I am always fond of the Dell XPS series even though I can never leave my Apple ecosystem. So, when Dell asked if I wanted to try out one of their products, I said yes even though it’s not an XPS. That’s how desperate I am to wrap my hands around a Dell.
Anyway, this Dell that Dell was referring to is the Dell Inspiron 14 and it’s not bad and I kind of like it except not as much to pry me away from my Macbook Pro. Maybe you will.
The Dell Inspiron 14, in human language, means an excellent/impressive laptop with a 14-inch display.
When I took the laptop out of the box, I immediately fell in love with the form factor because it’s sleek and it looks very professional. Dell has done a neat job putting this laptop together because there are some nifty features that will enhance your experience using the device. So, let’s go through them.
Key features of the Dell Inspiron 14
Ports, webcam, lid and screen
Firstly, the ports. There is a charging port, a HDMI port, two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type A ports (one on each side), a USB type-C port, a headphone/microphone audio jack, a Micro SD card reader slot and a power point – all the necessary productivity ports that all laptops should have.
Then we have the webcam, which can be covered by the discreet slider near the top of the lid. The webcam is of 720p quality, which is sufficient for a normal laptop. Do not listen to other reviewers telling you that it should be at least 1080p or higher. Guys, it’s a laptop webcam.
Speaking of the lid, it is designed to help you a little with your typing posture. When you open the lid, it will elevate your laptop at an angle so that you can stay productive for a longer period. How cool is that?
The Dell Inspiron 14 has a full HD display with a wide-viewing angle technology for excellent clarity. The bezels on the sides are of the right sizes so that they do not look too intrusive and fragile. If you have an issue with the base model of the Dell Inspiron 14, you can also opt for the full HD panel with higher brightness like 300 nits and 100 percent sRGB colour coverage.
Similar to Apple’s Macbooks, the Dell Inspiron 14 turns on by itself when you lift the lid. It’s like when your dog greets you at the door. The difference is that the one-hand-lifting of the lid works for me on this Dell over my Macbook Pro so, kudos to the rubber.
Now, you might be wondering, why is it important for you to have an always-ready laptop. Well, if you are a productivity junkie like I am, saving even a tiny second of your life can improve your productivity as a whole for the day, and of course, it’s cool.
The Dell Inspiron 14’s keyboard feels the same as many of Dell’s laptops. The keys sound like Macbook’s butterfly keyboard but do not dare to venture into that realm. That said, I like it. I like the key travel and how responsive each key is.
Buried into the keyboard on the top right hand corner is a fingerprint sensor. It’s hard to miss because it’s harder to compress as compared to other keys. In this day and age when security of data is more precious than… precious metals, you should have this feature.
If you want to save some monies, you can opt for the same laptop without the fingerprint sensor. Again, “day and age”, “security more precious than precious metals.” Think about it.
At a time where speed is everything, the Dell Inspiron 14 is not lacking behind. It has an ExpressCharge feature where you can get your laptop juiced up from 0% to 80% around 60 minutes. There are two downsides though. One, your battery health might diminish faster if you keep using ExpressCharge and two, after it’s charged to 80%, it will resume back to the normal charging speed.
That said, I don’t think that’s an issue for all of us these days since the nearest power point can be easily accessible in the office or at home. Thanks, pandemic. To put your mind further at ease, the battery at full charge should last you about 10 hours. So, give it a chance.
Audio and Speakers
The pair of speakers at the bottom of the Dell Inspiron 14 are okay. It does the job and can get real loud. If you are not an audiophile, then you should have no complains. If you are one and a picky one, then it will sound flat to you and you will probably buy a set of proper speakers with subwoofer to treat the wounds in your ears inflicted by these speakers.
I’m exaggerating but you get my point. Again, it does the job and sound decent just not exciting.
Going deeper – technical specifications
Now, the moment you are waiting for… a more intimate sharing – the technical specifications.
The Dell Inspiron 14 that I reviewed has the 11th Gen Intel Core i7-11370H processor, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. It also has the NVIDIA GeForce MX450 graphics card with 2GB GDDR5 vRAM. Its starting weight is about 1.4kg. Tsk tsk. A tad heavy yo…
To the regular you and me, these specifications would mean a fast laptop with a good graphics card. It also has quite a bit of storage space for your day-to-day needs. The 16GB of RAM should alleviate your issues of applications being laggy or your laptop is still working after the incredulous number of tabs you open on your browser.
I can imagine myself sitting somewhere in a cafe typing away on the Dell Inspiron 14 and a stranger will come along and ask, “Hey, what’s this bad boy?” To which, I would say, “Adele… I mean a Dell Inspiron 14.”
The form factor of the Dell Inspiron 14 is definitely eye-catching and the tones of grey on its keyboard and trackpad are just too nice to look away.
This laptop has almost everything that every regular person needs to get their job done. A demanding regular person will probably consider playing some games on it. Cute. You probably can BUT try running NVIDIA GeForce NOW instead.
For hardcore gamers, go away. This is not the laptop for you and you know it.
Will I recommend getting the Dell Inspiron 14? Yes! The Dell Inspiron 14 starts from S$1,299. You can spec it higher if you want based on your needs and of course that will come at a cost.
So, what do you think of the Dell Inspiron 14? Let us know.