Dell Inspiron 1525
|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (February 2014) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
|Release date||January 11, 2008|
|Discontinued||February 26, 2009|
|CPU||Intel Celeron, Intel Pentium Dual-Core, Intel Core 2 Duo|
|Website||Dell Inspiron 1525|
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 On January 6, 2009, the Inspiron 1525 was superseded by the Inspiron 1545, which gives mostly higher-end configuration options at a lower starting price, but lacks features such as the HDMI port, LED indicator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, leaving 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 these issues. 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 or T4200, or Intel Core 2 Duo T5250, T5450, T5550, T5750, T7250, T8100 T8300 or T9300
- Memory: 512 MB, or 1, 2, 3, or 4 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 recent 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.
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. Here is an example. 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.
Furthermore, many users have encountered a problem with their CMOS battery not functioning (caused by a faulty motherboard), leading to computer clock problems, and eventually the inability of the computer to charge.
It should be noted, however, that due to the customizability of the laptop, most reviews available online refer to different versions of the 1525, containing varying pieces of hardware.
Noteworthy Hardware Issues
The Dell Inspiron 1525. while being notably an effective & well designed laptop, does have a few issues. Which you should consider before purchase.
Since this specific model (Dell Inspiron 1525 "Colored Top"), is no longer available for purchase as a new retail product. You will most often find them as "Used" or "Refurbished" units. It's quite important to ensure that you understand what these laptops are noted for, and that you will be covered should problems occur.
First & foremost, these laptops utilize a single heat-sink (not uncommon) to dissipate heat away from the CPU & GPU. It was quite common during the mid-2000's 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 effected 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 (ie. 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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