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Dell Inspiron 14z review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £579
inc VAT

It isn't the cheapest version of the 14z, but battery life is excellent, as is performance


14 in 1,366×768 display, 1.9kg, 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-2430M, 4.00GB RAM, 640GB disk, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

With its svelte metallic chassis and compact dimensions, the Dell Inspiron 14z is a far cry from the company’s previous all-purpose laptops. Taking a design cue from its redesigned XPS range – such as the Dell XPS 14z – which itself is based heavily on the Apple MacBook Pro, there are very few reasonably priced laptops that look this good.

Dell Inspiron 14z

Lifting the lid reveals a recessed hinge design that helps keep the laptop as compact as possible – it limits the amount of screen tilt, but Dell’s superb WLED display still handles itself well under harsh overhead lighting. The glossy finish isn’t ideal, and we would have liked a higher resolution than 1,366×768, but the incredibly vibrant colours and ample contrast make this one of the better budget screens we’ve seen recently.

Even though it lacks a dedicated graphics card to power its display, the Inspiron 14z is still powerful enough for high definition video thanks to the graphics chip built into Intel’s Core i5 processor. We could play 720p clips smoothly on the laptop and Full HD videos on an external display. Unfortunately it wasn’t a match for our Dirt3 test, managing an unplayable 13fps at our demanding settings. Modern games might be out of the question, but turn down the details and you should still be able to play some older titles.

Dell Inspiron 14z right side

Desktop performance was thankfully much better, thanks to the excellent Core i5-2430M and 4GB of RAM. Running at 2.4Ghz, the processor can Turbo Boost up to 3Ghz in certain tasks for some extra grunt when needed. Our multimedia benchmarks certainly saw the benefit, with an overall score of 49 – this proves that, while no powerhouse, it can still run most applications smoothly.

Despite the powerful processor, the Inspiron 14z still managed an astounding eight hours in our light-use battery test. By sticking to less energy-intensive tasks such as web browsing or word processing, you should be able to go most of the working day without having to reach for a charger.

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Basic Specifications

Rating *****
Processor Intel Core i5-2430M
Processor clock speed 2.4GHz
Memory 4.00GB
Memory slots 2
Memory slots free 1
Maximum memory 8GB
Size 26x346x246mm
Weight 1.9kg
Sound Realtek HD Audio
Pointing device touchpad


Viewable size 14 in
Native resolution 1,366×768
Graphics Processor Intel HD 3000 Graphics
Graphics/video ports HDMI, mini DisplayPort
Graphics Memory 384MB


Total storage capacity 640GB
Optical drive type DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Ports and Expansion

USB ports 3
Bluetooth yes
Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support 802.11n
PC Card slots none
Supported memory cards SDXC, Memory stick Pro, MMC
Other ports minijack audio output, minijack microphone input, 2x USB3


Carrying case No
Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore option restore partition
Software included Microsoft Office 2010 Starter Edition
Optional extras none

Buying Information

Warranty one-year RTB
Price £579

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