down. The new version of the Inspiron 15 of the 7000-series is much slimmer than the predecessor, and now has a 4K display. However, the restriction is not only limited to the chassis: You also have to live with drawbacks in terms of graphics performance and battery runtimes.

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Dell's Inspiron 15-7548 continues the trend of slimmer notebooks, but you still do not have to compromise on powerful components. Our review unit is equipped with a powerful Core i7-5500U processor and a Radeon R7 M270 GPU. You also get a fast solid-state drive and a 4K display, which means the notebook is an all-rounder with a 15.6-inch display. The Inspiron 15-7548 is the successor of the Inspiron 15-7537 that we reviewed back in 2013. The most noticeable changes of the hardware are the switch from Nvidia GPUs to a weaker AMD chip and the availability of a 4K panel. Our review will show whether the Inspiron has benefited from these changes.

Rivals for the Inspiron are the premium multimedia notebooks from other manufacturers. For example, the HP Envy 15-k203ng, the Asus N551JK-CN166H and the Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T.

Dell Inspiron 15-7548 (Inspiron 15 Series)
Graphics adapter
AMD Radeon R7 M270 - 4096 MB, Core: 725-825 MHz, Memory: 900 MHz, DDR3, Catalyst Omega 14.12 (14.501.1003.0), Enduro
Memory
16384 MB 
, DDR3-1600, Dual-Channel, two memory slots (both occupied)
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 3840 x 2160 pixel, capacitive, 10 point multi-touch, Samsung, IPS, glossy: yes
Mainboard
Intel Broadwell-U PCH-LP (Premium)
Storage
Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11, 256 GB 
, 200 GB free
Soundcard
Realtek ALC255 @ Intel Broadwell PCH-LP High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
1 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: combined stereo jack, Card Reader: SD, Sensors: Position sensor, Brightness sensor
Networking
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265 (a/b/g/h/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.0
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 19.9 x 378 x 262 ( = 0.78 x 14.88 x 10.31 in)
Battery
56 Wh Lithium-Ion, 7.2 V, 7600 mAh
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 8.1 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD-Webcam
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, Recovery medium (USB stick), Dropbox 20 GB, McAfee LiveSafe-Internet Security (trial), MS Office (trial), 24 Months Warranty
Weight
2.1 kg ( = 74.08 oz / 4.63 pounds), Power Supply: 343 g ( = 12.1 oz / 0.76 pounds)
Price
1200 Euro

 

Case

The chassis of the Inspiron is just 2.3 mm (~0.1 in) slimmer than the chassis of the predecessor. The device gets slimmer towards the sides, so it actually appears much thinner. At the same time, it is around 500 grams (~1.1 lb) lighter. On the other hand, the materials are identical: The whole device is made of aluminum, the only exception is the bottom cover. Dell did change the chassis color: While the predecessor was entirely silver-gray, the successor Inspiron 15-7548 uses this color only for the lid. The top of the base unit is now darker (anthracite). A maintenance hatch is not available, but it is easy to lift the entire bottom cover. More on this later.

The build quality of the device does not reveal any issues and the same applies for the stability. It is only possible to dent the chassis at the center of the left edge. The torsion resistance of the base unit is decent, and it is only possible to twist the lid slightly. Pressure on the back of the lid does not result in picture distortions. The hinges are quite firm, so opening the lid with one hand requires some fiddling.

Connectivity

To make the notebook slim, Dell has  equipped the Inspiron with only the most essential ports. For example, an Ethernet port is missing, but could be added with an appropriate USB adaptor if necessary. Two of the three USB ports support the USB 3.0 standard. All ports are located in the rear area of the two sides, which means the areas next to the palm rest would not be cluttered by cables.

Left side: AC power, HDMI, USB 3.0, combined stereo jack
Left side: AC power, HDMI, USB 3.0, combined stereo jack
Right side: Card reader, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, slot for a cable lock
Right side: Card reader, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, slot for a cable lock

Communication

The Inspiron does not have an Ethernet port, so you can only use the WLAN module for Internet connections. The module is provided by Intel (Wireless-AC 7265) and supports the WLAN standards 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac. We had a stable wireless signal in a 15 m (~50 ft) radius around our router and the transfer rates did not drop. The WLAN module also provides the Bluetooth 4.0 functionality. The webcam of the Inspiron takes acceptable pictures with a resolution of up to 1280x720 pixels.

Accessories

In addition to a quick-start poster and security information, the notebook comes with a recovery USB stick.

Operating System

The operating system of the device is Windows 8.1 (64-bit). For example, you can use the provided USB stick to restore the OS if you replaced the hard drive.

Maintenance

We have already mentioned that the Inspiron does not have a maintenance hatch. It is still easy to access the components: After you have removed all the screws at the bottom, you can lift the entire bottom cover with a sharp object. The notebook has two memory slots that are equipped with an 8 GB module each. The 2.5-inch hard drive can be easily replaced with another drive, but you can only use models with a height of 7 mm (~0.27 in). Cleaning the fans is also easy. It is possible to replace the battery, which is secured by a couple of screws.

Warranty

You get a standard warranty of one year for the notebook if you get the Inspiron directly from Dell, but you get a two-year warranty if you purchase it from other retailers. In either case, it is possible to extend the warranty as Dell offers a range of extensions. A three-year on-site warranty, for instance, is available for around 210 Euros (~$222).

Input Devices

Keyboard

While the keyboard of the Inspiron 15-7537 has a numeric keypad, Dell has decided to discard it in the Inspiron 15-7548. The keyboard of the Inspiron has a two-stage illumination. The main keys have a size of around 14 x 14 millimeters (~0.55 x 0.55 in) and with short strokes and a good pressure point. A slightly firmer resistance would have been more to our taste. However, the input still provides a decent typing experience.

Touchpad

Dell uses a ClickPad (a touchpad without dedicated mouse buttons; the whole pad is a button) with multi-touch support as a mouse replacement. It has a size of around 8 x 10.5 centimeters (~3.5 x ~4.1 in), which means you have a lot of space for gestures. The slightly roughened surface of the pad provides good gliding capabilities for the fingers. The pad has a short stroke with a clearly audible and perceptible pressure point.

