The Dell Inspiron 14R-5437 is a desktop replacement laptop that can go the distance. With a 6-cell removable battery pack and a power sipping fourth-generation Intel Core i3 processor, the Inspiron 14R-5437 has the power to run for almost ten hours. This is all day and into the night, which makes a difference for the highly mobile student, writer, or family member who expects non-tethered computing. By virtue of its long battery life among other attractive features, the Dell Inspiron 14R-5437 is our new Editors’ Choice for entry-level desktop replacement laptops.
Design and Features
The Inspiron 14R-5437 bucks the current bright silver trend by going with (gasp!) dark sliver aluminum finish on both the top lid and the keyboard deck. This also means that the dark keys on the chiclet-style keyboard don’t contrast with the keyboard deck, but at least the keys’ labels are a bright white color in a nice sans serif font. The keyboard isn’t backlit, but the key feel is excellent with responsive, non-slippery keys. You’ll have to hit the Fn key to use controls like screen brightness or volume up/down, but that’s a relatively minor nit.
The trackpad below the keyboard is wide enough for multi-touch use, and has two physical mouse buttons. While the trackpad is responsive, you may find yourself reaching out to touch the 10-point touch screen, which is a more natural way to deal with Windows 8′s Start screen and Win 8 UI-optimized apps. The system has a rock steady screen, thanks to the Inspiron 14R-5437′s dual hinge design. This makes a huge difference when you’re using the touch screen, as a bouncy screen becomes annoying quickly.
The system’s 14-inch screen has a 1,366-by-768 resolution, which is lower than the 1,600 by 900 on the entry-level ultrabook Editors’ Choice winning Lenovo IdeaPad U430 Touch. However, 1,366 by 768 is still an acceptable resolution for entry-level laptops, and the one on the Inspiron 14R-5437 is clear, with smooth color gradients. The system’s screen is adequate for 720p HD videos and word processing use. The system measures about 1.3 by 13.75 by 9.75 inches (HWD) and weighs in at 4.93 pounds. This is a bit larger and about a pound heavier than the Lenovo U430 Touch, but is a smidge thinner and lighter than our last Editors’ Choice for entry-level desktop replacement laptops, the Lenovo IdeaPad Z400 Touch. The Inspiron 14R-5437 is also lighter than another desktop replacement rival, the Acer Aspire M5-583P-6428.
The Inspiron 14R-5437 comes with an Intel Core i3-4010U processor with Intel HD Graphics 4400, 4GB of system memory, and a 500GB hard drive. The system doesn’t come a caching solid-state drive (SSD), which would help the system’s benchmark and overall performance (see below for more). On the other hand, this does give Dell the opportunity to sell the Inspiron 14R-5437 for less than other systems like the Lenovo U430 Touch.
The system comes with a 65 WHr 6-cell battery, which is removable. This bucks the ultrabook trend, at the expense of a little extra chassis thickness. As you’ll see below, the extra heft is worth it. If you decide to keep the laptop for more than the five to seven years many people take to replace their PCs, you’ll be able to swap in a new battery easily once this one has given up the ghost.
The system comes with a few pre-loaded apps, notably eBay, Skype, Amazone, and Kindle, but the system is far from overloaded with them. You’ll find far more pre-loaded titles on other retail systems like the HP Pavilion TouchSmart 15z-b000 Sleekbook. The Inspiron 14R-5437 comes with a standard one-year warranty.
The Inspiron 14R-5437 comes with a dual core, four-threaded Core i3-4010U processor, which is rated for ultrabook use. This power-saving processor plus the 65WHr battery means that the system lasts a phenomenal 9 hours 46 minutes on our battery rundown test. This means that you should be able to use the system all day and into the night with a single charge. If you’re a college student or coffee shop habitué, then this is a system you should put on your short list. While the rest of the system’s benchmark tests can be described as adequate, the battery life is really the Inspiron 14R-5437′s strong point. The IdeaPad U430 Touch is the closest competitor, with almost eight hours of battery life. The others just don’t come close. The IdeaPad Z400 Touch stops short of five hours on the same test.
The Core i3 processor keeps the Inspiron 14R-5437 from topping any other test. It was a bit slower on our Photoshop CS6 test than most in its category, but it certainly kept up on the Handbrake video encoder test. The Inspiron 14R-5437 was competitive on the 3D tests, though none in this category are particularly good at playing high-end 3D games. Suffice to say that the Inspiron 14R-5437 will work well for the majority of users who simply need a PC that has all-day battery life.
The Dell Inspiron 14R-5437 makes sense when you’re using it to replace an older laptop or desktop PC. It’s got the power and features to keep most entry-level users happy, with the added benefit of close to ten hours of battery life on a replaceable battery. In this regard, it is much better than the Lenovo IdeaPad Z400 Touch it replaces as Editors’ Choice for entry-level desktop replacement laptops. The Inspiron 14R-5437 will keep going even when users around you need to start looking for a power plug.
|Processor Name||Intel Core i3-4010U|
|Operating System||Microsoft Windows 8|
|Graphics Card||Intel HD Graphics 4400|
|Networking Options||802.11n (2.4 GHz only)|
|Processor Speed||1.7 GHz|
|Primary Optical Drive||Dual-Layer DVD+/-RW|
|Screen Size||14 inches|
|Storage Capacity (as Tested)||500 GB|
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