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Dell Inspiron 15 5000 (5668) review

Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
699
inc VAT (as of 29th June)

Dell's Inspiron 15 5568 is one of the faster big-screen hybrids around, but it's far from perfect

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Dell’s Inspiron 15 laptops have always been excellent value for money, but this year’s offering in the 5000 series is rather different from its immediate predecessors. Whereas previous Inspiron 15 5000s have been general-purpose, run-of-the-mill laptops, this year Dell’s adding a 2-in-1 hybrid to the range in the form of the Inspiron 15 5568, giving it a 360-degree hinge for a fully rotatable screen.

It’s a trick we’ve seen many times before, most notably on Lenovo’s Yoga laptops, but Dell’s version definitely brings a touch of class to proceedings with its sleek and stylish gunmetal grey chassis and textured design. It might be made of plastic, but the whole construction feels robust and the faux metal finish makes it look far more premium than its price lets on.

Of course, whether you’ll ever feel the need to flip the screen round and use it as a 15.6in Windows tablet is debatable, so if you’re not that fussed about its hybrid qualities, then have a look at the standard Inspiron 15 5000 instead, which is available in a wide variety of specifications starting from £429 at time of writing. While I haven’t had a chance to test the normal version yet, it does look very similar to last year’s Inspiron 15 5558, albeit with upgraded specs, so have a read of our Inspiron 15 5558 review to get a good idea of what to expect.

360-degree design

Opting for the Inspiron 15 5568 on test here, though, does provide a greater degree of flexibility over the regular Inspiron 15, and the two hinges feel reassuringly stiff and sturdy for when you want to prop it up in tent mode or use it on your lap. I’d recommend using it this way, as tapping the touchscreen with the keyboard face down on the table in presentation mode was much more unsteady. It’s fine for gentle swipes and scrolling up and down web pages, but repeated prodding soon made the screen fall progressively further back, prompting several readjustments when working with the touchscreen.

Dell Inspiron 15 5000

It’s a small complaint overall, but the laptop itself is quite sizable, which makes using it as a tablet rather unwieldy. Even its relatively light weight of 2.3kg still takes its toll on your arms after a while, and its sharp edges also have a tendency to dig into your palms. However, at least there’s a decent amount of space around the edge of keyboard to give you something smooth to hold onto. All too often we see 360-degree laptops that force you to bash about with its automatically disabled keys underneath, so it’s great to see Dell’s put a bit of thought into its design.

Keyboard and touchpad

Still, that’s of little consolation when you’re using the Inspiron 15 5568 as a proper laptop, and I can’t help but feel like the keyboard could have made better use of its roomy base. You still get a full-sized keyboard, but crowding everything together in the centre means that typing can feel a little cramped at times. This is a shame, because the keys themselves provide plenty of tactile feedback and feel perfectly responsive when typing out long word documents. You also get two levels of backlighting, which is surprisingly bright, even in well-lit environments.

Dell Inspiron 15 5000

The touchpad, thankfully, is superb and makes using the laptop a real joy if you don’t have a mouse to hand. Two-finger scrolling was brilliantly responsive and its integrated mouse buttons had a firm, confident action. It’s definitely one of the better touchpads I’ve seen, so working on the move shouldn’t pose too much of a problem.

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