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Dell Inspiron Chromebook 14 2-in-1 joins the $600 Chrome OS crowd

At the IFA show in Germany, Dell also debuted a DisplayHDR 600-certified display and redesigned Inspirons with the webcam on the top.

Inspiron Chromebook 14 two-in-one in Urban Gray.

Dell

Dell chose IFA 2018 to release updates to its most mainstream-priced Inspiron line of laptops, along with its new 14-inch convertible Chromebook and a bright and sleek new display.

Despite Dell's history for having small 11.6-inch Chromebooks and two-in-one Chromebooks for markets like education, this is the first of its "premium" Chromebooks -- a growing class of the Google Chrome OS-based laptops designed to look less rough-and-ready and more polished and upscale, like the HP Chromebook x2, Samsung Chromebook Plus V2 and the grandaddy of pricey Chromebooks, the Google Pixelbook.

It's not as slick and shiny as competing premium Chromebooks, but the aluminum Inspiron 14 two-in-one convertible includes a 14-inch 1,920x1,080-pixel screen with narrow-ish bezels and the solid, somewhat stolid design of the Inspiron line. The Wacom EMR stylus docks into the underside of the body where it's accessible in tablet mode.

The Chromebook, and select Inspiron models, come in a new color, Urban Gray, which I really like as a low-key alternative to black or silver.

Inspiron Chromebook 14 specs

  • Intel Core i3-8130U CPU
  • Up to 128GB storage
  • 4GB memory
  • Ports: 2x USB-C, 1x USB Type-A, microSD card slot, headphone/mic jack
  • 802.11ac (2.4GHz and 5GHz) Wi-Fi
  • starts at 4 lbs/1.8 kg
  •  Dell claims up to 15 hours of battery life

The Inspiron 5000 and 7000 two-in-one lines have a refreshed design as well as updates to eighth-generation Intel Core i processors. Perhaps most notable, Dell shrank the webcam to fit it in its slim top bezel, so no more up-nose shots.

Then again, if you care more about speed than webcam placement, the 5000 series now offers the option of discrete graphics: an Nvidia MX130 GPU, to deliver a speed boost.

dell-inspiron-5000-15-urban-gray-27

The new Inspiron 5000 two-in-one design includes ventilation through the hinge area.

Lori Grunin/CNET

The final highlight of Dell's show announcements is the company's first DisplayHDR 600-certified monitor, meaning it can hit 600 nits peak brightness (typical is around 250 to 300 nits) and cover 90 percent of the DCI-P3 gamut. That's notably brighter in general and gives better color reproduction in saturated greens and cyans than your typical monitor. But the S2719DC puts it in an ultrathin, sleek silver chassis and adds a USB-C/alt-Display port so that it can power your laptop while you're using it.

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Dell's new ultrathin monitor supports USB-C and is DisplayHDR 600 certified.

Lori Grunin/CNET

 Other refreshes and additions

  • XPS 13 gets a new entry-level model with an Intel Core i3-8130
  • XPS 13 two-in-one updated with Intel eighth-generation processors
  • New basic, inexpensive Dell 22, 24 and 27 SE Monitors

Pricing and availability

  • XPS 13 with i3 available now starting at $900
  • XPS 13 two-in-one available Sept. 11 starting at $1,000
  • Dell 27 USB-C Ultrathin Monitor available Sept. 20 starting at $550
  • Dell 22/24/27 SE Monitors available Sept. 25 starting at $170 (22-inch), $200 (24-inch) and $250 (27-inch)
  • Inspiron 7000 two-in-ones available on Oct. 2 starting at $880 (13-inch), $850 (15-inch) and $1,100 (17-inch)
  • Inspiron 5000 two-in-one 5482 available on Oct. 2 starting at $600, 5481 starting at $460
  • Inspiron Chromebook 14 two-in-one available on Oct. 23 starting at $600

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