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Dell revamps Inspiron line with 4K resolutions and Broadwell CPUs

Dell's value laptop line has been spruced up with plenty of premium options.

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The Dell Inspiron 15 7000. Dell

LAS VEGAS -- Dell's latest Inspiron offerings aim to shake up the value line's image, packing (optional) premium offerings into otherwise humdrum shells. The Insprion 15 5000 and 7000 series run on Intel's new 5000 series CPUs -- codenamed "Broadwell" -- as well as discrete graphics options.

You'll be forgiven if you've generally overlooked Inspiron machines: these budget boxes generally don't offer much beyond the bare essentials, at cut-rate prices. But Intel's Broadwell CPUs should offer compelling performance -- and value -- in thinner profiles. Dell also claims that the machines will be able to eke out up to 8 hours of battery life, depending on your configuration.

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The Inspiron 15 7000. Dell

Let's start with the higher end Inspiron 15 7000. It starts at $1,100, which gets you a 2.7GHz Core i5-5200U processor on a 15-inch 1366 by 768 resolution display, Intel Integrated graphics, and up to 1TB of hard drive space, or 500GB of hard drive space coupled with an 8GB hybrid hard drive. The machines can be configured to up to a 3GHz Core i7-5500U CPU, a discrete AMD Radeon GPU, a 4K display and a 512GB SSD. UK and Australian prices weren't announced, but $1,100 converts to around £725 or AU$1,355.

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The Inspiron 15 5000 Dell

The Inspiron 15 5000 series offers fewer options, but starts at $750. If you're keen on spending a bit more, that model can be configured with up to a Core i7-5500U CPU and a discrete Nvidia GeForce GPU, up to a 17-inch 1080p resolution display, a touchscreen, and a 1TB hard drive. Again, UK and Australian prices weren't revealed, but $750 converts to roughly £495 or AU$920.

The 4K resolution offered on the 7000 series promises to be an eye-catcher, but the 5000 series will offer an optional Intel RealSense 3D camera that aims to serve up gesture control, for an immersive interactive experience. Intel's depth-scanning camera technology has been in the works for years, and we've seen it most recently on the Dell Venue 8 7000 series tablet and the Acer V17 Nitro .

The technology promises to let us interact with objects on our screens using hand gestures, or even scan physical objects into 3D files for use in 3D printing and the like. We'll need to spend some hands-on time with the technology to see how well those claims hold up in the real world.

Dell will also be offering a special edition of its Inspiron 13 7000 series 2-in-1 laptops in the US this March, exclusively at Best Buy. It'll be sporting a new curved look with metal accents, but offers the same 360-degree hinged-design made popular by the Lenovo Yoga series .

There'll be plenty more from Dell here at CES, so be sure to check back for more updates!