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Dell Inspiron 15 3000 (2020) Laptop Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Jan 10, 2022 at 10:46 am
Dell Inspiron 15 3000 (2020) Picture
6.8
School
5.4
Gaming
6.8
Multimedia
6.1
Workstation
6.8
Business
Size
15.6"
Operating System
Windows 10
CPU
Intel Core i3-1115G4
GPU
Intel UHD Graphics G4
RAM
8 GB
Storage
256 GB

The Dell Inspiron 15 3000 (model 3501) is a budget Windows laptop available with various Intel 11th Gen processors. It has a plastic chassis that feels decently well-built, with a thin and light design that makes it easy to carry around. The 1080p IPS display on our unit is sharp enough for general productivity and media consumption; however, its narrow color gamut and poor accuracy make it unsuitable for color-critical work. The touchpad tracks well, and the keyboard provides an okay typing experience, although some may find it a bit tiring over long periods. The Intel CPU and integrated graphics in our unit can handle simple tasks like web browsing, video playback, and general productivity but aren't powerful enough for demanding workloads like 3D animation. Unfortunately, there's no USB-C port, and the webcam image looks dark and unnatural. The battery life is disappointing as it can't last through a typical 8-hour workday, so you have to carry the power adapter with you.

Our Dell Inspiron 3000 has a 1080p IPS display, an Intel Core i3-1115G4 CPU, Intel UHD Graphics for 11th Gen processors, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage. There's a 720p TN panel option, but we don't recommend it because it won't look as sharp and has worse viewing angles. If you need better multi-thread performance for more demanding applications or heavy multitasking, you can upgrade the CPU to an Intel Core i5-1135G7 or i7-1165G7. There's an NVIDIA GeForce MX330 discrete GPU option; however, it might not be worth it because the performance gain over Intel's integrated Iris Xe graphics is minimal.

Our Verdict

6.8 School

The Dell Inspiron 15 3000 is okay for school use. It's portable thanks to its thin and light design, and it feels well-built even though it's entirely plastic. The display is decently sharp, the touchpad tracks well, but the keyboard is a bit tiring to type on for long periods. The Intel 11th Gen CPU can handle most workloads; however, its integrated and entry-level discrete GPU options aren't ideal for graphically intensive tasks like 3D rendering. Unfortunately, the webcam image looks dark and unnatural, and the screen doesn't get bright enough to combat glare. The battery also lasts less than 8 hours of light productivity, so you may have to plug it in at some point.

Pros
  • Thin and light design makes it easy to carry around.
  • Feels well-built despite all-plastic chassis.
  • Touchpad tracks well.
Cons
  • Keyboard feels tiring to type on for extended periods.
  • Webcam image looks unnatural and microphone is too loud.
  • Battery doesn't last long enough for a typical 8-hour day.
  • No USB-C port and HDMI is limited to 1080p resolution.
5.4 Gaming

The Dell Inspiron 15 3000 is inadequate for gaming. It's only available with power-efficient Intel U-series processors with integrated or entry-level discrete GPUs, which aren't powerful enough to handle demanding AAA titles. That said, you can play some lighter or older games on the Core i5 and i7 models. Unfortunately, the display is limited to 60Hz with no VRR support, and its slow response time causes noticeable ghosting. Its serviceability is outstanding, though, making it easy to upgrade the memory and storage yourself.

Pros
  • Outstanding serviceability makes it easy to upgrade.
  • Fast NVMe SSD.
  • Minimal performance loss over time.
Cons
  • CPU and GPU can't handle demanding workloads.
  • 60Hz refresh rate with no VRR support.
  • Keyboard feels tiring to type on for extended periods.
  • No USB-C port and HDMI is limited to 1080p resolution.
6.8 Multimedia

The Dell Inspiron 15 3000 is okay for media consumption. Although the speakers don't get very loud, they sound relatively well-balanced overall. However, the display's poor color gamut makes most content look washed out, its low contrast makes blacks look gray in the dark, and it doesn't get bright enough to combat glare. On the upside, the laptop is portable due to its thin and light design, and its battery lasts long enough for a couple of movies or TV show episodes.

