Dell's mid-priced Inspiron all-in-ones get an overhaul inside and out in time for the back-to-school shopping season, including the addition of a new 27-inch model. Formerly relegated to its budget 3000 series, the 5000 and 7000 now come with the new 2017 AMD Ryzen CPU or A12-series APUs and Radeon RX500-series discrete graphics options, which allows Dell to introduce them at lower prices than its current Intel-based alternatives. (AMD's APU, or Accelerated Processing Unit, is its CPU plus integrated graphics processing solution.)
The Inspiron 24 5000 will start at $700, while the Inspiron 27 7000 will start at $1,000. Both should be available now. I don't have price or availability for Australia and the UK, but those directly convert to £545/£780 and AU$940/AU$1,345.
On one hand, the new design looks a little more premium than the existing models, with a new thin-bezel display, though it's slightly deeper than the older Intel models; it's possible that was necessary to accommodate a larger AMD package or the new dual-drive options, one of the drawbacks of putting the guts of the system in the display. It does get updated USB ports, including a USB-C.
But I'm not sure the other changes will be crowd pleasers. While the webcam is still optional, Dell has moved it to the speaker section in the bottom of the display, where it's unusable for anything except photographing objects in front of it. I can sort of understand it in the convertible laptops where you can flip them into a tent position, putting the camera at the top. But I don't know how you're supposed to get your face in front of it on a fixed display, especially to use the newly supported Windows Hello face-recognition based login.
Dell also removed the optical drive which pops out of the side of the display on the 2016 models, instead making it an external option. That also allows the company to slice a bit from the cost of the system. It took away one of the USB connectors on the side of the display and moved all the connectors from the easily reachable spot on the back side to a harder-to-reach location -- on the sides of the stand. The plus is that it does let you gather the cables through the center of the stand for a tidier look.
The 27-inch model, which has the same design -- strengths and weaknesses, as well -- has room to include a subwoofer in it for better sound and can accommodate the higher-end Ryzen 7 processor and Radeon RX580 GPU. It needs those to effectively drive the monitor if you opt for the 4K UHD upgrade over the HD, but those specs should make it a credible budget gaming system and possibly good for entry VR. At launch, though, there won't be a touchscreen option.
|Inspiron 24 5000 (5475)||Inspiron 27 7000 (7775)|
|Display||23.8-inch 1,920 x1080 IPS display; touch and nontouch options||27-inch IPS; 1,920x1080 (250 nits) or 4K UHD (350 nits) options|
|Processor||Up to AMD A12-9800E APU||Up to AMD Ryzen 7 1700 APU|
|Memory||Up to 32GB 2.4GHz DDR4 (2 slots)||Up to 32GB 2.4GHz DDR4 (2 slots)|
|GPU||AMD Radeon RX560 (4GB DDR5)||AMD Radeon RX580 (8GB GDDR5) or AMD Radeon RX560 (4GB DDR5)|
|Storage||Up to 1x1TB 7200rpm HDD; up to 256GB SSD + 1TB 5400rpm HDD||Any combination of up to 1x256GB SSD + 1TB 5400rpm HDD; up to 2x2TB 7200rpm HDD; DVD-RW drive; SD card reader|
|I/O ports||1xUSB-C, 4xUSB 3.1 Type-A, 2xUSB 2.0, Ethernet, HDMI in, HDMI out||1xUSB-C, 4xUSB 3.1 Type-A, 2xUSB 2.0, Ethernet, HDMI in, HDMI out|
|Audio||Stereo||Stereo plus subwoofer|
|Dimensions||13.9x21.3x2.1 inches 352x540x53 mm||15.5x24.2x2.1 inches 394x614x53 mm|
|Price||Starts at $700||Starts at $1,000|