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The Dell Inspiron 15 3501 supports Linux

Dell Inspiron 15 3501 laptop in review: Quiet office computer
Dell Inspiron 15 3501 laptop in review: Quiet office computer
The Inspiron 15 3501 scores points with low noise and heat development as well as enough room for two storage devices. The CPU and GPU performance falls short of the possibilities.

With the Inspiron 15 3501, Dell has a 15.6-inch office laptop in its lineup with its technology housed in a slim, matte-black plastic case. The chassis lacks stability: The lid and the base unit in particular can be twisted a bit too much. The matte display (Full HD, IPS) offers stable viewing angles, good contrast, and decent color reproduction. However, the brightness and color-space coverage are too low.

The built-in combination of the Core i7-1165G7 processor, 16 GB of RAM (dual-channel mode), and a 512 GB NVMe SSD (M.2 2230) equips the laptop for office and Internet applications. If the storage space isn't enough, an additional 2.5-inch storage drive can be installed. You can also replace or expand the RAM.

Overall, the hardware falls short of its possibilities. The CPU benchmark results are below the 1165G7's average because Dell has chosen a low TDP of 13 watts. The DDR4-3200 RAM only operates at a clock rate of 2666 MHz. The Wi-Fi data rates aren't compelling, either. The reason for the slow rates can be found quickly: The built-in WLAN chip (Intel Wireless AC 9462) only allows maximum transfer rates of 433 Mb/s.

Besides Windows 10, the Inspiron also supports Linux - Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (64-bit) to be precise. Users who would like to abandon Microsoft's operating system have an easy way to do so with the Inspiron. We were able to install Ubuntu without any issues, and all the hardware worked correctly immediately after the installation.

The configuration variant that we reviewed is one of the top models in the range, and it purchased for just under 800 Euros (~$928) - a lot of money for a basic office laptop. There are less expensive variants available. Prices start at around 450 Euros (~$522).

Our review of the Dell Inspiron 15 3501 (5FTCX) provides more information and many benchmark results.

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Sascha Mölck, 2021-10-15 (Update: 2021-10-15)