Pros
  • Thin and light design makes it easy to carry around.
  • Speakers sound well-balanced.
  • Okay battery life for video playback.
Cons
  • Screen looks dim and washed out.
  • Poor color accuracy out of the box.
  • Low contrast ratio makes blacks look gray in dim settings.
6.1 Workstation

The Dell Inspiron 15 3000 is only mediocre for use as a workstation. You can only configure it with a power-efficient Intel CPU with integrated or entry-level discrete graphics, which aren't powerful enough for demanding tasks like 3D rendering or physics simulations in a professional environment. Also, it doesn't have a USB-C port, and its HDMI port is limited to a 1080p output. On the bright side, it doesn't throttle much under load, and its outstanding serviceability makes it easy to upgrade the components.

Pros
  • Outstanding serviceability makes it easy to upgrade.
  • Fast NVMe SSD.
  • Minimal performance loss over time.
Cons
  • CPU and GPU can't handle demanding workloads.
  • Keyboard feels tiring to type on for extended periods.
  • No USB-C port and HDMI is limited to 1080p resolution.
6.8 Business

The Dell Inspiron 15 3000 is okay for business use. It feels decently well-built, with a thin and light design that makes it easy to carry around for business trips. Its Intel 11th Gen CPU can handle most productivity tasks like web browsing, text formatting, spreadsheets, and presentations. It has a full-size keyboard with a numpad, which is great for those working with a lot of numbers, but it feels a bit tiring to type on for extended periods. Unfortunately, the battery doesn't last long enough for a typical 8-hour workday, so you'll have to plug it in at some point to top it off. Also, the webcam image looks unnatural and underexposed.

Pros
  • Thin and light design makes it easy to carry around.
  • Feels well-built despite all-plastic chassis.
  • Outstanding serviceability makes it easy to upgrade.
  • Touchpad tracks well.
Cons
  • Keyboard feels tiring to type on for extended periods.
  • Webcam image looks unnatural and microphone is too loud.
  • Battery doesn't last long enough for a typical 8-hour day.
  • No USB-C port and HDMI is limited to 1080p resolution.
  • 6.8 School
  • 5.4 Gaming
  • 6.8 Multimedia
  • 6.1 Workstation
  • 6.8 Business
  1. Updated Jan 10, 2022: Review published.
  2. Updated Jan 05, 2022: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Form Factor
Traditional (Clamshell)

The Dell Inspiron 15 3501 has a simple but bland design well-suited for a professional business environment. The borders are a bit thick, especially the bottom chin, and they look somewhat cheap as they're plastic. On the bottom of the laptop, there are exhaust vents near the back and speakers near the front. Because it has a full-size keyboard with a numpad, the touchpad is shifted to the left so it remains centered with the main part of the keyboard, which some people might not like. It's only available in one color scheme: Carbon Black.

7.0
Design
Build Quality

The Dell Inspiron 15 3000 has decent build quality. Even though it's entirely plastic, it feels well-built, and there aren't any obvious gaps in the construction. There's some flex in the display and the keyboard deck, but almost none when the laptop is closed. Likewise, the plastic chassis picks up oil from handling, but it isn't too bad.

5.4
Design
Hinge
Range
135°
Stability
Decent
One Finger Lift
No

The Dell Inspiron 15 3000's hinge is disappointing. It's decently stable, so the screen doesn't wobble much, but it feels poorly made as there's very little resistance, and it doesn't feel smooth when opening and closing the laptop.

8.0
Design
Portability
Thickness
0.8" (2.0 cm)
Width
14.3" (36.4 cm)
Depth
9.8" (25.0 cm)
Volume
111.1 in³ (1,820.0 cm³)
Weight
3.9 lbs (1.8 kg)
Charger Size
5.1 in³ (82.8 cm³)
Charger Weight
0.2 lbs (0.1 kg)

The Dell Inspiron 15 3000 is a thin and light laptop that's easy to carry around. It doesn't have a USB-C port for charging, so you have to use the included barrel plug power adapter, but on the upside, it's also very compact and should fit easily into most bags.

9.1
Design
Serviceability
Ease Of Access
9.0
RAM Slots
2
Storage Slots
2
Replaceable Battery
Yes
Replaceable Wireless Adapter
Yes

The Dell Inspiron 15 3000's serviceability is outstanding. It's easy to access the internals as you only have to remove some Philips screws. The back corner screws are partially attached to the panel to help you pull it open so that you don't need to use a pick. Our unit has 8GB of memory in single-channel mode, meaning it's only taking up one of the two RAM slots, so there's another one available if you want to add more or switch to a dual-channel configuration for better performance. There's also an additional storage slot for a 2.5 inch SSD. Opening and making changes to the hardware may void the manufacturer's warranty.

