Dell Inspiron 1525
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|Release date||January 11, 2008|
|Discontinued||February 26, 2009|
|CPU||Celeron, Pentium Dual-Core, Core 2 Duo|
(all by Intel)
The Inspiron 1525 is a laptop designed and distributed by Dell as part of their Inspiron range. There is also an AMD variant known as the Inspiron 1526. The laptop is the successor to the Inspiron 1520, and was released in January, 2008. This computer was available to purchase on the Dell website, where it could be customized to the user's specification.
On June 26, 2008, this laptop was followed with the release of the Inspiron 1535, otherwise known as the Dell Studio laptop. On January 6, 2009, the Inspiron 1525 was superseded by the Inspiron 1545, which gives mostly higher-end configuration options at a lower starting price, but lacks features such as the HDMI port, LED indicator lights and two headphone jacks. The laptop was discontinued on February 26, 2009, which left the Inspiron 1545 as Dell's 15-inch budget laptop.
After selling in high numbers, the Dell Inspiron 1520 received widespread praise regarding its size, and small screen. The Inspiron 1525 was intended to address some of the issues with the Inspiron 1520. The 1525 has been described by reviewers as weighing approximately six pounds – half a pound lighter than the 1520. This laptop can be considered as a mid-range Dell computer, between the small 1420 model and the expensive XPS M1530 model. The laptop also fixed a perceived flaw that had plagued Inspiron laptops for a decade; they were bulky and boxy, but the Inspiron 1525's chassis used a new edge design that appears on all of Dell's current laptops.
Since the user is able to customize the unit, included hardware varies from laptop to laptop. However, there are several components which are generally fitted as standard in each unit:
- Processors: Intel Celeron 540, 550 or 560, Intel Pentium Dual-Core T2370, T2390, T2330, T4200, T4500 and the original Intel Petinum or Intel Core 2 Duo T5250, T5450, T5550, T5750, T7250, T8100, T8300 or T9300
- Memory: 512 MB, or 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 GB of shared dual channel DDR2 SDRAM @ 667 MHz
- Chipset: Intel GM965 Express Chipset
- Graphics processor: integrated Intel GMA X3100 graphics (previously changed to 965 Express)
- LCD display: 15.4" widescreen with a 1280 × 800 resolution, 15.4" widescreen with a 1280 × 800 resolution and TrueLife, or a 15.4" widescreen with a 1440 × 900 high resolution and TrueLife
- Hard drive: 80, 120, 160, 250 or 320 GB SATA at 5400 RPM
- Optical drive: 8× tray-load dual-layer DVD+/-RW drive, 2× tray-load Blu-ray disc combo drive or 2x Blu-ray disc burner
- Battery: 4-cell (48 Whr), 6-cell (56 Whr), or 9-cell (85 Whr) lithium-ion
- Camera: Integrated 2.0 MP webcam (optional)
- Wi-Fi: Broadcom 4312 based, Dell Wireless 1397 802.11g half mini-card (Previously changed to 1395 802.11b/g full mini-card), or 1490 802.11a/g/n full mini-card (Broadcom 4311 based), or Intel Next-Gen 4965AGN 802.11a/g/n Wi-Fi card
- Bluetooth: Dell Wireless Bluetooth Internal Module 355 (2.0 EDR)
- I/O ports: 1× Fast Ethernet port, 1× 56 kbit/s modem, 1× S-Video output, 4× USB 2.0 ports, 1× Express Card slot, 1× VGA port, 1× HDMI output, 1× FireWire port(optional), and 1× power adapter connector
The most notable difference between this laptop and its predecessor, is that the 1520 model was fitted with a dedicated graphics card whereas the 1525 is not. It has been speculated that this is an attempt by Dell to appeal to a wider market of computer consumers. In a 2008 processor speed test, the Inspiron 1525 placed 14 out of the 18 tested computers. The touchpad has been upgraded from that of the 1520, with one which is designed to allow faster scrolling through web pages. Strangely this model contains a SIM card slot underneath the battery compartment. However reading data, or using Internet from SIM cards is not possible without a separate wireless modem-card.
The Inspiron 1525 typically comes with a version of the Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Ubuntu Operating System pre-installed. Both 32-bit and 64-bit can work. Ubuntu 12.04 and Linux Debian Wheezy are known to be working out-of-the-box on this model.
Compatible OS: Windows XP\Vista\7\8.x\10.
Compatible CPUs: Intel Core 2 Duo\Pentium\Celeron\
Sticks Dell.inc Sticks
A fresh installation of Windows 10 64-bit already provides all required drivers for this laptop, including the webcam, SD card reader, wifi adapter, DVD drive, Intel GM965 chipset, on-board Intel graphics and multimedia keys. There are however a few quirks that can be improved :
- The default Microsoft touchpad driver works well, but lacks support of advanced touchpad features and customizations; A Dell touchpad driver can be forced-installed to get access to all touchpad settings (Alps_Touchpad_W8_X02_A01_Setup-W71Y8_ZPE).
- A few of the keyboard Fn keys don't work (F1,F3 and F8) but full support can be added by installing the Dell QuickSet 64-bit software package (Dell_QuickSet_A07_R272666.exe).
- The driver for the Dell Wireless 1505 Draft 802.11n WLAN Mini-Card that comes with the Window 10 64-bit installation is a Microsoft driver (v220.127.116.11, dated 212-03-14). This drivers works but is not very stable and suffers from frequent disconnects. This wifi adapter uses a Broadcom BCM43xx chip. Broadcom released newer driver versions for that chip in 2016, such as the BCM43xx_7.35.317.3 driver released in 2016. This newer Broadcom driver can be force-installed and provides better stability than the 2012 Microsoft driver.
