The Good The Dell Inspiron 15z has a great, slim design for a budget-minded 15-inch touch laptop, and even includes an optical drive.
The Bad It's at the top end of the budget category, and for the same money, there are more-upscale systems available. Low screen resolution looks cartoonish.
The Bottom Line Dell's Inspiron line continues to look sharper than its budget reputation would suggest. The new touch-enabled version of the 15z works as a reasonably priced Windows 8 laptop with a big screen and an optical drive.
A budget-minded 15-incher with touch
The majority of touch-screen Windows 8 laptops seen during the first wave of new hardware for this new operating system have had screens on the small side. There have been plenty of 13-inch laptops and hybrids, and several 11-inch or smaller tablets. What we have not seen as much of is the traditional midsize laptop.
Dell takes a stab at combining touch with Windows 8 and a larger screen in the Inspiron 15z. The "z" designation means this is part of the higher end of Dell's lower-end laptop line (if you can follow that logic). The affordable Inspiron series tacks on the "z" to designs that are slightly thinner and sleeker, while not rising to the level of the more expensive XPS series.
Both the Inspiron z and, to a lesser extent, the regular Inspiron line have made great strides in design in the most recent generation. Laptops such as the, despite an occasional hint of plastic construction, look and feel like more-expensive laptops, and certainly much better than the thick, clunky Inspirons of just a couple of years ago.
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