Touchscreen

Another input device is the capacitive touchscreen. The integrated model reacts very quickly and executes inputs without delays. It supports the Windows touch input with 10 touch points.

The keyboard is illuminated.
The keyboard is illuminated.
The Clickpad supports multi-touch gestures.
The Clickpad supports multi-touch gestures.

Display

Dell sent us a review unit with a 4K display (3840x2160 pixels), but it is also possible to get the device with a Full HD panel. The high resolution of the screen can result in some scaling issues when you use Windows and some third-party applications, because they were not optimized for high resolutions by the software developers.

The panel cannot impress us with its brightness: A value of 204.3 cd/m² is too low for this price range. Both the display of the HP Envy 15 (285.5 cd/m², Full HD) and the Asus N551JK (312.2 cd/m²; Full HD) show how bright it should be.

219
cd/m²
212
cd/m²
201
cd/m²
228
cd/m²
214
cd/m²
202
cd/m²
203
cd/m²
184
cd/m²
176
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 228 cd/m² Average: 204.3 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 77 %
Center on Battery: 250 cd/m²
Contrast: 282:1 (Black: 0.76 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 5.83 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.3
ΔE Greyscale 7.17 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
Gamma: 1.94

Contrast (282:1) and black value (0.76 cd/m²) are quite bad. The situation is not much better for the Envy 15 (381:1; 0.78 cd/m²). Only the panel of the Asus N551JK (850:1; 0.38 cd/m²) manages good results. We cannot give you any results for the color space coverage because our measuring software crashed repeatedly.

The color accuracy ex-works is decent with an average DeltaE 2000 deviation of 5.83. The target value (DeltaE less than 3) is not too far away and we cannot see a blue cast.

CalMAN - ColorChecker
CalMAN - ColorChecker
CalMAN - Grayscale
CalMAN - Grayscale
CalMAN - Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN - Saturation Sweeps

The integrated panel is based on the IPS technology and provides wide viewing angles, which means the display content is visible from every angle. However, you cannot really use the notebook outdoors; the glossy display surface usually affects the visibility.

Viewing angles Inspiron
Viewing angles Inspiron
The Inspiron outdoors
The Inspiron outdoors
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
IPS 3840x2160
HP Envy 15-k203ng
TN 1920x1080
Asus N551JK-CN166H
IPS 1920x1080
Toshiba Satellite L50-B-1TD
IPS 1920x1080
Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T
IPS 3840x2160
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-571G-574H
IPS 1920x1080
Dell Inspiron 15-7537
IPS 1920x1080
Screen
-6%
50%
33%
97%
65%
60%
Brightness middle
214
297
39%
323
51%
299
40%
255
19%
320
50%
271
27%
Brightness
204
286
40%
312
53%
299
47%
248
22%
283
39%
267
31%
Brightness Distribution
77
85
10%
83
8%
77
0%
88
14%
83
8%
84
9%
Black Level *
0.76
0.78
-3%
0.38
50%
0.54
29%
0.18
76%
0.32
58%
0.25
67%
Contrast
282
381
35%
850
201%
554
96%
1417
402%
1000
255%
1084
284%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
5.83
11.14
-91%
7.4
-27%
5.96
-2%
2
66%
5.31
9%
6.22
-7%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
7.17
12.16
-70%
6.24
13%
5.52
23%
1.61
78%
4.73
34%
6.72
6%
Gamma
1.94 124%
3.13 77%
2.98 81%
2.29 105%
2.37 101%
2.36 102%
2.47 97%
CCT
5617 116%
12217 53%
8098 80%
5831 111%
6462 101%
5980 109%
5736 113%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
51.2
69
51
60
52.9
55
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
92.1

* ... smaller is better

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Performance

The Dell Inspiron 15-7548 is an all-rounder with a 15.6-inch screen. It is powerful enough for common tasks and can even handle games. Our review unit is available for around 1149 Euros (~$1216) and represents the high-end configuration of the series. Dell offers two other versions that differ in terms of the hard drive technology, display resolution and battery capacity. The cheapest model is available for 949 Euros (~$1004).

CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
GPU-Z
GPU-Z
HWInfo
LatencyMonitor
System information Dell Inspiron 15-7548

Processor

Dell has equipped the Inspiron with a Core i7-5500U dual-core processor (Broadwell) from Intel. This model is an economical ULV processor with a TDP of 15 watts; standard mobile processors have a TDP between 35 and 47 watts. The CPU runs with a nominal clock of 2.4 GHz, which can be raised up to 2.9 GHz (two cores) and 3 GHz (one core) via Turbo Boost. The Turbo Boost can be utilized on mains as well as battery power, but the full performance cannot be maintained in multithread scenarios. The processor starts with 2.9 GHz, but after a while drops to between 2.7 and 2.9 GHz.

We have previously reviewed the predecessor of the Inspiron – the Inspiron 15-7537 – back in 2013. This device was equipped with the Haswell predecessor of the Core i7-5500U processor - the Core i7-4500U. In theory, the new Broadwell CPU should be slightly faster than its predecessor, but it is actually significantly faster. The reason: The Core i7-4500U in the Inspiron 15-7537 could not utilize its full performance most of the time. However, this is not a problem for the Inspiron 15-7548.

Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
9950
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
6269
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
4634
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
3.21 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
34.29 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.42 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
98 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
37.01 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
294 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
121 Points
Help
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
Radeon R7 M270, 5500U, Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
121 Points ∼58%
HP Envy 15-k203ng
GeForce GTX 850M, 5500U, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
120 Points ∼58% -1%
Asus N551JK-CN166H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4200H, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
130 Points ∼63% +7%
Toshiba Satellite L50-B-1TD
Radeon R7 M260, 4510U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GMCU
119 Points ∼57% -2%
Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T
Radeon R9 M265X, 4710HQ, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
133 Points ∼64% +10%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-571G-574H
GeForce GTX 850M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
108 Points ∼52% -11%
Dell Inspiron 15-7537
GeForce GT 750M, 4500U, Samsung SSD SM841 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV
105 Points ∼51% -13%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
Radeon R7 M270, 5500U, Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
294 Points ∼10%
HP Envy 15-k203ng
GeForce GTX 850M, 5500U, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
289 Points ∼10% -2%
Asus N551JK-CN166H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4200H, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
323 Points ∼11% +10%
Toshiba Satellite L50-B-1TD
Radeon R7 M260, 4510U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GMCU
272 Points ∼9% -7%
Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T
Radeon R9 M265X, 4710HQ, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
611 Points ∼21% +108%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-571G-574H
GeForce GTX 850M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
261 Points ∼9% -11%
Dell Inspiron 15-7537
GeForce GT 750M, 4500U, Samsung SSD SM841 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV
195 Points ∼7% -34%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
Radeon R7 M270, 5500U, Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
1.42 Points ∼61%
Asus N551JK-CN166H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4200H, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
1.46 Points ∼62% +3%
Toshiba Satellite L50-B-1TD
Radeon R7 M260, 4510U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GMCU
1.35 Points ∼58% -5%
Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T
Radeon R9 M265X, 4710HQ, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
1.48 Points ∼63% +4%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-571G-574H
GeForce GTX 850M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
1.25 Points ∼53% -12%
Dell Inspiron 15-7537
GeForce GT 750M, 4500U, Samsung SSD SM841 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV
1.09 Points ∼47% -23%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
Radeon R7 M270, 5500U, Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
3.21 Points ∼13%
Asus N551JK-CN166H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4200H, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
3.5 Points ∼15% +9%
Toshiba Satellite L50-B-1TD
Radeon R7 M260, 4510U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GMCU
2.92 Points ∼12% -9%
Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T
Radeon R9 M265X, 4710HQ, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
6.8 Points ∼28% +112%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-571G-574H
GeForce GTX 850M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
2.8 Points ∼12% -13%
Dell Inspiron 15-7537
GeForce GT 750M, 4500U, Samsung SSD SM841 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV
2.12 Points ∼9% -34%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
Radeon R7 M270, 5500U, Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
4634 Points ∼43%
HP Envy 15-k203ng
GeForce GTX 850M, 5500U, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
4672 Points ∼43% +1%
Asus N551JK-CN166H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4200H, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
4773 Points ∼44% +3%
Toshiba Satellite L50-B-1TD
Radeon R7 M260, 4510U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GMCU
4527 Points ∼42% -2%
Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T
Radeon R9 M265X, 4710HQ, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
5171 Points ∼48% +12%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-571G-574H
GeForce GTX 850M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
4109 Points ∼38% -11%
Dell Inspiron 15-7537
GeForce GT 750M, 4500U, Samsung SSD SM841 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV
3923 Points ∼36% -15%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
Radeon R7 M270, 5500U, Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
9950 Points ∼20%
HP Envy 15-k203ng
GeForce GTX 850M, 5500U, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
9773 Points ∼20% -2%
Asus N551JK-CN166H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4200H, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
10668 Points ∼21% +7%
Toshiba Satellite L50-B-1TD
Radeon R7 M260, 4510U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GMCU
9148 Points ∼18% -8%
Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T
Radeon R9 M265X, 4710HQ, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
19361 Points ∼39% +95%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-571G-574H
GeForce GTX 850M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
8662 Points ∼17% -13%
Dell Inspiron 15-7537
GeForce GT 750M, 4500U, Samsung SSD SM841 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV
6843 Points ∼14% -31%
Geekbench 3
32 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
Radeon R7 M270, 5500U, Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
6074 Points ∼20%
HP Envy 15-k203ng
GeForce GTX 850M, 5500U, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
5982 Points ∼19% -2%
Toshiba Satellite L50-B-1TD
Radeon R7 M260, 4510U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GMCU
5301 Points ∼17% -13%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-571G-574H
GeForce GTX 850M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
5323 Points ∼17% -12%
32 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
Radeon R7 M270, 5500U, Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
2960 Points ∼64%
HP Envy 15-k203ng
GeForce GTX 850M, 5500U, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
2884 Points ∼62% -3%
Toshiba Satellite L50-B-1TD
Radeon R7 M260, 4510U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GMCU
2646 Points ∼57% -11%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-571G-574H
GeForce GTX 850M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
2656 Points ∼57% -10%
Sunspider - 1.0 Total Score (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
Radeon R7 M270, 5500U, Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
102.7 ms * ∼3%
HP Envy 15-k203ng
GeForce GTX 850M, 5500U, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
101.7 ms * ∼3% +1%
Asus N551JK-CN166H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4200H, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
88.3 ms * ∼2% +14%
Toshiba Satellite L50-B-1TD
Radeon R7 M260, 4510U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GMCU
113.7 ms * ∼3% -11%
Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T
Radeon R9 M265X, 4710HQ, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
86 ms * ∼2% +16%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-571G-574H
GeForce GTX 850M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
123.1 ms * ∼3% -20%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
Radeon R7 M270, 5500U, Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
2266.6 ms * ∼4%
HP Envy 15-k203ng
GeForce GTX 850M, 5500U, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
2277.7 ms * ∼4% -0%
Asus N551JK-CN166H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4200H, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
2168.4 ms * ∼4% +4%
Toshiba Satellite L50-B-1TD
Radeon R7 M260, 4510U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GMCU
2321.3 ms * ∼4% -2%
Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T
Radeon R9 M265X, 4710HQ, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
2090 ms * ∼4% +8%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-571G-574H
GeForce GTX 850M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
2558.3 ms * ∼4% -13%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
Radeon R7 M270, 5500U, Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
14472 Points ∼29%
HP Envy 15-k203ng
GeForce GTX 850M, 5500U, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
14294 Points ∼29% -1%
Asus N551JK-CN166H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4200H, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
15140 Points ∼31% +5%
Toshiba Satellite L50-B-1TD
Radeon R7 M260, 4510U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GMCU
13750 Points ∼28% -5%
Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T
Radeon R9 M265X, 4710HQ, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
15539 Points ∼31% +7%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-571G-574H
GeForce GTX 850M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
12442 Points ∼25% -14%
Peacekeeper - --- (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
Radeon R7 M270, 5500U, Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
2688 Points ∼43%
HP Envy 15-k203ng
GeForce GTX 850M, 5500U, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
2749 Points ∼44% +2%
Toshiba Satellite L50-B-1TD
Radeon R7 M260, 4510U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GMCU
2698 Points ∼44% 0%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-571G-574H
GeForce GTX 850M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
2446 Points ∼39% -9%

* ... smaller is better

System Performance

Behind this cover ...
Behind this cover ...
... are the memory slots.
... are the memory slots.

