I am considering an Inspiron a bit faster and newer than my 3520 i5-3210M, though it continues to serve me well. I'd like an i5 or i3, 15.x" screen, preferably with usb 3.0. Looking for models later than my 3520 up till about early 2015 as i am on a budget. Can anyone suggest model numbers to search?
Of lesser importance, were any of these made in colors other than black?
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Unfortunately, I do not have a list of computers that were released in 2015. Also, if you find one on the internet someplace you can post the model on on he forum and we can give you more input about the system.
That would be a fourth (Haswell) or fifth (Broadwell) based system.
The Haswell would be the 3521/5521 and the Broadwell, the 5548, etc.
Once you hit the Skylake (6th generation) you're into late 2015/2016.
Once you exit the 6th generation and hit the seventh, you're into late 2016/early 2017, and you lose the option for Windows 7 (if that's a consideration); the sixth generation is the last one that supports anything older than Windows 10.
If you're on a budget, then buying a budget PC is unlikely to be noticeably faster. If your system currently has a traditional spinning hard drive, your cash would go much, MUCH further if you spent it on an SSD upgrade. For everyday tasks, a five-year-old system that's been upgraded with a fast SSD will feel much faster than a brand-new system that uses a spinning hard drive, which any budget system is likely to still have. If you use a tool like Macrium Reflect Free, you can even clone your existing drive straight over to the SSD so you don't have to rebuild your system from scratch. Just buy a SATA to USB converter, connect the new SSD to your system temporarily with that adapter, run the clone, and then power the system off, remove the current drive, and install the SSD internally. Done and done.
Lack of USB 3.0 unfortunately can't be solved as easily.
If you don't like the SSD idea, if you're based in the US, check out Discount Electronics. They specialize in reselling laptops that have come off of corporate leases and such. As a result, the prices are quite low, even though the systems you're getting are in better shape than average for their age, partly because they were used by business types, but also because they're business-class models that are built better in the first place, particularly in areas like the chassis and ESPECIALLY the quality of the keyboard. Unfortunately, 15" business-class laptops are less common (the typical size is 14"), but there are definitely some out there, like the Latitude E55x0 series.
I'm starting to understand what you mean. Yesterday i looked at a new Inspiron 3558-14590 marked way down to $399. at a local seller. I was attracted by the price, the 1 usb 3.0, and a numeric keypad. But when i look at a comparison at userbenchmark my old 3210m actually comes out a hair ahead of its 5200u processor. All the hype about "x generation" doesn't seem to mean much. What gives?