Dell Inspiron i5577-7359BLK-PUS Gaming Laptop Review

     
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If you are after a cheaper gaming laptop the market is not too big for you. The manufacturers are likely motivated to produce top-grade gaming notebooks, whose higher performance will also be seen in the elevated price tag. But even though the choice for cheaper gaming laptops is limited, some specimen such as Dell Inspiron i5577-7359BLK-PUS exist. Inside, it boasts a host of gamer-friendly components, most notably the GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card. That alone, however, does not make a notebook – in this review I let you know my personal opinion about the various aspects of this Dell.

Surprisingly Fast for Gaming and Software

If you have been reading about GeForce graphics cards, you might know the one that is included in this Dell – the GeForce GTX 1050 (4GB GDDR5) – is the slowest laptop GPU in the GTX 1000 series. Are you worried about this? Well, don’t be, it’s only on paper where the card might look bad. In reality, the GTX 1050 is a 100% Full HD ready card which can keep frame rates high on any game you play. Even if you were using higher settings, you would break the 60FPS limit on many favorite games, including Grand Theft Auto 5. The only disadvantage of GTX 1050 is the lack of Virtual Reality support so you won’t be using Oculus Rift on this machine.

The performance of Dell Inspiron i5577-7359BLK-PUS does not end in games. The components are carefully picked to accommodate power users, multitaskers and digital/video artists. Take a look at the processor if you don’t believe me: a quad-core, 2.8GHz Intel Core i7-7700HQ. You won’t find one or two processors that are better for laptops. It even has a turbo speed which will increase the clock speed to 3.8GHz on tight spots.

Experience a good support for multitasking, as the notebook equips 8GB of the new and fast DDR4 2400 memory. This should take care of RAM needs of about any user, but if you want to splurge and go all in, a free memory slot is available on the mainboard (maximum 32 gigabytes). Furthermore, there are only good things going on in the storage section: 1TB 5400RPM hard drive, plus 128GB M.2 solid-state drive are installed there. Both of them can be upgraded, the M.2 slot supports all kinds of drives (SATA, PCIe, NVMe). From what I can gather, Windows 10 is smartly installed on the SSD unit to ensure system loading time in seconds.

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Selection of Ports is Decent but Lacking One Thing

A laptop alone can be seen as unfinished work. It is almost ready, but if you want to take the full advantage, you may want (or need) to plug in a few peripherals. Think of devices like DVD burner to install something from discs. Indeed, that is a good example with this exact model, as the Dell doesn’t have an optical drive. That is a conscious choice from manufacturers since physical medium, the discs, are getting less and less common due to Internet.

The actual ports where you will be hooking up your peripherals include three USB and one HDMI output. The USB ports support the version 3.0 which is, by far, the most used standard to date. However, recently, a new type of USB – the Type-C – has entered the mainstream market. Its strengths are reversible cable (fits in both ways) and often support for other technologies, like Thunderbolt 3. Unfortunately, even though it’s seen in many other similar-priced laptops, this Dell does not include one. The HDMI output can be used to connect an extra display; perhaps you have a big PC monitor unused and want to give new life to it with this Dell. Keep in mind it’s indeed a single external display that can be used at a time here, not more.

Taking care of your wireless networking needs is Intel 3165 AC dual-band WiFi adapter. It sports the long-range signal so as long as your modem/router supports this AC standard, you are free to venture far from the hotspot with your laptop. Support for Bluetooth 4.2 exists as well, not to mention the Gigabit Ethernet RJ-45 port if you prefer cable over wireless connection!

Is the Monitor Problematic?

I have said elsewhere in this review that Dell Inspiron i5577-7359BLK-PUS is a budget machine. Surely, this “feature” makes it attractive for many people. But as we know, cheap is cheap for a reason, right? I’m positive that in this case, Dell has skimped on the screen. I’ve read a few users complaining about its quality, mostly due to its cheap TN panel. Some have replaced the panel, which by the way is rather easy procedure after you have bought a better one.

