Dell Inspiron 17 5749 hands-on – get ready for some heavy duty
Since all vendors started to refresh their last year’s lineups with the new Broadwell family CPUs from Intel, it’s time to shed some light on the models which get the special treatment and one of those notebooks is the Dell Inspiron 17 5749 – a heavyweight 17-inch laptop, which includes several variants with i3, i5 or i7 5th generation processors. The one we got our hands on is equipped with Intel Core i7-5500U CPU and discrete GPU from NVIDIA – GeForce 840M.
This machine features interesting, elegant and stylish design language, but unfortunately that doesn’t compensate for the overweight and oversized chassis. That’s actually the first thing you will notice. We were quite surprised how heavy and big was this notebook when we got it out of the box and we went through some trouble when unpacking it because of that.
Let’s begin with the top lid which is covered in brushed aluminum with Dell’s logo in the center of the cover. The other side of the lid houses the 17.3-inch FHD touch capacitive Full HD screen along with the built-in microphone and webcam. Screen bezels appear to be relatively thin, but still can’t strike us as a compact notebook, even for a 17-incher. The sides contrast in hard, black plastic with all the useful ports on the left side – DC charging slot, HDMI, LAN, one USB 2.0, one USB 3.0 and the 3.5 mm jack for headset. The left side also houses the main heat dispersing grill. The right side features one USB 2.0 port, the SD card reader and, of course, the optical drive.
The front and back sides don’t offer anything out of the ordinary, but they really resemble the XPS 13, but this time they are massive and come to think of it, the overall design looks like an enormous XPS 13. Just for the record, the Inspiron 17 5749 weighs about 3.3 kg (7.3 lbs) and has a profile of 28.57 mm (10.6″) which numbers make the notebook drag behind a lot of 17-inch competitors. At least we can expect better cooling solutions, but we can’t expect a lot of heat from the not so powerful NVIDIA GeForce 840 (2GB DDR3) GPU.
The interior offers the usual black hard plastic that isn’t too hard to leave fingerprints on, but at first glance we aren’t satisfied with the built quality of the keyboard and the touchpad. The keys feel a bit stiff, but maybe that’s due to the short feedback they offer. It’s still reasonably sized with big enough buttons, though. The touchpad isn’t as satisfying too – it doesn’t have any wobbling issues, but has the same problem with short key travel and you might end up using an external mouse for better comfort. However, those are just first impressions and we will cover all those issues more deeply in the upcoming detailed review.
Like most renewed lineups from Dell, this one offers the same Broadwell generation CPUs as upgrade options. The one we got our hands on is the version with Core i7-5500U, but you can also get the Core i3-5005U, Core i5-5200U and even Pentium 3805U, but that’s another story. You can also choose between 4GB or 8GB of RAM and the only storage option is the one with 1TB HDD with 5400rpm. Maybe Dell should have offered variants with faster HDDs if not SSDs. Also, choosing the i7-5500U CPU brings you the discrete GPU from NVIDIA – GeForce 840M, which we are testing right now. For this bulky body, it would be a shame if you didn’t have the option for an optical drive. Moving on to the screen which in every case is HD+ (1600×900) with 17.3-inch diagonal or Full HD with touch capabilities, but this is optional. The battery capacity seems underwhelming judging by the size of the machine – just 40Whr, 4-cell, but we will be sure about this when we publish the full review of the model.
Keep in mind that the configurations given above may differ in your region.
How it looks on the inside
You can see the photos provided below, which will give you enough information, but we also strongly suggest you read our disassembly and upgrade guide of the new Inspiron 17 5749 here:
|Processor||Intel Core i3-5005U (2-core, 2.00 GHz, 3MB cache) / Intel Core i5-5200U (2-core, 2.20 – 2.70 GHz, 3MB cache) / Intel Core i7-5500U (2-core, 2.40 – 3.00 Ghz, 4MB cache)|
|RAM||4GB (1x 4096MB) – DDR3, 1600MHz / 8GB (2x 4096MB) – DDR3, 1600MHz|
|Graphics card||Intel HD Graphics 5500 (integrated GPU) / NVIDIA GeForce 840M (2GB DDR3)|
|HDD/SSD||1TB HDD (5400rpm)|
|Display||17.3-inch (43.94 cm.) – 1600×900 (HD+), glossy / 17.3-inch (43.94 cm) – 1920×1080 (Full HD), glossy, touch-capacitive|
|Optical drive||DVD burner|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n,Bluetooth 4.0|
|Battery||40 WHr, 4-Cell Battery|
|Weight||3.3 kg (7.3 lbs)|