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Dell Inspiron 14z – Performance, Value and Verdict

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers



Our Score:


Dell Inspiron 14z – Specs

As mentioned in the intro, the Dell Inspiron 14z comes in a variety of configurations, from a Core i3 with 6GB of RAM and a 500GB hybrid hard drive base, to a Core i7 with 8GB of memory and a nice 256GB SSD.

PCMark 07

General: 3826

Entertainment: 3125

6GB of RAM is pretty generous compared to the 4GB you usually get on budget systems, and should be enough for pretty much anything you’d care to throw at it. The 500GB hard drive combines a mechanical 5400rpm spinner with 32GB of speedier solid state storage, which isn’t exactly cutting edge but you can upgrade to an SSD of up to 256GB.


TrackMania Nations Forever (average fps, 720p, Medium Detail)


S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Call of Pripyat (average fps, 720p, Medium Detail)


6GB of RAM is pretty generous compared to the 4GB you usually get on budget systems, and should be enough for pretty much anything you’d care to throw at it. The 500GB hard drive combines a mechanical 5400rpm spinner with 32GB of speedier solid state storage, which isn’t exactly cutting edge but you can upgrade to an SSD of up to 256GB.

Unfortunately, our model didn’t come with the dedicated AMD Radeon HD7570M graphics which are an option on most. As you might imagine the integrated Intel HD 4000 chip isn’t up to much in terms of 3D gaming, but the HD7570M should let you play a few more intensive titles, albeit at (very) low detail settings.

Dell Inspiron 14z – Battery Life

Battery life from the Dell Inspiron 14z’s six-cell/44Wh unit is about middle-of-the-road, and frankly we were hoping for better. When comparing to older Ultrabooks on the site, do keep in mind that our new battery test is more demanding, and would equate to over five hours by our old measurements. Still, just over four hours is not impressive by any standard.

Battery (40 percent screen brightness, mixed productivity and web-browsing)

4 hours 5 minutes

Dell Inspiron 14z – Value

£479 is ridiculously cheap for an Ultrabook, even if the Inspiron 14z does only warrant inclusion into this family by a gnat’s whisker. Our previous Ultrabook budget champion, the Acer Aspire S3, comes in at £530 - and though that does net you a 128GB SSD in a slimmer, lighter and more stylish machine, it also means you get no USB 3.0 while the Dell wins hands-down in usability.

Yet another trump card in the Inspiron 14z’s hand is the optional dedicated graphics, which you get from the £579 model upwards along with a Core i5 processor. Then again, if gaming is your thing, the £542 Acer Aspire Timeline U M3 581TG with its GeForce GT640M will serve you better, despite offering a Core i3 rather than i5 for that money.


The Dell Inspiron 14z is not a bad budget laptop, though it doesn’t gel with what we’ve come to expect from the Intel Ultrabook label. It’s not particularly light, its battery life and screen are only average, and its design tries for premium but falls short. However, as an affordable general-purpose work-horse it’s still a nice machine with decent usability, connectivity and performance, and light gamers on a strict budget may want to check out the version with dedicated graphics.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Battery Life 6
  • Design 7
  • Features 7
  • Performance 7
  • Screen Quality 6
  • Value 9


March 31, 2013, 11:57 am

I have been using the dell 14z ultrabook for the past 2 months and think it's about time to give a review. One of the worst features about this ultrabook, and not pointed out, is the utterly horrible quality of the bulit in webcam. I read many reviews complaining how heavy this ultabook is, but honestly the weight isn't a problem for me. It's light enough to carry around where ever I go, very slim too. The graphics are excellent and I really love the island-style keyboard even though there is no back lighting Like any other laptop, you can change the touch pad settings and sensitivity so the touch pad is no biggie. It doesn't heat up like those hp laptops which burn your thighs. In fact, this laptop keeps pretty cool. Of course, this depends on what programs you're running. I usually only use this pc to surf the net, do assignments, watch videos and stuff like that. Once I tried to run XCOM and it heated up really fast. So, yeah, for all those gamers out there, this is most definitely not for you. I hope this review helped:)


August 21, 2013, 8:57 pm

I love this laptop! I got mine about 3 months ago, and totally love it. I agree that the webcam sucks, but so what. It has GREAT battery life, is very light, and does everything I need it to do and more for school. Definitely reccomend! (If you're thinking of getting one, there are student discounts on Dell's website, and also check out some coupon sites for further discounts, I got mine for a steal!!)


October 4, 2013, 6:31 pm

I've had mine for about 2 months now and I hate it! First of all it is not as fast as I expected it to be. As I said it has only been two months but my "escape" button fell out the other day and I had to put it back in. The "inspiron" on the front below the screen has the "n" missing and I have no idea how that happened so this laptop is physically not strong at all, it's poor quality. And it's not at all because I'm careless, I used my previous laptop for 4 years and it still works and in good shape. Yes the webcam really sucks but I don't mind that half as much as when my mouse pointer just freezes for the longest time and I have to sit there and wait for my "ultra-responsive" ultrabook to start working again. Another thing is when it goes into "sleep-mode". Sometimes if I leave it on for a while the screen switches itself off but the on button does not switch it on again like it should when you wake it from a normal sleep mode. The on button stays on (does not flash on and fade off like it does when it's in sleep mode) but the screen is black. Pressing any button on the keyboard doesn't help nor does pressing the on button. The only remedy is to press and hold the on button to switch it off completely and then press again to restart it. And then lastly, my battery capacity, even with such good care is already reduced from about 5 hours initially to 2hr 15 min. I can't believe it! I feel as if I have a second hand laptop. I've been terribly disappointed. I hope Dell will solve all these problems because at the moment I'm not happy at all!


October 21, 2013, 6:28 pm

This is an awful computer! DO NOT BUY. Super slow. About 2 months into owning my 14z, the screen got damaged and needed replacement. Turns out these screens are so poorly designed that Dell has already stopped producing them, which has made it a pain to replace. Computer also freezes up a lot. Not wroth your money, and CERTAINLY not an ultrabook.


October 30, 2013, 6:07 pm

Its a nice laptop i am saying because i used allot of different laptop brands for more then 6 year now i bought Dell inspiron 14z which seems to me a cool one due to it design ,weight and battery life and price as compare to other models in the market .Some people know nothing about laptops they bought a laptop for internet surfing and when Youtube video stop buffering they just stat blaming that this Laptop is a piece of shit.So be careful while reading any such review .
The battery life of this laptop on light use is 3 hours and 40 min almost and with heavy use its 2 hours 30 min appox.

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