Dell Inspiron 14 7000 Series

Though its components and performance are somewhat average for its price, the Dell Inspiron 14 7000 Series' aluminium chassis, backlit keyboard and 1080p touchscreen give it a more premium feel.


7.5
CNET Rating

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When it comes to laptops, and really many other products, there are people who care more about value and getting the job done than looks and bells and whistles — and vice versa. The Dell Inspiron 14 7000 Series aims to satisfy both groups and, for the most part, hits its mark.

Design

Maybe it's just that we've seen a fair share of Dell's more budget-focused laptops over the years, but the Inspiron 14 7000 certainly looks the part of an upper mid-range mainstream laptop. There's no plastic lid with too much flex or polycarbonate bottom with multiple access panels. It's all aluminium save for its plastic hinges, and it feels sturdy enough to stand up to a daily commute.

The laptop is 15mm thick and measures 345mm wide by 239mm deep, making it small and thin enough to quickly slip into a shoulder bag. However, while it's not exactly heavy, at 1.86kg (2.13kg with its power adapter), you won't exactly forget you have it with you, either.


(Credit: Sarah Tew/CNET)

Lift the lid and you'll see a backlit chiclet-style keyboard and a reasonably large clickpad. With the laptop being so thin, there's minimal key travel, so if you tend to hammer hard on your keys, you might find typing uncomfortable.

The 14-inch, 1920x1080-pixel-resolution screen is nice overall, but it doesn't get terribly bright. If you need something that's easily visible in bright office lighting or daylight outside, you might struggle with the Inspiron 14 7000. Also, the Gorilla Glass might be nice for extra screen durability, but it doesn't do you any favours when it comes to glare.


(Credit: Sarah Tew/CNET)

Performance

The 14 7000 Series is more about portability than being a desktop replacement. The port assortment is lean with just two USB 3.0 ports and not much else. If you need things like Ethernet or more USB ports, you'll have to move up to larger-screen Inspiron 15 or 17 7000 Series models or step down to the Inspiron 14R.

There are currently only two configurations available for the 14 7000 Series. Reviewed here is the AU$1099 base model, which includes a fourth-gen Intel Core i5 processor; 6GB of RAM; a 500GB, 5,400rpm hard drive; and Intel HD Graphics 4400. For AU$1499, you can bump the processor up to a Core i7-4500U processor and get 8GB of memory, as well as a 256GB SSD.

With the AU$1099 configuration, you should expect to get through daily tasks and entertainment with relative ease. It can handle multitasking like streaming music or video in the background while you do basic photo editing or web surfing without feeling sluggish.


(Credit: Sarah Tew/CNET)

That said, the slow-spinning hard drive doesn't do it any favours when booting up, loading software or opening large files. Again, it's not exactly slow, but compared with the solid-state drive (SSD)-based laptops I've tested, you can feel a difference. Fortunately, it does wake from sleep in just a couple seconds.

The integrated graphics are good enough for casual gaming and viewing Full HD video. For more demanding PC games, you'll need to reduce settings to get playable frame rates. There is no option for discrete graphics with the 14 7000, but a mid-range 2GB Nvidia GeForce GT 750M is available on the Inspiron 15 7000 and 17 7000 models.

Dell quotes a battery life of up to eight hours and 52 minutes for the Inspiron 14 7000. In CNET's video playback drain test, it reached six hours and 28 minutes, which is good, but behind some similarly configured laptops we've tested.

Conclusion

Super-thin, aluminium-clad laptops tend to be up around the AU$1500 mark right now. The Dell Inspiron 14 7000 comes in a bit under that, while giving you a 1080p touchscreen, backlit keyboard and good performance and battery life. All things considered, it's well priced for what you're getting, I enjoyed using it and it's small enough for travel, even with its larger screen size.

Via CNET.com

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annoyed_ posted a comment   

Dell Australia do not offer 1080p screen as an option, only Dell USA. Sorry Aussies!




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