Design
In The Box

  • Dell Inspiron 15 3000 laptop
  • 45W power adapter and cable
  • Documentation

Display
Display
Screen Specs
Resolution
1920 x 1080
Aspect Ratio
16:9
Pixel Density
141 PPI
Panel Type
IPS
Touch Screen
Yes
Screen-To-Body Ratio
78%

The Dell Inspiron 15 3000 has two display options: a 720p TN or a 1080p IPS panel. The 1080p display's pixel density is decent; It's okay for general productivity, but it might not be sharp enough for content creators. The 720p display has a lower pixel density of 100 PPI, so text and images will look more blurry and pixelated. Support for touch input is optional.

6.0
Display
Refresh Rate
Refresh Rate
60 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
No

The 1080p display on our Dell Inspiron 3000 has a basic 60Hz refresh rate with no VRR support, which is typical for a budget productivity laptop. The response time is slow, causing noticeable ghosting, so it isn't ideal for viewing fast-moving content or gaming. We expect the 720p TN panel to perform similarly.

6.9
Display
Contrast
Native Contrast
1,098 : 1

The IPS display on our Dell Inspiron 15 3000 has an okay contrast ratio within the typical range for an IPS panel. It isn't the best for viewing content in dim settings because blacks look grayish. The TN panel is advertised to have the same contrast. The contrast ratio can vary between individual units.

6.2
Display
Brightness
Maximum Brightness
239 cd/m²
Minimum Brightness
9 cd/m²

Our Dell Inspiron 15 3501's IPS panel has mediocre screen brightness. It doesn't get bright enough to combat glare, so visibility is an issue in well-lit environments. In contrast, it gets very dim at the lowest brightness setting, providing a more comfortable viewing experience in the dark. Dell advertises the TN panel as having the same maximum brightness. This laptop has an Eco Mode in the BIOS that limits the screen brightness and is turned on by default, but we disabled it for testing.

7.4
Display
Reflections
Screen Finish
Matte
Total Reflections
5.49%
Indirect Reflections
4.86%
Calculated Direct Reflections
0.63%

The Dell Inspiron 15 3000 has decent reflection handling. Its matte anti-reflective coating is excellent at reducing the intensity of direct lights, but some reflections are still visible even with the screen at maximum brightness.

4.7
Display
Black Uniformity
Uniformity (Std. Dev.)
2.800%

Our Dell Inspiron 15 3000's black uniformity is bad. There's severe clouding throughout the screen, as well as some backlight bleed along the top and bottom edges. However, this is only visible when viewing a dark scene in a dark room. We expect the TN panel to be significantly worse due to its poor viewing angles. Black uniformity varies between units.

6.7
Display
Horizontal Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Left
23°
Color Washout From Right
25°
Color Shift From Left
46°
Color Shift From Right
53°
Brightness Loss From Left
27°
Brightness Loss From Right
29°
Black Level Raise From Left
60°
Black Level Raise From Right
60°
Gamma Shift From Left
26°
Gamma Shift From Right
28°

The Dell Inspiron 15 3000 laptop has adequate horizontal viewing angles. The image looks dimmer and washed out from the side, but the overall picture quality is still good enough to share the screen with someone else as long as you don't need perfect accuracy. The TN panel will perform significantly worse.

6.6
Display
Vertical Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Below
24°
Color Washout From Above
27°
Color Shift From Below
23°
Color Shift From Above
42°
Brightness Loss From Below
25°
Brightness Loss From Above
28°
Black Level Raise From Below
45°
Black Level Raise From Above
45°
Gamma Shift From Below
31°
Gamma Shift From Above
32°

The Dell Inspiron 3000 has okay vertical viewing angles. The image remains accurate until you reach a moderate angle, so you have some play to tilt the screen before the accuracy degrades. The TN panel will be much worse as TN panels usually suffer from color inversion.

4.9
Display
Out-Of-The-Box Color Accuracy
Avg. White Balance dE
3.86
Avg. Gamma
2.31
Avg. Color dE
6
Avg. Color Temperature
6,310 K

The Dell Inspiron 15 3000 has poor color accuracy out of the box. Most colors are inaccurate due to the panel's narrow color gamut, but the white balance is passable. The color temperature is a bit warmer than our 6500K target, giving the image a slight reddish tint. The gamma doesn't follow the sRGB curve and seems to target a flat 2.3, so most scenes appear darker than they should. Color accuracy varies between units.

