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Dell Inspiron 14 (7420) 2-in-1 Touchscreen Laptop Review

Dell's Inspiron 14 (7420) touchscreen laptop is a well-optioned 2-in-1 system based on Intel's 12th Gen U-Series. Join us as we see how it performs.

Dell Inspiron 14 (7420) 2-in-1 Touchscreen Laptop
Published Sep 29, 2022 10:40 AM CDT
Manufacturer: Dell
4 minute read time
TweakTown's Rating: 85%
TweakTown award

The Bottom Line

While not using any premium materials, the Dell Inspiron 14 does really well as a low-cost student laptop or if configured correctly as an entry-level business solution.

Pros

  • + 2-in-1 design touchscreen
  • + Upgradable storage
  • + Upgradable memory
  • + Decent keyboard and trackpad
  • + White backlit keyboard

Cons

  • - Performance lower than expected
  • - Battery life
  • - Thermals

Should you buy it?

AvoidConsiderShortlistBuy

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

Alongside the XPS platforms, Dell has several other platforms catering to each market. For the entry-level, Inspiron has held down the fort for many years with standard form factor notebooks and 2-in-1 touchscreen platforms. The latest lineup is the 7420, a platform built on Intel's 12th Gen U series processors.

Specifications

The new Inspiron 14 can be configured on Dell's website in several ways. For this review, our unit was outfitted with the Core i7-1255U, a 2+8 PE design for a complete core thread design of 10/12. It has a boost frequency of 4.7GHz and is paired with 16GB of DDR4.

I/O for this design includes multiple USB-C, SDXC Card readers, HDMI and USB-A. Internally, Wi-Fi is powered by the Intel AX211 chipset offering 6e capabilities to this model.

The display uses the new business 16:10 aspect ratio with a resolution of 1920x1200, touchscreen, and is fully convertible to tablet mode. Additionally, Dell offers the Active Pen to make this a note-taking beast.

The Inspiron 14 7420 pricing in the configuration mentioned above retails at $1049.99.

Buy at Amazon

Dell Inspiron 14 (7420) 2-in-1 Touchscreen Laptop

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$879.99$879.99$879.02
* Prices last scanned on 12/6/2022 at 4:37 pm CST - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Notebook Overview

Dell Inspiron 14 Overview

Dell Inspiron 14 (7420) 2-in-1 Touchscreen Laptop Review 05

The Inspiron 14 arrived inside a standard cardboard box.

Dell Inspiron 14 (7420) 2-in-1 Touchscreen Laptop Review 06

Unboxing, the Inspiron was delivered in the Platinum Silver colorway, with the Dell logo chromed and embossed into the lid.

Dell Inspiron 14 (7420) 2-in-1 Touchscreen Laptop Review 07

The bottom of the Inspiron offers significant cooling along the bottom with two rows of venting to pull air into the unit.

Dell Inspiron 14 (7420) 2-in-1 Touchscreen Laptop Review 08

On the right side, we have the card reader and USB-A port. You will find the 3.5mm audio jack tucked away in the corner.

Dell Inspiron 14 (7420) 2-in-1 Touchscreen Laptop Review 09

On the left, we have an HDMI port and two USB-C ports supporting power delivery and DP over USB-C.

Dell Inspiron 14 (7420) 2-in-1 Touchscreen Laptop Review 10

Opening the Inspiron, the trackpad is centered in the chassis, with the keyboard lying nearly flat. It is backlit, white only. The display has almost no physical bezel, while a digital bezel does outline the panel. At the top is the camera, which does offer a privacy slider.

Dell Inspiron 14 (7420) 2-in-1 Touchscreen Laptop Review 11

Turning down the lights, we peak at the LED backlighting in white.

Dell Inspiron 14 (7420) 2-in-1 Touchscreen Laptop Review 12

Peeling back the cover, the battery is a two-piece solution offering 54Wh. Up top, we have the motherboard, and single heat pipe cooling pushed to the left. The memory slots allow for upgrades to the DDR4 along with NVMe far left and Wi-Fi in the center.

BIOS/UEFI and Software

UEFI

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Dell Inspiron 14 (7420) 2-in-1 Touchscreen Laptop Review 22Dell Inspiron 14 (7420) 2-in-1 Touchscreen Laptop Review 23
Dell Inspiron 14 (7420) 2-in-1 Touchscreen Laptop Review 24Dell Inspiron 14 (7420) 2-in-1 Touchscreen Laptop Review 25
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The Dell BIOS offers a solid amount of configuration apart from overclocking controls. Starting from the first menu, we have hardware information, including CPU, memory, and Dell-specific information.

You can then move into boot manager to handle how the machine loads up and integrate the device to manage things like the camera, audio, and Thunderbolt configuration. Further down the menu system, you will find options for NVMe storage config alongside Wi-Fi and wireless radio controls.

Software

Dell Inspiron 14 (7420) 2-in-1 Touchscreen Laptop Review 30

The software is My Dell; this includes support and warranty control and options for configuring presence detection, audio, and power.

