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The Best Dell Inspiron 15 5585: An Intel Alternative

Dell Inspiron 15 5585 is the Intel variant. Our evaluation shows that the two models differ significantly in chassis, motherboard, battery life, and overall performance. The series is a cheaper alternative to Dell XPS, Asus ZenBook, HP Spectre, and Lenovo Yoga 900 models.

All current Inspiron 5585 SKUs have AMD’s latest Zen+ CPUs, including the Ryzen 3 3200U, Ryzen 5 3500U, and Ryzen 7 3700U with integrated Vega graphics. The display is 1080p IPS, although storage and RAM vary. Our test device costs $780 and competes with the HP Pavilion 15, Lenovo IdeaPad 720s, Asus VivoBook S15, and Acer Aspire 5.

Dell Inspiron reviews:

• 5584 Inspiron

• 3585

• 3780 Inspiron

• 7380

• Inspiron 5482 2-in-1

• Chromebook Inspiron 7486

Case

Inspiron notebooks increasingly resemble XPS laptops. Even the silver color and smooth lid are like the XPS 15. Visually, it’s better than an HP Pavilion 15 or Lenovo IdeaPad 330.

Once you open the lid, budget laptop indications become apparent. Palm rests and keyboard deck are cheaper plastic than the outside lid, and the plastic bezels aren’t as elegant as the XPS 15’s glass bezels. The chassis seems hollow and isn’t as hard as it could be, especially when pressing on the keyboard’s center or outer lid. On our test device, the chassis and hinge have an inconsistent gap. The entry-level sofa has minimal squeaking and is rather firm around the corners. Older Asus VivoBooks squeak and twist easily.

The 5585’s size and weight vary from the 5584’s. AMD’s variant is slimmer, shorter, and lighter (1.8 kg vs. 1.9 kg) than Intel’s. It’s still quite deep due to the display’s high top and bottom bezels, although some 15.6-inch laptops are smaller, such as the Asus VivoBook S15 S532.

Connectivity

All the connectors of the Inspiron 15 5584 are here, including a new USB Type-C port and rearranged ports. Most ports are now along the left edge, making them easy to reach. The RJ-45 port supports just Fast Ethernet, not Gbps.

Dell advertises Power Delivery over USB Type-C, and our 130 W charger confirms this. Because the system can charge by AC adaptor and USB Type-C, the former is unnecessary.

Reader SD

The XPS card reader is much faster. 1 GB of photos from a UHS-II SD card to a desktop takes 27 seconds on the XPS 15.

On the HP Pavilion Gaming 17, a fully inserted SD card protrudes by nearly half its length for safer transport.

Communication

The Inspiron 5585 ships with a non-Intel WLAN module as an AMD laptop. 1×1 Qualcomm Atheros QCA9377 is 1/4 as fast as 2×2 Intel 9260. For the average home user, performance is sufficient for browsing and streaming.

The Qualcomm module has a rare M.2 1630 form factor. Users can upgrade or swap WLAN modules using M.2 2230.

Maintenance

9 Philips screws hold the bottom panel. It takes practice to remove the panel without damaging the surrounding plastic. RAM, batteries, storage, and WLAN may be switched within.

Warranty, Accessories

Only the manuals and AC adaptor are included.

One-year warranty. Dell offers a four-year warranty, like HP and Lenovo.

Keyboards

Keyboard

Backlit keys feel the same as on the Dell Inspiron 15 5585 despite a different layout. Typists will like the XPS 15’s clicky Enter and Space keys. Compared to the Intel Inspiron 15 5584, this laptop’s undersized Arrow keys and absence of distinct PgUp and PgDn keys make it unsuitable for large spreadsheets.

Touchpad

The clickpad is the same size and texture as the Dell Inspiron 15  5585. Even at modest rates, cursor control is smooth and accurate, but clicking feedback is too feeble.

Display

The Dell Inspiron 15 5585 has the same IPS panel as the Asus VivoBook S15 S532F. These computers have similar contrast levels, response speeds, and color spaces. The restricted color space makes this panel an affordable option for Inspiron. The colors aren’t as bright as on an Asus ZenBook or Dell XPS.