3.9
Display
Color Gamut
sRGB xy
63.5%
sRGB uv
50.66%
Adobe RGB xy
48.43%
Adobe RGB uv
43.98%
DCI P3 xy
48.16%
DCI P3 uv
40.86%
Rec. 2020 xy
34.55%
Rec. 2020 uv
29.77%

The Dell Inspiron 3000 has a poor color gamut. It doesn't even have full coverage of the standard sRGB color space, making most content look washed out. It also has very limited coverage of wider color spaces like Adobe RGB, DCI P3, and Rec. 2020. It's okay for general productivity and media consumption, but we don't recommend using this display for color-critical work or viewing HDR content.

10
Display
Flicker
Flicker-Free
Yes
Flicker Frequency
No Flicker
Flicker Active Below
0%

The Dell Inspiron 15 3000's backlight is entirely flicker-free at all brightness levels, which helps reduce eye strain for some people.

Interface
5.5
Interface
Keyboard
Typing Quality
6.5
Numpad
Yes
Backlighting
No
Operating Force
64 gf
Actuation Force
32 gf
Pre-Travel
0.92 mm
Total Travel
1.5 mm

The Dell Inspiron 15 3501 has a middling keyboard. The typing experience is okay as the keys are very stable and have a good amount of travel. However, they feel mushy and aren't sufficiently spaced, making it a bit tiring to type on for extended periods. There's no backlighting on our unit, which isn't ideal for use in dim settings, but it's available on some models.

7.4
Interface
Touchpad
Tracking Quality
7.5
Size
12.9 in² (83.2 cm²)
Material
Plastic
Dedicated Buttons
No

The Dell Inspiron 15 3000 has a decent touchpad. The size is alright; it could be larger, but it's usable. It tracks well, and the click mechanism feels relatively satisfying, although dragging and dropping items doesn't work at times.

7.5
Interface
Speakers
Max Volume
74 dB SPL
Standard Error @ Normal Vol. (65 dB)
5.8 dB
Slope @ Normal Vol. (65 dB)
1.0
Bass Extension (Low-Frequency Ext.)
240 Hz
Treble Extension (High-Frequency Ext.)
20 kHz
Dynamic Range Compression @ Max Vol.
1.1 dB

The Dell Inspiron 3000 has good speakers. They sound relatively well-balanced with a fair amount of bass extension, though not enough to produce a deep rumbling sound. Unfortunately, they're down-firing and don't get very loud.

6.1
Interface
Webcam & Microphone
Video Quality
6.0
Resolution
720p
Position
Top Center
Privacy Cover
No
Face Unlock
No

The Dell Inspiron 15 3000 laptop has a mediocre webcam. The image looks soft and underexposed, and most colors are inaccurate. It manages to capture some small details, like on the cards, but other fine details like the rope and hair are lost. The microphone sounds relatively clear; however, it's too loud and sensitive to surrounding noise. There's also some static in the background.

Connectivity
6.0
Connectivity
Ports
USB-A Ports
3
USB-C Ports
0
Thunderbolt
No
USB-C Charging
No
USB-C Display Out
No
HDMI
1.4
DisplayPort
No
3.5mm Jack
Combo mic/headphone
Card Reader
SD UHS 1
Ethernet
Yes
Proprietary Port
No
Security Lock
Yes

The Dell Inspiron 15 3000 has a mediocre port selection. The two USB-A ports on the left side support USB 3.2 Gen 1 transfer speed (up to 5Gbps), but the one on the right only supports USB 2.0 standard (up to 480Mbps). There isn't a USB-C port on our unit, but Dell states that it's an optional feature available on some models. The HDMI port makes it easier to connect an external display; however, the output is limited to a maximum resolution of 1080p @ 60Hz. There's a slot for a Kensington lock on the right side.

Connectivity
Wireless Communication
Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac)
Bluetooth
5.0

The Dell Inspiron 3000's wireless adapter is a Qualcomm QCA9377.

