• notebookcomputer
  • 26/12/2022

Dell Inspiron 14 7415 2-in-1 Review

The Dell Inspiron 14 7415 2-in-1 (starts at $799.99; $999.99 as tested) occupies the middle ground between premium convertible laptops like the HP Spectre x360 14 and Dell's own XPS 13 2-in-1, and more affordable alternatives such as the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i 14. Its all-aluminum chassis makes it feel like a premium unit, and its AMD Ryzen 7 CPU helps it outrun pricier Intel-based models. A dark display and a crummy touchpad, however, kick the Inspiron 7415 out of the elite 2-in-1 club and make it look and feel like a not particularly impressive budget model. At the price of our tester, you'd be better served by spending a bit more for the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 or saving some cash and picking up the Lenovo Flex 5i or—better yet—the Editors' Choice-award-winning, AMD-based Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14.

Comfy Keyboard, Clunky Touchpad

For $799.99, you can get an Inspiron 14 7415 2-in-1 with a six-core Ryzen 5 5500U processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB solid-state drive. For $200 more, our test system stepped up to an eight-core Ryzen 7 5700U chip, 16GB of memory, and a 512GB SSD. That's a reasonable sum for the added processing power and doubled memory and storage.

Our Experts Have Tested 131 Products in the Laptops Category in the Past YearSince 1982, PCMag has tested and rated thousands of products to help you make better buying decisions. (See how we test.)(Photo: Molly Flores)

Dell also sells Intel-based models with 11th Generation Core i5 or Core i7 CPUs, but since they have only four cores we'd suggest the processing boost of one of the AMD versions. All models feature the same display, a 14-inch touch panel with a 16:9 aspect ratio and full HD (1,920-by-1,080-pixel) resolution.

(Photo: Molly Flores)

Dell outfits the AMD-based Inspiron 14 2-in-1 with a dark blue lid it calls Mist Blue, though it looks black under certain light. (The Intel models come decked in silver.) The Mist Blue lid adds a little splash of style to the proceedings and pairs well with the black keyboard deck. The aluminum chassis feels very solid, almost making the Inspiron feel like a tank. Convertible laptops are always bulkier and heavier than their clamshell counterparts because of their 360-degree hinges and touch-screen overlays, but at 3.4 pounds, the Dell feels downright hefty for a 14-incher.

4.5Outstanding$1,669.00See Itat Dell TechnologiesRead Our Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (9310) Review 4.5Outstanding$899.99See Itat AmazonRead Our HP Spectre x360 14 Review4.0Excellent$889.99See It at AmazonRead Our Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i 14 (2021) Review 4.0Excellent$499.00See Itat Best BuyRead Our Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook Review 4.0Excellent$489.00See Itat AmazonRead Our Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook Review4.0Excellent$2,499.00See Itat AmazonRead Our Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6 (2021) Review 4.0Excellent$899.00See It at AmazonRead Our Microsoft Surface Pro 8 Review 4.0Excellent$1,559.00See Itat DellRead Our Dell Latitude 7320 2-in-1 Review 4.0Excellent$1,579.00See Itat AmazonRead Our Panasonic Toughbook 33 (2021) Review 4.0Excellent$949.99See Itat Best BuyRead Our Lenovo Yoga 6 (13-Inch) Review 4.0Excellent$2,499.99See Itat AmazonRead Our Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio Review 4.0Excellent$1,499.00See Itat AmazonRead Our Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 (15-Inch) Review(Photo: Molly Flores)

For comparison's sake, the abovementioned HP Spectre x360 14 and Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 weigh 2.95 and 2.9 pounds, respectively. It's not surprising that premium convertibles weigh less than a mainstream model, but even the budget-oriented IdeaPad Flex 5 14, at 3.3 pounds, is a bit lighter than the Inspiron. To be fair, the system's 3.4-pound weight and size (0.71 by 12.7 by 8.3 inches) don't feel burdensome in laptop mode, but using it as a tablet feels awkward, especially if you try holding it in one hand.

