Review of the NEWEST (Late 2016) Dell Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1s

A week after the announcement of the newest MacBook Pros, I’ve decided to review my daily laptop, the new Dell Inpiron 2-in-1. At Computex 2016 back in June, Dell announced this laptop and I must say that they have finally caught up to the competition. Aside from welcome hardware upgrades, I was very excited about the addition of a USB-C port. So I picked one up shortly after Dell Canada put a nice $200 discount on them and here is my review after using it for a couple months!

THE GOOD

  • New USB Type-C port for power and connectivity
  • New aluminum casing is very nice, feels more premium than older versions with a more solid feel
  • New Intel Realsense cameras are fun but I haven’t found much practical use for it other than facial recognition to log in.

THE BAD

  • They stopped including a stylus in the box and a convenient storage in the casing of the laptop for the stylus
  • The trackpad is what you expect at the price point. It’s not very big and the clicking gets annoying although you can just tap

My thoughts so far…

Although I was cheesed that the laptop did not come with a stylus out of the box like the older models, I must say, it doesn’t bother me. I prefer to draw designs by hand anyway so I have used the touchscreen very little and would not miss it. If you do not need to draw on your laptop, then forget about the stylus… you don’t need it and it wouldn’t be a digitizer like the Microsoft Surface laptops anyway!

I have yet to use the new USB-C port. I think this feature was more to make it future-proof but I think USB-C still has a long way to go before it becomes the new norm. Regardless, it’s there and I’m sure it would be useful to those who need it (I also haven’t needed to buy an adapter because my laptop has an HDMI port and 2 USB3 ports unlike some other laptops previously mentioned!)

Speaking of features I haven’t used, I also haven’t used the multi-mode hinge since I bought the laptop and was playing around with it. I feel like I still use a laptop like it was used when they were first invented. The touchscreen and 2-in-1 features seem more like gimmicks to me. I just use it for writing and design on the go and I’m happy having a keyboard with a nice screen that I can carry around without breaking my back.

Now, where it counts… I have felt slight drops in performance when doing heavy design work. This laptop comes with a 6th gen Intel Core i7 6500U processor which is great. I think the drop in performance was due to the 8GB of ram. It has been rare so I don’t think the work that I do warrants an upgrade to 16GB of ram but that would be necessary for power users.

Finally, my biggest pain throughout these months was getting the screen to work well with Windows 10. I don’t know if its the laptop or the software but text just doesn’t seem crisp on the screen. This may be in part due to Windows recommending that I zoom text and apps by 150% (which I have to do because if I change it to 100% some text and UI elements get very small). There is also a new feature called ClearType which is supposed to help customize text to look more crisp to an individuals preference. I played around with it but have since turned it off because I gave up tweaking it.

Overall Recommendation

This laptop is definitely something to consider. Dell has come a long way and if you can get the laptop on sale (which happens quite often), the specs and build quality are very high for its price point and compared to what else is out there. If you want a better screen and even better build quality, I would opt to spend more and get yourself the Dell XPS 13 but this is a great cheaper alternative. Keep in mind that the hardware on these computers doesn’t quite integrate with Windows 10 as well as something like the MacBook’s internals integrate with MacOS but it is an easy compromise to save money and still have a very capable computer. Good luck on your next laptop purchase!

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