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Dell Inspiron 17 7000 2-in-1 review: It's a flippin' shame

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The Good The Dell Inspiron 17 7000 2-in-1 offers a spacious 17-inch backflipping touchscreen, discrete Nvidia graphics, an accurate touchpad and a face-recognizing camera -- all in a remarkably thin metal frame.

The Bad Poor battery life and fewer features than Dell's 13- and 15-inch hybrid models -- even though this 17-inch version costs hundreds more. The power button, located on the edge, is easy to press by accident.

The Bottom Line This Dell might be the easiest way to carry around a giant touchscreen, but it sacrifices a lot. Dell's slightly smaller, near-identical 15-inch version is less expensive and better equipped for the job.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

6.8 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 7
  • Performance 8
  • Battery 5

Review Sections

Bigger isn't always better. Last month, I reviewed the 13- and 15-inch Dell Inspiron 7000 2-in-1 laptops . They're phenomenal for the price. My takeaway at the time: "The king of budget laptops has arrived."

The thing is, Dell also sells a larger 17-inch version of the same laptop -- only it's not nearly as nice.

inspiron-7000-2-in-1-2016-3936-002.jpg

The 13- and 15-inch Dell Inspiron 7000 2-in-1s are better picks than the 17-inch version.

Josh Miller/CNET

It's not all bad

I don't mean that Dell's 17-inch 360-degree hybrid is a bad laptop. Not at all.

Starting at $899 (£999, not sold in Australia), this Dell Inspiron 17 7000 2-in-1 fits a capable backlit keyboard, responsive touchpad and high-quality 1,920 x 1,080 IPS backflipping touchscreen display into an attractive (if uninspired) aluminum body.

That's already an array of features you won't necessarily find on a laptop under $1,000. My favorite feature, an infrared camera that lets you sign into Windows with your face (it really works!) is hard to find on laptops at all.

Now super-size that screen to 17 inches, add a 10-key numpad for work and a discrete Nvidia GeForce 940MX graphics chip for (limited) play, and one might think you'd have quite the portable PC.

But it's also not great

Unfortunately, that entry-level $899 Dell Inspiron 17 7000 2-in-1 is missing one key thing.

While its smaller $750 siblings come standard with a 256GB solid-state drive, the 17-inch model has to make do with a slow 5,400rpm spinning magnetic hard drive instead. While the hard drive is a lot larger -- 1TB of storage -- it dooms the Dell to slow load times and slow multitasking unless you add an SSD after the fact.

Of course, you can buy that SSD from Dell, but you'll have to spend $1,149 to get a measly 128GB. That's $400 more than Dell charges for its 13- and 15-inch versions, which have a larger SSD to begin with.

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