Configuration
Configuration
CPU
Brand
Intel
Model
Core i3-1115G4
Core Count
2
Thread Count
4

You can configure the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 with an Intel Core i3-1115G4, i5-1135G7, or i7-1165G7 CPU. All three CPUs are power-efficient U-series processors designed for simple tasks like web browsing, video playback, and text formatting. However, the Core i5 and i7 CPUs can handle heavier multitasking and workloads like photo editing as long as the material isn't overly complex. The Core i7-1165G7 is the top-end CPU option and faster than the Core i5-1135G7 on paper, but the increase in performance likely isn't huge because it may throttle more under load due to thermal limitations, as we've seen with the Acer Swift 3 14 (2020) and the HP ENVY x360 13 (2020).

Configuration
GPU
Brand
Intel
Model
UHD Graphics G4
Dedicated/Integrated
Integrated
VRAM Size
N/A

The GPU depends on which CPU you get. The Core i3-1115G4 has Intel UHD Graphics for 11th Gen processors with 48 execution units, the Core i5-1135G7 has Intel Iris Xe Graphics with 86 execution units, and the Core i7-1165G7 has Intel Iris Xe Graphics with 96 execution units. There's also an NVIDIA GeForce MX330 discrete GPU option, but it seems to be available only in certain regions.

The Intel integrated graphics are designed to handle simple tasks like web browsing and video playback. The Core i5 and Core i7's Iris Xe Graphics can handle some light gaming, but you'll likely have to turn down some graphics settings to achieve playable frame rates. You can also get a fairly smooth experience when performing some graphically intensive tasks like photo and video editing, but as with the CPU, it depends on the complexity of the material. The NVIDIA GeForce MX330 is an entry-level discrete GPU that performs similarly to the NVIDIA GeForce MX350 in the Acer Aspire 5 15 (2020). Because it has 2GB of dedicated VRAM, it'll provide a smoother experience than the Intel Iris Xe graphics in VRAM-heavy applications, but it still isn't powerful enough to handle demanding modern AAA titles.

Configuration
RAM
Capacity
8 GB
Modules
1
Type
LP-DDR4
Speed
2,667 MHz

The Dell Inspiron 15 3000 can be configured with 4, 8, 12, or 16GB of RAM. We recommend going with at least 8GB because 4GB is very limiting and can cause some stutters or slowdowns when multitasking. The 8GB in our unit is in single-channel configuration, which can impact performance in some applications. However, there's a second RAM slot, so you can easily add another memory stick yourself after purchase. There are 3200MHz memory options available, but only on models with an NVIDIA GeForce MX330 discrete GPU.

Configuration
Storage
Advertised Capacity
256 GB
Usable Capacity
204 GB
Drive 1
Western Digital PC SN530
Drive 1 Type SSD
Drive 2
No 2nd Drive
Drive 2 Type No 2nd Drive

You can configure the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 with 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB of PCIe NVMe storage. There's an additional slot for a 2.5 inch SSD if you need more space.

Performance
6.5
Performance
Geekbench 5 (Synthetics)
CPU Single-Thread
1,279 points
CPU Multi-Thread
2,536 points
GPU Compute
8,179 points

The Dell Inspiron 15 3000 with an Intel Core i3-1115G4 performs reasonably well in the Geekbench 5 benchmarks. It has excellent single-thread performance, but its multi-thread performance is disappointing due to its limited number of cores and threads. The Intel Core i5 and i7 models will perform slightly better in single-threaded applications, but it's in multi-threaded applications that you'll see the most gain because they have double the core and thread count. We expect their performance to be similar to the Acer Swift 3 14 (2020) and the HP ENVY x360 13 (2020).

If your workload consists of simple tasks like web browsing and video playback, and you don't perform any heavy multitasking, the Core i3 is powerful enough to provide a smooth experience. However, if you need to run multi-threaded applications or tend to have many programs running simultaneously, we recommend going with the Core i5 or i7.

As for the GPU compute performance, none of the integrated GPUs are ideal for graphically intensive tasks in a professional environment. However, if you need to do some light photo or video editing from time to time, the Intel Core i5 and i7 models with Intel Iris Xe graphics or models with the NVIDIA GeForce MX330 are preferable.

7.4
Performance
Cinebench R23 (CPU Rendering)
Single-Thread
1,316 points
Multi-Thread
2,859 points

Our Dell Inspiron 15 3000's Intel Core i3-1115G4 has decent performance in Cinebench R23. The single-thread performance is excellent and very similar to the Core i5 and i7, but it performs significantly worse in the multi-thread test because it has fewer cores and threads.

