Review Of The Dell Inspiron 14 Plus: Plus in Many Aspects
Dell’s Inspiron represents its entry-level to midrange lineup, and it has a chequered history. For instance, the 2022 Inspiron 14 2-in-1, one of the most recent devices we’ve examined, offered a compromised experience because of its subpar display and short battery life. That’s in comparison to earlier iterations that have appeared on our list of the best 2-in-1s and cheap laptops.
The Inspiron is currently in the running for giving some of the best inexpensive laptops thanks to a recent addition from Dell to the line. The Inspiron Plus builds on the strengths of the range and offers improvements to create a system that will appeal to a wider audience. I examined the Inspiron 14 Plus, one of three new Plus models—the other two are 16-inch models. Because of its speedier components and superior display, it is a significantly better choice than the basic Inspiron.
a simple but effective layout
Like many other 14-inch laptops available today, the Inspiron 14 Plus has a similar appearance. It lacks any glitter and has simple angles and a solid dark green color scheme (that appears blue in some lights). It’s a relatively conservative design, with the only variance coming from some vigorous venting. Dell used aluminum in the laptop’s construction, which is sufficient for a price tag of about $1,000. The laptop seems as sturdy as a midrange machine should feel, though there is some small bending in the lid and flexing in the keyboard deck.
Though not the tiniest or most cutting-edge, the laptop’s plastic display bezels are sufficient to allow for a sizeable chassis. It is very thick at 0.75 inches in the back, dropping to 0.64 inches up front, which is more reasonable. At a weight of 3.7 pounds, the Inspiron 14 Plus is also a large 14-inch computer. The additional thickness is required to enable a thermal system that can flow enough air to keep the 45-watt CPU and discrete GPU from overheating, which is a problem for some identically equipped 14-inch laptops that are lighter and thinner.
Like the majority of 14-inch laptops, the Inspiron 14 Plus has a good number of useful connectors. There are two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports, a full-size HDMI 2.0 port, a 3.5mm audio jack, a microSD card reader, and a USB-C port that supports Thunderbolt 4. A proprietary connector handles power, freeing up the USB-C port for communication. Bluetooth 5.2 and Wi-Fi 6E provide modern wireless connectivity.
The keyboard’s layout is conventional, with big keycaps and generous key spacing. The switches have just enough bounce to deliver a precise action while being light and quick. I was able to start typing at full speed right away and didn’t feel tired while completing this review.
Faster, but not as durable
One of a new generation of 14-inch laptops with 45-watt 12th generation Intel CPUs is the Inspiron 14 Plus. It takes a strong processor to fit inside a 14-inch chassis, yet this has happened more frequently than with previous Intel generations. The performance of the Core i7-12700H in my test unit has been inconsistent in 14-inch laptops, but it has been excellent in larger computers.
Unlike to the majority of the other laptops we’ve evaluated, Dell offers a discrete GPU in addition to Intel’s integrated Iris Xe graphics. Although it is an entry-level GPU, the Nvidia RTX 3050 is far faster than Iris Xe, especially when it comes to powering creative programs that may utilize the GPU to accelerate numerous operations.
The end result is a laptop that, for a 14-inch device, offers strong productivity and exceptional creative capability. The chart below shows how the Inspiron 14 Plus fared in comparison to other 14-inch laptops with the same CPU. The HP XPS 15, a larger laptop with greater space for improved thermals, is the only laptop in our comparison group that is faster. The laptop was tested in both balanced and performance modes, which are selectable using the MyDell application. The results of both tests are listed below. In our two CPU-intensive tests, Handbrake and Cinebench R23, the utility performed well.
Examining the Webcam and Audio Features
The webcam’s 1080p (Full HD) quality is a significant improvement these days for a webcam, which have mostly been stuck at 720p for ages. It works well for general video-calling sessions. As said, a discrete slider can be used to conceal the camera. The audio is good, especially since Waves MaxxAudio Pro tuning and an ambient noise reduction function are both present. Both stereo (down-firing) speakers and built-in dual-array microphones are included in the device.
