New Dell Inspiron 13 7000 (2017) Laptop Review
Dell's new 2-in-1 offers strong performance at an amazing price
When it comes to the New Dell Inspiron 13 7000 Series, (available at Amazon) there's a lot to love. From the premium design to the optional 2-in-1 hinge and 8th-Gen Intel i5 CPU, these machines have a little something for everyone. Since most of the best convertibles cost well over a grand, the 2-in-1 version is especially appealing. Not only is it travel-friendly and stylish as hell, it's affordable too.
The 2-in-1 model we tested, with its aluminum chassis and flexible hinge, feels more expensive than it actually is. In addition to the excellent build quality, you're getting a pretty zippy machine thanks to the 8th-Gen Intel CPU. The dual speakers also produce little to no distortion and the keyboard is an absolute dream to type on. While there's a lot we like about it, we had a few nitpicks.
The display is plenty bright and details are crisp, but colors aren't super vibrant. The battery life is also shorter than we like, so you'll definitely have to go outlet hunting at some point. Drawbacks aside, we still think the convertible we reviewed is worth consideration. If you're looking for strong performance at a reasonable price, you can't get much better than this.
About the Dell Inspiron 13 7000 (2017)
The New Dell Inspiron 13 7000 Series starts at $779 for a barebones 13-inch model with a non-touch, non-convertible display, but you can upgrade to a touchscreen, a 2-in-1 hinge, or both, if you prefer. All models start with an 8th-Gen Intel i5 CPU and at least 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. We tested the base convertible model. You can check out the specs in full detail below:
CPU: Intel Core i5-8250U
Display: 13.3-inch (1920 x 1080) FHD touchscreen display
Memory: 8GB RAM
Storage: 256GB PCIe SSD
Ports: USB 2.0, USB 3.0, HDMI, Card Reader, BlueTooth, WiFi
The base model is speedy enough for everyday tasks like surfing the web or watching YouTube videos, but if you're looking for a little more oomph, we'd recommend opting for the $999.99 configuration. This configuration comes with an Intel Core i7-8550U, which is a bump-up from the entry-level fare. Not only are you getting stronger performance, you're also still getting the versatility of a 2-in-1 design.
What We Like
Affordable for a 2-in-1 laptop and the build quality is excellent
Most premium convertibles will cost you well over a grand. Whether you're using it in tablet or tent mode, the 360-degree hinge is hugely appealing, especially if you're the type of person that travels often. The 2-in-1 base model, with its stylish look and versatile design, has a starting price of just $879.99. Not only is that price awesome, the build quality is great too.
The aluminum chassis feels really strong and durable, capable of taking a few knocks. When I pressed down on the keyboard tray using both hands, at one point even putting most of my weight into it, I didn't hear much creaking or notice any flex. The hinges are pretty flexible as well. There was no snagging when I switched from tablet to laptop mode.
The island-style keyboard offers a comfortable typing experience
The keys are springy, well-spaced, and backlit. I managed about 80 words per minute, which is close to my average of 85 words per minute. Aside from the occasional typo, I was surprised by how quickly I adapted to it, as it wasn't long before my fingers were flying across the keys. It's a good choice for professionals and students, especially if you plan on using the keyboard for research papers or the next best selling novel.
The bottom-facing speakers produce great sound
When I listened to Tori Amos' Northern Lad on Spotify, the piano was punchy and her haunting vocals were pretty crisp. The sound isn't going to fill a spacious room, but it's deep and rich and I could really hear all the lows and highs in the song. We didn't notice much (if any) distortion. If you're the kind of person that enjoys watching YouTube videos or listening to Spotify, the audio quality definitely won't disappoint.
What We Didn't Like
Colors aren't super vibrant
When I watched a scene from Lure, a bizarre movie about cabaret performers (who also happen to be mermaids), their red sequin costumes weren't as vibrant as I expected them to be. Silver, the fair-haired mermaid, had a gray tinge to her face as well. She looked dull and washed-out instead of ethereal and otherwordly. Weak colors aside, the 1080p display is plenty bright and handles reflection well enough.
Battery life is shorter than we like
When we put the Inspiron 13 through our primary battery test, which cycles through a series of power-hungry tasks, it fizzled out in a little under two hours. However, during our WiFi browsing test, the convertible hit a little over three hours. This test is less intensive, but more reflective of everyday use. Still, battery life isn't great, so you're going to want to keep the charger handy.
Should You Buy It?
Yes, especially if you're looking for strong performance
If you're looking for a zippy laptop that won't break the bank, the New Inspiron 13 7000 Series is a great choice. With its 8th-Gen Intel i5 CPU, optional 2-in-1 design, and powerful audio, these machines tic off a ton of boxes. While the 2-in-1 version we tested has a lot going for it, battery life is disappointing, so you'll need to keep the charger handy. And, despite the bright display, colors just don't pop like do on other screens.
If you're looking for a 2-in-1 with longer battery life, we'd recommend the Lenovo Yoga 720. Like the one we tested, the Yoga 720 has slim bezels and costs less than a grand. It's not as stylish, but if it's better battery life you're after, then this is a good alternative. The Inspiron 13 700 series is still a good choice, though, especially if you're looking to get your hands on the 8th-Gen Intel i5 CPU.
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