This Inspiron model has a bit of extra kick from the separate graphics card for those downtimes from work where some Minecraft or Civ VI is required. Battery life is acceptable for a 17-inch display and the weight is tolerable for toting along on those business trips, but still counts as a heavy laptop.
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The Inspiron 17-5770 is a basic workhorse machine for business use in office work and data analysis. The screen graphics qualities are favorable and are fitting for a variety of applications, however, the machine is not intended for use by computer graphics designers.
The Inspiron 5770 has four dedicated CPU cores, which is less common on the market than in the past with most manufacturers optioning to use dual-core chipsets with hyperthreading to simulate additional cores. This means that the 5770 will have more raw computing power than comparable machines.
The laptop also features a separate, dedicated GPU with on-board RAM, meaning that it will be able to handle more intense graphics tasks without sacrificing available memory to the CPU. Overall, this designates the Inspiron 5770 as a more capable machine that your average work laptop.
What is it like for gaming?
The Inspiron 17-5770 is a modest laptop for gaming, will run a variety of games, and has a dedicated but mid-range GPU processor (the Radeon 530, which is two generations old). Tests on the Inspiron with higher-end games such as Grand Theft Auto V and Fortnite indicated that it cannot digest the graphics except at the lowest settings.
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Apex Legends and similar graphics-demanding games will run at optimal graphics settings. The Inspiron 5770 is capable of running 6560 out of 8000 top games for the PC and will do so at graphics settings designated for the best user experience in 4720 of those games.
Overall, the matte silver finish of the laptop is visually appealing and presents a professional-looking appearance. The keyboard is backlit, which is very useful for working in low-light conditions, and also features a right-hand 10-key pad for easy data entry, a feature not common in most laptops of current manufacture.
The keys are spaced evenly on the keyboard and feel soft to the touch, without clacking or having a thin plastic feel to them. Typing is smooth and comfortable and the 10-key pad keys are spaced well enough that their use feels familiar to people accustomed to data entry work.
Having a broad 17-inch screen is very nice for work, gaming, and video viewing and not found in the market as often as seen in the past. Most modern laptops are in the range of 14 to 15 inches in diameter since the improvements in internal electronics have reduced the weight of newer laptops compared with those of the past and this what consumers come to expect.
The Inspiron 17 is rather heavy as a result, more in line with laptops of the previous decade, however, that is what you can expect from a 17-inch monster with an optical drive. The built-in audio can actually be quite loud for a laptop (however, see sound quality below).
DVD players, even read-write ones, are becoming like unicorns in the modern laptop market, although there are still handfuls of machines out there that possess them. The Inspiron 17-5770 does have a DVD-R tray, which is still a very nice feature despite becoming a dated device.
The Inspiron 17-5770 is chocked full of ports, which means that you will not be running into any connectivity problems. The machine sports several USB ports (one USB 2.0 on the right, two USB 3.1 Generation 1 Type-A on the left), an RJ45 (10/100 internet) port, an HDMI video port, a combination headphone/microphone jack, and also has an SD card reader.
For security features, the Inspiron has a fingerprint sensor integrated into the power button, which is becoming increasingly common on many laptops. Following a calibration exercise, the fingerprint reader will be attuned to the user, allowing secure sign in with simply a touch.
The touchpad in the laptop center is a generous size and lightly pebbled for excellent feel and sensitivity. Finger to pointer accuracy is also very precise and there are two integrated buttons on the bottom portion of the pad for full point-and-click functionality.
Accessing the interior of the Inspiron is a matter of removing the bottom half of the housing. This is accomplished by removing about a dozen screws, extracting the optical drive, and prying up the bottom cover.
This method of accessing internal hard drives or memory bays is a rather dated design since most modern laptops have separate memory port and hard drive access panels. However, the Inspiron 17 is a bit of a throwback to earlier laptop designs anyway since it includes an optical drive.
There are two RAM slots on the motherboard, which will accommodate a maximum of two DDR4-2400 chipboards. The laptop comes standard with 16 GB of RAM and the maximum configurable RAM for the motherboard is 32 GB.
The Inspiron CPU is cooled by a standard single pipe leading to the exchanger and fan from a pair of heat sinks affixed to the CPU. The exhaust is directed to the rear vents of the housing.
The color-space coverage performance of the display is good with an sRGB rating of 80% and an Adobe RGB rating of 57%. These values are more than enough for basic use; however, the display is not rated high enough for professional graphics work.