The Inspiron runs smoothly and without hiccups; we never encountered any problems during our review period. It is not possible to increase the system performance any further – Dell has already integrated fast components. This is confirmed by the good results in the PCMark benchmarks. However, our comparison table shows that despite its weaker hardware, the Toshiba Satellite L50-B-1TD is much better than the Inspiron in the PCMark 8 benchmarks. The reason is the higher desktop resolution (3840x2160 pixels) of the Inspiron, and we can determine higher results if we run the benchmarks with the Full HD resolution. We tried it (Home: 3502 points, Creative: 4225 points, Work: 4367 points). Another curious observation: Notebooks with a Radeon GPU manage better results in the PCMark 8 Home benchmark than devices that use much more powerful Nvidia GPUs. The reason: The benchmark benefit particularly from AMD graphics cores.

PCMark 7 Score
5417 points
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
2805 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
3826 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
3413 points
Help
PCMark 8 - Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
Radeon R7 M270, 5500U, Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
2805 Points ∼46%
HP Envy 15-k203ng
GeForce GTX 850M, 5500U, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
3130 Points ∼51% +12%
Asus N551JK-CN166H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4200H, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
3113 Points ∼51% +11%
Toshiba Satellite L50-B-1TD
Radeon R7 M260, 4510U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GMCU
3291 Points ∼54% +17%
Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T
Radeon R9 M265X, 4710HQ, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
3386 Points ∼56% +21%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-571G-574H
GeForce GTX 850M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
3096 Points ∼51% +10%
PCMark 7 - Score (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
Radeon R7 M270, 5500U, Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
5417 Points ∼63%
Asus N551JK-CN166H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4200H, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
4131 Points ∼48% -24%
Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T
Radeon R9 M265X, 4710HQ, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
5010 Points ∼58% -8%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-571G-574H
GeForce GTX 850M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
3924 Points ∼46% -28%
Dell Inspiron 15-7537
GeForce GT 750M, 4500U, Samsung SSD SM841 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV
5454 Points ∼63% +1%

Storage Devices

A quick replacement of the SSD is possible.
A quick replacement of the SSD is possible.

The hard drive is a solid-state drive from LiteOn with a capacity of 256 GB. Users can use around 200 GB for their own files, the rest is occupied by Windows and the recovery partition. It is a solid-state drive with a 2.5-inch format, so it is easy to replace the SSD with a higher capacity drive or a less expensive conventional hard drive. There is no criticism for the transfer rates of the SSD and they are generally good.

The notebook is equipped with an accelerometer, which helps to protect the hard drive. For example, if the notebook falls from a table the sensor recognizes it and puts the read/write head of the drive in a parking position, so it cannot damage the data layer. However, our review unit is equipped with an SSD, so this feature is not used. Dell also sells the Inspiron with conventional hard drives.

Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
Sequential Read: 497.3 MB/s
Sequential Write: 418 MB/s
512K Read: 373.9 MB/s
512K Write: 397 MB/s
4K Read: 34.71 MB/s
4K Write: 84.13 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 334 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 323.3 MB/s

Graphics

The Inspiron supports switchable graphics (Enduro) with a combination of Intel's HD Graphics 5500 GPU and AMD's Radeon R7 M270 GPU. Intel's core does not consume a lot of power and is used for common tasks and on battery power. The Radeon core is activated when you need a lot of 3D performance – like gaming. The switching usually happens automatically, but it does not work as well as the counterpart from Nvidia (Optimus), so the user sometimes has to adjust the settings manually.

The Radeon R7 M270 GPU is a lower mainstream graphics solution. It supports DirectX 11.2 and runs with up to 825 MHz. The specifications of the GPU are similar to the Radeon R7 M265 GPU and we could not find any differences. This is also supported by the 3DMark results. The GPU is now called "Radeon R7 M265" in the Device Manager since we installed the Catalyst Omega 14.12 driver.

The Inspiron has clearly lost graphics performance compared to its predecessor: The Radeon core is much slower than the GeForce GT 750M GPU from the old model. If you want to replace the Haswell Inspiron with the Broadwell Inspiron, you should consider if the lower GPU performance will be sufficient for your needs.

