There are a lot of people who are not happy with budget laptops. And the simple reason is, those cheaper computers often lack in performance. In this case, a faster notebook like Dell Inspiron 13 i7348-7143SLV might be needed. The Dell in question offers solid components under the hood, for example i7 processor, 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD. The 13.3″ 360 degree display makes the unit small, perhaps good for traveling. But are there other good things in this laptop, and more importantly, what are its disadvantages? We’ll answer that below…
Dell Inspiron 13 i7348-7143SLV does not suffer from bad performance. Its Core i7-5500U processor belongs to the Intel’s flagship line of CPUs, boasting a dual-core design, 2.4GHz clock speed and 3.0GHz max turbo frequency. It gets around 4000 points in CPU Mark tests, in comparison the step down i5-5200U gets ~3500. Core i7s are indeed the fastest processors Intel manufactures, although this particular model is a low voltage one so it doesn’t reach the ridiculously high performance than regular chips such as i7-4720HQ do. Anyway, there’s enough oomph in i7-5500U to easily handle all the more demanding software, we’re speaking about programs like Photoshop, Adobe Premiere and Eclipse here.
Being a small laptop, this Dell has just one memory slot. It’s filled with a 8GB DDR3L 1600MHz stick. That’s also the maximum, so going above 8 gigabytes is not possible. But for many that would not be necessary, 8GB is the amount that usually suffices for power users, too.
Dell Inspiron 13 i7348-7143SLV features a 256GB solid-state drive – just like a compact ultrabook should. Such a drive will make the system respond fast and load programs quicker compared to older hard drives. Likewise, Windows 8.1 boot up time will be less than 10 seconds. The drive can also be changed if you want, it’s a 2.5″ unit connecting to SATA 3 Gbps interface.
Screen and graphics
I have no reason to doubt people saying the screen is great and touchscreen is responsive. The notebook has a 13.3″ touch display with excellent Full HD support. For this price, 1920×1080 is the way to go. Its specialty is the 360 degrees turning hinge, which essentially means you can use the Dell as a normal laptop and also as a tablet. In another words, this unit is a modern 2-in-1 device.
These ultrabooks/convertible notebooks are not known for great gaming performance. That is because they don’t include a great graphics card. In Dell Inspiron 13 i7348-7143SLV, the “card” is called Intel HD 5500 which is in fact a processor-integrated chip. Good news is that most games will be playable on it, but a lot of them require much eye candy turned off. GTA 5, for example, would get ~20FPS if you played on medium details and 1366×768. Less graphics intense games, like World of Warcraft, Minecraft or games running on Steam would do a lot better.
Dell Inspiron 13 i7348-7143SLV includes three USB ports, two of them are USB 3.0. You might also plug in your television or desktop monitor to the laptop’s full-size HDMI output.
Connecting Internet happens with the 802.11 A/C Wireless + Bluetooth 4.0 adapter. The unit has no RJ-45 port, but friends of cable can still get a cheap USB to LAN adapter.
Unsurprisingly, there’s no optical drive in such a small notebook. The solution would be to attach an external DVD drive. Another idea, if you have data on media cards, is to use the laptop’s SD/MMC card slot.
There’s a 0.92MP webcam installed on this Dell, making sure you can have video chat sessions on Skype.
Something else to keep in mind?
Dell Inspiron 13 i7348-7143SLV is excellent for the road warriors. It weighs 3.7 pounds and has a thickness of mere 0.75 inches. Also the 3-cell 43Whr battery is decent, lasting around 5-6 hours web surfing.
The keyboard is backlit and has no 10-key pad on the right – they never do on this small laptops.
Dell Inspiron 13 i7348-7143SLV is first and foremost a power user’s notebook. It has plenty of performance thanks to the newest generation i7 processor, ample 8GB memory and a solid-state drive. Pretty much any program runs smoothly on such a set up, although the lack of a dedicated graphics card makes the notebook less suitable for gaming – however most titles still work here, you just need to play with less eye candy on. Connectivity is typical for a 13.3″ notebook, there are two USB 3.0 and AC WiFi for you to use. In a nutshell, if it’s a fast but small laptop you want, this kind of Dell might be something to think about.