More than just dependable

14 Jan 2019 / 11:59 H.

PERHAPS I am a traditionalist but when it comes to laptops, no matter how hard PC makers push their device’s ability to turn into a slab, a tent, or a propped-up display, it always feels impractical.

What I want is a PC that I can comfortably lug around, run the latest productivity suite, feels speedy on the internet, plays videos well, has enough muscle to handle some games, has a reasonable battery life – and can do all this with a price tag that is no more than a flagship smartphone.

So, when the new Inspiron 14 5000 2-in-1 (5482) landed on my lap, it seems to have ticked all the right checkboxes, and a few more I didn’t know I wanted. However, there are a few little caveats.

This new Inspiron, which I am going to refer to as Inspiron 14, is the latest two-in-one offering from Dell. For those who are unfamiliar, the Inspiron name is synonymous with Dell’s no-nonsense, practical, and productive-centric line of devices.

Because of Inspiron’s design language, the look of the Inspiron 14 is clean, plain, and unremarkable. In other words, it looks like your generic over-the-counter laptop. This also makes it the perfect canvas for stickers.

I had no problems with its weight. I would not call it light, but it is not cumbersome either. It is first and foremost a laptop. There is a heft and a bulk to it that is usually absent on premium convertible laptops.

Nevertheless, thanks to its size, the Inspiron 14 offers three full-sized USB ports, a built-in SD card reader, an HDMI port, a USB type-C port, and an audio port, in addition to the power port. You will not find this many useful ports in a more expensive and thinner laptop with the same form factor.

Using the Inspiron 14 as my everyday workhorse was an enjoyable experience. I preferred it to my work desktop PC. I often substitute the touchpad for a wireless mouse to complement the excellent keyboard.

The keyboard on the Inspiron 14 is one of the best I have had the pleasure to use. It continues Dell’s legacy of excellent keyboards on its portable devices.

Though not a premium device, it is more than good enough to hammer out a few stories with.

Using the Inspiron 14 to watch videos gave a mixed experience. Because of its form, I just kept it in laptop mode on my work table instead of propping it up on my chest while I lie in bed. It doesn’t feel at home in any other mode, and I didn’t mind it.

The 14in full high-definition touchscreen display is the standard affair, but the speakers are notably clear and moderately loud.

A loud speaker may be useful for a teleconference with multiple people, but a nicely tuned set of speakers is far more enjoyable for entertainment.

Because the Inspiron 14 is a Dell, it comes in a variety of configurations. Prices start at RM2,918.99.

If you are keen on the specifications, it is best that you visit Dell’s website and browse its latest offerings for yourself.

When it comes to games, the Inspiron 14 is good enough for the casual gamer.

At the highest configuration, it gains some muscle with a dedicated graphics card – an Nvidia GeForce MX130 with 2GB GDDR5 graphics memory.

Personally, I am a Dell fan. Despite what anyone says, I will get the Inspiron 14 and add on the best warranty and support package I can afford. It could get expensive, but Dell’s support is a life saver and has saved me a lot of money and grief in the long run.

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