3DMark 06 Standard
10024 points
3DMark Vantage P Result
6699 points
3DMark 11 Performance
2026 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
14562 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
4366 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
1129 points
Help
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
Radeon R7 M270, 5500U, Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
2026 Points ∼7%
HP Envy 15-k203ng
GeForce GTX 850M, 5500U, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
3961 Points ∼13% +96%
Asus N551JK-CN166H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4200H, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
4255 Points ∼14% +110%
Toshiba Satellite L50-B-1TD
Radeon R7 M260, 4510U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GMCU
1905 Points ∼6% -6%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-571G-574H
GeForce GTX 850M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
3912 Points ∼13% +93%
Dell Inspiron 15-7537
GeForce GT 750M, 4500U, Samsung SSD SM841 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV
2632 Points ∼9% +30%
Acer Aspire V 15 Nitro VN7-571G-56NX
GeForce 840M, 4210U, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3128GD
2482 Points ∼8% +23%
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
1159 Points ∼4% -43%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Score (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
Radeon R7 M270, 5500U, Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
1129 Points ∼4%
HP Envy 15-k203ng
GeForce GTX 850M, 5500U, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
2579 Points ∼10% +128%
Asus N551JK-CN166H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4200H, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
2675 Points ∼10% +137%
Toshiba Satellite L50-B-1TD
Radeon R7 M260, 4510U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GMCU
946 Points ∼4% -16%
Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T
Radeon R9 M265X, 4710HQ, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
1585 Points ∼6% +40%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-571G-574H
GeForce GTX 850M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
2632 Points ∼10% +133%
Dell Inspiron 15-7537
GeForce GT 750M, 4500U, Samsung SSD SM841 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV
1756 Points ∼7% +56%
Acer Aspire V 15 Nitro VN7-571G-56NX
GeForce 840M, 4210U, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3128GD
1458 Points ∼5% +29%
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
725 Points ∼3% -36%
1280x720 Sky Diver Score (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
Radeon R7 M270, 5500U, Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
3316 Points ∼6%
HP Envy 15-k203ng
GeForce GTX 850M, 5500U, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
8665 Points ∼16% +161%
Toshiba Satellite L50-B-1TD
Radeon R7 M260, 4510U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GMCU
3740 Points ∼7% +13%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-571G-574H
GeForce GTX 850M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
8340 Points ∼16% +152%
Acer Aspire V 15 Nitro VN7-571G-56NX
GeForce 840M, 4210U, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3128GD
5339 Points ∼10% +61%
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
2735 Points ∼5% -18%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Score (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
Radeon R7 M270, 5500U, Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
4366 Points ∼9%
HP Envy 15-k203ng
GeForce GTX 850M, 5500U, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
9461 Points ∼19% +117%
Asus N551JK-CN166H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4200H, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
9818 Points ∼20% +125%
Toshiba Satellite L50-B-1TD
Radeon R7 M260, 4510U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GMCU
4307 Points ∼9% -1%
Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T
Radeon R9 M265X, 4710HQ, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
9555 Points ∼19% +119%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-571G-574H
GeForce GTX 850M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
8783 Points ∼18% +101%
Dell Inspiron 15-7537
GeForce GT 750M, 4500U, Samsung SSD SM841 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV
5766 Points ∼12% +32%
Acer Aspire V 15 Nitro VN7-571G-56NX
GeForce 840M, 4210U, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3128GD
5854 Points ∼12% +34%
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
5342 Points ∼11% +22%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
Radeon R7 M270, 5500U, Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
14562 Points ∼1%
HP Envy 15-k203ng
GeForce GTX 850M, 5500U, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
50365 Points ∼5% +246%
Asus N551JK-CN166H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4200H, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
61456 Points ∼6% +322%
Toshiba Satellite L50-B-1TD
Radeon R7 M260, 4510U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GMCU
30990 Points ∼3% +113%
Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T
Radeon R9 M265X, 4710HQ, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
37352 Points ∼3% +157%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-571G-574H
GeForce GTX 850M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
47901 Points ∼4% +229%
Dell Inspiron 15-7537
GeForce GT 750M, 4500U, Samsung SSD SM841 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV
36107 Points ∼3% +148%
Acer Aspire V 15 Nitro VN7-571G-56NX
GeForce 840M, 4210U, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3128GD
51975 Points ∼5% +257%
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
52880 Points ∼5% +263%
3DMark 06 - 1280x1024 Standard AA:0x AF:0x (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
Radeon R7 M270, 5500U, Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
10024 Points ∼24%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-571G-574H
GeForce GTX 850M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
16135 Points ∼39% +61%
Dell Inspiron 15-7537
GeForce GT 750M, 4500U, Samsung SSD SM841 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV
11398 Points ∼27% +14%

Gaming Performance

Passionate gamers will not be happy with the Inspiron, but the gaming capabilities of the device could be sufficient for occasional gaming sessions. The Inspiron manages smooth frame rates in many games with the HD resolution (1366x768 pixels) and medium to (sometimes) high quality settings. This applies primarily to games that have been on the market for a while and that are not too demanding for the hardware. We have already mentioned that the predecessor offered more GPU performance, and this is noticeable in the gaming benchmarks. A look at our comparison chart shows the difference.

The full resolution of the screen (3840x2160 pixels) can hardly ever be used, the hardware is just not powerful enough. We checked the 4K gaming capabilities with the benchmark of the game “GRID: Autosport”. We used the same quality settings that we normally use for the benchmark. The notebook manages the following frame rates: 29.2 fps (min.), 12.7 fps (medium), 12.5 fps (high), 12.5 fps (max.). Note: The benchmark cannot measure frame rates below 12.5 fps.

If the gaming capabilities are an important aspect when you buy a notebook, you might want to look at another device. Good alternatives would be the HP Envy 15 and the Asus N551JK. Both notebooks are equipped with the GeForce GTX 850M GPU, which manages much higher frame rates.

