The lightest model in Dell's line of basic home laptops, the Inspiron E1405 makes a good home or small-business system is portable enough for occasional travel. With the Inspiron E1405, all of the crucial elements are accounted for: you get a comfortable keyboard and touch pad, a decent display, and a very solid collection of basic multimedia features and connections. The base unit starts at approximately $700, and Dell offers a vast array of configuration options for basic Web and e-mail users to more ambitious media users. The Inspiron E1405 has no option for a discrete GPU, however. Gamers and video enthusiasts should look to a higher-end configuration of the Inspiron E1505, which offers a similar set of features, though with a slightly larger display, a bulkier profile, and higher-end component options. If you're looking for significantly more screen and an even beefier set of components, check out the Inspiron E1705. HP also makes two systems, the Pavilion dv5000 and the Compaq Presario V5000, which offer comparable feature sets, weigh about the same, and often start at lower price points (depending on promotions and coupons).
Measuring about 13 inches wide, 9.75 inches deep, and 1.5 inches thick and weighing about 5.9 pounds (or 6.7 pounds, with its lightweight AC power brick), the Inspiron E1505 is just barely light enough for regular travel, toeing the line between thin-and-light and midsize.
The Inspiron E1405's 14.1-inch wide-screen display can be configured with one of two native resolutions: WXGA (1,280x800) or the finer WXGA+ (1,440x900); the WXGA+ screen features Dell's glossy TrueLife finish, which makes the display look brighter but also gives off a distracting glare in sunny or well-lit environments.
For more detail about the Inspiron E1405's performance and configuration options as well as an in-depth description of its overall design, feature set, and warranty, check out our review of the virtually identical Inspiron E1505.