Can a laptop made in 2008 still be useful today? If you don’t think so, I am pretty sure this Dell Inspiron 1545 review will change your mind.
Itechguides' Take on Dell Inspiron 1545
The Dell Inspiron 1545 is an affordable 15.6-inch laptop manufactured in 2008. This laptop is suitable for handling basic computing tasks such as web browsing, sending emails, and word processing. However, its weight might not be appealing to most users.
- Good speakers
- Decent build quality
- Comfortable Keyboard
- Decent configuration and performance
- Relatively heavy
- Average battery life
- Lacks Bluetooth
- Slow HDD transfer speed
In this review, I’ll walk you through the features and specifications of the Dell Inspiron 1545 to familiarize you with it. I’ll also analyze its design, CPU, RAM, graphics, storage, and battery performances.
In addition, following each section of this review, I will offer a rating to help you understand how the laptop performed in each area. Finally, at the end of this review, you will have enough information to make an informed decision about Dell Inspiron 1545.
My Initial Thoughts
The Dell Inspiron 1545 is a budget-friendly all-purpose laptop with a 15.6-inch widescreen display. Coming from one of the best PC manufacturers, Dell’s Inspiron 1545 has a lot to live up to.
After all, the Inspiron 1525, its predecessor, lived up to the hype. Being a laptop made in 2008, the Inspiron 1545 might be expensive during that time, but as of now it is reasonably priced.
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Speaking of its price, the Inspiron 1545 had a starting price of $199.95 when I published this article in August 2021.
Let find out if Inspiron 1545 would live up to expectation just like its predecessor.
Dell Inspiron 1545 Design, Dimension & Weight Review
Dell built the chassis of the Inspiron 1545 with plastic. Considering the price of the laptop, one wouldn’t have expected a metal chassis anyway.
However, the plastic used for the laptop feels very solid, and there is no trace of excessive flex or creak. Furthermore, the laptop’s lid is available in different colors.
The standard color is matte black. However, you can get the laptop in Microsatin Blue, Red, or Pacific High-Gloss Blue for an additional cost.
The first thing that catches your attention when this laptop is closed is the Dell logo in silver color found at the center of the lid.
Due to the laptop’s rigid hinges, it takes two hands to open the lid. When you open it, however, you’ll notice a glossy 15.6-inch display bordered by tiny bezels.
Dell offers two distinct screen resolution configurations for the Inspiron 1545’s display. You can choose between an HD (1366 x 768) or HD+ (1600 x 900) screen resolution.
The Dell Inspiron 1545 that I reviewed features a 15.6-inch HD (1366 x 768) display screen. Overall, this display screen is a little below average.
On a positive note, it doesn’t have any banding or severe backlight bleed.
The text on the display, however, isn’t as sharp as it should be. On the plus side, viewing angles are satisfactory, and reflective glares are minimal.
The Inspiron 1545’s keyboard is nearly identical to the excellent one found on its predecessor (Inspiron 1525). The keys are laid out in a standard pattern.
Moreover, the keys are large enough, and are evenly spaced.
Furthermore, this keyboard is really comfortable to use, and frequent writers will find it to be reliable. However, despite its large size and 15.6-inch screen, this laptop’s keyboard lacks a numeric keypad.
Surprisingly, Dell has chosen to remove all dedicated media buttons from the Inspiron 1545. There are no volume controls, no mute button, no quick-launch keys, and no wireless connectivity button.
The majority of these features, however, can be accessed using the ‘F1-F12′ keys. Furthermore, it is important to note that these special features embedded with the ‘F1-F12′ keys are the default action.
As a result, the ‘F1-F12′ functions themselves have been relegated to secondary actions on these keys. Therefore, you must press the ‘Fn’ key along with the ‘F1-F12′ keys to call these media functionalities.
This will certainly make life easier for computer newbies. However, anyone who frequently uses the ‘F1-F12′ key combinations may be frustrated.
Moving on to the touchpad, it is located underneath the keyboard. The surface of the touchpad is slightly shiny, but it doesn’t support multi-touch gestures.
On the plus side, this touchpad has a unique setup tool. It enables the width of the scroll areas to be customized.
The touchpad may not support multi-touch gestures, but it does support zooming. There is a horizontal scroll line on the left side of the touchpad that can be used for zooming.
Additionally, the touchpad also features dedicated click buttons (left and right-click) – located underneath the touchpad. When pressed, these click buttons provide appropriate feedback but generate clicky sounds.
Moving on, the Inspiron 1545’s ports are neatly organized on three sides of the laptop. There are no ports on the back of the laptop because the battery is removed from the back.
However, a card reader and two audio ports (headphone, microphone) are located on the front side of the laptop. On the left side, you’ll find a Kensington lock, LAN port, 2 USB ports, VGA connector, and an Ethernet port.
In addition to those ports already listed, the right side of the laptop houses a CD/DVD Drive, ExpressCard34 slot, and a single USB port. Unfortunately, this laptop does not have Bluetooth for wireless connectivity.
