Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1: Nice features on a budget
PCWorld|January 2022
This Inspiron has high-end laptop aspirations, but with a few downsides.
JARED NEWMAN

The Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1 occupies an unusual spot in the company’s laptop lineup.

While Dell tends to reserve the Inspiron line for its cheapest and clunkiest consumer-grade computers, the Inspiron 14 2-in-1 borrows a handful of elements from higher-end laptops, including a metal lid, a fingerprint reader, surprisingly great speakers, and a sharp touchscreen that flips around into tablet mode. However, further inspection reveals where the compromises lie.

The display is on the dim side, the chassis is part plastic, the trackpad has a chintzy click mechanism, and the laptop is heavier than high-end computers with similar specs. But if you can snag the Inspiron 14 2-in-1 for less than its $1,049 list price, those trade-offs may be worthwhile.

TECH SPECS

Our particular Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1 review unit costs $1,049 from Dell (fave.co/3p2ZX9i) but has frequently been on sale for $800 and it includes the following specs:

AMD Ryzen 7 5700U CPU

14-inch, 1920×1080 IPS touchscreen

16GB DD4-3200 RAM

512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe solid state storage

720p webcam

Fingerprint reader

Left side: HDMI 1.4b, USB-A 3.1 Gen 1, USB-C 3.2 Gen 1

Right side: Headphone jack, USB-A 3.1 Gen 1, MicroSD card slot

Weight: 3.43 lbs. (power brick adds 0.58 lbs.)

Dimensions: 12.66×8.32×0.71 inches

Meanwhile, an $849 option (fave. co/3EhFOB3) leaves you with a Ryzen 5 5500U processor, 256GB of storage, and 8GB of RAM. Unfortunately, you can’t mix and match tech specs, so your only option if you want more storage or RAM is to buy the higher-end model for $200 more. (Dell also offers other configurations with Intel processors [fave.co/3p4yg04], which we’re not reviewing here.)

Port selection is solid with both HDMI and MicroSD ports and two USB-A ports, but be aware that the HDMI 1.4b spec only supports 4K at 30Hz, so you’ll be limited to 1080p on external monitors or TVs if you want smooth 60 frames per second video. Also, the laptop’s charger occupies the sole USB-C port, leaving no room for USB-C accessories.

DESIGN AND DISPLAY

The Inspiron 14 2-in-1 comes in a single color scheme called Mist Blue, but it’s a subtle hue that only covers the aluminum lid and it’s barely distinguishable from the matte-gray plastic chassis underneath. Despite the use of plastic, this is a sturdy machine. You’ll hear nary a creak when grabbing the laptop by its corners, and the keyboard barely flexes at all under pressure.

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