Budget laptops are experiencing a renaissance. Recent models have been sleeker, faster, và longer lasting than ever — in some cases, rivaling premium laptops.

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If you need some examples, just check out laptops lượt thích the Lenovo Yoga C640, the Lenovo Flex 5 14, and the Acer Swift 3 with Ryzen. From performance khổng lồ design, it’s hard to lớn overstate just how good these laptops have gotten.

I took a look at Dell’s Inspiron 14 5000 to lớn see if it keeps up the trend. My reviews unit came equipped with an intel 10th-generation vi xử lý core i5-1035G1 CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive (SSD), và a 14-inch 1080p display. That configuration of the Inspiron 14 5000 retails for $650, but it’s on sale right now for $580.

That’s a mighty attractive price, but can the Inspiron 14 5000 clear the high bar phối by other recent budget laptops?

Design

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Sometimes, a máy vi tính is made of plastic but doesn’t feel lượt thích it. It’s plenty rigid và exudes a chất lượng feel — the Lenovo Flex 5 14 is a prime example (yes, I’ll mention that laptop throughout this review). Then, there’s the Inspiron 14 5000, a plastic máy tính that looks & feels lượt thích one.

The lid, keyboard deck, & chassis bottom all have way too much flexing and bending going on. A year ago I might have written that off due to the price. Today, the Inspiron just feels cheap. Even opening the hinge gave the impression of cheapness — the hinge is quite stiff, và you need to lớn wrangle it open with two hands. Và yet, the screen still wobbled while using it.


The Inspiron 14 5000 resembles a lot of laptops in this price range.


The Inspiron 14 5000 is also pretty chunky, at 0.83 inches thick and weighing 3.63 pounds. Those measurements are pretty close lớn the Flex 5 14’s 0.82 inches and 3.3 pounds. However, the Flex 5 14 always felt like it had the build unique to justify the extra bulk. The Inspiron 14 5000, on the other hand, just feels lượt thích an old-school budget máy vi tính that’s too large just because the engineering dollars weren’t spent to slim it down.

Acer’s Ryzen-based Swift 3, another 14-inch clamshell laptop, comes in at just 0.63 inches & 2.65 pounds, and it costs just $650. If there really is a new wave of higher quality budget laptops on the way, the Dell doesn’t fit in.

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The Inspiron 14 5000 resembles a lot of laptops in this price range. It sports a silverish chassis, with a few chrome-colored accents here and there. The dark-colored bezels don’t add to the look, và while they’re thin enough on the sides, the massive chin is unsightly.

Once again, the Inspiron 14 5000 comes across like an old-school budget laptop and not one of the newer crop of machines that, in this case, look lượt thích they should cost more money. The Lenovo Yoga C640 and Flex 5 14 are both examples of better-designed budget machines.


Expandability is one advantage the Inspiron 14 5000 has over its competitors.


Expandability is one advantage the Inspiron 14 5000 has over its competitors. You can configure two drives, up to a 2TB hard disk drive (HDD) and up to lớn a 512GB SSD at the same time. That’s a benefit for anyone who has a lot of files lớn carry around.

Dell also took advantage of the larger chassis khổng lồ equip quite a few ports. There are two USB-A 3.1 gen 1 ports, a USB-A 2.0 port, a full-size HDMI port, an Ethernet drop-jaw connector, & a full-size SD card reader. If you opt for the configuration with a discrete GPU, then you also get a USB-C 3.1 port.

Overall, while it lacks Thunderbolt 3, that’s an impressive collection of ports. Wireless connectivity is Wi-Fi 5 & Bluetooth 5.0.

Performance

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The Inspiron 14 5000 uses an hãng sản xuất intel 1oth-gen vi xử lý core i5-1035G1 CPU, a midrange processor in the bộ vi xử lý core line that promises solid quad-core performance. That’s what the Inspiron delivered — good performance that lives up khổng lồ the CPU but nothing that stands out. The challenge for Dell is that two of the other competitors we’ve mentioned, the Flex 5 14 and the Swift 3, use AMD’s Ryzen 4000 processors that make mincemeat of Intel’s offering at this price.

In Geekbench 5, the Inspiron scored 1,169 in the single-core test and 3,197 in the multi-core test. That compares to another máy tính xách tay with the same CPU, the Acer Spin 3, that scored 1,215 and 3,615, respectively. But that’s not the real story, as the Flex 5 14 hit 1,096 và 4,543 and the Swift 3 hit 1,120 and 4,831. Clearly, the AMD chips can leverage their extra cores for significantly better performance, và at the same basic price.

The same held true in our more real-world Handbrake test that converts a 420MB tệp tin to H.265. Here, the Inspiron took just over 4.6 minutes khổng lồ complete the chạy thử compared to lớn the Spin 3 at just over four minutes, meaning that the Inspiron fell behind even its most direct competitor. The Flex 5 14 took just 2.7 minutes và the Swift 3 finished in 2.5 minutes, demonstrating just how much faster the AMD processors are in demanding tasks.

Don’t get me wrong — the Inspiron 14 5000 gets the job done in productivity tasks, web browsing, truyền thông media consumption, and the like. But it faces some stiff competition from laptops like the Flex 5 14 and Swift 3 that leverage AMD’s excellent new silicon.

Display và speakers

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Some budget laptops biến hóa for other deficiencies by equipping a nice display, such as the Yoga C640 that enjoys a display that rivals laptops costing more than twice as much. Alas, that’s not the Inspiron 14 5000 — its display is way behind the curve, demonstrating the kind of low quality that we once assumed we’d see with laptops in this price range. 

