Summary

Our Score

7/10

Review Price to be confirmed

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.

Gaming
TrackMania Nations Forever (average fps, 720p, Medium Detail)
46.3

S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Call of Pripyat (average fps, 720p, Medium Detail)
26.5


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.

Verdict


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.

Scores In Detail

Battery Life
6/10
Design
7/10
Features
7/10
Performance
7/10
Screen Quality
6/10
Value
9/10

Our Score

7/10
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