2.7
Performance
Blender (3D Rendering)
CPU Render Time
13.5 min
GPU Render Time
N/A
GPU Render Time (Optix)
N/A

The Dell Inspiron 15 3000 with an Intel Core i3-1115G4 performs terribly in the Blender benchmark. The Intel Core i5 and i7 are faster and take less time to render the same scene, but they're still not fast enough for any practical purposes. We couldn't run the GPU render test because Blender doesn't support the integrated GPU. That said, we expect the GPU to take even longer to complete the task. The NVIDIA GeForce MX330 will be faster than integrated graphics, but not by much.

2.7
Performance
Basemark GPU (Game Scene)
Overall Score
5,989

Our Dell Inspiron 15 3000 with an Intel Core i3-1115G4 performs terribly in the Basemark GPU benchmark, which is expected for a low-power CPU with an integrated GPU. The Intel Iris Xe graphics on the Core i5 and i7 and the NVIDIA GeForce MX330 discrete GPU can handle some light or older titles, but you'll likely have to play at the lowest graphical settings to get consistent frame rates.

9.0
Performance
Storage Drive Performance
Sequential Write Speed
745.0 MB/s
Sequential Read Speed
1,564.1 MB/s
Random Write Speed
114.7 MB/s
Random Read Speed
46.8 MB/s

The Dell Inspiron 15 3000 laptop's storage drive performance is outstanding. Its fast read and write speeds make the system feel very responsive, particularly when booting up the computer, launching apps, and transferring files. Its random write speed is especially impressive, faster than many premium laptops like the Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2019). The speed of the SSD may vary depending on the size, as larger SSDs tend to perform better.

6.5
Performance
Battery
Capacity
42 Wh
Battery Life (Web Browsing)
7.8 hrs
Battery Life (Video Playback)
5.3 hrs
Battery Life (Gaming)
1.9 hrs
Charge Time
2.2 hrs

The Dell Inspiron 15 3501's battery life is okay. It doesn't last long enough for a typical 8-hour workday of light productivity, but it's pretty close, so you'll have to plug it in for a short time at some point during the day. Video playback typically consumes more power and further shortens the battery life, although it's enough to get you through a movie or two and a couple of TV show episodes. Gaming drains the battery very quickly; however, it's still significantly better than laptops with a dedicated GPU. The Intel Core i5 and i7 models will likely have shorter battery life because they run at a higher clock speed and have more cores and threads, and it'll be even shorter on the models with an NVIDIA GeForce MX330 GPU. Battery life varies greatly depending on usage.

0.6
Performance
Borderlands 3
Avg. FPS
4 fps
1% Low
1 fps
0.1% Low
0 fps
1% Low Delta
1,490 ms
0.1% Low Delta
3,195 ms
Avg. FPS On Very Low
12 fps

Borderlands 3 isn't playable on the Dell Inspiron 3000 with an Intel Core i3-1115G4. It can't even reach 30fps at the lowest graphical settings, and we had to perform the benchmark in DirectX 11 because it kept crashing in DirectX 12. The Intel Core i5 variants will perform better than the Core i3, although not enough to make the game playable. The Intel Core i7 and models with an NVIDIA GeForce MX330 can likely reach 30 fps at the lowest settings but with frequent stutters.

2.5
Performance
Civilization VI
Avg. FPS
10 fps
1% Low
7 fps
0.1% Low
7 fps
1% Low Delta
37 ms
0.1% Low Delta
39 ms
Avg. FPS On Minimum
24 fps
Avg. Turn Time
10.74 s

Civilization VI runs terribly on the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 with an Intel Core i3-1115G4. It's choppy even at the lowest graphical settings, and the turn time is long. It's playable on the Intel Core i5 and i7 variants and models with an NVIDIA GeForce MX330, but only if you lower the graphical settings to near minimum. We performed the benchmark on DirectX 11 because it kept crashing on DirectX 12.

4.1
Performance
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Avg. FPS
28 fps
1% Low
10 fps
0.1% Low
5 fps
1% Low Delta
68 ms
0.1% Low Delta
160 ms
Avg. FPS On Low
67 fps

CS:GO runs poorly on the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 with an Intel Core i3-1115G4. You can get over 60fps on average at the lowest setting, but it's still choppy at times, which isn't ideal for an FPS game. The Intel Core i5 and i7 models and variants with an NVIDIA GeForce MX330 can achieve playable frame rates, but you may have to lower some graphical settings.