low med. high ultra
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011) 67.143.331.619.1fps
Diablo III (2012) 94.562.15131.4fps
Hitman: Absolution (2012) 40.733.217.37.6fps
Tomb Raider (2013) 7941.928.913.8fps
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm (2013) 2087241.615.6fps
Thief (2014) 28.619.316.38.7fps
GRID: Autosport (2014) 146.753.825.214.4fps
Risen 3: Titan Lords (2014) 51.831.913.810.9fps
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (2014) 37.922.613.410.2fps
Ryse: Son of Rome (2014) 32.620.99.99.3fps
F1 2014 (2014) 97593121fps
Far Cry 4 (2014) 38.427.813.110.3fps
Dragon Age: Inquisition (2014) 37.231.717.812.3fps
Evolve (2015) 30.92312.811fps
Battlefield Hardline (2015) 47.43414.79.4fps
Tomb Raider
1366x768 High Preset AA:FX AF:8x (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
Radeon R7 M270, 5500U, Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
28.9 fps ∼6%
HP Envy 15-k203ng
GeForce GTX 850M, 5500U, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
65 fps ∼13% +125%
Toshiba Satellite L50-B-1TD
Radeon R7 M260, 4510U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GMCU
21.3 fps ∼4% -26%
Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T
Radeon R9 M265X, 4710HQ, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
52 fps ∼10% +80%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-571G-574H
GeForce GTX 850M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
67.5 fps ∼13% +134%
Dell Inspiron 15-7537
GeForce GT 750M, 4500U, Samsung SSD SM841 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV
57 fps ∼11% +97%
Acer Aspire V 15 Nitro VN7-571G-56NX
GeForce 840M, 4210U, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3128GD
36.4 fps ∼7% +26%
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
18.6 fps ∼4% -36%
1366x768 Normal Preset AA:FX AF:4x (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
Radeon R7 M270, 5500U, Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
41.9 fps ∼7%
HP Envy 15-k203ng
GeForce GTX 850M, 5500U, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
112.1 fps ∼20% +168%
Toshiba Satellite L50-B-1TD
Radeon R7 M260, 4510U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GMCU
36.2 fps ∼6% -14%
Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T
Radeon R9 M265X, 4710HQ, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
73.8 fps ∼13% +76%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-571G-574H
GeForce GTX 850M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
116.1 fps ∼20% +177%
Dell Inspiron 15-7537
GeForce GT 750M, 4500U, Samsung SSD SM841 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV
81.7 fps ∼14% +95%
Acer Aspire V 15 Nitro VN7-571G-56NX
GeForce 840M, 4210U, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3128GD
66.5 fps ∼12% +59%
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
28.5 fps ∼5% -32%
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
1366x768 High Preset AA:8x AF:8x (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
Radeon R7 M270, 5500U, Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
31.6 fps ∼25%
1366x768 Medium Preset AA:4x (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
Radeon R7 M270, 5500U, Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
43.3 fps ∼26%
Diablo III
1920x1080 High AA:on (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
Radeon R7 M270, 5500U, Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
31.4 fps ∼12%
Toshiba Satellite L50-B-1TD
Radeon R7 M260, 4510U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GMCU
29.2 fps ∼11% -7%
Dell Inspiron 15-7537
GeForce GT 750M, 4500U, Samsung SSD SM841 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV
70.4 fps ∼27% +124%
1366x768 High AA:on (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
Radeon R7 M270, 5500U, Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
51 fps ∼18%
Toshiba Satellite L50-B-1TD
Radeon R7 M260, 4510U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GMCU
48.9 fps ∼17% -4%
Dell Inspiron 15-7537
GeForce GT 750M, 4500U, Samsung SSD SM841 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV
103.1 fps ∼36% +102%
Hitman: Absolution
1366x768 Medium Preset AF:2x (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
Radeon R7 M270, 5500U, Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
33.2 fps ∼28%
1024x768 Lowest Preset (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
Radeon R7 M270, 5500U, Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
40.7 fps ∼33%
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm
1366x768 High AA:on (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
Radeon R7 M270, 5500U, Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
41.6 fps ∼24%
Toshiba Satellite L50-B-1TD
Radeon R7 M260, 4510U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GMCU
28.1 fps ∼16% -32%
1366x768 Medium (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
Radeon R7 M270, 5500U, Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
72 fps ∼44%
Toshiba Satellite L50-B-1TD
Radeon R7 M260, 4510U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GMCU
54.8 fps ∼34% -24%
Thief
1366x768 Normal Preset AA:FX (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
Radeon R7 M270, 5500U, Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
19.3 fps ∼13%
Asus N551JK-CN166H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4200H, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
34.8 fps ∼24% +80%
Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T
Radeon R9 M265X, 4710HQ, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
29.7 fps ∼20% +54%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-571G-574H
GeForce GTX 850M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
35.9 fps ∼24% +86%
Acer Aspire V 15 Nitro VN7-571G-56NX
GeForce 840M, 4210U, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3128GD
25.8 fps ∼17% +34%
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
11.3 fps ∼8% -41%
1024x768 Very Low Preset (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
Radeon R7 M270, 5500U, Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
28.6 fps ∼19%
Asus N551JK-CN166H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4200H, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
35.8 fps ∼24% +25%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-571G-574H
GeForce GTX 850M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
50 fps ∼33% +75%
Acer Aspire V 15 Nitro VN7-571G-56NX
GeForce 840M, 4210U, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3128GD
40.6 fps ∼27% +42%
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
17.1 fps ∼11% -40%
GRID: Autosport
1366x768 Medium Preset (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
Radeon R7 M270, 5500U, Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
53.8 fps ∼23%
Asus N551JK-CN166H
GeForce GTX 850M, 4200H, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
54.79 fps ∼24% +2%
1024x768 Ultra Low Preset (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
Radeon R7 M270, 5500U, Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
146.7 fps ∼34%
Risen 3: Titan Lords
1366x768 Medium, Off (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
Radeon R7 M270, 5500U, Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
31.9 fps ∼34%
1024x768 Low, Off (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
Radeon R7 M270, 5500U, Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
51.8 fps ∼52%
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
1344x756 Medium Preset (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
Radeon R7 M270, 5500U, Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
22.6 fps ∼11%
Toshiba Satellite L50-B-1TD
Radeon R7 M260, 4510U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GMCU
17.3 fps ∼8% -23%
Acer Aspire V 15 Nitro VN7-571G-56NX
GeForce 840M, 4210U, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3128GD
26.5 fps ∼13% +17%
1280x720 Lowest Preset (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
Radeon R7 M270, 5500U, Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
37.9 fps ∼14%
Toshiba Satellite L50-B-1TD
Radeon R7 M260, 4510U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GMCU
25.9 fps ∼10% -32%
Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T
Radeon R9 M265X, 4710HQ, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
49.5 fps ∼18% +31%
Acer Aspire V 15 Nitro VN7-571G-56NX
GeForce 840M, 4210U, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3128GD
40.2 fps ∼15% +6%
Ryse: Son of Rome
1366x768 Medium Texture Res. + Normal Graphics Quality (Rest Off/Disabled) AF:4x (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
Radeon R7 M270, 5500U, Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
20.9 fps ∼17%
Toshiba Satellite L50-B-1TD
Radeon R7 M260, 4510U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GMCU
16.4 fps ∼13% -22%
1024x768 Low Texture Res. + Low Graphics Quality (Rest Off/Disabled) AF:2x (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
Radeon R7 M270, 5500U, Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
32.6 fps ∼24%
Toshiba Satellite L50-B-1TD
Radeon R7 M260, 4510U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GMCU
26 fps ∼19% -20%
F1 2014
1920x1080 High Preset (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
Radeon R7 M270, 5500U, Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
31 fps ∼23%
Toshiba Satellite L50-B-1TD
Radeon R7 M260, 4510U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GMCU
35 fps ∼26% +13%
Acer Aspire V 15 Nitro VN7-571G-56NX
GeForce 840M, 4210U, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3128GD
59 fps ∼44% +90%
1366x768 Medium Preset (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
Radeon R7 M270, 5500U, Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
59 fps ∼44%
Toshiba Satellite L50-B-1TD
Radeon R7 M260, 4510U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GMCU
61 fps ∼46% +3%
Acer Aspire V 15 Nitro VN7-571G-56NX
GeForce 840M, 4210U, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3128GD
73 fps ∼55% +24%
Far Cry 4
1366x768 Medium Graphics Quality (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
Radeon R7 M270, 5500U, Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
27.8 fps ∼19%
Toshiba Satellite L50-B-1TD
Radeon R7 M260, 4510U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GMCU
20.6 fps ∼14% -26%
1024x768 Low Graphics Quality (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
Radeon R7 M270, 5500U, Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
38.4 fps ∼26%
Toshiba Satellite L50-B-1TD
Radeon R7 M260, 4510U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GMCU
29.1 fps ∼20% -24%
Dragon Age: Inquisition
1366x768 Medium Graphics Quality (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
Radeon R7 M270, 5500U, Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
31.7 fps ∼16%
Toshiba Satellite L50-B-1TD
Radeon R7 M260, 4510U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GMCU
22.5 fps ∼11% -29%
1024x768 Low Graphics Quality (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
Radeon R7 M270, 5500U, Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
37.2 fps ∼14%
Toshiba Satellite L50-B-1TD
Radeon R7 M260, 4510U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GMCU
34 fps ∼12% -9%
Evolve
1366x768 Medium Graphics Quality (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
Radeon R7 M270, 5500U, Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
23 fps ∼10%
1024x768 Low Graphics Quality (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
Radeon R7 M270, 5500U, Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
30.9 fps ∼11%
Battlefield Hardline
1366x768 Medium Graphics Quality (DX11) (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
Radeon R7 M270, 5500U, Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
34 fps ∼17%
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
19.7 fps ∼10% -42%
1024x768 Low Graphics Quality (DX11) (sort by value)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
Radeon R7 M270, 5500U, Liteon IT LCS-256L9S-11
47.4 fps ∼24%
Asus Zenbook UX303LA-R4342H
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
27.7 fps ∼14% -42%

