Dell has been making computers for a long time so it’s only natural they would want to enter the Chromebook market. This review looks at the Dell Inspiron 14 Chromebook and whether it offers what is expected from a Chromebook in 2019.
The Dell 14 Chromebook is a great compact laptop that will be ideal to use at home or on the move. It's great to see that it comes with a Stylus included in the price, which most Chromebooks appear to lack. It's sturdy and well built and looks cool thanks to the aluminium body. The Intel i3 processor is good to see and this means you get great performance from the Dell 14 Chromebook. However, it's a different story when it comes to the amount of RAM, as the 4GB is a bit of a let down for a Chromebook in this price range.
- Compact design
- Good processor
- Stylus included
- Only 4GB RAM
- Slightly heavy
Dell 14 Chromebook Build Quality
The Dell 14 has a good build quality and is a compact device when you consider the 14-inch display that is on offer. It also looks cool too and this is thanks to the aluminium chassis, which we have come to expect from the latest Chromebook offerings. This is a big change to the cheap plastic Chromebooks of the past, so it’s great to see.
Although the Dell 14 Chromebook is compact, which is great for portability the same cannot be said for the weight. Weighing in at 1.80kg makes it a little heavier than its rivals but it has been designed to use a stylus, which is the reason for the extra weight.
For the stylus to work well you need a sturdy well built display and that is definitely what you get with the Dell 14. This makes that extra weight a little less of an issue.
The performance of the Dell 14 Chromebook
The Dell 14 Chromebook comes with a pretty impressive Intel i3 processor. The 8th generation i3 8130U dual-core processor comes with a base rate speed of 2.20 GHz and is capable of speeds up to 3.40 GHz. It comes with a 4MB cache to help speed up repetitive tasks that the processor handles.
It’s great to see that Chromebooks are moving away from cheaper processors, which is an important factor if a future proof Chromebook is something you are looking for. However, the processor is only one part of the story when it comes to performance. The amount of RAM is another important factor and you need both to get the best performance available.
Chromebooks have changed a lot over the last few years and these changes mean you can do a lot more with your Chromebook. The problem is these changes also mean you need a Chromebook with more processing power. There is no denying the processor offers more than enough when it comes to performance. This is, however, sadly let down by the amount of RAM.
The 4GB of RAM you get with the Dell 14 Chromebook is not too bad, but when you consider the price of the Dell 14 it’s not that good either. Although you can do most of the tasks you could think of with 4GB of RAM. The problem will occur in a couple of years from now when the software starts to improve for the Chromebook.
Let’s not put the Dell 14 Chromebook down too much here though. Make no mistake about it. The Chromebook performs well thanks to the Intel i3 processor and the 4GB of RAM does not hold it back with most tasks. The problem is some of the competition offers 8GB of RAM and comes in cheaper.
The Dell 14 Display
The display you get with the Dell 14 is pretty decent. For your money you get full HD with 1,080 x 1,920 resolution and an IPS panel. It’s a really sturdy display, which is good to see and the stylus works great also. The IPS panel also ensures you get crisp images, vibrant colours and great viewing angles.
As you would expect from a Chromebook in this price range it can be used as a laptop or tablet. The Dell 14 looks good whether using it as a laptop or tablet. Where most Chromebooks come without a Stylus the Dell 14 includes one in the price. This is definitely something you need to consider when comparing against other Chromebooks purely on price alone.
You will have no problem using the Dell 14 when you are out and about thanks to the bright display that offers a nit rating of 320. This is pretty good when you consider anything over 250 nits is considered acceptable for a Chromebook in this price range.
Storage you get with the Dell 14 Chromebook
The 128 GB of storage available is good to see. This is more than enough for what you need today or even in a couple of years from now. It’s good to see they opted for a decent amount of storage, which is needed if you like to install a lot of Android Apps.
If you do run out of storage then there is no need to worry because the Dell 14 comes with a Micro SD slot, which makes adding extra storage an easy solution.
The Keyboard, Stylus and Connectivity
The Dell keyboard is good when considering keyboards you used to get on Chromebooks a few years ago. I would not say it can compete with the keyboard you get with the Asus C302 or Asus C434 but it’s still perfectly acceptable.
The great thing about the Dell 14 is that it comes with a free Stylus. This is not something to overlook because nearly all the Chromebooks that come with touchscreen forget to do this. The Stylus is easy to use and you never need to worry about losing it because it even comes with its own little storage slot at the back of the Chromebook.
There is nothing to worry about when it comes to connectivity either. The Dell 14 comes with one older type USB port and two USB Type-c ports. This makes the Dell 14 compatible with your peripherals now and any upgrades you get later down the line.
The Dell Inspiron 14 Chromebook is a great looking compact laptop. It also performs well thanks to the Intel i3 dual-core processor. It was a shame to see that Dell decided to opt for 4GB of RAM, which may be fine for Chromebook use today. Unsure whether that will be the same in a couple of years from now.
It’s not the cheapest Chromebook when comparing the specs with other models. For example, the HP x 360 comes with the same processor and 8GB of RAM and is currently cheaper to buy. However, it’s worth noting it does come with half the storage when compared to the Dell Chromebook.
Also, it’s really important to remember that you get a Stylus as standard. They are not cheap and can cost anything from £70/$70 upwards, so you need to consider this when looking at the cost.
It’s a great Chromebook and is perfect for anyone looking for a 14-inch model that comes with a Stylus included. However, you need to be aware there are slightly cheaper Chromebooks with higher specs available.