As our smartphones become more powerful, larger mobile devices like laptops are struggling to remain relevant. Tablets were completely cannibalised by smaller smartphones and even powerful laptops need to justify their existence. Manufacturers are doing their best to ensure that laptops are attractive options. Some PC makers have begun to focus their efforts on Chromebooks which combine the practicality of a laptop with the convenience of smartphone apps. Others are significantly upgrading their entire line-up to focus on specific sets of users and this is the strategy that Dell seems to be opting for.
Dell has refreshed its most important range of Inspiron 15 models by improving design and giving them gaming capabilities. The smaller 13.3-inch models have been designed with productivity on the go in mind. For example, the Inspiron 13 7373 2-in-1 has a 1080p touchscreen display combined with a 360-degree hinge and users can opt for Intel 8th generation Core i5 and i7 processors. This is a review of the higher spec i7 model.
This Inspiron laptop is most certainly a looker. In contrast to its larger brother which is more focused on gaming activities, this laptop is much more business-like. The Inspiron 13 7373 2-in-1 looks just as much at home whether you are using it on your couch or making a presentation in the boardroom. On the left side of the device is the headphone jack, USB Type-A and Type-C ports as well as full sized HDMI and charging ports. On the right side of the device there is an additional full-sized USB port and card reader. Dell is making the assumption you will be using Wi-Fi so there is no Ethernet port.
The keyboard has a good fit and finish and comes with a white backlight with a couple of different illumination levels. It doesn’t flex very much and is quite sturdy. There is more than enough to travel for a comfortable typing experience over long periods of time. The trackpad is both responsive and large, so there is no need to purchase a wireless keyboard and mouse. The screen delivers decent colour reproduction and it is an IPS display which makes it quite bright. Fortunately, you can scale the brightness level so you are always comfortable watching the display regardless of the ambient conditions.
As we said in our introduction the Inspiron 13 7373 2-in-1 is powered by an 8th generation Core i7 processor. This particular model is quad-core and supports Turbo Boost of up to 4 GHz which makes it more than powerful enough to perform resource intensive tasks. It comes with 16GB of DDR4 RAM and you can choose to have an SSD with up to 512GB of storage. The laptop obviously runs on Windows 10 and it comes with an Infrared camera which supports Windows Hello authentication.
The Inspiron 13 7373 2-in-1 main selling point is its 360-degree hinge which allows users to operate it in laptop, tent or stand mode. If you want you can even use it as a tablet, though most people will find it uncomfortable to do so. The fact that it comes with a touchscreen and Windows has become more adept at intuitively switching between modes means that tablet functionality is no longer simply a gimmick and there are actual use cases for it. There is a 3-cell 38WHr battery which delivers more than enough standby time and excellent longevity even when the device is being used for productivity tasks, surfing or streaming.
Dell’s Inspiron range is managing to survive the impending laptop apocalypse by evolving the range into a smarter more focused animal and its strategy is certainly paying off. Inspiron’s are far from cheap machines, especially when compared to Chromebooks. Nevertheless, they do stack up well against rival offerings from the likes of Lenovo’s Yoga range and given their cost, there are very few downers. This is most certainly going to be money well spent.