Dell’s Inspiron laptops are positioned beneath its higher-quality, added able XPS series, but you’d never apperceive it from the Inspiron 14 7000 (starts at $829.99; $1,126.99 as tested). The new 7000 (specifically, archetypal 7490) boasts a magnesium-alloy anatomy that’s about as thin, light, and athletic as an XPS enclosure, and the ultraportable pulls off the authentic ambush of binding a 14-inch affectation into a 13-inch anatomy factor. Under the hood, it offers Intel’s 10th Generation “Comet Lake” CPUs and alternative Nvidia GeForce MX250 committed graphics. Unless you allegation the 4K (3,840-by-2,160-pixel) resolution accessible with Dell’s XPS 13—and I’d altercate you don’t in a 13.3- or 14-inch awning size—the Inspiron 14 7000 replaces the XPS 13 as the ultraportable to own and our Editors’ Choice pick.
Our analysis unit’s architecture is aloof as absorbing as its Core i5-10210U processor, 8GB of RAM, 512GB solid-state drive, and GeForce MX250 graphics. The new Inspiron 14 7000 (model cardinal 7490) puts an end to the canicule back Inspiron laptops were a cheap, artificial fallback advantage for those who couldn’t allow the asperous advantage of an XPS system. Dell says the magnesium-alloy anatomy is lighter than aluminum but aloof as durable; it feels adamant after actuality abundant or bulky.
The atramentous awning bezel is impressively attenuate on all four sides, which combines with new, higher-density boards and apparatus to advice compress the admeasurement of the laptop. The Inspiron measures 0.6 by 12.6 by 8.1 inches (HWD) and weighs 2.9 pounds. By comparison, the Dell XPS 13 is alone hardly thinner and lighter (0.46 by 11.9 by 7.8 inches, 2.7 pounds) and the 13.3-inch Razer Blade Stealth is about the aforementioned admeasurement and a tad added (0.6 by 12 by 8.3 inches, 3.1 pounds). Dell’s step-down Inspiron 14 5000 occupies added of a archetypal 14-inch laptop anatomy agency at 0.7 by 12.9 by 9.4 inches and 3.6 pounds.
Black bezels aside, the arrangement is a eyes in silver. The lid, keyboard deck, and the keys themselves are a ablaze argent color. If you tend to accumulate the keyboard backlighting on all the time, you’ll allegation to breach that habit; the argent keys action no adverse adjoin the backlighting in a blithely lit room, apprehension the keyboard a abstruse bare slate. I would accept adopted acceptable atramentous keys. On the additional side, the keyboard is ample and acknowledging with aloof the appropriate bulk of biking for a adaptable feel after actuality mushy. No keys are shortened, and the top appropriate key combines the adeptness button with a fingerprint clairvoyant for easy, defended logins.
The touchpad is authentic and responsive, but it offers a bit too abundant biking back clicked. It feels a bit flimsy, abnormally back clicked in either of the basal corners, and its clicks are loud abundant that they adeptness abrade the being sitting at the abutting table at a coffee shop.
Whether the Inspiron is comatose or powered down, the login awning appears after accepting to hit the adeptness button acknowledgment to a sensor that begins to amount Windows as anon as you lift the lid. You’ll still allegation to tap the fingerprint clairvoyant or access your countersign if you’ve password-protected your Windows login.
The 14-inch blow awning offers 1,920 by 1,080 resolution. Unlike with the XPS 13, there is no 4K advancement option. For this admeasurement display, however, a 1080p angel is still aciculate and affords a adequately ample workspace—not to acknowledgment defective beneath array adeptness than a 4K panel, and the Inspiron 14 7000 delivers outstanding array life, as you’ll see in the abutting section.
The affectation looks brittle with authentic colors, but it’s rated for an accustomed 300 nits of brightness. That’s accomplished for calm environments but isn’t the best aces if you assignment in the acreage and plan to use the Dell consistently outdoors, as you adeptness be tempted to by its portability and alternative LTE connectivity.
Despite the attenuated bezel, the ultraportable finds allowance for a 720p webcam aloft the display. It provides a adequately sharp, composed angel for videoconferencing, and the system’s stereo speakers action affluence of aggregate and accuracy for video calls as able-bodied as YouTube and Netflix. They’ll additionally answer for music playback as continued as you don’t crave a assault bass acknowledgment for abounding amusement of your tunes. On the whole, the audio achievement is absorbing because the laptop’s attenuate enclosure.
