Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1 key specs
CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 5700U
Graphics: Integrated Radeon Graphics
RAM: 16GB DDR4
Screen: Full HD (1920 by 1080) LCD
Storage: 512GB PC SN530 NVMe
Ports:1 HDMI 1.4, 2 USB-A 3.1,1 USB-C 3.2 with Power Delivery, Micro SD, Kensington Lock Slot
Connectivity: WiFi 6 (2x2), Bluetooth 5.1
Weight: 3.43 Lbs
Size: 0.71 by 12.66 by 8.32
The Dell Inspiron range has been a cornerstone of the affordable laptop market for some time being popular with students and those on a budget. It's why the standard Inspiron 14 features as one of T3's best laptops for students.
Hybrid laptops, or 2-in-1 machines span a wide range of models, from basic Chromebooks through to ultrabooks. They provide not only a regular laptop experience but also, by flipping the screen back all the way, a tablet format with the keyboard hidden. The hinge also allows you to set it into a tent-like position or (with the keyboard flat against the desk) a freestanding monitor.
This adaptability makes them popular options for the home and for office. This combination of a 360-degree hinge and a touchscreen display means that these models cost a little more than their regular laptop version though.
DELL INSPIRON 14 2-IN-1 7415 REVIEW: PRICING AND AVAILABILITY
The Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1 7415 is available now, starting at £679/$799.99. My review model, with the Ryzen 7 5700U processor, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD is priced at £898/$999.99. The machine is also now available with the brand new Intel Core 11th gen processors from as little as £763/$649. This unit came with Windows 10 Home edition, but Dell will be offering a free upgrade to Windows 11 when it is available later this year.
DELL INSPIRON 14 2-IN-1 7415 REVIEW: SCREEN AND DESIGN
The screen of the Inspiron 14 is a little disappointing. It has decent color and videos look fine on the 14-inch Full HD touch display with thin edge bezels, but it lacks brightness. We measured it at a maximum brightness of 200 Cd/M2, which is the base level we would consider acceptable. Working outside on a sunny day it was just visible in shadow, but you couldn’t make much out in direct sunlight. That’s disappointing, especially for a 2-in-1 system that is designed to be carried around and used like a tablet.
Above the screen is a small webcam with a sliding shutter. Slide the small switch over, and a physical piece of plastic slides over the webcam. That’s all contained inside the screen bezel so it isn’t going to break off. That’s a nice touch for educational users or those who just want to keep things private.
No pen is included, but the touch screen is compatible with the Dell Active Pen PN350M. This attaches to the top lip of the lid with magnets, so you aren’t likely to lose it.
The case feels well constructed, and the hinge that allows the screen to rotate into tablet mode feels pretty tough – it should stand up to knocks and bumps without issue. The keyboard isn’t great, though, with a flat, mushy feel and a bit more give than I like. If you are a keyboard basher like me, the whole keyboard flexes slightly when you are struck by inspiration and start hammering away on it. I don’t expect laptop keyboards to feel as robust as the mechanical keyboard I use as a daily driver, but the more expensive cousins of the Inspiron 14 have a better, more robust feel. They don’t feel like they are going to buckle when the muse is with me and I am bashing away in a poetic frenzy.
One nice touch is the inclusion of a combination standby button and fingerprint reader in the top right of the keyboard, which is becoming standard fare on mid range laptops. For those who have inquisitive children or co-workers, that’s a definite plus as a simple way to control who can log on. Just touch the button to put the device in standby mode when you walk away to make a cup of tea, then touch the button to turn it on and log on when you return.
The touchpad is large and responsive, with a nice mechanical click when you press down. It supports up to 10 touches, so you get all of the standard multi-touch features, like two-finger scroll, three finger touch and flick up to see all running programs, etc. It did pick up the odd wrist touch, though, mistaking that for a finger click when I rested my palm on the edge of the touchpad.
DELL INSPIRON 14 2-IN-1 7415 REVIEW: PERFORMANCE
My review model of the Inspiron 14 was built around a Ryzen 7 5700U, the faster of the two options on offer. This CPU includes 8 cores that run at 1.8Ghz, although some of them can crank that up to 4.3GHz when required. Twinned with 16GB of RAM, I found that this combination was capable of some decent work, although it lags behind its faster cousins.
I tested the laptop using the PC Mark 10 benchmark, which simulates a number of common office tasks like video conferencing, spreadsheet number crunching, etc. It achieved a score of 5323, which is somewhat slower than laptops like the Dell XPS 15 (with a score of 6030) but is a touch faster than the cheaper Asus Aspire 5, which managed 4007. I certainly found the Inspiron 15 to be adequate for general use: it cranked through spreadsheets and some light photo editing without problems. It started to choke when I applied more complex filters in Photoshop, though, and editing HD video in Premiere was a stop-start business as the system struggled to create previews.
The same is true of gaming: the Inspiron 14 managed a rather lackluster score of 1182 in the Time Spy test of 3D Mark. Most 3D shooter games weren’t really playable, with frame rates in Doom Eternal between 10 and 25 frames per second (fps) at the Full HD resolution. It managed a more playable 50 to 60 fps if you dropped the resolution down to something like 640 by 480, but we aren’t in the 1990s anymore, and that doesn’t really cut it these days.
DELL INSPIRON 14 2-IN-1 7415 REVIEW: BATTERY LIFE
The Inspiron 14 has decent battery life, lasting just over 11 and half hours in my tests with the PC Mark 10 Video benchmark. It is worth remembering, though, that the computer is just playing back video in this test. Start playing games or doing any serious work and that’s going to be significantly less. It will still be more than adequate for most uses, though, and should get you through a day of work or college note-taking.
DELL INSPIRON 14 2-IN-1 7415 REVIEW: VERDICT
There is a lot of competition for the Inspiron 14 – £900/$1000 gets you a lot of computer these days. Overall though, the Inspiron 14 is a decent pick for this budget, with acceptable performance and build quality. It’s no gaming machine, though, and the compromises that keep the price down are evident in the flimsy keyboard and the screen that just can’t manage the brightness levels that make games and videos pop off the screen.
DELL INSPIRON 14 2-IN-1 7415 REVIEW: ALSO CONSIDER
The Acer Aspire 5 shares many of the same features as the Inspiron 15, but costs a lot less. Starting at $500, It has a Full HD screen and decent battery life, but the CPU is a quad core model and only comes with 8GB of RAM, while the Inspiron has a faster eight-core CPU and double the memory.
The Dell XPS 13 is a definite step up from the Inspiron 14, but that does up the cost. The XPS includes a 4K OLED screen option that puts the Inspiron 14 to shame, but it costs much more. The whole package is more refined and robust, though, with a superior keyboard, magnesium alloy case and better overall build quality. Is it worth nearly double the price? That’s up to you, but we would recommend that you consider it if you want to handle heavy workloads on the go or want to watch movies on the move on the gorgeous OLED screen.