The outer housing of the Inspiron 17-5770 is plastic and does not feel durable, although the inner portion of the housing is aluminum. Dell claims that it conducts stress tests on the Inspiron and it guarantees its durability.
The Inspiron 17 is covered with a silver-colored metal finish that looks visually appealing but may eventually show any accumulated scratches and not hold up well to the wear and tear of travel.
The screen frame tends to flex upon opening the laptop, does not feel sturdy, and opening the machine is a bit stiff, requiring two hands. This is the result of a stiff drop-hinge that spans most of the width of the laptop.
The machine is also quite heavy for a business traveler’s laptop at over six pounds. Some weight is to be expected since this is a 17-inch model and your average laptop these days made for portability is either a 14-inch or 15-inch machine (or smaller).
Compared with comparably-sized laptops, the Inspiron 17-5770 is a bit lighter than the nearest competitor (for example, the Envy 17 by Hewlett Packard), which may be the explanation for the seemingly flimsy case design. Obviously, Dell cut down some structural details to save weight.
The display lacks crispness and contrast, which is evident when viewing full 1080p videos. The viewing angles are also narrow, despite the claimed specifications, which makes group viewing of a movie a challenge unless the laptop is placed at a distance from the viewers.
Screen blackness is also pale, which may be the underlying reason for the lack of apparent contrast. This results in diminished color vibrancy and is very apparent when watching films.
Analysis of the color accuracy yielded an sRGB gamut of only 87%, which is below the average laptop color accuracy of 94%. The Inspiron 17-5770 display 188 nits at the lowest brightness level, much lower than the average 229-nit levels for laptops in this pricing tier.
Sound quality is flat and muffled, although the Inspiron 17-5770 is very loud for a laptop. This is often interfered with by the fan, which surges loudly on heavy load or when switching tasks.
Below are the specifications of the Inspiron 17-5770 in all its detail, including benchmark scoring of performance. Strong points of the Inspiron include the presence of a DVD-R optical device, which is no longer standard in most laptops, and a dedicated quad-core CPU rather than one with fewer cores (such as two) operating under multithreading to mimic the presence of additional cores.
In addition, the Inspiron 5770 has a dedicated graphics processor with its own on-board memory for a more optimal graphics presentation.
Weak features of the Inspiron 5770 include an average screen display and a lack of deep blacks and contrast. In addition, as a result of the Inspiron 5770 is a 17-inch laptop, battery life is not as long as would be expected for a laptop since a large portion of battery charge is consumed by the larger screen.
Processor: Intel Core i7 (8th Generation) 8550-U @ 1.8 GHz
Turbo Burst Speed: 4 GHz
PassMark Benchmark Score: 6020
Cache Size: 8 MB
Special Features: Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0, Intel Smart Cache system
RAM (max): 16 GB DDR4 SDRAM @ 2400 MHz (32 GB)
HDD 5400 rpm, 2 TB (serial ATA-600)
Display: LCD with LED backlight, anti-glare coating; viewing angles vertical and horizontal ±80°
TFT Type: IPS (In-Pane Switching)
Diagonal Size: 17.3 inches (43.94 cm)
Resolution: Full HD
Graphics Processor: AMD Radeon 530
On-Board Memory: 4 GB GDDR5
Boost Frequency: Up to 1024 MHz
Peak Pixel Fill-In: 8.2 Gpixels/s
Peak Texturing: 24.58 GT/s
Maximum Performance: 800 GFLOPs
PassMark Benchmark Score: 917
WiFI: M.2 Card (802.11a,b,g,n,ac), Bluetooth 4.1
Ethernet Port (LAN): 10/100
SD Card Reader: Yes (accepts SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards)
Battery Type: Lithium-Ion
Total Capacity: 42 Wh
Number of Cells: 3
Power Supply: AC 110/220 V (60/50 Hz)
Consumption: 65 W, 19.5 V
USB 2.0 (1)
USB 3.1 Generation 1 (2)
USC-C 3.1 Generation 1 (also an external display port)
Combo Jack (Headphone and Microphone)
Memory Card Reader
Software: Standard password protection
Physical: Fingerprint sensor, Standard Noble Wedge-type security slot
Dimensions (w x d x h): 16.4 x 11 x 1 inches
Weight: 6.39 lbs.
