Review: Dell Inspiron 15 5567 for the Linux User

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I was able to get my hands on a Dell Inspiron 15 5567, a 15″ laptop aimed at the home and home office market with a starting price of $579.99. The configuration I’m reviewing today is priced at $879.99.

Configuration:

CPU: Intel Core i7-7500U @ 2.70GHz

GPU: AMD Radeon R7 M445 (4GB GDDR5)

RAM: 16GB DDR4-2400 (1 x 16GB)

Storage: 256GB Sold State Drive

Display: 15.6 inch 1920×1080 Glossy IPS (Touch Screen)

Optical Drive: CD/DVD Reader and Writer

Audio: 2 Speakers, 1 headphone/microphone jack

Camera: 720p Webcam, Duel Microphones, Infrared Camera

Ports: 

  • 1 HDMI v1.4a
  • 2 USB 3.0
  • 1 USB 2.0
  • 1 SD Card Reader

Networking:

  • LAN 10/100/1000 Mbps
  • Wi-Fi 802.11ac Dual Band
  • Bluetooth 4.2

Battery: 42WHr, 3-Cell (Intergrated)

Weight: 5.19lbs (2.35kg)

Price: $879.99 (as configured)

Chassis

The Inspiron 5567 is a classy looking 15″ laptop. The lid has a nice matte gray finish with a silver Dell logo in the middle. The interior of the laptop has a brushed aluminum finish (which is actually plastic) while the screen bezel is black. The bottom of the unit is a textured gray plastic with “Inspiron” written in the middle. The machine feels like a sturdy, premium product.

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There are two ventilation openings: one on the bottom of the chassis and one on the back of the laptop.

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There is one vent on the bottom of the laptop.

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There are vents located on the back of the laptop.

The machine has ample connectivity: an Ethernet jack, an HDMI port, 2 USB 3.0 ports, 1 USB 2.0 port, a headphone/microphone jack, an SD card, and a CD/DVD reader and writer.

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Left to Right: Power, Ethernet, HDMI, 2x USB 3.0, Headphone/Microphone

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Left to Right: SD Card Reader, 1x USB 2.0, CD/DVD Reader and Writer

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This is the CD/DVD reader and writer.

The front of the laptop has a single status light, which glows white when charging and orange when on low battery.

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The front of the laptop has a single LED status indicator.

The hinges on the laptop are quite tight, which prevents the screen from wobbling when using the touch screen. Because of this, two hands are required to open the unit.

The base of the laptop is very sturdy. Try as I might, I was not able to introduce any flex to it. The screen, of course, is not as structurally sound as the base. I was able to flex the screen but it still felt relatively robust.

Servicing the machine is a hassle. First, 15 screws on the bottom of the unit must be removed. Then, the optical drive must be taken out and three additional screws hidden under it must be removed. Lastly, a pry tool is required to remove the bottom cover of the laptop. This exposes the RAM, storage, battery, and other internals.

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There are 15 screws to remove on the underside of the laptop.

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Opening the laptop grants access to the storage, RAM, battery, networking card, etc.

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These are the three screws hidden under the disk drive.

Keyboard and Touchpad

The Inspiron’s backlit chiclet keyboard is a pleasure to use. It provides good tactile feedback and adequete key travel. The backlight can be turned off, set to 50% brightness, and set to 100% brightness via the BIOS. When the machine is left idle, the backlight automatically turns off to conserve battery.

There is one quirk with the keyboard, however. The keys are smaller than usual, especially some of the numpad keys. This is offset by additional spacing between the keys, though. Even with the irregularity, I quickly adjusted to the keyboard and was able to reach my maximum typing speed with ease.

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The machine features a textured one-piece touchpad, which provides decent tactile clicks. I noticed that there was a bit of up-down wobble in the touchpad when applying downward pressure to it. However, after opening up the unit, the wobble mysteriously went away. I’m attributing that occurrence to serendipity. Expect your unit to come with a slightly wobbly touchpad.

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The laptop features a large, textured trackpad.

Display

The model I received comes with a 1920×1080 glossy IPS panel with touch screen capabilities. Lower end models may come with a 1366×768 panel. Viewing angles on the laptop are outstanding and colors pop on the glossy display. However, the screen doesn’t get very bright and the glossy display casts reflections very readily, making outdoor use a challenge. I don’t have the tools to measure color accuracy and brightness but Laptop Media reports 58% coverage of the sRGB color gamut and a maximum brightness of 280cd/m2.

