Dell wasn't a part of the Acer-HP-Lenovo triumvirate of manufacturing partners on board for the first round of Ryzen APU laptops. The Texas-based megavendor is nevertheless bringing Raven Ridge to its Inspiron 17 5000-series laptops today. The company seems to be tiptoeing into the waters of mobile Ryzen, as these machines are entry-level offerings built around AMD's latest APUs. Let's take a look.
Outside of their Ryzen APUs, the AMD-equipped Inspiron 17 5000 laptops look like standard big-box-store laptops. You'll find optical drives, 17" 1920x1080 TN displays, non-backlit keyboards, and a distinct lack of SSD options on these PCs' spec sheets. Base models pack a single performance-robbing 8-GB DDR4 memory module, but buyers can chuck in up to 32 GB of RAM if they're willing to cast aside the factory-equipped memory.
The big chassis has an I/O selection comprising a couple of USB 3.0 ports, an old-school USB 2.0 connector, an HDMI 1.4b output, and an SD card reader. These systems do boast modern wireless connectivity thanks to 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1. A fingerprint reader offers a layer of biometric security, too.
The Inspiron 17 5000 measures 16.4" wide, 11" deep, and 1" thick (42 cm x 28 cm x 2.5 cm) and weighs in at 6.6 lbs (3 kg). Dell didn't say a word about how long the machine can run off the 42-WHr battery. We imagine the battery life is nothing to write home about, but at least the pack is removable.
The base Inspiron 17 5000 with an AMD Ryzen 3 2200U processor, 8 GB of DDR4 memory, and a 1 TB SATA hard disk starts at $680. Getting the dual-channel memory configuration that lets the APU stretch its legs requires stepping up to the $900 version with a Ryzen 5 2500U, 16 GB of RAM, and a 2-TB hard drive.