Dell Inspiron 15 3505 (Vostro 15 3500/Inspiron 15 3501) review – is it worth spending money on a new laptop with older tech?

Another manufacturer has released a laptop, equipped with an older SKU. In a world of silicon and graphics card hunger, Dell is looking at previous generations, albeit with newly released processors to feed their machines.

With that said, the Inspiron 15 3505 comes at precisely the right time, in order to be influential, and viable for customers. It offers an IPS panel, SSD support, arguably snappy processors of choice, and a proven design. The latter ensures minimum financial effort in terms of design, and maximum yield.

Also, considering its rather affordable price, it is good to see that most models come pre-equipped with a Windows 10 OS (at least in our region), so you won’t need to spend extra money on a license. Nevertheless, the Inspiron series is no longer what it used to be, as Dell is pretty stale on that end of their laptop lineup. But considering the way the market is set up right now, we feel that this notebook can be particularly successful.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System:


Specs Sheet

Dell Inspiron 15 3505 - Specs

  • AUO K1MP9-B156HAN (AUO23ED)
  • Color accuracy  4.1  3.9
  • up to 2000GB SSD + up to 2000GB HDD
  • M.2 Slot
  • 1x M.2 PCIe NVMe 3.0 x4  See photo
  • RAM
  • up to 64GB
  • OS
  • Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 S, Windows 11 Home, Windows 10 Pro, Windows 11 Pro
  • Battery
  • 42Wh, 3-cell, 41Wh, 3-cell
  • Body material
  • Plastic / Polycarbonate
  • Dimensions
  • 363.9 x 249 x 18 ~ 19.9 mm (14.33" x 9.80" x 0.71")
  • Weight
  • 1.96 kg (4.3 lbs)
  • Ports and connectivity
  • 1x USB Type-A
  • 2.0
  • 2x USB Type-A
  • 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)
  • HDMI
  • 1.4
  • Card reader
  • Ethernet LAN
  • 10/100 Mbit/s
  • Wi-Fi
  • 802.11a/b/g
  • Bluetooth
  • 5.0
  • Audio jack
  • 3.5mm Combo Jack
  • Features
  • Fingerprint reader
  • optional
  • Web camera
  • HD
  • Backlit keyboard
  • optional
  • Microphone
  • Single digital microphone
  • Speakers
  • 2x 2W, Stereo Speakers
  • Optical drive
  • Security Lock slot
  • Wedge Lock Slot

All Dell Inspiron 15 3505 configurations


What’s in the box?

Inside the package of this budget-oriented notebook, contains nothing more than the essentials – a 45W power brick, some paper manuals, and the laptop, itself.

Design and construction

If we have to be completely honest, the build quality is not among this laptop’s strong points. It is made entirely out of plastic, which also feels like not a particularly high-quality one. This makes a big impact on rigidity, as Inspiron 15 3505’s chassis is a bit flexy, and produces an unpleasant popping sound when you twist it. As for the measurements, you get a profile of 18-19.9mm and a weight of 1.96 kg. This is pretty much the standard for budget 15-inch notebooks.

Expectedly, the lid cannot be opened with a single hand. It also doesn’t react very positively at twists. On the bright side, the bezels on the sides of the matte display are quite slim, in contrast to those on the top and bottom. Nevertheless, the presence of an HD camera above the screen makes us happy enough.

Next, let’s take a look at the keyboard. It comes in two iterations – with or without a backlight. Interestingly, the power button doubles as a fingerprint reader, which is a pleasant surprise on a laptop of this budget. Other than that, the keys have medium-to-short travel, but relatively clicky feedback. It is not the most comfortable for typing long essays, but at least it has a NumberPad section, which will help the accountants out there. On the downside, though, the entire keyboard deck, and most of the palm rest area flexes if you press upon it.

Interestingly, the touchpad here feels smooth and provides accurate tracking and pleasant gliding. Overall, this is one of the good points of the good stuff about this device. Well, yes, there is a bit of a dead zone, before it registers a click, and there are no dedicated buttons to work with, but other than that, Dell has put a decent unit here.

Now, turn the laptop around, and you will see the speaker cutouts and the ventilation grills. Hot air, here, is exhausted from the backside of the laptop. However, we found something interesting. Useless, but interesting. When the lid is closed, the air escapes effortlessly from the back. As it should, But as soon as it is opened, it sort of blocks the airflow, and some (or most) of the hot air finds its way out through the middle of the keyboard. You can literally feel it with your fingers. This may and will lead to more heat being generated in this part of the keyboard, and we expect to see this reflected in our IR image later on.