Emissions

System Noise

The Inspiron is usually silent while idling and the fans are deactivated. The noise is not very high even under load and our measurement results are okay. Rivals like the HP Envy 15 and the Asus N551JK are louder in all scenarios, and we can quickly see the reason: Neither of these devices is equipped with SSDs and both have faster processors and/or graphics cores.

Unfortunately, our review unit produces other noises: You can often hear an electronic noise while idling, which usually disappears as soon as you stress the notebook.

The notebook has two fans.
The notebook has two fans.

Noise Level

Idle
29 / 29 / 29 dB(A)
Load
36.6 / 41.5 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Voltcraft sl-451 (15 cm distance)
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
R7 M270/5500U
HP Envy 15-k203ng
GTX 850M/5500U
Asus N551JK-CN166H
GTX 850M/4200H
Toshiba Satellite L50-B-1TD
R7 M260/4510U
Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T
R9 M265X/4710HQ
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-571G-574H
GTX 850M/5200U
Dell Inspiron 15-7537
GT 750M/4500U
Noise
-14%
-13%
-2%
-14%
-7%
-2%
off / environment *
Idle Minimum *
29
33.4
-15%
32.1
-11%
29.6
-2%
32.4
-12%
31.9
-10%
29.5
-2%
Idle Average *
29
33.4
-15%
32.9
-13%
29.6
-2%
33.4
-15%
31.9
-10%
30.6
-6%
Idle Maximum *
29
33.4
-15%
33.7
-16%
29.6
-2%
33.4
-15%
32.2
-11%
32.4
-12%
Load Average *
36.6
42.1
-15%
42
-15%
37.7
-3%
44.5
-22%
37
-1%
32.4
11%
Load Maximum *
41.5
44.8
-8%
44.8
-8%
41.7
-0%
44.4
-7%
43.3
-4%
42.5
-2%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

Stress test Inspiron
Stress test Inspiron

Our stress test (Prime95 and FurMark run simultaneously for at least one hour) shows that the Inspiron behaves differently on mains and battery power. The processor runs with 2.4 up to 2.7 GHz in both cases; the graphics chip on the other hand runs with 400 MHz (battery power) and 825 MHz (mains power), respectively. The chassis of the device does not get overly warm, we were only able to measure temperatures above 40 and 50 °C (~104 and ~122 °F), respectively, around the fans. The rivals HP Envy 15 and Asus N551JK do not get as warm as the Inspiron.

Max. Load
 35.9 °C
97 F
43.5 °C
110 F
32.5 °C
91 F
 
 31.7 °C
89 F
40.9 °C
106 F
28.3 °C
83 F
 
 26.8 °C
80 F
24.6 °C
76 F
26.8 °C
80 F
 
Maximum: 43.5 °C = 110 F
Average: 32.3 °C = 90 F
24.4 °C
76 F
54 °C
129 F
29.5 °C
85 F
24.4 °C
76 F
29.3 °C
85 F
26.8 °C
80 F
23.2 °C
74 F
25.4 °C
78 F
25.2 °C
77 F
Maximum: 54 °C = 129 F
Average: 29.1 °C = 84 F
Power Supply (max.)  47.9 °C = 118 F | Room Temperature 20.5 °C = 69 F | Fluke 62 Max
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
R7 M270/5500U
HP Envy 15-k203ng
GTX 850M/5500U
Asus N551JK-CN166H
GTX 850M/4200H
Toshiba Satellite L50-B-1TD
R7 M260/4510U
Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T
R9 M265X/4710HQ
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-571G-574H
GTX 850M/5200U
Dell Inspiron 15-7537
GT 750M/4500U
Heat
16%
15%
0%
4%
9%
6%
Maximum Upper Side *
43.5
43.3
-0%
39.4
9%
45.4
-4%
43.5
-0%
48.2
-11%
51.1
-17%
Maximum Bottom *
54
43.2
20%
37.6
30%
57.7
-7%
46
15%
39.5
27%
44.6
17%
Idle Upper Side *
29.8
23.8
20%
28.7
4%
26.9
10%
28
6%
28.3
5%
26.3
12%
Idle Bottom *
31
23.8
23%
26.1
16%
30.4
2%
32.8
-6%
27
13%
27
13%

* ... smaller is better

Speakers

The speakers are located at the bottom.
The speakers are located at the bottom.