Anyway, it’s a 15.6″ 1920×1080 non-touch screen we are talking about. Its TN panel is to blame for most of the screen misfortunes, as color gamut runs only at NTSC 45%, brightness 220 nits and refresh rate 60hz. The gamut is indeed quite low, which could possibly result in worse color reproduction. The brightness isn’t high either, however does not pose a problem indoors – only in plain daylight use.

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It is often the case that batteries are the Achilles’ heel of gaming laptops. The components in these rigs are hungry for electricity, so the battery won’t last long, right? In fact, with Dell Inspiron i5577-7359BLK-PUS, this is not exactly the case. It equips a 6-cell 74Whr lithium ion battery, which many people who brought this notebook seem to like! They are talking about a decent ~5 hours operating time for paper editing & web browsing use. That’s impressive for a gaming laptop; however don’t expect so long battery life when actually gaming. The charger’s input voltage is 100-240 volts so this laptop can be operated in most – if not all – countries around the world.

A backlit keyboard colored with red is what you will be typing with. The single color can not be changed from red – but of course the color can be altogether toggled on and off as you like. In addition, the notebook should run rather silent: a single fan is attached to the processor, and it’s activated depending on the system load. The graphics card is cooled by a heatsink, making no noise.

Pros:
Gaming performance at low price - It is true the GeForce GTX 1050 is, at most, a mainstream graphics engine. The card is however sufficient for Full HD gaming, with most titles having decent frame rates even when plenty of eye candy is on. The best thing is, the rig doesn't cost much at all, so even those on tight budget could probably afford it.

Superior processor - This is a snappy notebook, and the biggest reason for that is the processor. There are only a few, if any, CPUs made for notebooks that are faster than this quad-core bit cruncher Intel Core i7-7700HQ.

Smart storage solution - It's a very good move from the manufacturer to have both, hard drive and solid-state drive, in this laptop. This opens the best of the both worlds, as you have a lot of raw storage, but also performance the SSD offers.

Cons:
Questionable display - While you can't always see the actual quality of screen from the specifications, I would be aware of the possibility the display is not the best here. There are some user reports saying the colors are a bit washed out, however no complaints about actual response times exist. Could have USB Type-C - The new USB Type-C is coming to notebooks, and with its reversible connector and support for several technologies it's rather handy port. Unfortunately, the Type-C connector does not exist in this Dell.

Currently, the amount of gaming notebooks cheaper than Dell Inspiron i5577-7359BLK-PUS is little, very little. So, obviously, if you right now can not afford more but want to get on with gaming, the Dell is a tempting choice. From what I can see, the temptation will be mostly satisfied with this option. The biggest factor for gamers’ well-being is the GTX 1050 graphics card which will be just the right choice for most players out there. When you throw in the quad-core, high-speed i7 processor and solid-state drive, you really have a snappy and well-rounded gaming laptop at hand. The biggest hurdle with this model would be the screen, as many have pointed out its subpar quality. If you don’t care, can live with this, or replace the panel, there are no further major disadvantages I can think of. So, unless you want to pay a bit more for the GTX 1060 powered Acer Predator Helios, choosing this Dell would most likely satisfy your gaming tooth.

    1 Comments until now.

  • Glen (#)
    October 14th, 2017

    I purchased this laptop for mostly business and some light usage of watching movies.
    I carry it to work on a daily basis and I love the speed of the laptop.
    I purchased this with a basic 1 TB 5400 RPM hard drive and quickly installed a Samsung NVME M.2 SSD. I basically use the 1 TB for storage and have my OS running off the SSD.
    One of the things I like about this laptop is it has two cooling fans and the laptop is always running cool. My previous Lenovo workstation laptop ran considerably hotter. This Dell feels pretty solid for the price I paid which is $900 in Canada.
    As far as the 1920×1080 display, I have had much worse. The display is really quite good for what I use it for.
    All in All for the money I paid the laptop, I think I got a great deal and a well built laptop.

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