On the left side, there is the power plug and the corresponding status LED, then there is an HDMI 1.4 connector, an RJ-45 connector, two USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 1) ports, and an audio jack. And on the right, you will find a security lock, a USB Type-A 2.0 port, and an SD card reader. Sadly, there is no USB Type-C port anywhere on this notebook.

Disassembly, upgrade options and maintenance

To access the internals of this notebook, you need to undo 9 Phillips-head screws. Then, carefully pry your way around the bottom panel with the help of a plastic tool.

The first thing we see inside is the 42Wh battery pack. Before you start removing stuff out of the device, make sure you unplug the battery connector.

In terms of memory, there are two SODIMM slots, that should support up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM in total. They also work in dual-channel mode. Storage-wise, there is one 2.5-inch SATA drive bay, as well as an M.2 PCIe x4 slot.

As for the cooling, a rather unpretentious heat pipe, heat spreader, and a fan with a medium size. It’s also worth noting that there is a metal bracket over the CPU, that helps evenly distribute the mounting pressure, and drive some residual heat away.

Display quality

Dell Inspiron 15 3505 is equipped with an IPS panel, model number AUO K1MP9-B156HAN (AUO23ED). Its diagonal is 15.6″ (39.62 cm), and the resolution 1920 х 1080 pixels. The screen ratio is 16:9, and we are looking at a pixel density of – 142 ppi, and a pitch of 0.18 х 0.18 mm. The screen turns into Retina when viewed at distance equal to or greater than 60cm (24″) (from this distance one’s eye stops differentiating the separate pixels, and it is normal for looking at a laptop).

Viewing angles are excellent. We offer images at 45° to evaluate image quality.

The measured maximum brightness of 230 nits in the middle of the screen and 221 nits as an average for the whole area, with a maximum deviation of 7%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen is 6670K – slightly colder than the optimal for the sRGB standard of 6500K.
In the illustration below you can see how the display performs from a uniformity perspective. In other words, the leakage of light from the light source.

Values of dE2000 over 4.0 should not occur, and this parameter is one of the first you should check if you intend to use the laptop for color-sensitive work. The contrast ratio is fine – 1070:1.

To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction to the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. To start, there’s the CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram that represents the visible specter of colors by the human eye, giving you a better perception of the color gamut coverage and the color accuracy.

Inside the black triangle, you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB) that is being used by millions of people on HDTV and on the web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used in professional cameras, monitors, etc for printing. Colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is the essential part of the color quality and color accuracy of a mainstream notebook.

Still, we’ve included other color spaces like the famous DCI-P3 standard used by movie studios, as well as the digital UHD Rec.2020 standard. Rec.2020, however, is still a thing of the future and it’s difficult for today’s displays to cover that well. We’ve also included the so-called Michael Pointer gamut, or Pointer’s gamut, which represents the colors that naturally occur around us every day.

The yellow dotted line shows Dell Inspiron 15 3505’s color gamut coverage.

Its display covers only 51% of the sRGB/ITU-R BT.709 (web/HDTV standard) in CIE1976.

Our “Design and Gaming” profile delivers optimal color temperature (6500K) at 140 cd/m2 luminance and sRGB gamma mode.

We tested the accuracy of the display with 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass, orange, etc. You can check out the results at factory condition and also, with the “Design and Gaming” profile.

Below you can compare the scores of Dell Inspiron 15 3505 with the default settings (left), and with the “Gaming and Web design” profile (right).

The next figure shows how well the display is able to reproduce really dark parts of an image, which is essential when watching movies or playing games in low ambient light.

The left side of the image represents the display with stock settings, while the right one is with the “Gaming and Web Design” profile activated. On the horizontal axis, you will find the grayscale, and on the vertical axis – the luminance of the display. On the two graphs below you can easily check for yourself how your display handles the darkest nuances but keep in mind that this also depends on the settings of your current display, the calibration, the viewing angle, and the surrounding light conditions.

Response time (Gaming capabilities)

We test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “black-to-white” and “white-to-black” method from 10% to 90% and vice versa.

We recorded Fall Time + Rise Time = 31 ms.

