Right off the bat, the new Dell Inspiron 15 Laptop seems pretty great. The company is on its 11th generation of processors, so the laptop is light and fast, even the lower-level models. Its speed is especially great for switching up between open windows and makes multitasking even more accessible. If you’re like me and work at five windows open at any given time then you’ll love the Inspiron 15’s speed.

The computer has 12 Gigabytes (GB) of Random Access Memory (RAM).


12 GBs Are Excellent for Doing a Lot of Things

For ArcGIS Maps editing, you might need at least 16GB of RAM. Also, 2GB of RAM is good enough to watch 4K videos (4096×2160), play elementary videogames, edit pictures and video, etc.

The Dell Inspiron 15 has up to 512GB solid-state drive (SSDs) for responsive and consistent performance on the go. Your SSD can read and write data much faster than the user hard drive most of us all carry. Even your worst SSD is at least three times faster than your standard hard drive. Your computer will be faster if it has an SSD, but it’ll come at a cost.

These days common consumer SSD storage capacities are: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB and 2TB. You can get a 4TB on a few stand-alone SSD models. However, you can get 8TB SSD storage capacities on an Apple Mac Pro and other high-end devices. 

For this reason, I would give Dell Inspiron 15 a thumbs down compared to other affordable, high-performing laptops.

The new Dell Inspiron 15 Laptop comes with a great screen. At 15 inches, this computer can still fit into your everyday laptop bag. Looking at it, it has a nice thin border, keeping it as small as possible. Its large screen and the aspect screen to body ratio are about perfect for my liking.

Further, the Dell Inspiron 15 is super lightweight and has a good-sized touchpad.

While most users loved it, some complained about outdated heat distribution.

Although this is not a gaming computer, rest assured your grandmother can still play her solitaire on it. Given the specs, you won’t play any modern games on it without great disappointment.

If you’re looking for a birthday present for the kid upstairs you haven’t seen in a few months, and whose room sounds like a war zone, check out the Dell G7 17 Gaming Laptop instead


Is Dell Inspiron 15 Fit for Battle?

Dell Inspiron 15
A Soldier from the 2nd BCT, 101st Airborne Division uses a Nett Warrior device to communicate at the Joint Readiness Training Center in November 2013. (JRTC Operations Group Public Affairs)

Generally speaking, the answer is no. I would have liked to have seen a little more ports on this thing to make it easy to transfer data from one device to another, all while plugging in my HDMI cable so my guys can see the calendar for the workweek, etc.

While it is lightweight, slim, and relatively cheap for a laptop, I would have liked the screen to be able to come off and just be a pad, or at least flip over onto its back into a pad.

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Given the average specs of the computer, it would probably be OK doing much of the team’s work. But it’s still not as good as the newer Nett Warrior Mission Planning Computers (NMP) computers currently being fielded within SOF. The new NMP computers come apart so you can have a pad or laptop and make it much easier to plan and execute missions.

Given the cost of the Dell Inspiron 15 at roughly $450, I would recommend it for the average user for personal use only. It is a good replacement budget laptop.


This article was originally published in May 2021. It has been edited for republication.