- The "Display Adapter" driver (for the 965 Express Chipset) that automatically comes with the Windows 10 64-bit installation (directly from Microsoft) is version 18.104.22.16897 (initially released for Windows 8.1 64-bit). This driver seems to have compatibility problems causing sporadic (but minor) graphics corruptions in the desktop UI elements, especially after coming out of sleep. Reverting to the latest driver available from the Intel website, i.e. v22.214.171.1240 (initially released for Windows 7 64-bit) seems to reduce the occurrence. But there's no proof yet the Video Driver is the source of this corruption problem. We would need more data to come with an official conclusion on this.
This computer has two DDR2 SODIMM slots and can be upgraded to 6GB of RAM, with a set of 2GB and 4GB modules. Both 667Mhz and 800Mhz modules are supported (PC2-5300 or PC2-6400). There's no reliable reference online of anyone properly testing a set of two 4GB modules, so it is unsure whether 8GB total RAM is possible or not.
The graphics card cannot be upgraded in part because there is no graphics card; the graphics processor is integrated into the motherboard and is not removable.
The processor can be upgraded to any Socket P Intel Core2 Duo mobile processor in the T8x00 series, and to certain T9x00 series processors whose FSB speed is limited to 800 MT/Sec. It is advisable to flash the system BIOS to the latest version before attempting to upgrade the CPU.
Modern Solid State Drives have been successfully installed and used in the laptop, including the Samsung 840 250GB SSD. Although this installer had difficulty installing the slimmer (7mm) SSD in place of the standard 2.5 inch HDD, nearly all SSDs now include a spacer that eliminates the problem. Moreover, this installer's problem could have easily been avoided by simply positioning the computer right side up (instead of upside down) when sliding in the new SSD. Although this computer does not support the newer SATA 3 standard, all modern SSDs are backward-compatible with the older SATA 2 standard, and work well in this application, albeit at SATA 2 speeds.
Other software provided with the laptop includes:
On February 18, 2008, it was announced that Ubuntu 7.10 would be available as an optional operating system for the laptop.
The user is able to decide which components they wish to be included, during the ordering process, by selecting from a range of hardware on the website. These possible components include a range of processors, operating systems, graphics cards, a webcam and various other peripherals. In addition, Bluetooth and an integrated mobile broadband card can also be installed upon request, and the default battery can be replaced with an alternative.
The Inspiron 1525 has received a great deal of positive attention. General computer users welcomed the relatively low price, as well as the easily accessible volume control keys, and hardware reviewers have praised the customizability of the laptop, as well as its system specifications and light frame. In general, users have made positive reference to the screen, with some describing the display as "flawless", as well as the inclusion of a webcam and dual headphone jacks. Some reviewers claim that the battery life is a good point of the system.
Despite being a high-selling model, and receiving a large amount of positive feedback, the Inspiron 1525 has also attracted some level of criticism. Some critics feel that the sound quality is unfit for a recently produced laptop, claiming "raspy-sounding speakers take some of the shine off the 1525's entertainment appeal", whereas others have criticized the system's performance and battery life. The wireless switch is located on the right side of the bottom half, close to the front and is easily overlooked. Prominent placement near the volume and media controls would be much easier for users to find. The positioning of the cooling fans render the laptop incapable of supporting high-end graphics cards. Some users have encountered technical problems, many of which center around the webcam and built-in microphone. A common complaint is that the supplied fan is irritatingly loud, and many users have tried to rectify it on their own. The placement of the headphone jacks on the front of the unit leads to inconvenient trailing wires when external speakers are connected. A trackpad design flaw causes the button to stick, requiring the replacement of the entire palmrest assembly. Users have also reported numerous hard drive problems, many related to overheating.
Noteworthy hardware issues
The Inspiron 1525 utilises a single heat sink to dissipate heat away from the CPU & GPU. It was quite common during the mid-2000s to use a single heat corridor for both. While the Inspiron 1525 is not the only model that uses a single copper alloy conduit, it is one of the more common. The Inspiron 1525, models affected will combine the Intel Core 2 or Intel Dual Core CPU's. These are especially problematic when combined with the nVidia graphics GPU, although most commonly found with the "Intel Graphics Media Accelerator", the PP29L-HDCP.
While it is NOT uncommon for laptops (generally) to run "Hotter" than desktops, this temperature variances should be no more than a few degrees (5-10 F). When these multiple processing chips are combined on a single "heatsink", these models may run as much as 15 to 30 F hotter. Especially when running video intensive applications, requiring more instructions to be pushed to the GPU for processing (i.e. YouTube, Online video/TV & gaming). So, while, specifically designed for these tasks, they are the most problematic. Generally manifested by horizontal (multi-colored) lines on the display, blinking or BSOD with non-descriptive error messages.
Some of these issues maybe resolved by forcing additional air flow to reduce overall heat, through the use of external cooling fans. The issue will not simply go away without professional intervention.
Other notable issues, CPU/GPU degradation (over time) due, primarily to extended overheating. While fan failure & vent blockages will exacerbate these issues, these issues, in addition to general component failures from extended periods of overheating beyond components tested safety margins. Generally causing product component failure, in some cases even fire hazard. It is recommended that you read & understand the DELL INC., *technical article, should you experience these issue. Dell Support Article.
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