Dell’s new Inspiron series of 2-in-1 notebooks come in three distinct classes that go from mild to spicy: the 3000, 5000, and 7000 series. As the number goes up, so does performance. Today we’re looking at the 15-inch model in the higher-end 7000 series. Dell offers four configurations for the 15-inch model in this series, and this one is the most affordable at $749. As its midrange price suggests, this laptop’s specs are moderate: a Core i5 dual-core CPU with Hyper-Threading, 8GB of memory, and a 256GB SATA SSD.
Since we’ve already reviewed the 17-inch Inspiron, we can deduce that all of the notebooks in the 7000 series sport a similar chassis and design, one made of brushed aluminum and that’s quite thin without being anorexic. The 15-inch model is just 0.74-inches thick and weighs a chunky 4.8 pounds. For context, the Dell XPS 15, which is the company’s flagship notebook, weighs just 4.4 pounds, but also costs more.
Like all of the Inspiron models, the 15-inch is a 2-in-1 running Windows 10. As such, it has a 360-degree hinge. You can flip the display all the way back to “convert” the notebook into a tablet at will. It makes for a rather hefty tablet, mind you, given this laptop’s almost 5-pound weight. It’s also a bit strange that when in tablet mode, the two parts aren’t totally aligned—the section holding the display juts out a bit further. That slight annoyance aside, the display is touch-enabled, so you can swipe and tap to your heart’s content.
The display itself runs at 1920x1080p using the integrated Intel HD 520 graphics, so don’t expect to use this laptop for gaming. The display looks quite sharp, and true to Dell’s marketing ptich, it has “wide viewing angles,” indeed making it “IPS like.” The panel is glossy, however, so know that glare can be an issue.
The laptop’s CPU is a Skylake chip and runs at 2.3GHz, with boost potential up to 2.8GHz under load. It’s paired with 8GB of DDR4 2,133MHz memory in the form of dual 4GB SO-DIMMs. You can upgrade these if you’d like by simply popping off the rear panel, but 8GB of memory should be sufficient as long as you’re not editing photos or big videos. You can also upgrade or swap the M.2 SSD and Wi-Fi card, as both are easily accessible. Unfortunately, Dell no longer puts these parts behind their own tiny panels on the bottom of the laptop, which required removing just one or two screws. All the parts are under one giant panel, held into place with 10 screws. Still, that’s a pretty minor downside to this much upgradability.
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