(Photo: Molly Flores)

In the laptop mode, the Inspiron 14 2-in-1 feels mostly fine, but I can't recall having such disparate feelings about a laptop's keyboard versus its touchpad. The former is one of the best on which I've had the pleasure of typing recently; the keys offer a perfect amount of travel and are generously spaced, with no shortened keys (apart from the reduced-size up/down arrows) to cause trouble. Even the top-row function keys are larger than your average row of half-height buttons. In fact, the Tab, Caps Lock, Shift, and Control keys at left are so luxuriously long that the keyboard layout is shifted a bit to the right, taking me a minute to learn how to line up my fingers correctly. Once I did, however, typing was bliss on the snappy-yet-silent keys. The keyboard offers one-level backlighting, and the power button at top right doubles as a fingerprint reader.

(Photo: Molly Flores)

As much as I liked the keyboard, I loathed the touchpad. It provides smooth gliding and accurately recorded my mousing gestures, but its click is awful—too firm with too much travel, requiring considerable effort to perform a simple click. Worse than that, there's a faint, false click you must push through before the actual click registers. Worse than that, the pad occasionally snagged on something when I tried to click, resulting in a loud clack and worries that I'd broken the touchpad. I urge you to use the touch screen or connect a mouse to the Inspiron 14 2-in-1—any option other than the terrible touchpad.

Dell Inspiron 14 7415 2-in-1 Review

Dim Display, Booming Speakers

The 14-inch touch display offers the 1080p resolution and 16:9 aspect ratio that have become familiar. It's more rectangular than squarer screens such as the 3:2 panel of the HP Spectre x360 14 or the 16:10 of the XPS 13 2-in-1. The wider aspect ratio is a natural fit for watching movies, but it's less useful for general Windows use because it requires a bit more scrolling through web pages, spreadsheets, and documents.

(Photo: Molly Flores)

The display’s brightness level and color accuracy are closer to that of the budget Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i 14 than to premium models' panels. It delivered a meager 282 nits in our brightness test and covered only 66% of the sRGB gamut. I had the display set at max brightness during my time with the Inspiron, and on sunny afternoons in my office wished I were able to crank it up further.

(Photo: Molly Flores)

The 720p webcam above the screen produced a fairly sharp image, but was beset with grainy noise whenever lighting conditions were a bit too bright or too dark. The only highlight of the very average camera is its physical privacy cover.

The Dell's speakers, by contrast, offer impressive audio for a laptop. Their sound features separation between highs and midtones with a hint of bass response and little loss of clarity at top volume. This is the rare laptop that makes music playback in a small room off its onboard speakers feasible.

The Inspiron 14 2-in-1 offers both types of USB ports, but I wish it packed more than one USB Type-C port, since the lone USB-C connector accommodates the AC adapter. On the left side, you'll find the USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C port along with a USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A port and an HDMI video output. The USB-C port provides DisplayPort support but not Thunderbolt, because the CPU is not from Intel but AMD.

(Photo: Molly Flores)

Another trio of connections resides on the right side: a second USB-A port flanked by a headphone/microphone jack and a microSD card slot.

(Photo: Molly Flores)

Testing the 7415 2-in-1: Some Serious AMD Awesomeness

As mentioned, our Dell Inspiron 14 7415 2-in-1 featured an eight-core AMD Ryzen 7 5700U processor, integrated AMD Radeon graphics, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB NVMe solid-state drive. I compared it to other convertibles including the HP Spectre x360 14 and the Lenovo ThinkBook 14s Yoga, both of which feature a quad-core Intel Core i7 CPU, as well as the affordable Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i 14 and its quad-core Core i5. Rounding out the charts is the clamshell HP Pavilion Aero, which I chose because its AMD Ryzen 7 5800U processor is a near match for the Dell's. All five systems feature 16GB of RAM and integrated graphics.

The main benchmark of UL's PCMark 10 simulates a variety of real-world productivity and content-creation workflows to measure overall performance for office-centric tasks such as word processing, spreadsheeting, web browsing, and videoconferencing. We also run PCMark 10's Full System Drive test to assess the load time and throughput of a laptop's storage. (See more about how we test laptops.)

