A laptop is not an impulse purchase like a smartphone. It is something you purchase once, and probably don’t look back for at least next three to four years. The PC market maybe on a decline as more consumers use their phone as primary computing device. But there is no doubt that when it comes to getting work done, you need a laptop. In the past few years, owing to the surge in demand for smartphones, laptop makers have had to course correct – make laptops that fit the description of mobile.
Apple started the narrative of thin and light laptops with the original MacBook Air in 2008 and Dell, Lenovo, HP and Acer joined with their own iterations. Today, that design has become so common that even a budget notebook seems way lighter than it should be. With the new Inspiron 15 7000, Dell is bringing those same ethos and design language to the 15-inch laptop category. The new Dell Inspiron 7572 is aimed at users who are looking for a laptop with big display and mid-range performance in a lightweight package, without putting a dent on their wallet. So, is this the laptop to buy if you are a college student or a startup person or one who has a home office? Let’s test and find out.
Design and Display
Dell makes some of the most intuitive and yet exquisite laptop design right now. The new XPS from Dell stands as the example for what extreme engineering and innovative design can result in. While the Inspiron 7572 is not as premium as the new XPS 13 or XPS 15, it does borrow some of its design cues.
The Inspiron 7572 features an InfinityEdge display design that was first introduced with the XPS range nearly three years ago. The design means that almost entirety of the front panel is screen, and in the case of Dell you get much thinner bezels than rivals. The Inspiron 7572 has a 15.6-inch LCD display with a Full HD resolution of 1920×1080 pixels. The display is incredibly bright in indoor settings and saturation of colors is also quite acceptable. The display is not as great as the ones found on non-touch version of say XPS, but it is perfectly legitimate for things like basic photo-editing and amateur video editing work. However, I did notice that the display is not that bright when looking under direct sunlight.
The laptop is aimed at home professionals and graduate students and for them, the display would never come up as an issue. If there is something to keep in mind then it is the webcam placed on the bottom half of the top panel. I don’t like those nose up camera, which is the only bad design choice even on XPS range, but your preference may vary depending on how often you make video or conference calls on your laptop.
Our review unit came in gold finish, but the silver grey finish seems much nicer from an aesthetic perspective. The Dell Inspiron 7572, in a nutshell, comes across as a chunky piece of metal but you understand the real design value when you hold the laptop in your hand. The straight lines that taper gently at the corners and the triple wedge layout housing the display panel are a clean touch of art. The hinge that connects the display and the hardware is finished in dual tone of black and gold, giving the device an overall black from inside and gold from outside look. If you see mid-segment laptops from five years ago and then look at this Dell Inspiron 7572, you will observe that design has not just evolved but has transformed upside down.
Dell is known for one thing more than anything else – offering plethora configurations on its laptops. The Inspiron 7572 is no exception. At the time of writing, Dell offers basic variants of the Inspiron 7572 differing mainly in terms of processor and software powering them. However, you can customize all of those models further by opting for Windows 10 Pro instead of Windows 10 Home Single Language, selecting Microsoft Office 2019, which would be a first any notebook and opting for various after sales service plans. Dell tells me these laptops are manufactured locally in India so customization options are broader than before, and they ship faster as well.
Our review unit came with 8GB of RAM, dual drive comprising of 128GB SSD and 1TB hard disk drive, 8th generation Intel Core i7-8550U processor and NVIDIA GeForce MX150 with 4GB of video memory. In synthetic benchmarks alone, I saw the Dell Inspiron 7572 score more than a Surface Book 2 with same processor and SSD storage. It is surprising, but this laptop shows those numbers are not lying when you use it as your daily computing device.
Watch: Apple MacBook Air 2018 Hands-On
It takes only a matter of few seconds for the Inspiron 7572 to boot into Windows and once it boots, you can immediately open apps and get going with work. On older machines, it was often the case that Windows would boot and then multiple apps would load as part of startup, slowing down your machine. With the hardware at your disposal, you can install basic editing software for video editing or use Lightroom for photo-editing without any issue.
It is also good for basic gaming like playing PUBG and Fortnite at lower frame rate. It works the best when your purpose involves things like typing documents, sending mails, lightweight photo-editing and consuming videos. This is an area where the Dell Inspiron 7572 comes out shining, and if you are a new graduate student then this would be an ideal back to college notebook.
While it has a powerful processor and discrete graphics as well, the battery life is not really affected in anyway. I was able to get through a full work day without connecting to power outlet. On most laptops, I would plug in within five hours but this Inspiron 7572 lasted over eight hours with constant internet activity, web uploads and podcast streams running in the background. The only time that I heard the fan spin at maximum speed was when I put the laptop on reset mode.
As far as port situation is concerned, there are two USB 3.0 ports, one RJ45 Ethernet port, one HDMI port, a headphone jack and power connector on the left. On the right, there is a USB 2.0 port and a SD card reader. I am fine with this port situation since it has very good balance but lack of a USB Type-C port is deeply disappointing. I use Google Pixel 3 XL which comes with a cable that has USB Type-C connector on both ends and I cannot connect that phone to the Inspiron 7572 without using adapter.
Keyboard and Trackpad
If there is one area where Dell Inspiron 7572 falls short of matching its much premium XPS siblingm it would be in keyboard and trackpad offering. We are looking at full 81-key layout with two-stage backlit option but the keys seem to be cramped in this layout. Dell has left a lot of space around the keyboard that acts as palm rest but I ended up feeling that the keys are very tightly packed together. That said, these keys make up for that layout by offering excellent travel and nice feedback. Since I am used to typing on keyboard that are well spaced out, my accuracy was not that great but it is something that I can get accustomed to, over a period of time.
If there is one thing that I cannot get used to is the four way navigation keys, which are tiny in a form factor like this. Every time I wanted to use those Page Up and Page Down keys, I realized they are too short and do not offer the same travel as that of other keys on this particular layout.
The trackpad is not made of glass and hence does not offer a great feedback but it does work fine for basic things like moving your cursor across the line or getting into Windows Timeline with three finger swipe up. Even gestures like three finger tap for Cortana work, but the swipe gesture to bring in action center did not always work. If you are someone who lives out of the keyboard then this may not be the best bet. The real solution is to switch to a real mouse.
The Dell Inspiron 7572 comes with Windows 10 Single Language Edition, but there is an option to customize and get the machine with Windows 10 Pro instead. If you are a college student with simple needs then the Windows 10 Single Language along with Office Suite will be a great option, but if you are a budding entrepreneur or one running a home office then it would be wise to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro.
With that you get access to bitlocker and advanced encryption and remote connectivity option. But on a standard variant also, Dell installs little additional software, which makes the machine run smoothly from day one. The review unit came with Windows 10 version 1803 and we did not get Windows 10 October update or version 1809 till the time this review goes live. On this version, Microsoft offers great features like Timeline, which allows you to start work and carry them across devices, including your Android and iOS devices.
There is also People’s Tab integration, which will come really handy for those who use Skype to communicate with their loved ones. The system-wide Fluent Design Language works seamlessly and the display on Inspiron 7582 does good justice to Microsoft’s design attributes. I had zero complaints with the way Windows functioned on this machine.
There are very few laptops that try to tick all the boxes and in that regard, I found the Dell Inspiron aims to be an all-rounder. Barring the keyboard and trackpad experience, it nailed almost everything. Since I entered this review with Dell XPS 13 and XPS 15 as the benchmark, the Inspiron 7572 has tough shoes to fill, and I just want to say, it delivered on most accounts. Now, if only launched a model with USB Type-C port.