A set of hybrid laptops from Dell has been released in the beginning of 2015. One of them is Dell Inspiron 13 i7348-5001SLV, a premium model with 5th generation i7 processor and solid 8GB RAM. The laptop is priced accordingly high, which might make you think if it’s worth the price at all. Well, we’re here to answer that question and more!
If one thing is certain, it’s that Dell Inspiron 13 i7348-5001SLV doesn’t lack in processing power. It has a 5th Gen Intel Core i7-5500U as its CPU. The model has two cores and a clock speed of 2.4GHz, although with turbo feature the frequency is increased to 3.0GHz. It receives a nice 4000 points in CPU Mark tests – common Core i3s get, for example, just around 2500. Also, around 5% performance increase is shown from the previous generation i7-4500 model. All in all, the processor is powerful enough to run daily programs and advanced applications without lagging. A good pick for power users, indeed.
The RAM is maxed at 8GB. I say that because the motherboard has just one memory slot, supporting up to a 8GB chip. It shouldn’t be a problem for such a hybrid model. Multitasking and demanding software run smoothly on eight gigabytes memory, not to mention lightweight applications like web browsers and MS Office.
The Dell contains a 500GB 5400RPM hard drive with 8GB cache. So you’ll get best of the both worlds: a large hard drive and sort-of SSD speed. However, it’s not a true solid-state drive, just cache. If you want the real deal you can always replace the hybrid drive with a dedicated SSD.
Graphics and gaming
Dell Inspiron 13 i7348-5001SLV has a nice glossy screen. To start with, it flips 360 degrees, so laptop and tablet modes are both possible. Obviously, it’s also a touch display. For techies, the 1920×1080 will be a pleasure – Full HD content will play nicely on the display, also screen estate is plenty. Wide viewing angles and good colors should also be present, thanks to a quality IPS (In-Plane Switching) panel.
The laptop has an integrated HD Graphics 5500 card ready to tackle your games. It should be just a bit faster than the older HD 4400 model. Games like League of Legends, Starcraft 2 and World of Tanks are piece of cake for the HD 5500 on low to medium settings. Also demanding titles, like the latest Battlefield Hardline, should average at playable 25PFS on low details.
Dell Inspiron 13 i7348-5001SLV offers three USB connections, not bad for a small hybrid model. Also, two of them are USB 3.0 so you shouldn’t run out of fast ports. There’s also an HDMI output on the left, allowing you to hook up an external monitor or even an HDTV.
Wireless networking is great, thanks to the A/C WiFi + Bluetooth 4.0 adapter. RJ-45 port is non-existent, but you can get an USB adapter if you require cable for Internet.
The model has no optical drive and it’s not possible to put one in. However, you have other excellent options for importing your data: download stuff from Internet, plug in an external DVD drive or use the built-in SD/MMC card slot.
A 720p webcam is found on this Dell, so Skype video works like on any other laptop.
What else to keep in mind?
I have a feeling these hybrid laptops are good for on-the-go people. Dell Inspiron 13 i7348-5001SLV weighs 3.58 pounds, about the same than its 13.3″ competitors. Carrying it around should be convenient. Also, people have been getting a solid 6 hours of use with the 3-cell battery.
The keyboard is backlit but has no numeric pad on the right. None of these smaller models do.
The laptop should come bloatware-free, meaning you don’t have to uninstall those system slowing and battery eating programs yourself.
Dell Inspiron 13 i7348-5001SLV is quite a powerhouse. The i7-5500U processor and 8GB RAM should be enough for casual and power users alike, although the lack of a dedicated SSD might bother some. Of course, swapping the hybrid hard drive for an SSD is a possibility. The display is a high-quality one, allowing professionals to work with accurate colors and techies to enjoy Full HD content. For what the laptop offers, the current price is perhaps a bit high, but if you can catch this Dell on a discount it’s definitely a recommended choice!