After that, we test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “Gray-to-Gray” method from 50% White to 80% White and vice versa between 10% and 90% of the amplitude.

Health impact – PWM / Blue Light

PWM (Screen flickering)

Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is an easy way to control monitor brightness. When you lower the brightness, the light intensity of the backlight is not lowered, but instead turned off and on by the electronics with a frequency indistinguishable to the human eye. In these light impulses, the light/no-light time ratio varies, while brightness remains unchanged, which is harmful to your eyes. You can read more about that in our dedicated article on PWM.

Dell Inspiron 15 3505’s display doesn’t use PWM to adjust its brightness levels at any point. This makes it comfortable for long work periods, without harming your eyes in this aspect.

Blue light emissions

Installing our Health-Guard profile not only eliminates PWM but also reduces the harmful Blue Light emissions while keeping the colors of the screen perceptually accurate. If you’re not familiar with the Blue light, the TL;DR version is – emissions that negatively affect your eyes, skin, and your whole body. You can find more information about that in our dedicated article on Blue Light.


Dell Inspiron 15 3505’s IPS panel has a Full HD resolution, comfortable viewing angles, and a decent contrast ratio. Thankfully, it doesn’t use PWM for brightness adjustment. And as a typical budget-level panel, it only supports half of the colors found on the Internet.

Buy our profiles

Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for Dell Inspiron 15 3505 configurations with 15.6″ FHD IPS AUO K1MP9-B156HAN (AUO23ED).

*Should you have problems with downloading the purchased file, try using a different browser to open the link you’ll receive via e-mail. If the download target is a .php file instead of an archive, change the file extension to .zip or contact us at [email protected]

Read more about the profiles HERE.

In addition to receiving efficient and health-friendly profiles, by buying LaptopMedia's products you also support the development of our labs, where we test devices in order to produce the most objective reviews possible.

Office Work

Office Work should be used mostly by users who spend most of the time looking at pieces of text, tables or just surfing. This profile aims to deliver better distinctness and clarity by keeping a flat gamma curve (2.20), native color temperature and perceptually accurate colors.

Design and Gaming

This profile is aimed at designers who work with colors professionally, and for games and movies as well. Design and Gaming takes display panels to their limits, making them as accurate as possible in the sRGB IEC61966-2-1 standard for Web and HDTV, at white point D65.


Health-Guard eliminates the harmful Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) and reduces the negative Blue Light which affects our eyes and body. Since it’s custom tailored for every panel, it manages to keep the colors perceptually accurate. Health-Guard simulates paper so the pressure on the eyes is greatly reduced.

Get all 3 profiles with 33% discount


Dell Inspiron 15 3505’s speakers produce a relatively good sound in terms of quality. Although there are some deviations in the low tones, the mids and highs are clear.


All of the drivers and utilities for this notebook can be downloaded from here:


Now, we conduct the battery tests with Windows Better performance setting turned on, screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits, and all other programs turned off except for the one we are testing the notebook with. This notebook’s 42Wh battery pack lasts for 8 hours and 12 minutes of Web browsing and 7 hours and 24 minutes of video playback.

In order to simulate real-life conditions, we used our own script for automatic web browsing through over 70 websites.

For every test like this, we use the same video in HD.

CPU options

There are a ton of AMD CPU options for this notebook. You can get it with the Athlon Silver 3050U, Athlon Gold 3150U, Ryzen 3 3250U, Ryzen 5 3450U, Ryzen 5 3500U, and the Ryzen 7 3700U.

Dell Inspiron 15 3505 CPU variants

Here you can see an approximate comparison between the CPUs that can be found in the Dell Inspiron 15 3505 models on the market. This way you can decide for yourself which Dell Inspiron 15 3505 model is the best bang for your buck.

Note: The chart shows the cheapest different CPU configurations so you should check what the other specifications of these laptops are by clicking on the laptop’s name / CPU.

GPU options

There are no dedicated options, so you are left with what your CPU of choice has as an iGPU solution.

Dell Inspiron 15 3505 GPU variants

Here you can see an approximate comparison between the GPUs that can be found in the Dell Inspiron 15 3505 models on the market. This way you can decide for yourself which Dell Inspiron 15 3505 model is the best bang for your buck.

Note: The chart shows the cheapest different GPU configurations so you should check what the other specifications of these laptops are by clicking on the laptop’s name / GPU.

