Dell Inspiron 14 5000 Series Laptop Review

* This device is a loaned review unit from Dell Malaysia *

Sometime in mid June 2014, Dell Malaysia announced their new lineup in their Dell Inspiron laptop series, along with other 2-in-1 and All-in-One computer series.

New Dell Inspiron Laptops, 2-in-1 Device and All-in-One Desktops Bring Compelling Features, a Variety of Options to Students and Families

  • Inspiron laptops, 2-in-1 device and AIO desktops offer a wide range of options to accommodate consumers’ diverse lifestyles and budgets
  • Dell Inspiron 11 3000 Series 2-in-1 device offers the ideal combination a full PC and tablet at an affordable price
  • Dell Inspiron 14 and 15 3000 Series laptops bring HD touch displays in sleek, compact forms at attractive price points
  • Dell Inspiron 14 and 15 5000 Series laptops offer brilliant touch displays, backlit keyboards, and thinner, lighter builds
  • Dell Inspiron 20 3000 Series and 23 5000 Series All-in-One PCs entertain the entire family with the latest technology and the best value in an attractive, thin design

Dell Inspiron 14 5000 Box

For the last couple of weeks, the folks from Dell Malaysia was nice enough to furnish me with the Dell Inspiron 14 5000 series laptop. As the name suggests, the laptop is a 14″ touchscreen laptop with great processing power, running on the latest 4th Gen Intel Haswell processor.

Dell Inspiron 14 5000 Series Touch Notebooks
Dell Inspiron 14 5000 Series Touch Notebooks

Dell Inspiron 14 5000 series laptop is aimed primarily at the student market, and was announced as a part of the Intel PC Refresh campaign to educate and encourage students to upgrade their machines to the latest Intel processors.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBc4CAup54k

Here’s a quick specifications overview of the Dell Inspiron 14 5000 series :-

  • 14″ LED Backlit Display with TrueLife and HD (1366 x 768) with/without touchscreen
  • up to 2.7 GHz 4th Gen Intel Core i5 OR i7 processors with AMD Radeon™ HD video card
  • 4 GB memory
  • 500 GB / 1 TB SATA Hard Drive (HDD) + (optional) 8 GB cache
  • Powered by Windows 8.1 OS (64 bit)
  • HD (720p) capable webcam, dual digital microphones
  • 21.66 mm thin, weighing from 2.02 kg
  • 3-cell (43 WHr) / 4-cell (58 WHr) Lithium-Ion Battery (up to 8 hours battery life)
  • Ports : 2X USB 3.0, 1X USB 2.0, HDMI, Ethernet LAN (RJ-45), SD Card Reader, Security Slot, headphone / microphone combo jack
  • Connectivity : WiFi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, Ethernet LAN
  • Colours : Silver

Full hardware specifications can be found on Dell Malaysia’s website for Dell Inspiron 14 5000 series at http://www.dell.com/my/p/inspiron-14-5447-laptop/pd

See Also : Dell Vostro 5460 Notebook User Review

Inspiron 14 5000 Series Touch Notebook Inspiron 14 5000 Series Touch Notebook

Dell Inspiron 5000 Series Laptops: Stylish and Sharp Computing

The new Inspiron 14 and 15 5000 Series laptops are packed with convenient features, and are ideal for a day spent roaming across campus or sharing screen time among family members. Families will enjoy a versatile mobile computing experience enhanced by high-end options like a backlit keyboard and Full HD touch display (15-inch laptops only). The brilliant display is showcased within an attractive, brushed aluminum lid, and the 10-finger capacitive touch option makes it easy to scroll, zoom, and tap through documents or social media status updates. The laptops are powered by 4th Generation Intel Core i processors that help extend battery life, up to 8 hours, 9 minutes for the Inspiron 14 5000 and up to 7 hours, 33 minutes for the Inspiron 15 5000. Since immersive entertainment is a welcome break after a diligent work or study session, the laptops come standard with Waves MaxxAudio for a rich audio experience. The inclusion of 20GB of cloud storage with Dropbox allows people to easily access important files across multiple devices, anytime, anywhere, ensuring that no document is ever left behind.

Dell Inspiron 14 5000 series Laptop - Unboxing
Unboxing the Dell Inspiron 14 5000 series Laptop

Inside the box, there’s the laptop itself, the power adapter and some user manuals. I’m unsure if mine’s just the review box contents or if it’s the same with the consumer version, though.

Once unboxed and charged, I was ready to sink my teeth into this mid range, student focused laptop.

 

Hardware : Design & Build Quality

Dell Inspiron 14 5000 Review - Front & Back
Looking around the lid & bottom

The top lid of the Inspiron 14 5000 is a brushed metal finishing in matte silver colours, which gives the laptop a nice premium feel. At the bottom, you’ll see the vent all along the top which gives it plenty of breathing space. In my review, the laptop never quite heated up or emit any loud fan noises, which is always a good sign.

