Dell Inspiron 14R Review
With a smaller hard drive and less memory than most, the Dell Inspiron 14R doesn't offer as much hardware for the money as other laptops on our list. On the other hand, it comes with two USB 3.0 ports. Colorful, switchable lids attract buyers who value style over substance.
If you look for a Dell Inspiron 14R, you will find several slightly different models, so Inspiron 14R reviews may not refer to exactly the same laptop with exactly the same hardware. Still, most of the Inspiron 14R models are pretty similar in terms of their specs, and we expect their performance to be similar as well.
Recent Inspiron 14R reviews indicate that it's a good, solid laptop but not a spectacular one. In Inspiron 14R reviews, users and experts say the performance of this laptop is a little slow considering its second-generation Intel i3 CPU, perhaps due to the excessive bloatware Dell loads onto this laptop. The battery life also disappoints some users; the battery lasted a middle-of-the-pack 5 hours and 24 minutes in a PCMag.com test. An expert reviewer at CNET likes the feel of the keyboard and touchpad, both of which are sufficiently comfortable and responsive.
The current base model of the Dell Inspiron 14R boasts a second-generation Intel i3-2310M CPU. Its 320GB hard drive and 3GB of RAM trail other models with similar price tags. Like most budget laptops, the Dell Inspiron 14R comes with an 8X DVD-R optical drive, an HDMI port, and a six-cell battery. It has a couple of other features you won't find in most budget laptops, such as a pair of USB 3.0 ports (faster than common USB 2.0 ports) and Bluetooth connectivity. The Dell Inspiron 14R also has switchable lids, a gimmick that lets you snap on a more decorative lid, sold separately for up to $40.
We have mixed feelings about the Dell Inspiron 14R. On the one hand, we like its extra features, such as the USB 3.0 ports and slick lid designs. But in order to include those features in a $500 package, Dell had to cut back on the system memory and size of the hard drive, which rubs us the wrong way. Also, reports of bloatware slowing down this laptop's performance make us wary. Think twice about whether Bluetooth, USB 3.0 ports, and a lid design gimmick are worth the tradeoff for less memory and hard drive space. We're inclined to say no.