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Dell Inspiron 15 7000 review

Katharine Byrne
31 Dec 2013
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
799
inc VAT

A beautifully designed laptop with a great battery life, but it’s not as powerful as other similarly priced desktop replacements

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We’re big fans of Dell’s Inspiron laptops as previous models have struck just the right balance between value, price and performance. The Inspiron 15 7000 is the latest iteration of Dell’s entry-level laptop, but its aluminium chassis and beautiful edge-to-edge glass display give this new 15in laptop a distinctly premium look that echoes Dell’s flagship XPS series.

Dell Inspiron 15 7000

It’s by far one of the prettiest general purpose laptops we’ve seen at this price, and it’s a brilliant stop-gap between Dell’s cheaper Inspiron 15 models and the more expensive XPS 15. At 2.6kg, it’s much lighter than other desktop replacements, although you're still not going to want to carry it far, despite its slim 22mm chassis.

Dell Inspiron 15 7000 specs

The Inspiron 15 7000 uses the same 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-4500U processor that many Ultrabooks use. Paired with 8GB of RAM, it managed respectable score of 50 in our multimedia benchmarks, which is just a few points behind Dell’s XPS 12 hybrid and the Asus Zenbook Prime Touch UX31A. This is more than enough speed for everyday tasks, and it should have no problem tackling demanding programs that require multi-threading.

Our review sample also came with a 2GB Nvidia GeForce GT 750M graphics chip. This managed a smooth 46.6fps in our Dirt Showdown test on High quality at a 1,280x720 resolution. This is still very impressive for a non-gaming laptop, but it would have been nice to see the full 60fps we’ve seen on other laptops with the same chip. It's likely that the thin chassis doesn't allow for as much cooling as the graphics chip requires to run faster.

We were even able to get a playable frame rate at the laptop’s native 1,920x1,080 resolution in Dirt Showdown. We only managed 35.6fps on High quality at this resolution, but lowering the settings to Medium produced 54.7fps. The graphics chip isn’t quite powerful enough to run power-hungry games like Crysis 3 at 1,080p, though, as we weren’t able to get a playable frame rate on any quality setting.

Dell Inspiron 15 7000

The laptop comes well-equipped with ports, including four USB3 ports, an HDMI video output, a multi-format card reader, a Gigabit Ethernet port and a combined headphone and microphone jack. We were a little disappointed that Dell hadn’t included a Blu-Ray or DVD optical drive on its rather bare left hand side, as this would have made the Inspiron 15 7000 the perfect multimedia entertainment laptop, but when we removed the bottom panel to take a closer look, we found there simply wasn’t any room due to the Inspiron 15 7000’s huge battery.

Dell Inspiron 15 7000

This is a shame, but we didn’t really mind when it lasted almost 9 hours in our light use battery test with the screen set to half brightness. We were perhaps expecting it to last a little longer considering the sheer size of the battery, but this is still good for a 15in laptop, as other similarly priced desktop replacements we’ve seen have only lasted around five hours by comparison.

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