Dell is one of the most reliable and consistent PC manufacturers out there who also makes top-quality Chromebooks. We have the Latitude Chromebook 7410 to vouch for that statement, which is no lesser than a $1300 beast. Scaling down the price category a little, the US-based company has come out with another promising machine with interesting specifications and a mid-running $629 price tag.
The Chromebook under the guillotine today is the Dell Inspiron 14 3000 advertised to have a “design that outshines.” There are several other highlights of this device that we’ll be getting to in this review article, so keep on reading to decide whether this Chromebook is for you.
This article will discuss the major strengths and weaknesses of the Dell Inspiron 14 and how it measures up in its price bracket. This is an area where we have the likes of the Google Pixelbook Go, and that Chromebook is pure magic from top to bottom. Therefore, the Inspiron 14 has to pack some bells and whistles to recommend this device to you. Without any further chit-chat then, let’s jump straight into the review with the technical specifications.
Dell Inspiron Chromebook 14 specifications
- CPU: 8th Generation Intel Core i3-8130U processor
- Display: 14″ Diagonal FHD (1920 x 1080) 16:9 IPS Display
- Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620
- RAM: 4 GB
- Hard drive size: 128 GB eMMC SSD
- Camera: 720p HD webcam
- Ports: x2 3.1 USB-C, 3.1 Gen 1 USB-A, 3.5mm headphone jack, microSD card reader slot
- Battery: 4-cell, Li-ion
- Charging time: 50% in 50 minutes, 10 hrs runtime
- Weight: 3.99 lbs (1.8 kg)
- Price: $629
Dell Inspiron Chromebook 14 in-depth review
The Dell Inspiron Chromebook 14 is a first-rate Chromebook when it comes to the quality of its build. It looks and feels no less than a $1000+ device, and the sleek aluminum top and bottom lid further testify to the premium-grade body of this Chromebook. The design looks highly polished and refined, and you won’t have any complaints regarding the looks of the Inspiron 14. Customers who have bought it remark that the device is built like a tank – insanely durable and made to survive drops with terrific impact resistance. If we were to compare this with the HP Chromebook x360 that costs well over $800, our Dell-built beauty flies past the latter without breaking a sweat in terms of durability and endurance. However, the Inspiron 14 is fairly heavy, weighing just about 4 pounds, and taking a good hit in the portability area. The weight is going to kick in from time to time, and you’ll have to do with it nonetheless. However, compensation is offered in the device’s bezels for portability, offering more screen size and sporting a nano-edge look.
Speaking of which, we’ve shed some light on the screen of the Inspiron 14, and the device has us quite impressed. We’re talking about a 14-inch Diagonal FHD (1920 x 1080) 16:9 screen with an IPS display that boasts sharp, vibrant, and rich colors. The panel on this device performs exceptionally well, and the 1080p resolution works out quite profoundly for this 14-inch Chromebook. One persistent issue that many anticipated names fail to address is the screen brightness, maxing out to about 250 nits and attributing to a disappointing display on a sunny day outdoors. The Inspiron 14, on the other hand, is a completely different and successful story that has a 300-nit screen brightness that’s able to perform actively in a diversity of settings. With a price tag of about $600, there are simply no complaints concerning the screen of the Inspiron 14. The slim and thin bezels lend the Chromebook a slick look, so you get a dashing device with a brilliant screen, all in a single package.
Coming down to the keyboard of the Dell Inspiron Chromebook 14, it would be pointless to expect a mind-blowing experience. The device’s keyboard is just okay, and definitely not on the level of something like the ASUS Chromebook CX5. It boasts a fair amount of key travel, but the click mechanism is where the trouble is. You might get missed keystrokes from time to time since the feedback isn’t that great. The plus point is that you get LED illumination with this keyboard, which is nothing but a sigh of relief. Many Chromebooks with a $600+ price tag do not have backlighting, but not the Inspiron 14. Continuing to the trackpad, the scene here is quite similar. It’s not made out of glass, but it doesn’t feel cheap. The click mechanism is a bit better on this component here, but there’s no oil or smudge resistance, as that sort of stuff will start to build up over time, and you’ll have to keep it regularly cleaned. Nonetheless, the keyboard and trackpad duo aren’t the best on this Chromebook, but they will suffice.
Next up is the I/O, and the Inspiron 14 is generous in this regard. You’ve got two 3.1 USB-C ports, a single USB-A 3.1 Gen 1 port, a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, and a microSD card reader slot to expand your storage. Another benefit of buying this Chromebook is the set of high-quality speakers you get on the device. They sound rich with a decent level of loudness. Being downward-firing, one wouldn’t normally expect the speakers to be this good, but Dell has managed to surprise consumers, and this amazement is more than welcome.
One more feature that aligns perfectly with the Inspiron 14’s 2-in-1 form factor is an included USI stylus that even has its own stow located at the bottom lid of the Chromebook. The EMR stylus works exceptionally well when you use it in tablet mode to draw and do whatever your imagination allows you to. This is a truly nifty addition that further enhances the value of the Inspiron 14.
The Dell Inspiron Chromebook 14 is a beast when it boils down to performance. No matter if you try to play games on it by downloading Steam or using powerful software with Linux, this thing is going to blow you away with its speed. It comprises an 8th Gen Core i3-8130U processor capable enough to run everything that Chrome OS stands for with full effect. Multi-tasking will be a breeze for the Inspiron 14 since no amount of opened Chrome tabs or Play Store applications will slow this device down. The rest of the specs you get are 4 GBs of RAM and 128 GBs of eMMC flash storage. The RAM might put some people off, but take it from us. The processor and this internal memory are going to nail your every performance-related requirement from this Chromebook, thereby eliminating the need to ask for more horsepower.
Dell only has one configuration of the Inspiron Chromebook 14 up for grabs, and it’s the one we’re writing about in this article. It’s effortless to recommend this machine based on its performance alone, but there is a bevy of other plus points that make the Inspiron 14 a stellar all-in-one package.
3. Battery life
The Dell Inspiron Chromebook 14 doesn’t have anything to write home about in terms of battery life. It lasts about 10 hours on a full charge, and anywhere between 8-10 hours is nothing out of the ordinary for Chromebooks. We did expect the device to last for about 11 hours, but one can’t have everything, can they?
There’s a 3-cell, Li-ion battery inside the Inspiron 14 that charges 50% in somewhere around 40-50 minutes. That is to say, a 100% charge will take you around one and a half hours.
4. Final thoughts
The Dell Inspiron Chromebook 14 has managed to redeem itself at the end of the day. It does pack all the bells and whistles as we intended it to and delivers one of the best Chrome OS experiences to date. It has been put together well with the robust build quality, and there’s just so much to like about this Chromebook. You’ve got a sleek display with minimal bezels, insane performance, fairly decent I/O, and a great set of speakers – all for a price of $629. You can buy this Chromebook from Amazon right now, but do look out for price drops and discounts on other platforms in the hope of nabbing a good deal. In summary, the Inspiron 14 is a sensational Chromebook that does everything with charm and magnificence and does not let its owners down, period.