System/CPU Benchmarks

Cinebench

Cinebench is a long-standing render benchmark that has been heavily relied upon by both Intel and AMD to highlight their newest platforms during unveils. The benchmark has two tests, a single-core workload that will utilize one thread or 1T. There is also a multi-threaded test that uses all threads or nT of a tested CPU.

Dell Inspiron 14 (7420) 2-in-1 Touchscreen Laptop Review 40

The Inspiron 14 did well but couldn't surpass the Ideapad in single thread. The Inspiron scored 1481.

Dell Inspiron 14 (7420) 2-in-1 Touchscreen Laptop Review 41

Multi-thread scored 7712 for the Inspiron, just behind the M1 MacBook Pro.

AIDA64 Memory

Dell Inspiron 14 (7420) 2-in-1 Touchscreen Laptop Review 42

The Inspiron had the lowest memory performance of any notebook tested, likely due to its DDR4 3200 going up against DDR5 and DDR4 soldered units that typically run 4200MHz or higher.

BAPCo CrossMark

CrossMarkâ„¢ is an easy-to-run native cross-platform benchmark that measures overall system performance and responsiveness using real-world application models. CrossMarkâ„¢ supports devices running Windows, iOS, and macOS platforms.

Dell Inspiron 14 (7420) 2-in-1 Touchscreen Laptop Review 43

CrossMark pushed the Inspiron past the Z13 from Lenovo with an overall score of 1427.

UL Procyon

Dell Inspiron 14 (7420) 2-in-1 Touchscreen Laptop Review 45

Procyon showed the Inspiron in a much better light, outscoring the Ideapad by a fair margin in all three workloads.

3DMark

Dell Inspiron 14 (7420) 2-in-1 Touchscreen Laptop Review 44

CPU Profile offered a single thread score of 972 and a sixteen thread score of 3503.

Dell Inspiron 14 (7420) 2-in-1 Touchscreen Laptop Review 46

Battery testing gave the Inspiron 494 minutes with PCMark Modern Office Testing, while Procyon offered 541 minutes of battery life.

Dell Inspiron 14 (7420) 2-in-1 Touchscreen Laptop Review 47

Storage was the lowest we have seen to date, with bandwidth coming in at 221 MB/s.

Value and Final Thoughts

Value

Dell Inspiron 14 (7420) 2-in-1 Touchscreen Laptop Review 48

With value, we take the notebook's performance in several testing areas and put it against the cost at the time of writing. The Inspiron 14 does remarkably well, scoring 98.4% and second to the Ideapad Flex.

Final Thoughts

I have to be honest. I never used an Inspiron platform until this unit landed on my doorstep. Being a 2-in-1, I had an idea of what the notebook would offer, and based on the platform and previous experience with the Ideapad Flex, I had an idea of where the performance would land too. What I wasn't expecting was a high-quality keyboard and touchpad that seemed like they were meant for the XPS lineup, not the entry-level Inspiron 14.

The keyboard's feel is nearly Thinkpad X1-level quality, and it has a fantastic return on each key and perfect ambiance from the backlighting. The trackpad is very smooth with a low tactile click, not perfect, but certainly better than many platforms that run through the lab.

The performance of this system was hit and miss. I did expect the 1255U to outperform the 1235U in the Ideapad, but thermals play a huge role in getting the best performance out of a system, especially when it's low profile. For the Inspiron, it appears it could use a better thermal solution, as the CPU could not maintain its peak boost for any length of time, allowing the weaker 1235U to do better in most scenarios. The Inspiron 14 can be configured with the 1235U, possibly for a more efficient overall build.

Pricing is always hard to justify, though in the month I have had the Inspiron 14 on my desk, Dell.com has dropped the price to $849.99 a few times. So if you are in the market for a 2-in-1 and are looking at the Inspiron, it's only a matter of time before the price drops again. With that, the Inspiron is one of the better overall value notebooks. Based on its performance in office, photo, and video workloads, it's second only to the Ideapad Flex.

If bought during a price drop, it's likely the best of the two platforms.

Buy at Amazon

Performance

80%

Quality

80%

Features

90%

Value

90%

Overall

85%

The Bottom Line

While not using any premium materials, the Dell Inspiron 14 does really well as a low-cost student laptop or if configured correctly as an entry-level business solution.

TweakTown award
85%

Dell Inspiron 14 (7420) 2-in-1 Touchscreen Laptop

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$879.99$879.99$879.02
* Prices last scanned on 12/6/2022 at 4:37 pm CST - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Tyler joined the TweakTown team in 2013 and has since reviewed 100s of new techy items. Growing up in a small farm town, tech wasn't around, unless it was in a tractor. At an early age, Tyler's parents brought home their first PC. Tyler was hooked and learned what it meant to format a HDD, spending many nights reinstalling Windows 95. Tyler's love and enthusiast nature always kept his PC nearby. Eager to get deeper into tech, he started reviewing.

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