Dell really needs to update its product naming department. Seriously, the Dell Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1? For a company that makes elegant laptops like the simply named XPS 13, the Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1 seems to be rather boring and easy to forget because it contains a name.
And that's a shame, because when it matters, the Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1 is actually a fairly decent convertible notebook that contains the latest 8th generation Intel Kaby Lake-R processors. It's not as cheap as the simplest Inspiron notebooks, but the 7000 series offers almost what Dell's premium XPS line offers at a lower cost.
Aside from the latest Core i5 or i7 CPUs from Intel, this Inspiron 13 convertible comes standard with 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD and a 13.3-inch 1080p touchscreen display. Upgrading to more powerful processors, more memory, and more memory is also relatively affordable, while the base model's price of $ 879.99 seems respectable for what you get. It is especially nice that this laptop – unlike the XPS 13 – does not fall into the trap of only providing 4 GB of RAM and a 128 GB SSD in its inexpensive basic model.
This new Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1 for late 2017 isn't the first to bear this name: there have been several previous iterations of this laptop, including a Kaby Lake model from earlier this year. However, the latest model is both smaller and lighter than its predecessor. You also benefit from all the advantages of newer hardware.
After XPS laptops have been used extensively in recent years, the most important change when switching to an Inspiron 13 is the design. While some aspects of the design language are similar to the XPS, you don't get a carbon fiber palm rest, but opt for brushed aluminum around the keyboard. I'm a big fan of metal designs, so I don't really mind this choice, although the extra stitching and general construction aren't quite as nice as the XPS 13. However, this shouldn't come as a surprise as the XPS line is the flagship of Dell, while the Inspiron line is rather medium-sized.
The other notable difference between the Inspiron 13 2-in-1 and the XPS 13 is the bezel size. The XPS 13 is a much more compact laptop with much smaller bezels for all screen sizes. The Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1 doesn't have incredibly large bezels, but it's not in the same league as the XPS.
The good news is that the total area of this year's model is smaller than that of previous generations. As a result, Dell was able to slightly reduce the size of the front bezel compared to previous offerings.
Nevertheless, the Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1 is not a large machine with a thickness of less than 16 mm and a weight of about 1.45 kg. For an upper mid-range laptop, it is still very portable and far from the cumbersome Inspiron designs that Dell has offered in the past.
One of the main selling points here is of course the 360-degree hinge, with which the display can be folded back into a tablet-like form factor.
In my time with convertibles, I almost always use them as a standard laptop. Occasionally, however, it is helpful to turn the screen over to show some information on the screen to a colleague in tablet mode, or to use the base as a display for watching movies.
Like many convertibles of this type, the tablet mode rotated by 360 degrees is cumbersome and cumbersome, with a large gap at the edges between the two system halves. But at least the functionality is there for those who need it.
While the Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1 Thunderbolt 3 doesn't include as many flagship ultraportables, it has a USB-C port that supports USB 3.1 Gen 1 speeds. This laptop doesn't charge via USB-C, but uses a proprietary charging port, which is a little disappointing. USB-C charging is another feature that Dell has retained for its XPS line.
As with other ports, you get two USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type A ports, one on each side, plus a full-size HDMI 2.0 port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and an SD card reader. This is a wide selection of ports that are suitable for productivity on the go, especially the full HDMI port, which is not always found on ultra-portable laptops.
This laptop offers some more impressive functions …
It supports Windows Hello for quick face unlocking, which I love on laptops, and it's especially nice to see it on something other than a flagship. Dell also includes a stylus for the display in the package. It's not an optional $ 100 accessory. Those who like to draw, comment, highlight, write down equations, etc. will be very pleased with this recording. The "Active Pen" also works pretty well, not quite as well as first-class display pens, but still very practical.
Are you interested in the speakers on this topic? Loud, but not of high quality. They are also fired from the bottom of the laptop with a small gap directly onto the desk. So if you use the laptop on a softer surface, you have to expect serious damping.
The keyboard is very similar to most other Dell 13-inch laptops, including the XPS series, and basically has the same keycaps and layout. Aside from the half-height arrow keys, the layout is great with large modifiers and easy access to media and brightness controls. The tactile feedback is decent, a bit spongy, and definitely not as clicky as HP's superb Specter keyboards, although it's generally not bad for typing.
The trackpad is like the keyboard: decent enough, not spectacular, not terrible. No complaints here on the Inspiron 13 7000.
At first glance, the 13.3-inch 1920×1080 IPS LCD looks great. Bright colors are supported by the glossy glass surface. The viewing angles are excellent too, and I think casual users will love the experience of Dell's 1080p display.
Learn more about the performance of this panel. Dell rates the display at 300 nits of brightness, but when testing it, I only achieved 254 nits with a poor contrast ratio of 974: 1. The good news is that color temperature and gamma are nearly accurate, but the dE2000 averages for grayscale, saturation, and ColorChecker are not good enough for professional color work. I didn't really expect a pro-grade calibration from an Inspiron laptop, but this display is a good distance from some of the better 1080p panels I've seen.
However, there are two aspects to this display that are particularly disappointing. The panel only covers 89 percent of the sRGB spectrum, which is rather low for a modern display. In addition, Dell uses aggressive dynamic brightness on battery power, which changes the brightness of the backlight considerably and noticeably depending on the darkness of the screen content. I hate this kind of behavior and there doesn't seem to be any way to turn it off, although it probably saves a bit of battery. Fortunately, the behavior disappears when plugged in.