It’s a prosperous era for convertible laptops, but good old traditional notebooks are still holding strong. Such is Dell Inspiron i5448-7000sLV, a compact 14″ notebook with silver-black finish and a 5th generation Core i5 CPU. Dell is a trusted brand, but does it really make sense to get this kind of laptop anymore? Well, let’s try to find that out here…
The Intel Core i5-5200U isn’t a bad processor at all. There are two logical cores in it with a clock speed of 2.2GHz. The CPU also features a 2.7GHz turbo speed, although due to its low-voltage design the processor won’t reach similar performance levels than regular Core i5s. Indeed, CPU Mark gives this unit ~3500 points and regular i5s reach around 1000 more than that. Still, any Core i5 is adequate for a modern laptop where some heavier software (multitasking, light image editing etc.) is required to run without the system bogging down.
For memory Dell Inspiron i5448-7000sLV has two 4GB dual-channel DDR3L 1600MHz chips installed. They eat up the both slots on the mainboard, but you can always remove them and put bigger sticks in. The maximum configuration this Dell supports is 16GB (= two 8GB sticks).
The hard drive is a spacious terabyte model with 5400RPM speed. It’s plugged in to a SATA 6 Gbps interface. I know many people gladly operate an SSD-based laptop rather than a hard drive one, and luckily installing a solid-state drive is possible here too. Any 2.5″ SSD should go in, but there’s no space for two drives so you have to choose between hard drive and solid-state drive.
Screen and graphics
The 14″ LED-backlit display features 1366×768 resolution, not a disappointment but for this price you sometimes get a Full HD. The panel type looks like IPS. Refresh rate is 60hz. Touch is supported, however bear in mind the screen won’t flip more than 135 degrees – so Dell Inspiron i5448-7000sLV won’t work as a tablet.
As you can probably guess, this laptop doesn’t have fancy dedicated graphics. If it had it’d be prominently advertised. The graphics engine is an integrated Intel HD 5500 which is good for browser based games and many Steam and pre-2014 titles. For heavy games it works quite poorly, for example GTA V would have around 25 frames per second on medium settings and 1366×768 resolution.
Dell Inspiron i5448-7000sLV contains three USB ports. Two are USB 3.0 while one is USB 2.0. You’ll also find HDMI out on the right hand side, hook up a desktop monitor or HD television to that.
To access Internet you can use AC WiFi + Bluetooth 4.0 card or 100Mbps RJ-45 port.
This model has no optical drive, so in order to use CDs and DVDs you must get an external drive. You can still use the notebook’s built-in SD/MS card reader to transfer some files from mobile devices.
The laptop features a 720p HD webcam that can be used for Skype video meetings.
Dell Inspiron i5448-7000sLV weighs 5.25 pounds, the same than bigger 15.6″ notebooks often do. Thus, I wouldn’t call it too lightweight. However, when talking about overall portability, it’s the screen size that often matters the most. And in this laptop it’s indeed the smaller 14 inches.
The unit includes a 4-cell 43Whr battery. It will work for ~4 hours non-taxing use.
Keys are illuminated in this model. A 10-key pad is available on the right hand side which is very rare for a 14-incher.
There are some good reasons to get Dell Inspiron i5448-7000sLV. For example, if you want a (rather) portable notebook for on-the-go computing. The 14″ size should make the unit decent for traveling, and under the hood there’s enough oomph to keep most software and several games (on low details) running. Even some premium features have found their way to the laptop, such as A/C WiFi and backlit keyboard, but sadly Full HD is missing. For the current price I would call this Dell a decent buy for folks after a compact, packed-with-power notebook.