These days the gap in features and design between Dell's mainstream Inspiron laptops and the PC maker's premium XPS series isn't as big as it once was. That's especially true for the Inspiron 14 7000, which is at the top of the line but still carries a more affordable price tag. And Dell does it without cutting out features like ports or full-HD displays.
For example, you can currently get the 14-inch laptop loaded with a 10th-gen Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB of memory, a 512GB SSD for storage and a 1080p-resolution display for $700 -- $300 off its regular price. This configuration is more than enough for everyday productivity tasks, entertainment and basic photo and video editing.
The potential downsides are few with this particular Inspiron. Its 8GB of memory is soldered on and can't be upgraded, and its 10th-gen processor isn't as power-efficient as the newer 11th-gen chips, but you should still get hours of use between charges.
Still, this is a solid setup for the money. And I didn't even mention the port assortment that includes a Thunderbolt 3 USB-C port, an HDMI 2.0 output, an SD card slot and two USB 3.1 ports. Plus there's a fingerprint reader for easy, secure sign-ins.