1.0
Performance
Shadow Of The Tomb Raider
Avg. FPS
7 fps
1% Low
2 fps
0.1% Low
1 fps
1% Low Delta
294 ms
0.1% Low Delta
730 ms
Avg. FPS On Lowest
23 fps

Shadow of the Tomb Raider runs terribly on our Intel Core i3 variant of the Dell Inspiron 15 3000. It can only push out frames in the single digits at high settings, and even with the graphics turned down, it's still too choppy. The Intel Core i5 and i7 variants and models with an NVIDIA GeForce MX330 can likely reach 30fps at the lowest graphical settings, but you'll still get a lot of frame drops in busy scenes. We ran the benchmark in DirectX 11 because it kept crashing on DirectX 12.

7.1
Performance
Thermals And Noise
Keyboard Temp While Idle
27 °C (81 °F)
Keyboard Temp Under Load
47 °C (117 °F)
Fan Noise While Idle
27.0 dBA
Fan Noise Under Load
46.5 dBA
Power & Fan Control App
No

The Dell Inspiron 15 3000 has decent thermal and noise performance. The keyboard deck is cool when idle, and fan noise isn't noticeable unless you're in a completely silent room. The temperature rises significantly under load, but the hottest spot is near the top of the keyboard, away from the area where the hands usually rest when typing. Fan noise is audible under load, although it isn't distracting. If you need a laptop with better thermal performance, check out the ASUS X515 (2020).

9.6
Performance
Performance Over Time
CPU Temp (Cinebench)
85 °C
CPU Perf. Loss (Cinebench)
2% loss
GPU Temp (Heaven)
63 °C
GPU Perf. Loss (Heaven)
0% loss

The Dell Inspiron 3000's performance over time is exceptional. The CPU temperature is quite high under load, but there's very little thermal throttling, and the performance loss isn't noticeable in most uses. The GPU doesn't get very hot and doesn't throttle at all.

Additional Features And Software
Additional Features And Software
Software
Operating System
Windows 10
Additional Software
Yes

The Dell Inspiron 3000 with an Intel Core i3-1115G4 ships with Windows 10 in S mode by default, but the Core i5 and Core i7 models come with the full version of the operating system. Windows S mode is a stripped-down version of Windows designed for low-end hardware. It only lets you install apps from the Windows Store, which means you can't install apps like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. There's an option to switch out of S mode, but you can't go back to it once you've activated the full version of Windows.

There are a couple of pre-installed software applications, including:

  • Dell Mobile/Customer Connect: This application lets you register your laptop for warranty purposes and access tech support articles while your laptop is under warranty.
  • MyDell: This application contains additional information about the laptop and lets you access power profiles to improve performance.
  • Disney+: Application for the video streaming service.

Additional Features And Software
Extra Features
RGB Illumination
No
Touch Pen
No
Secondary Display
No
Biometrics
No

The Dell Inspiron 15 3000 doesn't have any extra features. Some models have a fingerprint sensor, but only in certain regions.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We tested the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 (model 3501) equipped with an Intel Core i3-1115G4 CPU, Intel UHD Graphics 11th Gen, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage. The display, CPU, GPU, memory, and storage are configurable; you can see the options in the table below. There are many models in the Inspiron 15 3000 series, so to avoid confusion, our review only applies to the 3501 model with Intel 11th Gen Core CPUs released in late 2020. Dell replaced this lineup with the 3511 models in 2021, which also have Intel 11th Gen CPUs, but there are some differences in the port selection and design.

