Dell Inspiron 13 i7348-4286SLV Review

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March 1, 2015
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Dell Inspiron 13 i7348-4286SLV is a convertible laptop with the latest Core i5 processor and 8GB system memory. Its priced quite high, scaring off the budget hunters, but surely some people will find use for its features and fast performance. Let’s see who those people might be.

Performance

Intel has recently released a new generation of processors. One of them, Intel Core i5-5200U, has found its way to this Dell. The dual-core CPU is clocked at 2.2 – 2.7GHz depending if turbo boost is activated. These specs alone don’t make it different from older Core i5 models, although CPU Mark performance tests suggest its one of the faster Core i5 processors at the moment. A good choice for casual and power users like, I’d say.

Dell Inspiron 13 i7348-4286SLV contains only one SODIMM slot on the mainboard and a 8GB DDR3L memory chip occupies that. You can’t upgrade the memory, but I don’t see this as a problem because eight gigabytes is a lot to work with.

Strangely, the hard drive is only 500GB big. This size is often seen in much cheaper notebooks while these expensive models boast a gigabyte drive. Either way, 500GB is not that small, being able to hold tens of thousands of photos and music files. But it’s not a fast drive, at 5400 revolutions per minute you’ll get much slower system and software start up times than you’d get with a solid state drive. Rest assured you can of course remove the hard drive and put an SSD in.

Operating system in this computer is Windows 8.1, the 64-bit version.

Display and graphics

Dell Inspiron 13 i7348-4286SLV is a small laptop. The screen is 13.3″ diagonal, good if you’re a road warrior. Also remember it’s a convertible touchscreen, so the display turns further than a normal laptop would. The operating angle seems to be full 360 degrees so you can indeed use this notebook as a (heavy) tablet as well. What is more, the resolution is 1920×1080 so Full HD video can be enjoyed on it.

For gamers, this Dell may work alright. But you should keep settings low or medium with many titles. The Intel HD 5500 is a new graphics unit, yes, but it’s not a very powerful one, being a bit above Intel HD 4400 in performance. For example, Battlefield 4 should get ~30 FPS with some eye candy on. Less fancy games like Minecraft would get 50+ frames per second.

Connections

Dell Inspiron 13 i7348-4286SLV includes three USB ports, of which one is USB 3.0. There’s also the obligatory HDMI output for HDTVs and PC displays.

One thing the laptop is missing is RJ-45 port, so you can’t get wired Internet access without an USB adapter. Of course, wireless support is excellent with an 802.11 AC WiFi + Bluetooth 4.0 card.

No optical drive is there either, working with discs must happen with an external drive. The SD/MMC media card reader can be used too if you’re happy with those memory cards.

There’s a webcam installed on the laptop, featuring 0.92MP still image and 1280×720 at 30fps for video.

Something else?

Dell Inspiron 13 i7348-4286SLV can indeed be recommended for on-the-go computing due to its small physical size. The weight is just 3.7 lbs which is almost 2 pounds less than common 15.6 laptops. The 3-cell battery will probably give power for three or four hours.

Being an expensive model, the Dell has a backlit keyboard. There’s no numeric keypad but it never happens on this size anyway.

Summing it up

The performance and premium features of Dell Inspiron 13 i7348-4286SLV can be appreciated by many power users. The new Core i5 processor and updated graphics are probably pleasant to work with, giving solid base for complex applications and some gaming too. Full HD display and backlit keyboard are excellent things to have. The 360 degrees turning screen makes the notebook more useful, essentially giving you an option to use it as a laptop. However, the Dell isn’t a cheap model, but considering everything it offers I’d say the price is justified.


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