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Dell Inspiron 14 (Model 7437): Slim and stylish, but surprisingly sluggish

Sarah Jacobsson Purewal | Feb. 3, 2014
Dell's Inspiron 14 7000-series laptops are sexy-looking beasts boasting forged-aluminum, beveled-edge chasses; 14-inch Gorilla Glass touchscreens; and backlit keyboards. But the absence of an SSD (as a cache or otherwise) has a significant impact on their performance.

The keyboard deck itself is flimsy — aggressive keystrokes cause the whole thing to sink slightly — and the flat keys provide very little tactile feedback. The aforementioned backlight provides very uneven illumination, giving the keyboard a marbled look. The touchpad, on the other hand, is quite good, providing swift, accurate movements and mostly smooth multi-touch gestures.

I'm a sucker for thin, pretty laptops that deliver great battery life, and the Dell Inspiron 14 7000 Series certainly fits that bill (although it's not particularly light, weighing in at 4.4 pounds). Since my computer life revolves around word processing, browsing the web, and watching the occasional online video, this model's mediocre benchmark performance isn't a showstopper.

You'll need to decide for yourself if that — or its $850 price tag — are showstoppers for you. Lenovo's Flex 14 costs $100 less, but it has a lower-resolution display and isn't nearly as pretty. Toshiba's Tecra Z40 costs considerably more, but its CPU has Intel's vPro management feature set and it's more than a full pound lighter.

 

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