The built-in speakers are competent, despite some distortion at higher volumes, but because the music is better when using a good pair of headphones, my instinct would be to use them only when absolutely necessary. In regard to conference calls, Dell does have an optional Dell Mobile Adapter Speakerphone(Opens in a new window), which may be just what you need.
Its surrounding palm rests and touchpad are covered in Mylar for a smooth feel. Yet, I discovered that even a light touch will cause the touchpad to react. Similar to how mouse travel is short on keyboards, only a light touch is necessary to prevent letter repetition. Yet after getting used to it, I discovered that using the mouse and typing were both really useful.
Intel Wi-Fi 6 2×2 (Gig+) and Intel Wi-Fi 6E are supported by the Inspiron 14. (6GHz). Your router can use either the 2.4GHz or 5GHz channel if it has the “6” designation. The “6E” denotes the system’s ability to access the 6GHz channel, which can transmit more data because to its higher frequency. All of your devices, including the router, must support 6E in order to fully benefit.
Optional Dell Warranties
The normal warranty was already indicated. Beyond that, the Inspiron 14 2-in-1 offers more potential levels. The first option, Dell Premium Support ($49 for a year, up to $199 for four years), uses a technology called SupportAssist to identify hardware and software problems and notify you of them via system alerts and email. After remote diagnostics, you additionally receive onsite support and 24/7 phone access to professionals.
Also, Dell Premium Support Plus ($109 for a year, up to $379 for four years) provides you with access to on-call technicians and repairmen around-the-clock. The Plus plan also includes Accidental Damage Service, which offers system repair or replacement following mishaps that are not otherwise covered by the limited hardware warranty.
The 12th Generation CPUs performed best on the majority of tests, with Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7 and its Core i7-1260P CPU coming out on top. With the exception of one test, where the HP Spectre x360 14 lagged behind the Inspiron 14 on 3DMark’s Time Spy, all three of the computers with Intel 11th Generation processors outperformed the Inspiron 14 in the graphics tests. Only the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 came in second place on three of the gaming tests, where the Lenovo Yoga, with its P-class Core i7-1260P Processor, outperformed the competition. On the Storage and Productivity tests of PCMark 10, the Asus ExpertBook B7 Flip (with its few high-clocked cores) performed the best of all.
Testing for graphics
Two DirectX 12 gaming simulations from UL’s 3DMark are used to test the graphics of Windows PCs: Night Raid (more subdued and appropriate for laptops with integrated graphics) and Time Spy (more demanding, suitable for gaming rigs with discrete GPUs).
Also, we run two tests from the cross-platform GPU benchmark GFXBench 5, which puts a lot of strain on both high-level, game-like image rendering and low-level tasks like texturing. The 1080p Automobile Chase and 1440p Aztec Ruins tests put graphics and compute shaders to the test using hardware tessellation and OpenGL, respectively. These tests are performed offscreen to support multiple display resolutions. The better, the higher the frames per second (fps).
Also Think About This DELL INSPIRON 14 2-IN-1 REVIEW
The Acer Aspire 5 is significantly less expensive and has many of the same features as the Dell Inspiron 15. It starts at $500, has a Full HD screen, and has a respectable battery life, but the Inspiron has a faster eight-core CPU and double the memory, and the CPU is a quad-core model with just 8GB of RAM.
The Dell XPS 13 is unquestionably an improvement over the Inspiron 14, but it comes at a higher price. The Inspiron 14 is outclassed by the 4K OLED screen option on the XPS, but it costs significantly more. But, the whole thing is more upscale and durable thanks to a better keyboard, magnesium alloy case, and better construction all around.
Is it worth almost two times as much? You have the choice. But if you want to handle heavy workloads on the go or watch movies on the go with that stunning OLED screen, I would advise you to give it some thought.