Launched in late September, the Dell Inspiron M501R (M5010) is a 15-inch laptop part of Dell’s Inspiron series. Compared to the Dell Inspiron 15R, the Inspiron M501R laptop has an AMD triple-core processor and dedicated ATI graphics, trying to stake a claim as a good laptop for home or students. Let’s see if that’s the case with Dell Inspiron M501R.
Dell Inspiron M501R has discrete graphics, which is a bonus at this budget-conscious price point.
Design The Dell Inspiron M501R is identical to the Dell Inspiron 14R and Inspiron 15R laptop, in terms of looks and design. The Inspiron M501R comes with an attractive glossy screen lid having a smooth metallic finish -- you have the choice of four screen lid colors: Black, blue, red, and pink. The Dell Inspiron M501R reinforces our impression of the new Inspiron series of laptops -- they're no longer foul and uncouth, as they once were. The Dell Inspiron M501R has a shiny polished finish along its palmrest and surface surrounding the keyboard which feels premium compared to other laptops at this price point -- kinda like the Lenovo IdeaPad Z460.
Like the Dell Inspiron 14R, the Inspiron M501R laptop has a peculiar hinge design -- the laptop’s screen meets the rest of the chassis a little inside the spine, allowing you to better hold the laptop when its screen is propped open. A very good example of thoughtful design, the current Inspiron M501R, 15R and 14R laptops. The Dell Inspiron M501R is very well built and weighs 2.6-kg (with a six-cell battery pack) -- which is pretty good for a 15-inch laptop and 200gm lighter than the Acer Aspire 5740 laptop.
Usability The Dell Inspiron M501R comes with a 15.6-inch widescreen LED-backlit display with 1366x768 resolution. The 15-inch glossy screen isn’t very bright but colorful and has good contrast levels. In an indoor environment, reading text and watching movies are both handled very well by the Dell Inspiron M501R’s 15-inch screen. The laptop comes with a 1.3MP webcam recessed in its top screen bezel which comes handy with videochats.
The Dell Inspiron M501R laptop’s keyboard and touchpad are as good as ever. We like the closely packed, raised keys -- they’re very good for typing and offer nice feedback. Although, we did notice a slight flex on the Inspiron M501R’s keyboard -- during fast typing bursts -- but nothing to spoil the party. The Dell Inspiron M501R laptop's keyboard has a dedicated number pad.
The Dell Inspiron M501R has a nice wide touchpad nestled between a large shiny palmrest -- which doesn’t attract a lot of fingerprints. The touchpad’s surface itself reminds me of very fine sandpaper, it offers very good tactile feedback and plenty of room to move your finger. The accompanying mouse buttons are nice and easy to click, no problem at all.