The Dell Inspiron 1545 comes with two 4-ohm speakers. To be honest, the speakers sound far better than those found on most budget laptops.
They generate adequate sound, and there was no distortion when I turned up the volume to their maximum setting. In short, for a laptop in this price range, these speakers are more than adequate.
The Dell Inspiron 1545 features a 1.3 MP Webcam, but it is an optional feature. This webcam isn’t very good; it takes blurry pictures and isn’t suitable for video calling.
Weighing 2700 g and measuring 373 x 244 x 25.9 mm, the Inspiron 1545 is one of the heaviest laptops on the market. This makes it a little inconvenient to carry around, but it will serve as an ideal desktop alternative.
In comparison, the Inspiron 1545 weighs heavier than the Toshiba Satellite L300 laptop. Toshiba’s Satellite L300 weighs 2490 g and has a dimension of 259 x 379 x 23.6 mm.
However, when compared to its predecessor (Inspiron 1525), the Inspiron 1545 weighs less. Dell’s Inspiron 1525 weighs 3084.43 grams and has a dimension of 356 x 256 x 36.8 m.
In conclusion, for a laptop this old, the Inspiron 1545 has a decent build quality, although it is quite heavy. Therefore, in this design review, I believe it deserves an eight out of ten ratings.
Dell Inspiron 1545 Processor (CPU) Performance Review
An Intel Core 2 Duo T9900 processor powers the Dell Inspiron 1545. Core 2 Duo processors are quite old and no longer manufactured; none have been made since 2011.
However, it’s not surprising, given that the Inspiron 1545 was released in 2008. On the bright side, systems powered by these CPUs are still capable of performing basic computing tasks like word processing and web browsing.
Moving on, the Intel Core 2 Duo T9900 has a base frequency of 3.06 GHz and no boost frequency. Additionally, the processor has a 6 MB Cache.
To determine how well this laptop can perform, I conducted a Worldbench 6 test. Worldbench 6 is a software-based test that determines how quickly a computer can run real-world applications.
According to the Worldbench 6 test, the Inspiron 1545 received a total score of 85 points. This makes the Inspiron 1545 laptop ideal for practically any computing task, as well as multitasking and photo editing.
In comparison, the Inspiron 1545 performed slightly better than the ASUS P50IJ-SO036X. According to the same test, the ASUS P50IJ-SO036X which uses an Intel Core 2 Duo T5870 processor scored 82 points.
In conclusion, despite having an old processor, the Inspiron 1545 is still capable of handling basic computing tasks as well as multitasking. As a result, I will rate the laptop an eight in this processor review.
Dell Inspiron 1545 Memory (RAM) Performance Review
The Dell Inspiron 1545 comes standard with 1 GB DDR2 RAM. However, this laptop comes with two RAM slots which can take up to 8 GB (a maximum of 4 GB in each slot).
The laptop I reviewed had 4 GB RAM in one slot. However, if I needed to upgrade, I could easily add another 4 GB RAM to the second slot – making it 8 GB RAM altogether.
Furthermore, a maximum RAM capacity of 8 GB might not be sufficient for most users nowadays. However, I am pretty sure 8 GB RAM was quite a big deal back in 2008 – the period the laptop was manufactured.
Moreover, the 4 GB RAM in the laptop I reviewed was quite adequate for multitasking – but not too adequate. As a result, I was able to open 10 Microsoft Explorer tabs and switch between them without noticing any lag.
However, I noticed the laptop began to slow down when I opened applications like MSword while the browser’s tabs were still open.
To further determine the laptop performance, I conducted a PCMark Vantage benchmark test.
PCMark Vantage is a Windows-based PC benchmark that offers one-click performance testing. Photo, video, gaming, music, communication, and productivity are all covered in this test.
Based on the benchmark test, the Inspiron 1545 achieved an overall score of 2735 points. Unfortunately, this score wasn’t enough to beat the Toshiba Satellite A350’s score of 2884 points.
However, it was enough to beat its predecessor (Inspiron 1525). On the same benchmark test, the Inspiron 1525 achieve an overall score of 2568 points.
Finally, the Inspiron 1545 is capable of light multitasking but was unable to outperform its competitor in a benchmark test. As a result, in this memory performance review, I will rate the laptop a seven.
Dell Inspiron 1545 Storage Options & Performance Review
The Dell Inspiron 1545 comes with a 5400 RPM SATA HDD storage. This storage supports a maximum capacity of 500 GB.
Moreover, the laptop also offers an SD card slot (MMC/MMC+) for an extra storage option. The laptop I reviewed comes with a 320 GB HDD.
Before I proceed to analyze the performance of this HDD, I must comment that 320 GB of storage should be sufficient for most users to save images, movies, songs, and applications. However, if you require more storage, you could easily upgrade the HDD’s storage capacity.