The stereo speakers of the Inspiron are located at the front edge of the bottom. They generally produce a balanced sound that you can also listen to for prolonged periods. Like most notebook speakers, the drivers in the Inspiron lack some bass. A better sound quality would require headphones or external speakers.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

We can measure an idle consumption of up to 15.5 watts for the Inspiron. This is an unusually high value for a notebook with a ULV processor. The reason for the high power consumption is the 4K display. It is also comparatively high under load and is similar to the HP Envy 15. However, the latter is equipped with a much more powerful GPU. The Asus N551JK consumes much more power under load than the rivals, because it is equipped with a standard voltage mobile processor.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0 / 0.1 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 6.1 / 15 / 15.5 Watt
Load midlight 47.7 / 64.1 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Extech Power Analyzer 380803
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
R7 M270/5500U
HP Envy 15-k203ng
GTX 850M/5500U
Asus N551JK-CN166H
GTX 850M/4200H
Toshiba Satellite L50-B-1TD
R7 M260/4510U
Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T
R9 M265X/4710HQ
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-571G-574H
GTX 850M/5200U
Dell Inspiron 15-7537
GT 750M/4500U
Power Consumption
19%
-24%
28%
-51%
5%
11%
Idle Minimum *
6.1
5.4
11%
8.6
-41%
4
34%
12.8
-110%
5.4
11%
5.4
11%
Idle Average *
15
9.9
34%
12
20%
8.4
44%
18.8
-25%
11.5
23%
9.9
34%
Idle Maximum *
15.5
10.6
32%
13
16%
9.4
39%
19
-23%
12.8
17%
9.9
36%
Load Average *
47.7
37.6
21%
72.2
-51%
42.4
11%
66.7
-40%
48.6
-2%
59.6
-25%
Load Maximum *
64.1
67.3
-5%
104
-62%
56.4
12%
99.1
-55%
79.8
-24%
66.1
-3%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

The Inspiron manages an idle runtime of 10:33 hours. The rival Asus N551JK (7:16 hours) clearly falls behind. We determine the idle runtime with the Battery Eater Reader Test: The display brightness is at the lowest setting, the energy-saving profile is active and the wireless modules are turned off. Load will result in a runtime of 1:21 hours, and the Asus N551JK (1:16 hours) manages a similar result. We determine the runtime under load with the Battery Eater Classic Test, which uses the highest display brightness, the high-performance profile and activated wireless modules.

Our more realistic WLAN Test shows a runtime of 4:24 hours for the Dell notebook, which means it is slightly worse than the HP Envy 15 (4:49 hours) and the Asus N551JK (4:31 hours). This test uses a script that automatically opens websites every 40 seconds while the "Balanced" power profile is active and the display brightness is adjusted to around 150 cd/m². We check the runtime during video playback with a loop of the short movie Big Buck Bunny (H.264, 1920x1080 pixels). The wireless modules are turned off and the display brightness is adjusted to around 150 cd/m². The Inspiron manages a runtime of 3:58 hours. We did not perform this test for the rivals.

Overall, we are somewhat disappointed by the runtimes; we would have expected more from a device in this price range. It is also worse than the predecessor – even though the battery capacity is almost identical (56 Wh vs. 58 Wh). The fact that powerful hardware and long battery runtimes are possible, was recently proven by the much cheaper Acer Aspire VN7-571G.

Note: The cheapest configuration of the Inspiron is equipped with a smaller battery (43 Wh), but this does not necessarily mean that the device has shorter battery runtimes. This model "only" uses a Full HD display, so it might be just as enduring as the 4K model.

The battery has a capacity of 56 Wh and can be replaced.
The battery has a capacity of 56 Wh and can be replaced.
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
10h 33min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (IE 11)
4h 24min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
3h 58min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 21min
Dell Inspiron 15-7548
R7 M270/5500U
HP Envy 15-k203ng
GTX 850M/5500U
Asus N551JK-CN166H
GTX 850M/4200H
Toshiba Satellite L50-B-1TD
R7 M260/4510U
Toshiba Satellite P50t-B-10T
R9 M265X/4710HQ
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-571G-574H
GTX 850M/5200U
Dell Inspiron 15-7537
GT 750M/4500U
Battery Runtime
9%
-19%
-51%
69%
-1%
Reader / Idle
633
436
-31%
269
-58%
797
26%
727
15%
H.264
238
427
79%
WiFi v1.3
264
289
9%
448
70%
Load
81
76
-6%
45
-44%
161
99%
67
-17%
WiFi
271
328
152
392

Pros

+ Appealing aluminum chassis
+ 4K IPS display
+ Fast Solid State Drive
+ Moderate warming
+ Usually quiet
+ Good maintainability

Cons

- Dark and low-contrast display
- Average runtimes at best

Verdict

The Dell Inspiron 15-7548, courtesy of Dell.
The Dell Inspiron 15-7548, courtesy of Dell.

"Dell offers a slim 15.6-inch all-rounder with the Inspiron 15-7548, which has an appealing aluminum chassis.

A powerful Core i7 processor ensures sufficient performance in everyday tasks. The integrated Radeon graphics core can handle demanding tasks like gaming, but we would have expected a more powerful model – the GPU does not fit into the overall concept of the device. The fast solid-state drive of the device ensures a smooth experience without any hiccups. The notebook is usually quiet and just gets moderately warm. Even though the notebook does not have a maintenance hatch, it is easy to access the hardware: You can just remove the bottom cover. The integrated 4K display cannot really impress us. It is an IPS display with wide viewing angles, but the values for the brightness and the contrast are low. A device priced at 1149 Euros (~$1216) should have a better panel and battery runtimes. Significantly cheaper competitors beat the stamina of the Inspiron.

Dell Inspiron 15-7548 - 04/04/2015 v4(old)
Sascha Mölck

Chassis
88 / 98 → 90%
Keyboard
80%
Pointing Device
84%
Connectivity
63 / 81 → 78%
Weight
62 / 20-67 → 89%
Battery
83%
Display
75%
Games Performance
74 / 85 → 87%
Application Performance
85 / 92 → 92%
Temperature
87%
Noise
90 / 95 → 95%
Audio
80%
Camera
50 / 85 → 59%
Average
77%
82%
Multimedia - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Dell Inspiron 15-7548 Notebook Review
Sascha Mölck, 2015-04-11 (Update: 2015-04-12)
Andreas Osthoff
Andreas Osthoff - Senior Editor Business
I grew up with computers and modern consumer electronics. I am interested in the technology since I had my first computer, a Commodore C64, and started building my own PCs after that. My focus here at Notebookcheck is the business segment including mobile workstations, but I also like to test new mobile devices. It is always a great experience to review and compare new products. My free time is filled with a lot of sports, in the summer mainly on my bike.