The Dell Inspiron R Series

Dell's got a new notebook computer on the market: the Inspiron R.  The next iteration on Dell's Inspiron series of notebook PCs, the Inspiron 14R, 15R and 17R appeared in stores yesterday, starting at a retail price of $529.99(14R) to $579.99(15R and 17R). Pretty good for a laptop, especially when you consider what's beneath the case. . 

Let's take a deeper look, shall we? 

The Aesthetics

The Inspiron R series look pretty much how one would expect a laptop to look. It's got a chiclet style keyboard (Dell uses it on most of their laptop PCS). The casing's got a glossy sheen to it, and the picture on the screen looks nice and crisp. All in all, it's a pretty decent looking notebook. It's not incredible to look a, but it's not hard on the eyes, either. The basic design isn't what makes the Inspiron R series unique, anyway.

Where the Inspiron R really shines in the looks department is interchangeable casing. Yes, you read that right. If you don't like the colour or design of your laptop's lid, you can simply...pop it off and snap on a new one. The Inspiron R line's shipped with a total of tweA few of the possible customizations, from Dell's site.A few of the possible customizations, from Dell's site.nty five different lids to choose from- so you can bet there's one for every taste. (Dell). I'm sure we'll see more coming onto the market as the laptop begins to gain a foothold, too. 

It's pretty clear why they'd do this, too: lately, customization's been something of a craze in the computing industry. If you're able to customize or 'change' something about your computer, it makes it feel more like it's yours. Why do you think so many high-end gaming rigs have customizable back-lights and keyboard lights? 

Anyway, long story short, the Inspiron looks pretty much like any other Dell notebook PC, save for the interchangeable lid.  It comes in three sizes: 14, 15, and 17 inches. The 14R weighs somewhere around 5 pounds. Pretty decent, for a laptop. The 15R and 17R weigh, respectively, from 6-9 pounds.

The Specs

Here's the section of this article I'm sure the majority of you are interested in.  The Inspiron R series utilizes Intel's new Sandy Bridge microarchitecture, and supports i3, i5, and i7 processors. Again, for the uninitiated, the numbers denote how powerful the processor is- with the i7 topping the other two, and the i5 sitting somewhere in between. Naturally, the more expensive i7 is for intensive tasks. 

The R series features up to 8 gigabytes of RAM, an HD capable webcam and gets somewhere around 13 hours of battery life on the 15R. It comes packaged with either Windows 7 Home Premium or Professional as the default OS,  Intel Wireless Display technology, optional ATI Radeon or Nvidia Geforce Graphics cards...Suffice it to say, these systems are packing heat. Granted, they won't give high-end gaming laptops a run for their money(the graphics cards are decent; nothing incredible), but just the same, it's rather powerful given the price. You'll be able to play most games on the market with medium settings, but don't expect to be able to dive into most of them on maximum without your laptop strangling itself. 

It's got three USB ports, and 500-640 gigabytes of memory, Bluetooth support, and high-quality audio/video. Pretty decent bang for your buck, if you ask me. 

Final Word

There's not really much else to say. The interchangeable laptop cover offers an entirely new level of customization that's likely going to appeal to a lot of people.The strongest point, however, is the price. Ultimately, I'd say if you're a fan of Dell or looking for an affordable, reasonably powerful laptop for work or school, give the Inspiron R series a go- it's a very nice choice.