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Dell Inspiron 14 5000 Series review: An attractive middle-of-the-road 14-inch laptop

Jon L. Jacobi | Aug. 5, 2014
Elegant and affordable are two words that describe Dell's Inspiron 14 5000 series. The brushed aluminum and black minimalist styling Dell has treated this laptop with give it an air of class you don't often see in a mid-range, all-purpose laptop. It looks more expensive than its $750 price tag, which ironically, makes every imperfection seem that much greater. Hence, less-than-spectacular and slightly frustrating are also valid descriptions.

You may have noticed the reference to an internal battery. You must remove two screws and the pressure-fit bottom panel to get at the 5447's. These days, however, I don't know a lot of people who carry extra batteries to swap; most folks prefer to seek an AC outlet at the appointed hour. The 5447's run time isn't fantastic, but it's long enough for most scenarios.

Note that removing said bottom panel also provides easy access to the hard drive, Wi-Fi card, and memory slots. You might want to upgrade the hard drive to an SSD at some point, but 8GB is plenty of memory for most tasks.

The Inspiron 14 5000's keyboard isn't one of my favorites. The keys lack the long travel and snap that's my preference. But establishing a typing rhythm was easy enough, and the perq is that you can bang away in a quiet environment without unduly disturbing your neighbors. I also found the one-piece touchpad smoothly responsive and easy to click. I do have one complaint: The touchpad isn't clearly tactilely or visually delineated from the rest of the keyboard deck. When not paying close attention, I missed it several times.

Price-to-performance ratio 

The Inspiron 14 5447 is a generally capable all-purpose laptop with top-shelf styling at an affordable price. But there's a distinct lack of options to make it faster (SSD and gigabit ethernet, for starters) or even less expensive (via a non-touch display), so its good looks wind up being a bit of a tease.

Perhaps I'm being too being picky. This is good laptop that's worthy of perusal if you're shopping the middle of the road.


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