Dell Inspiron 13 7000 review: Premium and practical all in one
Guidemaster: The best Windows ultrabooks you can buy right now
Our review unit of the Inspiron 13 7000 Black Edition had specs similar to that XPS 13 we tested out earlier this year: Core i7-8565U CPU, integrated Intel graphics, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of PCIe SSD. This model also has 32GB of Intel Optane Memory H10. The Black Edition performed comparably to the XPS 13 on nearly all of our benchmark tests. Their scores were not far apart, and only a few times did the XPS 13 surpass the Black Edition in a significant way.
Like the XPS 13, the Black Edition’s fans made themselves known. Dell included adaptive thermals in the machine that use algorithms and accelerometers to know which mode it’s in: laptop, tent, tablet, etc. When in laptop mode, the mode that it assumes you’ll be doing the most intense work, the machine kicks up the power and increases airflow to accommodate that. This is when I heard the fans the most—while the Black Edition isn’t a distractingly loud machine, it’s certainly not silent.
It also gets a little hot on the bottom-middle portion of its chassis when it’s being put to work. While the air intake vents sit on the machine’s bottom, the air output vents are located on the hinge. You won’t feel hot are being blown on your legs when using the machine in laptop mode, but there’s a section of the chassis’ bottom that gets noticeably warmer after you use the machine for a couple of hours.
Despite being larger, the Inspiron 13 7000 Black Edition has a 52Whr battery like the XPS 13 has. The Black Edition lasted an average of 589 minutes, or just under 10 hours, on our Wi-Fi test, and an average of 447 minutes, or about 7.5 hours, on our WebGL test. The XPS 13 lasted nearly three hours more on our Wi-Fi test, but the Black Edition beat it on the graphics-intensive test by about two hours.
Real-world battery life will truly depend on how you’re using the Black Edition, and the results of our test lead us to believe that it’s the better device if you’ll be working many hours on graphically laborious tasks such as video or photo editing. Dell also included its ExpressCharge feature on the convertible, which allows it to charge up about 35 percent in just 20 minutes.
An OEM’s most prestigious laptop families are not the only ones worthy of praise, and the new Inspiron 13 7000 Black Edition proves that for Dell. It may not have the razor-sharp edges or the super-slim profile of the XPS 13, but it’s still a great two-in-one that will probably suit more users’ needs than the XPS 13 laptop.
We still think the XPS 13 laptop is the best Windows ultrabook you can buy right now. That device holds the title because it fits so well into the “ultrabook” definition and has the best combination of features that will appeal to those who desire the most premium, thin-and-light Windows notebook they can get. In comparison, the Inspiron 13 7000 Black Edition is a different kind of beast. It makes some design sacrifices to bring more practicality into the mix—thereby increasing its overall value for money.
When compared to the XPS 13 laptop that we tested a few months ago, the Inspiron 13 7000 Black Edition we tested had the same processor, RAM, and storage, allowing it to perform comparably on our benchmark tests. But the Black Edition also has support for Optane memory, a fingerprint sensor, it has a built-in pen garage and an included active pen, and it has more connectivity options. This laptop may give up some thinness, overall design edge, and a bit of battery life to include those additional features, but we think what you get in return adds up. Just keep in mind that this is true for the new Black Edition 2-in-1—the Inspiron family has numerous other 13-inch and 15-inch convertibles that do not have the same exact design (no pen garage, for instance) but are even more customizable in terms of specs. Many start off more affordable, too.
That being said, affordability factors in with this machine as well: the Inspiron 13 7000 Black Edition that we tested ($1,420.99) comes in about $300 less than the XPS 13 laptop that we tested ($1,709.99). There will always be some people who want the top-of-the-line product, and the XPS remains at the head of Dell’s ultraportable lineup. However, that’s not the only option if you want a high-quality machine with a lot of power as well as a lot of capabilities that aren’t hindered by design or the latest laptop trends. Those looking for a great value for your money should consider the Inspiron 7000 series, especially the new Black Edition convertible.
Subtle yet professional design.
Included active pen in magnetic pen garage.
Fingerprint sensor for Windows Hello.
Optional Optane memory.
Fans can get loud.
Gets a bit warm.
No webcam shutter.
Charges via 4.5mm barrel power port.
The review & testing reported here does not necessarily reflect that of Brauntek.
Author & original post date:
Dell gives this Inspiron 2-in-1 a glow-up without sacrificing power or features.
VALENTINA PALLADINO – 7/6/2019, 9:30 AM