Three benchmarks focus on the CPU, using all available cores and threads, to rate a PC's suitability for processor-intensive workloads. Maxon's Cinebench R23 uses that company's Cinema 4D engine to render a complex scene, while Primate Labs' Geekbench 5.4 Pro simulates popular apps ranging from PDF rendering and speech recognition to machine learning. Finally, we use the open-source video transcoder HandBrake 1.4 to convert a 12-minute video clip from 4K to 1080p resolution. (Lower times are better.)

Our last productivity test is workstation maker Puget Systems' PugetBench for Photoshop, which uses the Creative Cloud version 22 of Adobe's famous image editor to rate a PC's performance for content creation and multimedia applications. It's an automated extension that executes a variety of general and GPU-accelerated Photoshop tasks ranging from opening, rotating, resizing, and saving an image to applying masks, gradient fills, and filters.

The Inspiron topped the 5,000-point mark in PCMark 10, proving it's more than capable of everyday productivity work, but trailed the Pavilion Aero by a considerable amount and ended in a virtual tie with the Intel-based ThinkBook 14s Yoga. Usually, we'd expect a laptop with an eight-core CPU to beat one with a quad-core chip in this benchmark. All five systems' solid-state drives aced PCMark 10’s storage test.

The Inspiron 14 2-in-1's edge in processing cores proved more evident in our multimedia benchmarks. It and the Aero outpaced the Intel competition in most of our content creation tests, most notably in HandBrake and Cinebench, where the AMD duo breezed through in roughly half the time and with nearly double the score respectively.

We test Windows PCs' graphics with two DirectX 12 gaming simulations from UL's 3DMark suite: Night Raid (more modest, suitable for laptops with integrated graphics), and Time Spy (more demanding, suitable for gaming rigs with discrete GPUs).

We also run two tests from the cross-platform GPU benchmark GFXBench 5, which stresses both low-level routines like texturing and high-level, game-like image rendering. The 1440p Aztec Ruins and 1080p Car Chase tests, rendered offscreen to accommodate different display resolutions, exercise graphics and compute shaders using the OpenGL programming interface and hardware tessellation, respectively. The more frames per second (fps), the better.

Things evened out in these benchmarks, showing Intel's and AMD's integrated graphics on more or less equal footing, trading blows in the various tests. It's actually something of a subpar showing versus what we've seen from integrated Radeon graphics in the past. On the whole, the Inspiron was slightly slower than the Intel-based laptops in our graphics tests, but you won't confuse any of these systems with a gaming laptop equipped with a discrete GPU. For more, check out our examination of laptop integrated graphics in 2021.

We test laptops' battery life by playing a locally stored 720p video file (the open-source Blender movie Tears of Steel) with display brightness at 50% and audio volume at 100%. We make sure the battery is fully charged before the test, with Wi-Fi and keyboard backlighting turned off.

We also use a Datacolor SpyderX Elite monitor calibration sensor and its Windows software to measure a laptop screen's color saturation—what percentage of the sRGB, Adobe RGB, and DCI-P3 color gamuts or palettes the display can show—and its 50% and peak brightness in nits (candelas per square meter).

The Inspiron's four-cell, 54-watt-hour battery lasted for nearly 12 and a half hours in our video rundown, which is on par with competing 2-in-1s and more than enough juice to get you through a long workday without needing to retreat to a power outlet. Its display, however, was neither bright nor colorful.

Verdict: Don't Get Stuck in the Middle

At first blush, the Dell Inspiron 14 7415 2-in-1's aluminum chassis and classy deep blue cover give the impression of a premium convertible, and its eight-core AMD Ryzen 7 processor acts the part with highly capable performance. After using it for a bit, however, the dim display will disappoint and the cheap touchpad will annoy.

(Photo: Molly Flores)

Plus, it's a bit of a bruiser even among larger-screened, tank-like convertibles. In the end, we think you're better off spending a bit more for a truly premium 2-in-1 from HP's or Dell's stable, or opting for Lenovo's AMD-based Flex 5 14 and pocketing the savings.

3.0See It$783.99 at DellBase Configuration Price $799.99View More

Dell's Inspiron 14 7415 2-in-1 convertible sits in a muddy middle ground of mainstream convertible laptops, offering premium performance but suffering from a budget-level display and a balky touchpad.

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