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Apr 18

It has been 2 years and 3 months since I had bought my Dell Inspiron 1525 Laptop. Mine was one of the last batches to have been made in Malaysia with most of the assembling shifting to Bangalore later on for Indian customers. I was lucky as my original laptop was pretty robust, but one thing you notice with DELL is their lack of concern for quality in various parts.

Almost everyone in my class owns a DELL and has had to invoke the warranty atleast twice. Which brings me to a good point DELL India’s warranty is probably the only thing worth writing home about. Seriously good warranty and replacement of parts once you get past the call center. That’s why I always made an online complaint whenever I needed to invoke the warranty, no need to speak to Indian call center agents who talk to you as if each replacement part is being cut out of their salary. But this post isn’t about that, its about my ownership experience with the DELL Inspiron 1525 where it fell short and where it did good.

The Good

The laptop itself is the good thing, its working alright and all of the insides work perfectly. Its easy to clean and the RAM is pretty easy to upgrade. And that’s about it.

The Bad

Extremely pathetic plastic quality. The keyboard keys are fragile (tab broke, had to be fixed with fevikwik),one of the touchpad buttons is faulty, the palm-rest plastic is discoloured and the hinges are loose. The adaptor wire seems like its ready to break off and the power button is also losing its coating of chromium (?). But to be honest, all these things were changed in warranty except the button,adaptor and hinges. The palmrest had been broken by a Dell employee in a service visit. The keyboard had stopped working twice. The replacement parts seem to be of cheaper quality than the originals which is a very worrying prospect.

The battery is by far the worst thing in the laptop and worst of all warranty customer care wont cover it. It used to give only 3.5 hours when new and now barely gives 45 minutes on battery saver mode. Its still better than one of my friend’s Inspiron 1520, after 2 years his battery stopped all backup altogether. On the contrary one of my friends’ laptop from Dubai still gives 3 hours after 1.5 years of usage. Not sure if they get a better battery in Dubai shops.

The Ugly

Well nothing really ugly about it, its just that the manufacturing is done keeping in mind to have a low period of ownership. The only ugly i see is that 1.5 years into ownership the mic stopped working and to replace it I probably need to replace the motherboard.

Would I buy a DELL again ?

Yes, but not from India. This was my first experience with DELL India and I am now a wiser man Smile , I would much rather wait for a relative from the US and have a better quality of laptop construction and parts. I have a DELL US laptop (Vostro) and also a Lenovo US laptop and their quality seems to be much better than the India counterpart without a need to invoke any warranty even.

5 Responses to “My DELL Inspiron 1525 review : Not really ageing gracefully”

  1. Ankur Banerjee Says:

    I bought a Dell Studio and I’ve had it for around a year now (assembled in India). Never needed to invoke warranty, and everything is working perfectly – even after a few incidents when I spilled coke/water on the keyboard! I opted for a 9-cell battery instead of 6-cell, and it still gives me roughly 6 hours of backup.

    Overall, I’m *extremely* happy with Dell.

  2. WiseTechie Says:

    Possible, one of my friends has a studio, has got its DVD slot drive changed many times and still doesnt work right. Dunno about his battery and all.

    Could be because Inspiron is supposed to be a cheaper brand

  3. UDit Says:

    I bought a Dell Inspiron 1525 2 years ago, and I concur with you on pretty much everything. Over the couple of years, I have had my charger replaced twice (once it conked out and the other time the adapter wire broke off like you mentioned);
    the battery sucks, and it started giving me less than an hour of battery life within a year;
    The screen has a habit of getting a permanent horizontal line on it thanks to the way the keyboard is, with the depression between the space bar and the touch pad being the culprit.
    The touch pad and the keys also have a tendency of wearing out.
    My hard drive crashed because I dropped my laptop (ok, this was my fault, but for my defence, it wasn’t a big fall. :-) ).
    The hinges get loose. Even on replacement.
    Warranty is the only good thing, and I’ve got my mouse, hard drive, DVD drive, screen, keyboard, touch pad, hinges (x2) and the back part of the laptop screen replaced over time.
    Hail Dell Complete Cover and nothing else.

  4. Jv2010 Says:

    Bought an Inspiron 1525 in 2008 Nov. Have not had a single problem so far.. working fine till date.

  5. cloudscream Says:

    I’ve had a Dell Inspiron 1525 for about a year and a half now. I’ve had to replace the hard drive and I’ve had to reformat it so many times. It hasn’t fallen apart yet, but the cover for the speaker is half popped out and I can’t get it back in. My mousepad sometimes doesn’t work properly and my web cam will activate itself when nothing to do with webcam is on. Then when I want it to work, sometimes it won’t. Some of my portable hard drives won’t work and it constantly makes the noise when something is connected and then disconnected, even when nothing is plugged in. The current hard drive is making a lot of noise whenever I’m doing a task that takes up a lot of memory. I’m beginning to think it’s on its way out soon too.

    I haven’t gone through my warranty. I just couldn’t be bothered. I know someone who works with computer parts so I’ve just fixed it myself. I want to upgrade my RAM soon. It’s beginning to lag a lot and I’ve already cleared a lot off of it.

    It’s not bad, but if you want something that will last and work well for high performance, the Inspiron is not the greatest choice. I’m considering just looking out for a new one.

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