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The glossy display doesn’t get very bright, making outdoor work challenging.

Speakers

The unexceptional speakers on the laptop are located on the underside. The speakers are lacking in bass, though the mids and high are clear enough. They’re alright for a quick voice call, but for anything else, they’re suboptimal.

Battery

The machine includes an integrated 42Wh 3-cell battery. Personally, I wold have liked a removable battery on the laptop, allowing it to be replaced easier. Furthermore, It would have been nice to see a larger battery in the unit, although battery life is already good on the laptop.

The laptop has battery longevity optimization settings in the BIOS. By default, the machine adaptively changes its charging behavior to maximize the battery’s lifespan.

NOTE: I ran this test on Linux and utilized PowerTOP and TLP optimizations on the machine.

Idle Test

Setting screen brightness as low as possible and letting the machine idle gave me 10 hours and 12 minutes of run time. Setting screen brightness to 50% yielded me 7 hours and 38 minutes of run time.

Real World Test

For the real world test, I opened up all my usual battery draining Electrons applications (VS Code, Chromium, Discord) and did some web development work. With screen brightness at 50%, I was able to work for 4 hours and 21 minutes.

Media Viewing Test

I set screen brightness to 50% and streamed this clip of a fireplace on YouTube in 1080p. The battery lasted for 3 hours and 57 minutes.

Full Load Test

I ran stress-ng to put load on all four CPU threads. The battery lasted for 1 hour and 30 minutes.

CPU Performance

To test CPU performance, I ran Cinebench and Geekbench on Windows.

Cinebench

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Geekbench

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GPU Performance

To test GPU performance, I ran Cinebench, Geekbench, Heaven, and Valley on Windows.

Cinebench

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Geekbench

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Heaven

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Valley

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Thermals and Acoustics

NOTE: I left the laptop sit for 5 minutes before recording temperatures. All noise readings were done at 15 centimeters from the laptop.

On Battery

At idle, the CPU stays at a frosty 32°C, only 7°C above the ambient temperature of 25°C. Additionally, the machine whispers indistinguishably from the ambient noise level of 32 decibels.

Under full CPU load, the fans kick in at 70°C and bring the CPU down to a cool 65°C. I measured 38 decibels of noise coming from the fans.

Under full GPU load, the GPU hit a cool 55°C. I noticed that GPU clocks were very low: 300MHz on the core and 150MHz on the memory. 38 decibels of noise was measured.

Under full CPU and GPU load, the CPU reached 74°C and the GPU reached 61°C. I measured 46 decibels of noise.

Plugged In

At idle, the machine behaves much the same as it did on battery.

Under full CPU load, the fans take the CPU down to 72°C. I got a reading of 46 decibels.

Under full GPU load, the GPU reaches 72°C. This time, the GPU ran at full tilt: 920MHz on the core and 1000MHz on the memory. Noise levels remained at 46 decibels.

Under full CPU and GPU load, however, the machine has more trouble. The CPU climbs to a toasty 89°C while the GPU reaches 79°C. The noise level was again at 46 decibels.

BIOS

The BIOS of the machine is quite comprehensive. It allows for hardware disk encryption, battery lifespan optimizations,

Linux Experience

When I received the laptop, I immediately installed Antergos on it. The touch screen and Wi-Fi worked perfectly out-of-the-box. I did have to do some finicking to get hybrid graphics working, though I rarely found myself using the dedicated GPU. The touchpad didn’t have palm rejection on by default. That was easily fixed by following this guide, though. Overall, I was very happy with my Linux experience on this laptop.


Verdict

Pros: Great performance for the price, good battery life, great BIOS options, sturdy build

Cons: Difficult to access internals, integrated battery

Conclusion: Worth a buy, unless you are bothered by a hard to open laptop and integrated battery.

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Categories: Hardware, Reviews

Tags: , , ,

2 replies

  1. Nice review, I have the dell inspirion 13 developer edition which comes with Ubuntu. But I uninstalled Ubuntu, and install Xubuntu.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. [ Smiles ] It is a rather good laptop to run Linux on.

    Like

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