Dell Inspiron 15R and 17R: Cheap laptops for the yoof of today

Dell looks to continue its reign over the world of affordable yet oddly classy laptops with a couple of new additions to the Inspiron range

What do errant kids need today? No granddad, not the National Service -- they need laptops! And if you ask Dell, it'll tell you they specifically need the brand spanking new Inspiron R series, available in 15 and 17-inch sizes.

Yes indeed, these machines are built with students in mind. They look pretty trendy for starters -- we like the brushed effect on the lid, and while it's not much of a departure from the standard old Inspiron machines they do look pretty tasty.

Dell famously offers about a zillion upgrade and customisation options on every single aspect of its machines, so summing up the specs is mighty tricky. We can tell you the R15 and R17 laptops will feature Intel Core i3 and i5 processor options if you want your CPU to pack a little more punch, and Dell will also be offering HD-resolution screens on both systems.

If you fancy turning your hand to the odd spot of photo editing or light gaming, there's an optional 1GB ATI Graphics processor on the cards, and if you're going over-spec crazy, you can also opt for up to 8GB of RAM.

The 15R will feature a dedicated number pad, which is unusual for a 15-inch machine. Hopefully it won't leave the rest of the keyboard too cramped.

Dell will also pump these babies full of proprietary software that will almost certainly get in the way and instantly become very frustrating if you're a tech-savvy teen worth your salt. Nevertheless, expect Dell DataSafeOnline, a cloud-storage solution, and the Dell Dock, which lumps all your favourite software into a Mac-style dock at the top of the screen.

The pricing, however, makes us very happy bunnies. Prices start at £479 for these machines, including VAT and delivery -- cheap as chips. Bear in mind though, if you pimp out your machine with all the optional upgrades, you'll quickly see that price climbing.

The Dell Inspiron 15R and 17R will be available to buy as of tomorrow. That's 23 June for any disoriented time-travellers reading this.

About the author

Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.


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