Equipped with an Intel 1.6GHz i5-4200U CPU, 6GB of RAM, Intel HD Graphics 4400 and 500GB HDD the Dell Inspiron 14 7000 Series offers solid performance for its $850 price tag. The base model that Notebook Review tested likely offers the best bang for your buck; but users looking for even more performance can upgrade to the high-end build which offers an Intel Core i7-4500U CPU and 8GB of RAM for $1,100.
Equipped with an Intel fourth generation CPU the Dell Inspiron makes quick work of normal web and word processing functions. The notebook is also capable of handling more complex Microsoft Office task such as complicated excel spreadsheets without too much difficulty. With 6GB of RAM the Dell can juggle multiple programs at once. Notebook Review was able to run numerous background applications while watching four HD video streams without experiencing a noticeable drop in performance.
Without a dedicated GPU, the Dell’s graphic performance is the machine’s weakest aspect. The notebook isn’t capable of handling demanding tasks like 3D video editing and high-end game titles. However, Intel’s dedicated GPU does allow the machine to still edit HD videos and run less demanding game titles such as League of Legends at lowered graphic settings.
Utilizing a 500GB (5,400 RPM) HDD the Dell Inspiron offers a larger storage capacity than most ultrabooks on the market. Of course the extra storage comes at the expense the performance increases and faster boot-up speeds offered by an SSD. Even with an HDD the Dell boasts pretty fast load times. Programs only take a few seconds to load and the notebook was able to boot-up to Windows 8 from a complete shutdown state in about 19 seconds.
Our review unit of the Dell Inspiron 14 7000 Series had the following configuration:
- Windows 8.1 (64-bit)
- 14” (1920 x 1080) FHD Truelife LED Touch Display
- 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-4200U
- Intel HD Graphics 4400
- 6GB DDR3
- 500GB HDD (5,400 RPM) – Says 750GB on website
- 802.11 a/g/n
- Bluetooth 4.0
- Dimensions: 13.6” x 9.4” 0.6”
- Weight: 3.8 pounds
- Cost: $850
wPrime processor comparisons (lower score means better performance):
PCMark 7 is a newer benchmark and measures overall system performance (higher score means better performance):
3DMark 11 is a benchmark that measures overall graphics card performance for gaming (higher score means better performance):
CrystalDiskMark storage drive performance test:
Heat and Noise
Dell Inspiron 14 7000 houses vents on the back end of the chassis between the device’s display hinges. With the vents following along the curved back end of the device most of the air emanates away from the device and the user.
The fan instantly becomes audible producing a steady hum once the notebook is taxed. But that small noise disturbance proves to be well worth it, as the fan does a fantastic job of keeping the device cool. Even after running multiple HD streams for 45 minutes the notebook remained comfortably cool and could be easily used as a laptop.
To test battery life, we used our new PowerMark benchmark in balanced mode. The test consists of a combination of automated web browsing, word processing, gaming and video playback workloads. The test is far more strenuous than our previous test, measuring the machine under a litany of scenarios to better simulate real life use. With the test being far more demanding the scores are understandably lower than our previous benchmark.
Powermark “Balanced” battery life test results (higher score means better battery life):
In our tests the Dell Inspiron 7000 ran for 4 hours at 110 nits brightness before shutting down. Coming in at 4 hours on the dot, the Inspiron 14 offers decent battery life for a 14” device. Considering that our tests are far more taxing than normal use, consumers can expect to get 6 hours or more battery life from the notebook on a single charge. However, users who plan on consuming a great deal of media or playing games can also expect less battery life as well.