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Dell Inspiron 13 5000 2-in-1 (5379)

Introduction, Design, Features

Dell sells two versions of its 13-inch Inspiron 2-in-1 convertible. There’s the budget Inspiron 13 5000 (model 5379) you see here, and then there’s the up-sell Inspiron 13 7000 (model 7373) we reviewed last month. The biggest difference between the two? The Inspiron 13 5000 uses a bulkier, plastic chassis versus the sleek, aluminum enclosure of the Inspiron 13 7000. Inside, the two models offer similar components, including eighth-generation Intel Core processors. Unfortunately, both lines deliver below-average battery life, which sours the deal.

Our Dell Inspiron 13 5000 review unit costs $749.99 and features Intel’s eighth-generation “Kaby Lake R” Core i5-8250U, 8GB of memory, a 256GB solid-state drive, and integrated Intel UHD 620 graphics. This model sits near the top of the Inspiron 13 5000 line, which starts at $479.99 for a Pentium-based configuration. There is also a $649.99 configuration with similar specs to our review unit, but it trades the solid-state drive for a cheaper and bigger, but slower, 1TB hard drive.

Even before we get into the short battery life, it’s difficult to make an argument for spending $750 on the Inspiron 13 5000 for the simple fact that you can get the same configuration inside the all-aluminum Dell Inspiron 13 7000 for only $50 more. The entry-level Dell Inspiron 13 7000 we reviewed earlier costs $799.99 and includes the same component lineup as the $749.99 Inspiron 13 5000 model we are reviewing here. We’d happily pay an extra $50 to trade the bulkier, plastic Inspiron 13 5000 model for the aluminum sleekness and sturdiness of the Inspiron 13 7000. Plus, along with the chassis upgrade, you also get a brighter display.

Other than a slightly lower price, the only advantage the Inspiron 13 5000 enjoys over the Inspiron 13 7000 is slightly longer (but still disappointing) battery life. It uses a 3-cell, 42WHr battery versus the 3-cell, 38WHr battery inside the Inspiron 13 7000. That small bump in watt-hours resulted in nearly an hour longer running time for the Inspiron 13 5000 on our battery-drain test, but the system’s battery life is still hours shorter than competing models.

Lenovo Yoga 920. It measures 12.9 inches wide by 8.9 inches deep, and it’s 0.8 inch thick. By comparison, the Inspiron 13 7000 is 12.2 inches wide by 8.5 inches deep and is only 0.6 inch thick.

The Inspiron 13 7000 is trimmer than the Inspiron 13 5000 thanks to its narrow screen bezels above and on either side of the display. Thick screen bezels frame the display of the Inspiron 13 5000, measuring 0.7 inch wide above the display and 0.5 inch wide on each side…

Oddly, the corners of the black screen bezels are rounded, but the corners of the lid behind the display are squared off, making for an incongruent marriage in the two upper corners of the display.

Despite its heavier display, the Inspiron 13 5000 features two display hinges that are narrower than those of the thinner, lighter Inspiron 13 7000…

The result is a display that is more prone to wobble.

The 13.3-inch IPS touch display features full HD or 1,920×1,080 resolution…

The 1080p panel looks sharp and crisp, but it’s noticeably dimmer than the Inspiron 13 7000’s display. Along with the glossy screen coating that throws glare and reflections at you, this is not the best system for outdoor computing, sunny breakfast nooks, or even brightly lit offices.

Audio output from the system’s two stereo speakers was surprisingly robust. The speakers get loud enough to fill a large room, and the sound stays fairly clean at max volume. Music playback is kept in check by the lack of bass, but the system will have you video chatting with clear conversation and watching movies and videos with more than enough audio oomph. In addition, Dell includes Waves MaxxAudio Pro, an app that lets you tweak the levels for the system’s internal speakers, headphones, and the microphone for voice chats. Also onboard is SmartByte, an app that lets you prioritize streaming video and video chat over browsing and downloading for better, smoother streaming performance.

Above the display is a 720p Webcam. It’s an infrared camera that supports Windows Hello, which you can use to log into the system by simply putting your face in front of the camera. The Webcam was outstanding with video chatting, offering a crisp, bright image with little pixelation.

The chiclet-style keyboard offers a comfortable typing experience; the keys are firm and the keyboard deck flexes only a small amount when typing…

This is not a mushy, plastic keyboard deck. The touch pad, however, leaves something to be desired. The pad itself felt responsive—it accurately registered our taps, swipes and other gestures—but it’s among the clackiest we’ve encountered. Pressing down on the touch pad to perform a click emits a clack so loud that we would worry about annoying those around us in a crowded coffee shop with each link we clicked.

The system offers a limited but useful selection of ports. On the left edge, you’ll find two USB 3.1 ports, an HDMI port, and a headphone jack…

On the right is a USB 2.0 port along with an SD card slot, a volume rocker, and a Noble Lock slot…

Missing ports include the newer and narrower USB Type-C port and a DisplayPort connection.

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