The notebook ships with the usual AC charger, cable and user manuals. Nothing special inside.
We already stressed on how much the notebook looks (not feels), like the Latitude E5550. It’s light, relatively thin and feels somehow solid in hand. We found no irregularities around the chassis – no holes, gaps and etc.
Starting off with the top cover made of plastic with small ornaments on the surface making the lid rough and provides better grip. In the center is located the usual Dell logo, but this time with a glossy finish. The other side of the lid accommodates the 15.6-inch screen and webcam. Bezels around the screen aren’t too big either – not too common in this price range. Moving around the bottom materials are the same. You are provided with an easy detachable service cover for upgrading the HDD/SSD and RAM.
The sides are more align with the design signature of previous notebooks from the company. The flat profile with round edges gives a more minimalistic approach to the overall appearance which is more than welcome. Nonetheless, this is somehow subjective opinion on the matter. On the left, you will find the USB 3.0 port, HDMI, SD card reader, DC charging port and the main grill for dispersing the heat. The other way around is the optical drive along with two USB 2.0 ports and 3.5 mm jack for headphones.
Opening the lid will reveal roughly the same design as we saw outside. There’s the rough hard plastic around the keyboard. Speaking of which, we are presented with a full keyboard, evenly spaced buttons (with the enter key being oddly small). Buttons feel a bit stiff, but offer enough key travel and to be honest we can’t be too critical minding the price and all. We’ve seen way worse keyboard designs on higher-tier notebooks. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the touchpad. It’s made of matte plastic, it lacks the irritating wobbling effect but fails to register some touches and especially mouse clicks. For some reason we experienced inconsistent touchpad performance and even our basic expectations were not met.
All and all the notebook is great for the price it ships leaving little room for improvement. Our main complaints are the poor touchpad quality and the lid bends fairly easy under pressure so be careful where you put it when traveling around. Despite that, we are happy with the relatively thin and light design, narrow bezels around the screen and comfortable keyboard.
Dell Inspiron 5552’s display uses TN HD (1366×768) panel with glossy finish and 6HTP8-156AT model number. The diagonal is 15.6″ (39.62 cm) leading to a pixel density of 100 PPI (pixels per inch) and pixel pitch of 0.253 x 0.253 mm. The screen can be considered retina when viewed from a distance equal or greater than 86 cm.
Viewing angles are poor due to the use of TN panel. Quite understandable for this type of devices.
We were able to record a 230 cd/m2 maximum brightness with a deviation of 14%. The average color temperature on the surface of the screen is 7185K – a bit colder than the optimal one of 6500K (D65). There’s no significant deviation.
To put things into perspective, we would like to give you a little introduction of the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. Starting with the CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram that represents the visible specter of colors by the human eye giving you a better perception of the color gamut coverage and the color accuracy. Inside the black triangle, you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB) that has been used by millions of people in HDTV and the Web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used by professional cameras, monitors and etc. used for printing. Basically, colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is the essential part of the color quality and color accuracy.
In our case, the notebook’s display covers only 53% of the sRGB and 40% of the Adobe RGB color gamuts. This, again, is one of the main downsides of the TN panel.
The image below is practically the same but with the recorded results – the one on the left before calibration and the one on the right after. Color circles represent the reference colors and white circles being the result. You can see mainly additional colors with 100% and 50% saturation inside the sRGB gamut. Blue and red colors with 100% saturation are inaccurate due to the absence of a significant number of colors.
We tuned the display at 140 cd/m2 and color temperature of 6500K.
With X-Rite i1Display Pro, we calibrated the display for a better results in our test, but yet again even the calibrator can’t fix the lack of certain colors. Red will appear pale as it will be replaced to the closest color and 100% saturation is impossible.
After calibration you can see that the display has relatively well distributed white levels.
With the help of 24 commonly used colors we checked the color accuracy of the panel. Colors that we used represent skin tone, grass, blue sky, orange and etc. The average DeltaE 2000=2.33. Lower score is desirable.
Dell’s Inspiron 5552 uses a panel that controls the brightness with the help of PWM, but aggressive screen flickering occurs only below 25% brightness. Above the aforementioned brightness level, the screen will be suitable for long hours of usage.
We recorded the refresh time of the pixels from black to white and white to black for 10 to 90%. So we were able to measure Fall Time + Rise Time = 14.4 ms.
Overall, the panel used for the Inspiron 5552met our expectations – relatively high maximum brightness, accurate colors after calibration, which is crucial for watching movies, and it’s energy-efficient (it’s a TN panel after all). Moreover, the display is suitable for working long hours because there’s no aggressive screen flickering after 25% brightness. Although, the display has low sRGB color gamut coverage, poor viewing angles and not enough contrast.
Sound quality is good with clarity missing on some frequencies. Our subjective opinion on the matter is rather positive.
The technical specifications listed below are for the current model we’ve tested and may vary depending on your region
|CPU||Intel Pentium N3540 (4-core, 2.16 – 2.66 GHz, 2MB cache)|
|RAM||4GB (1x 4096MB) – DDR3, 1600MHz|
|GPU||Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail)|
|HDD/SSD||500GB HDD (5400rpm)|
|Display||15.6-inch (39.62 cm) – 1366×768, glossy|
|Optical drive||DVD burner|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0|
|Battery||40Wh, 4-cell, Li-pol|
|Thickness||23.35 mm (0.92”)|
Might have some sign of useage (Scratches & Dent)