Dell Inspiron 14 5000 Review - Hardware & Ports

As summarised in the high level specs above, the laptop is a little on the bulky side for my personal liking as it’s not quite a ultrathin Ultrabook per se. Although, weighing from 2.02 kg at 21.6 mm thin, this is quite comparable to other mid range laptops in the market.

Looking around the ports and connectivity options, I was pleasantly surprised that this mid-range laptop included a HDMI port for connection to your HDMI TV for movie viewing or HD projector screens. There are also plenty of USB ports, which I always love – 3 USB 2.0 and 1 USB 2.0 ports to be exact. Nice work, Dell!

Optical Disk Drive aka DVD drive is not included in this laptop, although the thickness should be able to accommodate it. Then again, who uses DVD anymore these days, right? If you happen to be the very few who still does, you can opt to purchase an external Optical Disk Drive from Dell that plugs in to the USB port.

There are also the usual pre-requisite ports and connectivity – SD card reader, Ethernet LAN port, headphone/microphone combo jack and power port.

Dell Inspiron 14 5000 laptop

Open the lid, power it on and you’ll notice the laptop continues its premium feel and build quality inside as well. The screen is nice and vivid (more on this later), the keyboard, trackpad and arm rest are matte and looks good, even though it’s made of polycarbonate plastic.

I am, in fact, writing this review on the Dell Inspiron 14 5000 laptop itself, right now.

 

Trackpad

Dell Inspiron 14 5000 - trackpad

Just like with other Dell laptops, they’re rather generous with the size of their trackpads. This Inspiron 14 5000 is no exception – it’s HUGE!!!!

Unfortunately though, that’s where the positives stop. I absolutely dislike the trackpad. Yes, from a spec perspective, it supports multi touch, dual finger scrolling and swiping gestures. But practically, the left and right clicks are extremely inaccurate and doesn’t seem to register my taps and swipes very accurately.

Multiple times throughout writing this post, editing photos and browsing websites, copy and pasting texts, the left and right click don’t seem to register until I slow down and do it again and again.

The amount of times the trackpad accidentally register a click when I just happen to linger my finger on the trackpad! Accidentally opening a file, accidentally clicking on a link on a website, the list goes on.

Also, the trackpad registers a right click, when I’m clearly clicking on the left click at the bottom left of the trackpad!

Grrrr…. This is so frustrating.

I suggest you plug in your external mouse, if you’re looking to do some serious work with this thing. The trackpad is just too annoying!

 

Keyboard

Dell Inspiron 14 5000 - Keyboard

The keyboard is nice. The chicklet island style keys are well spaced and has good depth when pressed. The 6 row keyboard has dedicated number row as well as dedicated Function row. I like!

I personally enjoy typing on keyboards. I like typing on really good keyboards that has good depth, nice “click” and smooth speed-typing friendly layout. I have to say, this Inspiron 14 5000 has one of the better keyboards I have used in awhile. Nicely done!

 

Performance : Powered by 4th Gen Intel Core processor

From a performance point-of-view, although the Inspiron 14 5000 is a student aimed, mid-range laptop, it’s actually rather powerful. With an up to 2.7 GHz 4th Gen Intel “Haswell” Core i5 or i7 configuration, you can be assured your word processing, multimedia viewing, photo editing and web browsing will be nice and smooth with great performance.

Exactly what I got with this device throughout my review.

Pages and apps were zipping fast and smooth when I switch between windows and apps. I have multiple web browsers windows open with multiple tabs each – slight lag, but nothing disruptive.

Dell Inspiron 14 5000 Review - Photoscape

Even when I was editing pictures for this post with the lightweight Photoscape software (I didn’t subject this machine to the heavy processing power needed on Photoshop), and it seems to do fairly well. There are minor lags sometimes, likely when it was ready files from my plugged in external hard drive.

Other than that, photo editing on this laptop didn’t show any major lags or performance stutters.

Dell Inspiron 14 5000 Review - Hardware Feature

As a refresher, there are stickers next to the trackpad to remind you of the features and highlights of the Inspiron 14. The laptop supports WiFi, Bluetooth, enhanced Waves MaxxAudio technology, 14″ touchscreen display and even comes with a 20 GB Dropbox storage for 1 year.

Dell Inspiron 14 5000 Review - Dropbox

As a major Dropbox user and supporter, the inclusion of FREE 20 GB of storage offered for this laptop is much welcomed. I jumped at the chance. It’s truly handy for you to backup all your files and pictures to the Dropbox cloud, so you can free up more space for other stuff on the laptop.

Not that you need it though, because this Inspiron 14 5000 comes with the option of 500 GB or 1 TB Hard Disk Drive. Plenty of space for your documents, pictures, videos and more.

 

Screen Resolution : 14″ HD Touchscreen Display

Dell Inspiron 14 5000 - Touchscreen

One of the killer features highlighted for the Inspiron 14 5000 is the 14.0 inch LED Backlit Display with Truelife and HD resolution display screen. You have the option to select the touchscreen or the non-touchscreen configuration.

