Dell’s mid-range 2-in-1 notebooks, the “Inspiron 5000” series have been recently upgraded with the latest CPU technology from Intel. Today I’ll have a look at a top tier device, the Dell Inspiron i5378-7171GRY.
By looking at the price tag and the specs, you’d be tempted to believe this is the series’ flagship notebook. It is in fact the second best model, the first having a bigger SSD, as well as maxed out system memory.
I think this model, the i5378-7171GRY hits the sweet spot of value for money. It’s not obscenely expensive, yet comes with promising hardware choices, top of the line even. And, being a Dell 2-in-1, it also suffers from some shortcomings. More on that towards the end of this review.
First of all, the Dell Inspiron i5378-7171GRY is equipped with a state of the art, 7th generation Intel Core i7-7500U processor. This 2.7 GHz dual core is still fresh out of the oven, employing the newest Intel advances, code named Kaby Lake. It has 4 megabytes of cache, meaning it’s considerably more potent than its younger brother, the Core i5 CPU.
Having an i7 in a 2-in-1 laptop means performance will never be an issue. You’ll be able to achieve whatever goals you set with this device, no matter how intense or demanding they might be for the processor.
System memory comes in the form of single channel 8 gigabytes of DDR4-2400 RAM. Single channel means there’s only one memory stick installed in the only available slot. This arrangement is marginally less productive than a dual channel set up, so I wouldn’t worry about it much.
Still, if you want to upgrade to the maximum allowed of 16 gigabytes of memory, you can! Don’t forget to buy one 16GB stick, and not 2x8GB though.
As for storage space, the Dell Inspiron i5378-7171GRY has a 256-gigabyte solid state drive installed. The M.2 SATA3 SSD is a faster, more reliable alternative to a traditional, mechanical hard disk drive. The inferior model has a 1TB HDD installed, but I don’t think 4 times the space justifies the loss in sheer speed and support you’d get from the SSD.
Graphics and display
The Dell i5378-7171GRY has an integrated video card, the Intel HD Graphics 620 model. Although playing games will prove to be difficult, especially in the case of new titles, I’m sure some fun can be had with it. Especially if you’re not fussy and choose MMOs or online first person shooters, like TF2.
The versatile Inspiron 2-in-1 has a 13.3 inch FHD IPS Truelife LED-backlit touch enabled display. The two things to remember from that long line of acronyms are FHD and IPS. Full HD resolution on this 13.3″ screen looks gorgeous, while the IPS technology provides ultra wide viewing angles and vivid, rich color reproduction.
Interface and networking options
This new model (the i5378-7171GRY) sees the addition of a crucial interface port: the USB-C. Strangely, Dell has decided somewhere along the road to keep the USB 2.0 port in favor of switching to dual USB 3.0 ports.
- 1 x USB-C
- 1 x USB 3.0
- 1 x USB 2.0
- 1 x HDMI
- 1 x COMBO audio jack
- 1 x SD card reader
Wireless options are pretty standard. The new 802.11ac protocol is present, as well as dual band technology, but no MU-MIMO.
- Dual band 802.11ac (1×1)
- Bluetooth 4.2
Portability and battery life
The Dell Inspiron i5378-7171GRY isn’t the lightest of devices. Having a touchscreen adds weight to any laptop, and 3.4 pounds isn’t that much to carry around at the end of the day. It’s just not suited for long distance travel, but rather for short trips around town.
As for battery life, the 3-cell, 42 Whr battery pack will power the Dell for up to 6 or 7 hours. I think that’s a slightly disappointing number, even for a touch device. There are other laptops, even cheaper ones which will last 10 or 12 hours on one charge. However, this 2-in-1 is somewhat of a powerhouse, so choose wisely. If you value performance over portability, the Dell provides a good compromise.
All in all, the Dell Inspiron i5378-7171GRY has its ups and downs. But mostly ups. It’s a great tool for those who need a powerful laptop/tablet, but don’t necessarily entertain the idea of it being as slim or as portable as possible. I’m thinking about students, home office users and business professionals.
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