The Dell Inspiron 15 7000 4K is the more affordable counterpart to the Dell XPS 15. Like the XPS, you get a classy aluminum chassis with a matte black keyboard rest, an excellent backlit keyboard and now with the 4K UHD model, an optional super high resolution display. Beyond the significant price skew, there are important differences: the Inspiron runs on Intel ULV 15 watt Ultrabook CPUs vs. the XPS 15's quad core 47 watt CPU. That means you don't get breakneck performance with the Inspiron 15, but you do get less heat and longer battery life thanks to the lower power CPU. The Inspiron has low end AMD Radeon R7 M270 graphics vs. the aged but more powerful NVIDIA 750M graphics in the XPS 15. We're focusing on how the Inspiron 15 stacks up against the XPS 15 because we're reviewing the high end Inspiron 15 7000 4K model that pushes into the XPS 15's turf. While the XPS 15 typically costs $2,000 or more, the Inspiron 15 7000 UHD 4K (with 16 gigs of RAM, the Core i7-5500U CPU and a 256 gig SSD) is $1,449. For frugal folks, there are versions with a 1080p IPS touch screen, an HDD rather than SSD and Core i5 for $700 and under. Dell also offers a 2-in-1 version of the Inspiron 15 with a 360 degree hinge. Ours has the conventional laptop hinge.
The Samsung 4K panel has good color gamut that covers 95% of sRGB and 74% of Adobe RGB. Brightness is decent at 244 nits. The AMD Radeon R7 M270 is a low end dedicated graphics card with 4 gigs of DDR3 VRAM. It's roughly equivalent to the NVIDIA GT 830M. It's not a particularly strong card for gaming, but it will give a little boost to 4K visuals when using Adobe Photoshop and other Adobe CC programs. It's fine for older and less demanding games like Diablo III and StarCraft II at 1080p with a mix of medium and high settings.
The backlit, spill resistant keyboard feels a little cramped to us.
Deals and Shopping:
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 UHD Video Review
The Dell Inspiron 15 7000 is easy to upgrade once you remove the bottom cover. It has 2 RAM slots and a 2.5" drive bay.
*Tested with the 2.4 GHz Intel Core i7-5500U, 16 gigs RAM and a 256 gig SSD.
PCMark 8 Home: 2913
PC Mark 7: 5572
wPrime: 16.9 sec.
The lower end models offer great build quality and good value for the price. The high end $1,449 UHD 4K model with SSD and 16 gigs of RAM used for this review isn't as great a value when you can get more powerful laptops at that price. Still, it has a classy chassis, excellent build quality and serviceable internals, which earn points back.