To determine the transfer speed of the HDD storage, I conducted an HD Tune test. HD Tune is a Windows hard drive testing tool that can assess a hard drive’s overall health.
Additionally, it also does an error scan and a benchmark to determine the transfer speed of an HDD. Based on the HD Tune test, the Inspiron 1545’s HDD storage recorded an average transfer speed of 45 MB/s.
However, other laptops with 5400 RPM HDD usually achieve about 60 to 75 MB/s. For instance, the Samsung R510 achieved an average transfer speed of 67 MB/s.
Finally, in terms of storage, I don’t believe the Inspiron 1545 deserves a rating of more than seven out of 10.
Dell Inspiron 1545 Graphics Card Performance Review
The Dell Inspiron 1545 comes with two graphics configurations options. For graphics configurations, you either purchase the laptop with an Intel GMA X4500HD or ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4330.
The Intel GMA X4500HD graphics is integrated into the laptop’s CPU – it is inbuilt and doesn’t feature dedicated VRAM. Lack of VRAM indicates that the graphics card shares the laptop’s main memory with the CPU.
Therefore, you shouldn’t expect the graphics card to perform well in gaming or run graphics-intensive applications. On the bright side, the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4330 graphics option features 256 MB GDDR3 dedicated VRAM.
In terms of the speed of the GPUs, the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4330 graphics has a base GPU frequency of 450 MHz. On the other hand, the Intel GMA X4500HD graphics has a base GPU frequency of 533 MHz.
Unfortunately, both graphics configurations do not have a boost GPU frequency. This review is based on the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4330 graphics option.
This graphics card may be old and may not be able to run modern games such as Crysis 2. However, it was able to run few outdated games.
For instance, on a gaming test, the laptop was able to achieve a frame rate of 42fps while playing Half-Life 2.
I also conducted a 3DMark 06 test to further determine the performance of the graphics card.
A company called UL designed and developed 3DMark 06, a computer benchmarking tool for determining the performance of a PC’s 3D visual rendering. Running the 3DMark 06 test generates a 3DMark score, with higher numbers meaning better performance.
Based on the 3DMark 06 test, the Dell Inspiron 1545 scored 841 points – sufficient enough for running outdated games.
In comparison, the Inspiron 1545 performed better than its predecessor (Inspiron 1525). According to the 3DMark test, the Inspiron 1525, which uses an Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) X3100 scored 746 points.
Unfortunately, when compared to the HP Compaq 6730s, the Inspiron 1545 performed quite badly. On the 3DMark 06 test, the HP Compaq 6730s, which uses an ATI Radeon HD 3430 graphics scored 1687 points.
In conclusion, the Inspiron 1545 offers multiple graphics configurations, which is quite impressive for a laptop this old. Therefore, in this graphics review, I believe the laptop deserves nothing less than a rating of seven out of ten.
Dell Inspiron 1545 Battery Life & Performance Review
Dell offers the Inspiron 1545 with three different battery options. You can either purchase the laptop with 4-cell, 6-cell, or 9-cell battery.
A 4-cell battery comes with the laptop I reviewed. I ran a battery test to see how well this battery will perform.
The laptop’s screen brightness was set to 100 nits for the test. I also disabled all other programs except the Microsoft Edge browser, which was browsing over 25 different websites.
According to the battery test results, the Dell Inspiron 1545 lasted 3 hours and 12 minutes. As a result, when compared to the Toshiba Satellite L300, the laptop performed poorly.
The Toshiba Satellite L300 lasted 4 hours and 25 minutes in the battery test.
In my quest to find out more about the Inspiron 1545‘s 4-cell battery, I came across a battery test information on pcworld.idg.com. According to their battery rundown tests, the Dell Inspiron 1545 lasted 2 hours and 51 minutes.
Finally, in this battery review, I will rate the Inspiron 1545 a seven for its average battery performance.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Dell Inspiron 1545 is a budget-friendly laptop with a 15.6-inch widescreen display and decent processing capability. While its plain design is unlikely to attract most users, this Dell Inspiron laptop is a perfect replacement for a desktop computer.
The Dell Inspiron 1545 was discontinued on February 26, 2009.
The Dell Inspiron 1545 Laptop comes with DDR2 RAM and comes installed with 1 GB memory. Additionally, it offers two RAM slots that support a maximum memory of 8 GB (4 GB RAM in each slot).
Yes, the Inspiron 1545 comes with a 1.3 MP Webcam – it’s an optional feature.
The Dell Inspiron 1545 starts at a price of $199.95 as of the time this article was published (August 2021).
My Final Thoughts
The Dell Inspiron 1545 is exactly what you’d expect from a budget laptop. Despite being an old laptop, it offers decent performance.
This laptop also comes with a nice keyboard and two banging speakers. It is, however, quite heavy, making it difficult to move around with.
In short, the Dell Inspiron 1545 is worth considering if you’re seeking a cheap and basic family laptop with decent performance and good speakers.
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