With fast performance, good battery life and a sturdy, flexible design, Dellꞌs Inspiron 15 7000 2-in-1 is a versatile work machine. And starting at just $749, it offers better bang for your buck than rival hybrid laptops. Workers who do a lot of typing might want to invest in a business-class notebook with a more comfortable keyboard, though.
The Inspiron 15 7000 is pretty hefty, even for a 15-inch laptop. Tipping the scales at 4.8 lbs., the system is heavier than such rivals as the 4.2-lb. HP Spectre x360 15t and the 3.5 lb. Lenovo Yoga 700. In other words, itꞌs not the best option for workers who need to lug their laptop back and forth between home and the office.
Being a consumer laptop, the Inspiron 15 7000 lacks the tough durability youꞌll find in pricier business-class systems, like those in Dellꞌs Latitude line. Still, the system features sturdy aluminum construction, without any noticeable flex in the lid or keyboard deck. Iꞌm also a fan of the minimalist silver design, which features a classy brushed metal finish on the lid.
As its name indicates, the Inspiron 15 7000 2-in-1 can be used as either a laptop or tablet, thanks to its flexible folding design. The display folds back a full 360 degrees, giving you easy access to the large touch screen. Itꞌs handy for using touch-screen apps, particularly in cramped quarters – on an airplane tray table, for instance. Itꞌs also useful when you want to show off a presentation or slideshow to a small group.
Itꞌs a shame that Dellꞌs Active Pen stylus doesnꞌt work with the Inspiron 15 7000. That feature would have made the hybrid design feel a lot more useful by letting you take handwritten notes right on the laptopꞌs display.
You get a pretty good selection of ports here. The right edge includes a USB 2.0 port, an SD card reader for expanding the system’s internal storage, and a lock slot for physically securing the laptop at your desk.
The left edge, meanwhile, adds a USB 3.0 port, a USB Type-C port and an HDMI video out port. Workers who need an Ethernet port for connecting to wired internet or secure work networks will need to pick up a USB adapter.
The Inspiron 15 7000ꞌs display is big and sharp enough for serious multitasking. The 15.6-inch panel has a resolution of 1920 x 1080, which is decent for a screen this size. Text looked crisp, and split-screen multitasking was comfortable.
The systemꞌs color reproduction is underwhelming, and images tend to look a bit washed out. The display is also a bit dimmer than average, though itꞌs more than bright enough for typical indoor use.
The Inspiron 15 7000 2-in-1 has a glossy display, which tends to pick up distracting reflections from windows and overhead lights. I prefer a matte finish on a work notebook, but the glossy displays are nearly universal on midrange laptops like the Inspiron 15 7000.
The Inspiron 15 7000 isnꞌt cut out for marathon typing sessions, with a keyboard thatꞌs too cramped and shallow for comfort. You get just 1.3 millimeters of key travel, which is below the 1.5 mm we consider the acceptable minimum for a work laptop. Deeper keys are better because they keep you from feeling like youꞌre "bottoming out" when you strike each key.
I was also disappointed by the lack of full-size arrow keys on a 15-inch laptop like this, which would have made navigating documents and web pages easier. The Inspiron 15 7000 also lacks a 10-key number pad, but thatꞌs typical for consumer laptops.
Workers will appreciate that the keys have backlighting that can be toggled on and off. That makes low-light typing easier.
The Inspiron 15 7000 probably wonꞌt last through the end of the workday, but few 15-inchers will. The system still ran for 6 hours and 55 minutes on our battery test, which simulates continuous web browsing over Wi-Fi. Thatꞌs more than an hour longer than the mainstream laptop average, and about on a par with the Lenovo Yoga 700. HPꞌs Spectre X360 15t is the battery life champ in this category though, running for an impressive 8 hours and 27 minutes.
Youꞌll get more than enough performance for daily work tasks out of the Inspiron 15 7000. The system is powered by an Intel Core i5-6200U CPU with 8GB of RAM, a configuration that sped along as I researched and typed up this review. Multitasking felt snappy, and I didnꞌt notice any lag while editing a large spreadsheet with HD video streaming in the background.
The system racked up a middling score of 6,499 on the Geekbench 3 test, which measures overall performance. Thatꞌs well below the mainstream average of 7,471, but it edges out similar laptops like the Spectre X360 (6,376) and the Yoga 700 (5,855).
Dell sells the Inspiron 15 7000 in two distinct hardware configurations. For this review, I took a look at the $749 baseline model, which comes equipped with a 2.3-GHz Intel Core i5-6200U processor with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of solid-state drive (SSD) storage. Itꞌs a pretty good sweet spot for the average worker.
A pricier $999 model is also available with a beefier 3.5-GHz Intel Core i7-6500U processor, 12GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD, but itꞌs overkill for most users.
Workers who want a big-screen convertible laptop will probably be content with the Inspiron 15 7000 2-in-1. The system provides great bang for your buck, with relatively swift performance and solid battery life for an extremely affordable $749. Itꞌs versatile folding design is genuinely useful for displaying slideshows and using touch-screen apps – even if thereꞌs no pen support for digital note-taking.
Serious typists might want to look elsewhere, though. The Inspiron 15 7000ꞌs cramped, shallow keyboard just isnꞌt very comfortable to type on. HPꞌs Spectre x360 is a similar system with a nicer keyboard and longer battery life – but itꞌs also a lot pricier at $1,149. For budget-minded workers, the Inspiron 15 7000 2-in-1 is a good bet.