Dell Inspiron M5030 Review
The Dell M5030 is a cheap laptop, a cheap laptop packed with decent components. It's not going to be everyone's cup of tea, but for generic tasks such as web browsing and document writing, the M5030 could be ideal.
'Plastic' is a word that neatly describes the M5030, it is very plastic. So subsequently, build quality isn't amazing and the laptop does feel a bit fragile. Definitely not able to withstand too many knocks. It has a 15.6 LED screen which, when used for web browsing, appears rather pale and whited out - as if the contrast and brightness levels are set too high. The keyboard is well set out however it is noisy to use and the trackpad, although a decent size is let down by the left and right mouse buttons which fail to deliver a satisfying click when pressed. In terms of ports, the M5030 is pretty adequate offering 3 USB ports and a 3-in-1 card reader. A lack of an HDMI port is a shame, but not all that surprising considering the cost of the laptop. Weighing 2.6kg and being 1.6 inches in thickness, it's not built for portability, however fine for use around the home.
The M5030 typically comes with an AMD Athlon dual core processor. AMD chips are often the cheaper cousins to Intel's offering. The 3GB of DDR3 ram is adequate to decent for a budget laptop, and is upgradable to 6GB if required. This M5030 comes with a 250GB hard disk which is just about adequate, however 320GB or 500GB hard drives are commonly available as well for a slightly higher cost. The ATI Mobility Radeon graphics chip handles most tasks with ease. The maximum screen resolution of the M5030 is 1366x768 but if plugged into an external display, can be bumped up to 1400x1050. Watching a 720P video full screen is not a problem and the faded out display is not really noticeable. If plugged into an external display at 1400x1050 however, running a 720P video will be slightly jerky as it skips frames trying to keep up with the movie. The battery life is slightly disappointing. Running at maximum brightness and playing full screen video, the battery will last for around 2 hours and 15 minutes. This can be extended by about 20 minutes by enabling Dell's extended life battery plan. Naturally the battery life can be stretched out (up to around 3 hours 30 minutes) by running a dull screen and not putting much demand on the processor.
The best thing about this laptop is undoubtedly the cost, it is very cheap. Brand new it costs typically around £350 and manufacturer refurbished, the price drops to around £250 so it's not going to break the bank purchasing one of these.
For a basic machine to do generic tasks such as web browsing, movie watching and document writing, this laptop is a great choice considering its price. Anything other than that, then it's probably not ideal.
- Feels plastic to use
- Poor screen display
- Poor battery life