Gaming tests


CS:GO HD 1080p, Low (Check settings) HD 1080p, Medium (Check settings) HD 1080p, MAX (Check settings)
Average FPS 57 fps 42 fps 28 fps

DOTA 2 HD 1080p, Low (Check settings) HD 1080p, Normal (Check settings) HD 1080p, High (Check settings)
Average FPS 69 fps 36 fps 20 fps

Temperatures and comfort

Max CPU load

In this test we use 100% on the CPU cores, monitoring their frequencies and chip temperature. The first column shows a computer’s reaction to a short load (2-10 seconds), the second column simulates a serious task (between 15 and 30 seconds), and the third column is a good indicator of how good the laptop is for long loads such as video rendering.

Average core frequency (base frequency + X); CPU temp.

AMD Ryzen 5 3450U (15W TDP) 0:02 – 0:10 sec 0:15 – 0:30 sec 10:00 – 15:00 min
Dell Inspiron 15 3505 2.99 GHz (B+42%) @ 79°C 2.79 GHz (B+33%) @ 92°C 2.21 GHz (B+5%) @ 67°C

The cooling solution seems to perform reasonably well, as the processor here doesn’t drop beneath its Base clock, at any point during extreme workload.

Comfort during full load

Interestingly, the middle of the keyboard heats up the most, as we predicted a little bit earlier. The maximum temperature we measured was just above 39°C, while the fan was getting near loud at times.


After a worldwide laptop draught, some manufacturers started shipping units equipped with older units. Ultimately, the Inspiron 15 3505 can be considered as the embodiment of the whole situation, as it was one of the most hyped products of all of them. And despite the expected low build quality, the reason for which was the use of plastic all around the device, we actually found some spots, where we got ourselves surprised.

Undoubtedly, one of them was upgradability. With two RAM SODIMM slots and support of up to 32GB in dual-channel, this laptop is more future-proof than most thin and light abominations on the market. Moreover, you can stick an M.2 drive, and add extra storage via the 2.5-inch SATA slot. Additionally, there is a fingerprint reader, embedded into the power button, as well as an HD camera above the display, and although there is no Wi-Fi 6 support, most of the routers you use as of now, are still supporting only the 802.11ac protocol.

Dell Inspiron 15 3505’s IPS panel (AUO K1MP9-B156HAN (AUO23ED)) has a Full HD resolution, comfortable viewing angles, and a decent contrast ratio. Thankfully, it doesn’t use PWM for brightness adjustment. And as a typical budget-level panel, it only supports half of the colors found on the Internet.

On the other side, there is the I/O. It is a bit of a mixed bag, because it has an SD card reader, a total of three USB ports, an Ethernet jack, and an HDMI connector. However, it lacks something that in 2021 can be considered as fundamental – a USB Type-C port. Ultimately, in this segment of the market, lacking such a connector might not be as big of a deal, as it could have been, should we talk about a more expensive product, but it definitely hinders the aforementioned future-proofness of the model.

As we mentioned, the build quality isn’t impressive by any means, and the keyboard deck shows that perfectly. Our unit had no backlight, and we observed a very pronounced deck flex. Even the touchpad, which was very comfortable and accurate to use, had a slight dead zone before registering an input as a click.

And last but not least, there is the elephant in the room – the performance. Since it comes with a couple of years old hardware, we didn’t expect any miracles from this device. Actually, the Ryzen 5 3450U was only launched last year, but it still bears the fundamentals of the Ryzen 5 3500U. To be honest, it is nowhere near the performance of its newer, and far more capable cousins, like the Ryzen 5 4500U, and arguably falls within the range of the Ryzen 3 4300U, which is the bottom line of the previous generation of mobile Ryzen chips.

Nevertheless, if you’re going to use your laptop for a daily driver, with the main focus on media consumption, and some office work, you will see no problem. A key for that, however, is pairing it with an SSD. And keep in mind that having an IPS panel, and a Windows 10 preinstalled on your system are two features that very few manufacturers offer at this price point.


  • Great price
  • Up to 32GB of memory in dual-channel, 1x M.2 PCIe x4 + 2.5-inch SATA slot
  • Has an SD card reader
  • Doesn’t use PWM for brightness adjustment (AUO K1MP9-B156HAN)


  • Unsatisfactory build quality
  • No USB Type-C port
  • Covers only 52% of the sRGB gamut (AUO K1MP9-B156HAN)

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System:

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