Because this is just a mid-range machine, you only get 1366 x 768 resolution on this 14″ screen, which is already HD quality, for sure. But it’s not quite the highest resolution as you’d see with new high end laptops that can go as high as 3,200 X 1,800 which is as crazy HD as your Smart TVs.

The viewing angle on the laptop is not great. I played a video on full screen and started walking around the corners and noticed that the glare and light distortion on the playing video. Not great, but good enough for a student laptop, I suppose.

 

See Also : HP Pavilion Touchsmart 11 Notebook User Review

 

Dell Inspiron 14 5000 - Front speakers

The laptop’s speakers are actually placed at the front of the laptop, fairly hidden under the arm res area. The 2 tuned speakers includes Waves MaxxAudio® processing technology, which will give you superb sound quality for your video viewing.

Dell Inspiron 14 5000 - Open lid

The lid / screen bends back only around ~135 degrees back. Not quite 180 degrees flushed, but far enough to make screen sharing possible when needed.

 

Software : Runs on Windows 8.1 OS

Dell Inspiron 14 5000 Review - System

The review unit I have runs on the latest Windows 8.1 OS on a 64-bit version, along with4 GB memory and full Windows 10 point touch screen support.

Dell Inspiron 14 5000 Review - Win 8.1

As with Windows 8 devices, you get the tile based Metro Modern User Interface as well as the traditional desktop interface. While the tile based Modern UI and apps have mixed acceptance by the general public, I do like that Microsoft allows you to sync your apps and settings with your Microsoft account. All I had to do to setup this machine for review, is to login to my Microsoft ID and all my accounts, settings, preferences, etc are all backed up to this new machine.

 

See Also : 6 Things You Need To Know About Windows 8

 

Battery Life

Dell Inspiron 14 5000 series laptop comes with the option of 3-cell or 4-cell Li-Ion removable batteries.

According to its Marketing literature, the unit I have (with 3-cell, 43 WHr Li-Ion battery) should be able to last me a good 8 hours of continuous usage.

Dell Inspiron 14 5000 Review - Battery

In my use, I only managed to squeeze approximately 5.5 hours of battery juice out of the laptop. This is with mostly web browsing, social media postings, some photo editing, emails, YouTube videos and the like.

5 to 6 hours ain’t bad, although it’s not quite 8 hours.

Comparing to other high end laptops in the market, the Dell Inspiron 14 5000 series laptop does quite well in terms of battery performance. Definitely something that would be able to last a good 3/4 of a day for a student without having to scramble for a power point.

This is a combination of Dell’s battery performance management, as well as the 4th Gen Intel “Haswell” processors that are much more battery friendly.

 

Pricing and Availability

Dell Inspiron 14 5000 - 14" HD touchscreen

Dell Inspiron 14 5000 series laptops are now available on sale, either through the Dell Malaysia product page HERE or with their authorised dealers, starting from RM 2,099 depending on the configuration.

Dell Inspiron 14 5000 Review - Mouse & backpack

As of time of writing, Dell Malaysia is having a promotion, where every purchase of selected laptops will be entitled to a FREE Wireless Mouse worth RM 79 and additional Dell backpack for some models.

 

Conclusion

In my 2 weeks reviewing the Dell Inspiron 14 5000 series, I was rather impressed with this machine. It’s capability, performance, feature and design quality – especially given the fact that this laptop is a marketed to students at an affordable RM 2,099 onwards. A lot of these features were comparable to some mid to high end laptops at a higher price point.

Dell’s done a good job here.

But, as usual, let me conclude my review of this laptop with Top 3 points of likes and dislikes.

 

What I Like

  • Good specs for a RM 2,099 price point
  • Keyboard layout and ease of speed-typing
  • Battery life lasting over 5-6 hours

 

What I Dislike

  • Unresponsive and wonky trackpad
  • 14″ HD touchscreen, but bad viewing angle
  • Not exactly slim and portable

 

Overall, I think Dell did a rather impressive job with the Dell Inspiron 14 5000 series.

At a RM 2,099 price point, if you’re a student or a parent of a student and is looking for a laptop to get, this is definitely one machine you need to consider.

With the latest Intel “Haswell” processor, you’ll be sure this machine will be able to handle various multi-task from word processing to multimedia viewing. Although not quite powerful enough to be a gaming machine per se, but for light casual games, this machine should do fine.

Overall this is a good laptop once again from the reliable Dell. If portability is your requirement, go look at Ultrabooks. If that’s not a concern for you, then do consider this Dell Inspiron 14 5000 series laptop, all for the price of under RM 2,500.

 

For more info, visit the Dell Inspiron 14 5000 series Product Page at http://www.dell.com/my/p/inspiron-14-5447-laptop/pd, Dell Malaysia website at http://dell.com.my/ and *LIKE* Dell Malaysia Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/DellMalaysia

 

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