OS: Windows 10 64-bit preloaded
Microsoft Office (30-day trial)
McAfee LiveSafe (12-month subscription)
The Inspiron 17-5770 is a basic business laptop with a 17-inch screen, some modest multimedia capabilities, and includes a writable DVD drive. With all those component features, the Inspiron 17 is a heavy laptop that is not ideal for the business traveler and would be best left at the office (heck, you cannot even open the thing to work on it on a plane unless you are in first-class due to the wider row-to-row seat spacing).
When considering the purchase of a new laptop, there are several things to keep in mind so that you will not be disappointed shortly after purchase. It is true that you can get the biggest and fastest laptop out there and will suffer no disappointments in performance or display quality for years to come.
However, not everyone has an unlimited budget and can touch those high-end models (which can go for as much as $5k). Different people have different needs in a laptop, so consider the following points before making a laptop purchase to find the right one for you and one that falls within your budget.
Keep in mind that when you get up into the 15-inch range, the seating and work situation on commercial airline flights becomes untenable and you may not be able to fully open the machine to use it. This also brings up the issue of weight if you are traveling with a laptop.
Many smaller laptops in the 12-13’ish inch size range usually weigh somewhere in the neighborhood of 2.5-3.5 pounds. If you are traveling with one of those, you will feel the difference and will appreciate it.
Those smaller machines tend to fall into three different product categories: Ultrabooks, notebooks, and convertibles.
Ultrabooks employ a form factor that strives for lightweight (about 2.6 pounds), are less than 1-inch thick, typically use an SSD (Solid State Drive) for storage, and are driven by mid-range processors (usually a higher-end i5). Superficially, they resemble MacBooks and are marketed directly as competitors.
Notebooks are essentially small laptops weighing less than 5 pounds with screens smaller than 15 inches but do not qualify as ultrabooks due to their thickness. Convertibles are very different from either of the aforementioned machines since they are ultralight (typically a little over one pound) and have reduced processing capability in favor of lighter weight, longer battery life, better portability, and are way cheaper than most laptops.
If you are looking for the lightest, most portable computing option for business travel and do not intend to be blasting space invaders with your machine, then a convertible is for you. Convertibles are so-called because the keyboard can be folded away when not in use and the device can function as a tablet.
Convertibles tend to have SSD drives for storage and are driven by special CPUs that are designed for their customized motherboards, but despite these differences from regular laptops, they do run standard OS (usually a version of Windows 10 or Chrome OS) and associated software.
CPU, The Heart of the Machine
Intel’s Core-based CPUs are offered in a range of architectures with differing levels of performance. Notebooks and entry-level machines usually employ Celeron or i3-based boards, which is more than enough for basic work, internet browsing, and viewing videos.
These machines typically have on-board, integrated GPUs which, despite not being standalone chipsets, are actually quite good at handling graphics. Mid-range laptops typically use i5 processors and this represents the bulk of the laptop market.
Your typical i5 machine is capable of a wide range of demanding tasks and either sport integrated GPUs on their motherboards or dedicated GPUs in the higher price range. High-performance laptops use Intel’s i7 architecture and nearly always have separate GPUs, but keep in mind that these machines run hotter and have shorter battery life if used unplugged.
The standards for a “normal” amount of RAM in laptops has shifted quite a bit over the past few years with increases in computing power and graphics demands. The newest laptops currently sold come standard with 8 GB, with 16 GB being considered fully outfitted (32 GB if used for gaming). Upgrade your RAM. It’s affordable and will make all the difference in how your machine performs.
Everything is going SSD. Although SSDs are more expensive, prices are about to come down and leave hard drives in the dust now that NVMe drives (Non-Volatile Memory Express) are here.
NVMe drives are much faster and are presently much more expensive than SSDs, which will require the SSD market to adjust pricing as hard drives develop reduced market presence and nearly all laptops move to SSD as standard, also requiring increased SSD manufacturing volumes and reducing per-unit cost.
This is what you want, this is what you get. Not quoting Public Image Ltd. here but simply saying that manufacturer quotes for the battery life of their machines rarely match real-world use and actual run time.
Consult independent reviews for realistic battery lifetimes if you intend to use your laptop standalone and not plugged in. In real-world use, there are choices of screen brightness and resolution, WiFi and Bluetooth traffic, and processing demand based on the software used.
If you are really, really looking for long battery life while you are on the go, then opt for an ultrabook or convertible. The spec to focus on for battery power is Watt-hours (Wh) or milli-Amperes (mAh).
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