Dell Inspiron 14z first look – Dell updates its Inspiron range and adds ultrabook
What is the Dell Inspiron 14z?
Dell has updated its entire popular Inspiron range with the latest Ivy Bridge Intel third generation processors and new styling. But most excitingly they have added this new affordable ultrabook to the team.
Ultrabooks are premium, portable laptops featuring Intel processors. For more information read our guide to what is an ultrabook?
It’s a 14-inch model so it’s not as portable as some of the 13-inch models such as Dell’s premium XPS 13 ultrabook – it is also slightly heavier than most ultrabooks weighing just under 2kg. However, in some ways it is more practical as it has the optical disk drive so many are lacking.
Pricing starts at £479 for the basic version, even cheaper than Sony’s recent T Series ultrabook. We’ll be getting this model into the lab for full testing as soon as it goes on sale. In the meantime you can already see our latest ultrabook reviews to find out which manufacturers have made the Best Buy grade so far.
Find out how the Which? experts rate Dell, and other major laptop manufacturers, in our guide to the best laptop brands.
What is the Dell Inspiron R Special Edition range?
Dell was also launching a new Special Edition range to its Inspiron line. Despite what the name might suggest, it’s not a limited edition but a new premium upgrade on the Inspiron R range. The new models are available in 15 and 17-inch versions.
So how do they differ? Though all have been updated with the latest third generation Intel processors the Special Edition offers a number of extra features and options. For example, the palm rest is aluminium rather than plastic, so the styling is of a higher quality. It also offers options for a HD screen, a matte anti-glare screen and a blu-ray drive.
5 things we like about the new Dell Inspiron range
- The Inspiron 14z It’s great to see manufacturers starting to bring a bit a variety to their ultrabook ranges. Most manufacturers seemed to start with premium models, some of which would set you back over £1,000. They have now realised there’s a market for something less flashy, with the benefits of portability, without resorting to netbook levels of power.
- Anti-glare display This option on the Inspiron R Special Edition is something a Dell representative at the event told me they are ‘testing out’. It’s a great option to have as we know from our matte screen campaign that supply isn’t meeting demand on consumer models.
- Flexibility Like most Dell models these laptops will be available in a number of configurations on their website. As long as you know what you need this is a great option which hopefully means you can just pay out for the features you actually want.
- SSD options A 32GB solid state drive is used to give faster response times and is an option on both the Inspiron 14z and Special Edition Inspiron R ranges.
- The design The more affordable laptop ranges from manufacturers can often look a bit clunky and chunky, and Dell has been guilty of this in the past. The updated Inspiron range strike a nice balance in their styling and manage to pull it off quite nicely in most cases (though don’t get me started on the colour switching lids on the standard Inspiron R range…).
Catherine’s first impressions of the updated Dell Inspiron range
On the whole I was quite impressed. Dell are one of the most owned laptop brands by Which? members and I expect most of them have an Inspiron. They aren’t the flashiest laptops you’ll ever see but that’s not what they’re about. The specifications are solid and I keenly await finding out the pricing of the Special Editions.
The budget ultrabook is the most interesting idea in this range. Dell’s only ultrabook so far – the XPS 13 – will cost you nearly £1,000 so it’s nice to see an option for those of us who don’t have quite that much money to splash. The Inspiron 14z will also suit those who want the disk drive and an ethernet port too – something you don’t find on the slim 13-inch ultrabooks. I was a bit perplexed to see covers on the ports on the left hand side though. This is something Samsung removed from its Series 9 ultrabook after customer feedback and I personally would find it quite annoying.
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