CNET First Look
The Dell Inspiron 14zThe Dell Inspiron 14z is lighter and thinner than the Inspiron R, while still being an all-around budget laptop. Could it be the perfect budget back-to-school pick?
Hi, I'm Scott Stein, Senior Editor at cnet.com and this is the Dell Inspiron 14z. Now, in the year of seemingly of thin laptops everywhere, the MacBook Air, the Samsung Series 9, may be it's no surprise that Dell has slimmed down their popular mainstream Inspiron laptop. There's a budget line and they've created the 14z. There have been these thin Inspiron laptops before and they've used the Z monitor a lot for these thin down laptops. In fact, we reviewed the XPS 15z just a short while ago. This laptop starts at $599 which is very affordable which gets you a Core i3 processor, 500-gigabyte hard drive, and 4 gigs of RAM. It goes up to a maximum of $799 on the preset configurations. Of course, you can add all sorts of features that can drive the price a lot higher than that. This one has 8 gigs of RAM and a Core i5 processor and it's got some pretty good specs although mainstream and that Core i5 you can find now in a lot of other 13-inch and 14-inch laptops. This laptop does have a pair of high speed USB 3.0 ports. In addition, they're still keeping a tray-loading DVD burner despite its being thinner and really what you're getting for that thinner is size is something that's more like what you'd expect to be a regular laptop. The Inspiron are was pretty thick for a laptop and this one kind of fits into that thinner range that-- that matches what you'd seen on a MacBook Pro. Its profiles not gonna be like a MacBook Air, so put all those hopes aside. The battery life is good though. We got about 6 hours out of it. So, it's a very strong battery life, nice performance, good-looking screen, the speaker sounded loud, and, you know, for-- for that $599 to $799 range, when you get the good solid keyboard, the trackpad is okay. It adds up to a pretty nice laptop but nothing surprising. If you're shopping for back to school or you want some sort of budget range laptop and you're thinking about Dell, make sure you take a look at this. This is probably the best Inspiron that's out there. I'm Scott Stein and this is a look at the Dell Inspiron 14z.