We are not exaggerating but the Dell Inspiron 7000 2-in-1 series is genuinely exceptional. Priced at just $750, the Inspiron 7000 13-inch and 15-inch laptops punch above their price bracket without omitting any of the features you would want and expect from a PC in 2016.
Let’s save your time. Do you know how this laptop looks and does it meet your constricted budget? Buy it and you will never have to look back.
Where Dell excels
By and large, PC manufacturers cut a lot of corners to reach a sub-$800 price. This Dell does not!
- The Dell Inspiron 7000 is metal all the way around whereas manufacturers are usually content selling you a plastic laptop by adding a thin veneer of metal up top.
- Both the 13- and 15-inch Dell Inspiron 7000 come standard with a crisp 1,920×1080 pixels IPS touchscreen display that is completely competent. Most vendors cram a crappy low-res LCD panel into their cheaper computers.
- Dell goes fail-safe here with the current-gen Core i5 chip while many inexpensive laptops go with a slower Intel Core M processor.
- This Dell packs 8GB of memory and 256GB modules that will never bog your system down. On the other hand, some of the very best laptops pretend to give you a deal by sticking you with a paltry 4GB of memory or 128GB of solid state storage and charge extra for more.
- Dell is better than the usual on having a decent backlit keyboard and touchpad. No issue with scrolling or pinch to zoom, which is rare for Windows laptops.
- While most laptops have significantly different specs, prices and ports for different variants, the 13- and 15-inch Dell Inspiron 7000 2-in-1 are pretty much identical. Only the 17-inch version is different.
However at such a low cost, Dell’s $750 laptop isn’t just proficient, it goes over and above. The Inspiron 7000 is one of the very few with a Windows Hello-face recognizing camera.
You can securely log into Windows with your face just by looking at the screen. You just have to train the PC to identify you face (Start -> “Set up face sign-in”) and you can do away with typing passwords when you log into Windows. Because the infrared camera can see in 3D, it can’t easily be fooled by a picture of a face: Only the real deal.
The camera is a little sluggish to start up which is a shame – it is way slower than the pricier Toshiba Radius 12 which we tested last year. But it is still quicker than typing a password.
The only notable flaws
There are essentially just two weak points in the Dell Inspiron 7000 2-in-1. First, the power button which is awfully placed on the front right edge of the device. You got to train yourself hard to not accidentally put the computer to sleep when you pick up the PC.
Second, the battery life; both the 13- and 15-inch models lasted a mere 6 hours in our standard video streaming playback test and approximately 4-5 hours of real work. That is certainly not appreciable for a thin and light laptop. The best usually muster about 810 hours of streaming video playback on a charge.
Nonetheless, Dell has a killer trick up its sleeve when it comes to battery life: An optional external battery worth $100 (AUS $180, £110) that plugs right into its USB-C port to keep the laptop running.
We cannot describe how much we admire this battery. Not only are these Dell laptops charged up to 80 percent of their full capacity (an extra 3-4 hours of use) but they can be fully utilized until they drain. What’s better you can plug into this battery and immediately resume working.
The laptop and the external battery can be charged simultaneously with a single power cord. And when the battery isn’t charging a laptop, its two USB ports can top up a pair of tablets or phones.
Here are a few more things we would want you to know the Dell Inspiron 7000 2-in-1 although they do not mould our buying recommendation in any way.
- Although the viewing angles are wide enough to share a movie on the couch, a bit of brightness is lost at off-angles.
- At 3.86 lb (1.75kg) and 5.84lb (2.65kg), these laptops are a tad heavier than you might expect. As a result, it becomes hard to use them like tablets.
- You should not expect to play hard-core games in these portable PCs although the Core i5 chip carries plenty potential for multitasking.
- You probably come to expect anodized finish (smooth, pebble-like) from aluminum-bodied machines but this has a brushed metal finish (fine groves) which look and feel a little cheaper.
- In contrast to many laptops this thin, the touchpad click feels way better – solid and bouncy.
- A little more torsion could’ve been used on the hinges on the 15-inch model as the screen tends to wiggle a bit especially on a moving train.
- The glass screen cover definitely throws off a lot of glare, but it’s the price you pay for touch.
- Other than the USB-C socket, it’s a pretty standard array of ports: Two USB 3.0, one HDMI-out, one 3.5mm audio jack, and an SD card slot.
- There’s an optional $60 USB-C adapter that adds a USB port, Ethernet and an additional monitor (VGA or HDMI) all at the same time.
We’ve been waiting for years for important features to be made standard by manufacturers – such as 1920x1080pixel screens and solid state drives. They instead annoy and confuse customers by charging more to secure the performance they already expect.
But Dell is the first company to actually implement it and the result is very impressive. We can recommend this laptop to virtually anyone. Its sight is unseen and customers don’t need to fuss over which particular components they should pick.
A laptop that, for $750, has everything you need.