Dell Inspiron 13 7000 (2017)

The Dell Inspiron laptop line has been a longtime favorite for college students, however, this latest rendition might also entice those looking for an affordable Ultrabook.

This year’s latest redesign of the 13-inch Inspiron 7000 is strikingly thinner than ever and better equipped with Intel’s recently announced 8th generation processors. What’s more, you’ll be able to get up two types of biometric logins with both a Windows Hello infrared cameras and a new cleverly implemented fingerprint reader.

Design

It’s an arrangement very similar to the Huawei MateBook X and this isn’t the only similarity between the two. Both machines are built with slender frames, milled completely from metal and Dell has even introduced a Champagne Pink color – which tragically isn’t coming to the US – to compete with Huawei’s Pink Ultrabook.

A purely clamshell laptop is strangely a return to form for the Dell Inspiron 7000 lineup, which have only seen 2-in-1 models for the last two years. Last year’s model brought a great reduction in thickness at 0.76-inches (1.92cm) and this latest version of the laptop continues to cut down on the bulk to a mere 0.65-inches (1.67cm).

What’s more, Dell has drastically reduced the size of the bezels to thin bars, though, the Dell XPS 13 is still on top with its InfinityEdge display. Still we prefer having the webcam in its traditional position at the cost of a slightly thicker frame above the display, plus you get an infrared camera setup for Windows Hello login.

Along the right edge of the keyboard is a power button with an integrated fingerprint scanner for another biometric option.

Features

The biggest differentiator between the Huawei MateBook X and Dell Inspiron 13 7000 comes down to price, which start at $1,099 (about £850, AU$1,380) vs $799 (about £620, AU$1,010), respectively.

Of course, Dell gets away with a lower price because the base model only comes with 4GB of RAM and an 128GB SSD. Given the history of how the brand’s laptops scale, the Inspiron 13 likely still be more affordable than the MateBook X once they’re equally configured for storage and memory.

The only thing holding back the Dell Inspiron 13 7000 are Full HD only display options, whereas the Huawei’s flagship starts with a 1440p resolution screen.

That said, Dell’s latest laptops have Intel’s 8th generation processors to back them up. Kaby Lake Refresh doubles the cores on its U-series processor and the base model Inspiron gets an Intel Core i5-8250U chip to start. Not only will these CPUs perform better at creative tasks, Intel’s integrated UHD graphics should better handle creating and consuming streaming media.

Dell also claims we’ll see up to 9 hours and 31 minutes of battery life on the Dell Inspiron 13 7000, however, we’ll have to put those figures to the test in our benchmarks.

Early verdict

The Dell Inspiron 7000 series has always been an enticing budget laptop for students, but it’s classier and thinner looks are sure to turn a few heads in the business world too. For the low price of $799 (about £620, AU$1,010), you’re getting a decent setup with an 8th generation Intel Core i5 CPU and a 128GB SSD. The 4GB of RAM on the base model is a shame, but hopefully it won’t be anything a small aftermarket upgrade won’t fix.

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