To begin with, it suffers from very low brightness, namely 195 nits that is well under our preferred 300 nits & makes a real impact on working on the laptop, viewing images, & watching video. It’s an anti-glare display, and so that helps a little. But as you can see in the photos above, it still comes across as a bit hard lớn read with any significant ambient lighting. The Yoga C640 & Flex 5 14 both hit a more reasonable 242 nits, by means of comparison.


The display is another area where the Inspiron 14 5000 fails khổng lồ impress against some of its competition.


Contrast is low at 720:1, where we lượt thích to see 1,000:1 or more. Granted, not many budget laptops offer anywhere near that cấp độ of contrast. The Yoga C640 was an exception at 1040:1. The Flex 5 14 was more in line with the Inspiron at 770:1.

Color depth was also lacking, at just 64% of sRGB & 48% of AdobeRGB. The Yoga C640 hit 96% of sRGB & 73% of AdobeRGB, a much stronger score, while the Flex 5 14 also was poor at 63% và 47%, respectively. The Inspiron’s màu sắc accuracy was decent at 1.74 (under 1.0 is considered excellent), though.

The Inspiron 14 5000’s display will get you through your productivity tasks without a problem, but you won’t love the experience. Ultimately, it’s another area where the Inspiron 14 5000 fails lớn impress against some of its competition.

The audio was similarly a mixed bag. The speakers offer plenty of volume but a bit of distortion as things got louder. Bass was lacking, and mids & highs weren’t pleasant, making this a disappointing sound system. You’ll undoubtedly want to plug in headphones or use an external công nghệ bluetooth không dây speaker if you’re doing more than watching the occasional YouTube video.

Keyboard và touchpad

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The Inspiron 14 5000 doesn’t equip the excellent keyboard you’ll find on its more expensive XPS line, but instead uses a version with smaller keycaps and less spacing that makes for a bit of a cramped feel. The mechanism is OK, with good travel và a click that’s precise và doesn’t bottom out uncomfortably. If you’re a fast-touch typist, you may not hit your maximum speed with this keyboard, but you won’t be too far off.

The touchpad is equally adequate. It’s a Microsoft Precision touchpad, and so it supports Windows 10’s multitouch gestures reliably, and its surface is comfortable and provides good tactile feedback. There’s no cảm biến display here, which may or may not matter khổng lồ you. I favor laptops with touch displays, but I might be in the minority there.

Windows 10 Hello is provided by a fingerprint reader that’s built into the unmarked power button. I was able to log in quickly and accurately without ever need my pin or password.

Battery life

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Another measure of an old-school budget máy tính xách tay is battery life, which tends khổng lồ be rather poor as the battery capacity is sacrificed in the name of cost. The Inspiron 14 5000 suffers from a paltry 42.5 watt-hours of battery, which is significantly less than the 52.5 watt-hours in the Lenovo Flex 5 14. It’s not a lot of juice for a máy tính with a bộ vi xử lý core CPU và a 14-inch display. My battery tests only affirmed this.

First, in our demanding Basemark website benchmark test, the Inspiron 14 5000 lasted for a paltry hour và a half. That’s a poor score usually relegated khổng lồ gaming laptops that run fast CPUs at full throttle. The Flex 5 14, which we didn’t give high marks for battery life, lasted for almost four hours, và the Yoga C640 made it to over 3.5 hours. Simply put, the Dell isn’t going to last long if you’re pushing the CPU.

Next up was our website browsing test, where the Inspiron scored 4.7 hours. Again, this is a poor result, with the Flex 5 14 lasting eight hours, the Yoga C640 10.5 hours, & the Acer Swift 3 with Ryzen making it khổng lồ just under eight hours. The Inspiron 14 50oo likely won’t make you more than half a day of even light productivity & web browsing tasks.

Finally, we ran our local Full HD movie trailer until the battery ran out, và the Inspiron 14 5000 couldn’t make it lớn six hours. The Flex 5 14 managed 11 hours, the Yoga C640 a (rather bizarre) 23 hours, & the Swift 3 10 hours.

The bottom line is that the Inspiron 14 5000 has inferior battery life that’s disappointing even given the price — & particularly compared to some other recent budget laptops.

Our take

The Dell Inspiron 14 5000 is an old-school budget laptop that cuts corners everywhere, so much so that it’s a little jarring to review it so soon after checking out the Lenovo Flex 5 14 and Yoga C640. The Inspiron’s display is dull, its performance gets trounced by Ryzen 4000 laptops, & its battery life is terrible.

Budget laptops are getting so much better, & the Inspiron 14 5000 has been left behind.

Are there any alternatives?

It’s been obvious from this nhận xét that there are better alternatives than the Inspiron 14 5000. Chief among them is the $600 Lenovo Flex 5 14, which offers a similarly poor display but beats out the Dell in performance, battery life, durability, and overall good looks. Plus, it’s a 2-in-1, which is a nice perk.

You could also opt for the Acer Swift 3, which is another 14-inch clamshell that’s faster và enjoys a better battery life. & it costs the same as the Dell’s retail price & is well worth the $80 premium at the Inspiron’s sale price.

How long will it last?

The Inspiron 14 5000 doesn’t evoke that much confidence in its longevity. Probably it will make it through a few tumbles, but I wouldn’t want to lớn abuse it. The one-year warranty is standard & disappointing, as usual.

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Should you buy it?

No. The Inspiron 14 5000 might have been attractive at its price even a few months ago, but there are many far better budget laptops available today.