The XPS 15’s backlight is half as dim as the Lenovo IdeaPad 330s. Despite the lack of TN or 768p options, this is an entry-level IPS panel.

Most mid-range to flagship Ultrabooks cover 90 percent or greater of the sRGB standard. Inspiron’s flatter colors make it unsuitable for video editing or graphics work. Cheap computers have weak color reproduction. Grayscale has an average deltaE of 3.2 out of the box and improves with calibration. A narrow gamut limits color accuracy independent of calibration settings. Blue is the most wrong color at high saturation. Below-average outside visibility. The matte panel reduces reflections, but the display is too dull for outdoor use. Maximum brightness drops from 254 nits to 180 nits when batteries run unless the relevant Radeon settings are toggled.

Extreme and unnatural viewing angles cause extensive color and contrast alterations.

Performance

AMD’s Ryzen 7 3700U competes with Intel’s Core i7-8565U and Core i7-8550U. It has a greater cTDP of up to 35 W but faster graphics than the Intel equivalents.

The Dell Inspiron 15 5585 series has no discrete graphics choices, despite motherboard space for one.

LatencyMon demonstrates no problems with real-time audio recording over WiFi.

Processor

AMD claims the Zen+ Ryzen 7 3700U is 10% quicker than it’s Zen Ryzen 7 2700U, but our tests are mixed. CineBench findings show no difference in multi-thread performance between the Latitude 14 5495 and Inspiron 15 5585’s Ryzen 7 2700U. When performing CineBench R15 Multi-Thread in a loop, the 3700U can maintain slightly faster clock rates for longer, gaining 5% performance. In real-world terms, switching from Ryzen 7 2700U to Ryzen 7 3700U is trivial.

Despite this, the Ryzen 7 3700U offers more stable clock rate performance than a Core i7-8565U or Core i7-8550U under intense processing demands. Because Intel’s Turbo Boost is shorter-lived than AMD’s, its clock rate drops more quickly.

AMD Ryzen U processors have less single-threaded performance than Intel Core U processors.

For technical details and benchmarks, see our Ryzen 7 3700U page.

Productivity

PCMark benchmarks rank our Dell Inspiron 15 5585 below the Intel-powered Asus VivoBook S15. Our Dell is one of the fastest Ryzen U laptops in PCMark but by single-digit percentage points.

Our test unit only had occasional sleep troubles. Sometimes our unit wouldn’t wake from sleep, requiring a hard reset.

Disks

M.2 2280 and 2.5-inch SATA III slots are accessible internally. Our test device has a 512 GB WDC PC SN520 PCIe SSD in M.2 2230 format.

PCIe transfer rates are mediocre. Sequential read and write speeds of 400 MB/s and 900 MB/s, compared to 1000 MB/s on the Toshiba BG3 or the more expensive Samsung PM981. Performance is sufficient for residential users, where capacity trumps speed.

For HDD and SSD benchmarks, see our table.

Performance

Ryzen 7 3700U has the same RX Vega 10 GPU as Ryzen 7 2700U. 3DMark results are greater than expected, rivaling the 10 W GeForce MX150 on the Asus VivoBook FX433. 18 to 47% faster than our typical RX Vega 10 This Dell configuration has the quickest RX Vega 10 implementation thus far.

DOTA 2, Fortnite, and Rocket League perform nicely at native 1080p on low settings for clear visuals without post-processing. Witcher 3 idling exhibits modest but constant frame dips, suggesting smoother performance.

Emissions

Noisy system

A single fan and copper heat pipe cool the CPU. The system is silent at under 30.4 dB(A) when streaming or browsing. The fan noise is 31.4 dB(A), even with multitasking and browser tabs.

When gaming, the fan reaches 41.4 dB. (A). The Asus VivoBook S15 S532F with GeForce MX250 graphics is louder than most Ultrabooks with slower integrated UHD Graphics.

Our unit makes no coil or electronic noise.

Lifespan

The Dell Inspiron 15 5585 42 Wh battery has longer runtimes than normal for its price range. WLAN runtime is 7 hours, compared to approximately half that on the Inspiron 15 3585 or IdeaPad 330S.

Charging from empty to full takes 2 to 2.5 hours, while most Ultrabooks take 1.5.

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