Screen
  • 15.6" TN 1366 x 768 60Hz
  • 15.6" IPS 1920 x 1080 60Hz
CPU
  • Intel Core i3-1115G4 (2 cores/4 threads, up to 4.1GHz)
  • Intel Core i5-1135G7 (4 cores/8 threads, up to 4.2GHz)
  • Intel Core i7-1165G7 (4 cores/8 threads, up to 4.7GHz)
GPU
  • Intel UHD Graphics for 11th Gen Intel processors (integrated, Core i3, 48 execution units)
  • Intel Iris Xe Graphics (integrated, Core i5, 86 execution units)
  • Intel Iris Xe Graphics (integrated, Core i7, 96 execution units)
  • NVIDIA GeForce MX330 2GB (discrete)
Memory
  • 4GB LP-DDR4 2666MHz
  • 8GB LP-DDR4 2666MHz
  • 12GB LP-DDR4 2666MHz
  • 16GB LP-DDR4 2666MHz
Storage
  • 128GB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
Color
  • Carbon Black

Our display and performance results are only valid for the configuration we tested. If you come across a different configuration option not listed above, or you have a similar Dell Inspiron 15 3000 laptop that doesn't correspond to our review, let us know, and we'll update it. Some tests, like black uniformity and color accuracy, may vary between individual units.

You can see our unit's label here.

Compared To Other Laptops

Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2019)

The Dell Inspiron 15 3000 (2020) and the Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2019) are very different laptops. The Inspiron 15 is a budget 15.6 inch Windows laptop designed for simple tasks like web browsing, text formatting, and video playback. The MacBook Pro is a premium 16 inch macOS laptop designed for professionals who need a lot of processing power for tasks like video editing or 3D rendering. The MacBook is better for the most part because it offers a better user experience with a sharper, brighter, and more color-accurate display, as well as a much better touchpad and webcam. It also has better build quality and longer battery life.

ASUS X515 (2020)

The ASUS X515 (2020) and the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 (2020) are very similar Windows laptops. The Inspiron 15 offers a better user experience because its keyboard is more comfortable to type on, the touchpad has better tracking, and its webcam has better video quality. It also has better serviceability, making it easier to upgrade the memory and storage after purchase. The X515 has a USB-C port which the Inspiron 15 lacks, but it only supports data transfer, meaning you can't use it for charging or video output.

Apple MacBook Air 13 (M1, 2020)

The Apple MacBook Air 13 (M1, 2020) is better than the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 (2020). The MacBook Air is a more premium device with better build quality, a sharper and brighter display, a more comfortable keyboard, and a larger and more responsive touchpad. The MacBook Air can handle much heavier workloads, and its battery lasts a lot longer, especially for light productivity. On the other hand, the Inspiron 15 is more serviceable and has a better port selection.

Acer Aspire 5 15 (2020)

The Dell Inspiron 15 3000 (2020) and the Acer Aspire 5 15 (2020) are very similar Windows laptops. The Aspire 5 has a backlit keyboard that provides a much better typing experience and a better port selection that includes a USB-C port. On the other hand, the Inspiron 15 has longer battery life and is more serviceable, making it easier to upgrade the components yourself after purchase. You can only get the Inspiron 15 with an Intel CPU, but the Aspire 5 is available with AMD or Intel processors.

Acer Swift 3 14 (2020)

The Acer Swift 3 14 (2020) is much better than the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 (2020) for most uses. Although the Swift 3's screen is smaller, it looks better because it has a higher contrast ratio, a wider color gamut, and better color accuracy out of the box. The Swift 3's keyboard feels better to type on, but its touchpad doesn't track as well as the Inspiron 15's. The Swift 3 has significantly longer battery life and a much better port selection that includes a USB-C with Thunderbolt 4 support. The Inspiron 15 is more serviceable, though, so you can easily add more memory or storage yourself after purchase.

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 (2020)

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 (2020) is much better than the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 (2020) for most uses. The IdeaPad Flex has a backlit keyboard that's more comfortable to type on, a better port selection, and much longer battery life. Also, the IdeaPad Flex can be used as a tablet because it has a 360-degree hinge, whereas the Inspiron is limited to clamshell mode. The Inspiron 15 is more serviceable, though, making it easier to upgrade after purchase. The Inspiron 15 is only available with Intel processors, but you can get the IdeaPad Flex with an Intel or AMD CPU.

ASUS VivoBook Flip 14 (2020)

The Dell Inspiron 15 3000 (2020) and the ASUS VivoBook Flip 14 (2020) are both Windows laptops. However, the VivoBook Flip is a 2-in-1 convertible with a 360-degree hinge, while you can only use the Inspiron 15 in clamshell mode. The Inspiron 15 provides a better user experience for the most part because it has a larger and brighter display, its keyboard feels more comfortable to type on, and its touchpad has better tracking. It also has a webcam with better video quality and more ports. That said, the VivoBook Flip has longer battery life and is more portable.

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