The able anchorage alternative covers the basics. On the larboard side, you get a Thunderbolt 3 anchorage that doubles as a USB Type-C and adeptness port, an HDMI video output, a microSD agenda reader, and a SIM agenda aperture for adaptable broadband.
On the right, you’ll acquisition a brace of USB 3.1 Type-A ports and a headphone/microphone jack. My own ambition would be to accept a USB-C anchorage on the appropriate bend so I could affix the adeptness cable to either ancillary of the laptop.
We’ve now apparent a cardinal of laptops with 10th Generation Intel adaptable processors, both 14nm “Comet Lake” and 10nm “Ice Lake” varieties. The Inspiron’s Core i5-10210U is one of the former, a quad-core, eight-thread CPU with a alarm acceleration of 1.6GHz and max turbo acceleration of 4.2GHz. Among the laptops in our achievement allegory charts, the Dell XPS 13 additionally appearance a “Comet Lake” dent in the Core i7-10710U. The added three contestants accept “Ice Lake” processors, a Core i5 in the Dell Inspiron 14 5000 and Core i7’s in the HP Spectre x360 13 and Razer Blade Stealth.
PCMark 10 and 8 are holistic achievement suites developed by the PC criterion specialists at UL (formerly Futuremark). The PCMark 10 analysis we run simulates altered real-world abundance and content-creation workflows. We use it to appraise all-embracing arrangement achievement for office-centric tasks such as chat processing, spreadsheeting, web browsing, and videoconferencing. The analysis generates a proprietary numeric score; college numbers are better.
PCMark 8, meanwhile, has a accumulator subtest that we use to appraise the acceleration of the PC’s accumulator subsystem. This aftereffect is additionally a proprietary numeric score; again, college numbers are better.
The Inspiron 14 7000 accomplished amid the XPS 13 and the Inspiron 14 5000 in the PCMark 10 test. The two “Ice Lake” Core i7 laptops took aboriginal and additional places. As we see in about every laptop analysis nowadays, the systems’ abrupt solid-state drives acquaint array aerial about the 5,000 mark in PCMark 8’s accumulator exercise.
Next is Maxon’s CPU-crunching Cinebench R15 test, which is absolutely threaded to accomplish use of all accessible processor cores and threads. Cinebench stresses the CPU rather than the GPU to cede a circuitous image. The aftereffect is a proprietary account advertence a PC’s adequacy for processor-intensive workloads.
Cinebench is generally a acceptable augur of our Handbrake video alteration trial, addition tough, threaded conditioning that’s awful CPU-dependent and scales able-bodied with cores and threads. In it, we put a alarm on analysis systems as they transcode a accepted 12-minute blow of 4K video (the open-source Blender audience cine Tears of Steel) to a 1080p MP4 file. It’s a timed test, and lower after-effects are better.
We additionally run a custom Adobe Photoshop angel alteration benchmark. Using an aboriginal 2018 absolution of the Artistic Cloud adaptation of Photoshop, we administer a alternation of 10 circuitous filters and furnishings to a accepted JPEG analysis image. We time anniversary operation and, at the end, add up the absolute beheading time. As with Handbrake, lower times are bigger here. The Photoshop analysis stresses the CPU, accumulator subsystem, and RAM, but it can additionally booty advantage of best GPUs to acceleration up the action of applying filters, so systems with able cartoon chips or cards may see a boost.
The six-core Dell XPS 13 breezed to accessible wins over its quad-core rivals in our Cinebench, Handbrake, and Photoshop tests. Even the closing are admirable choices for ablaze media alteration chores, admitting artistic pros will angular against larger, added able laptops such as the 16-inch Apple MacBook Pro and its eight-core Intel Core i9 CPU.
3DMark measures about cartoon beef by apprehension sequences of awful detailed, gaming-style 3D cartoon that accent particles and lighting. We run two altered 3DMark subtests, Sky Diver and Fire Strike, which are ill-fitted to altered types of systems. Both are DirectX 11 benchmarks, but Sky Diver is added ill-fitted to laptops and midrange PCs, while Fire Strike is added ambitious and fabricated for high-end PCs to strut their stuff. The after-effects are proprietary scores.