Dell Inspiron 13 7373 2-in-1 Review: Unnecessarily compromised
Dell Inspiron 13 7373 2-in-1 Detailed Review
Dell’s laptop lineup is very straightforward. You have the XPS lineup, which is considered one of the best Windows-powered laptop lineups today, and then you move on to the Inspiron series, with the 7000 series at the top and the 3000 series at the bottom. There is also a 5000 series, but in this review, we look at the Dell Inspiron 7373, which is part of the 7000 series. The next best thin and light notebook you can buy from Dell after XPS in 7373 order. On paper, it offers a slightly inferior specification compared to the He XPS 13 underlined by the latest Intel processor, but is that enough to justify its Rs. 96190 Price tag? Okay, we’ve been using the machine for over a week to find out.
Construction and design
The 7000 series is famous for its build quality. The Inspiron 7373 here offers an all-aluminum shell on the front and back that looks premium and quite powerful to the touch. It is easily one of the more well-built laptops at its price. That said, don’t expect Build Quality to be on par with Dell’s XPS lineup, which is still a grade above. An aluminum shell also reduces the chances of flex, so if you’re a heavy-handed typist, you’ll be happy to know there’s no flex on the keyboard deck. The same goes for displays that are protected by a glass front in addition to the aluminum lid and have no flex under normal torsional stress. However, we think Dell could extend the lower bezels to the hinges, which would have looked better. Also, the edges around the keyboard deck are a bit sharp and dig into your wrist after long typing. Above all we are quite satisfied with the build quality of the laptop and the battery indicator on the lid is a really nice touch.
Opening the back cover reveals the system layout that packs a 38Wh battery, which is simply larger in size, not in power. The two speakers are on either side of the battery and you can see the processor is being cooled by a single blower style cooler. The RAM is soldered to the motherboard and is only convertible using a 512GB SSD SATA drive. Then again, opening this laptop in the first place is not so easy and if you do, you will void its warranty.
Display and I / O
The 13.3-inch display offers standard 1920 x 1080p resolution and uses an IPS LCD panel. The display has good color fidelity and viewing angles are also satisfactory. The glossy touchscreen display reflects somewhat under bright light but it’s not really a deal breaker. The panel is made by Sharp and is as bright as any other laptop in the category and offers touch support using entry-level touch technology. You can use an active stylus with the display, but unfortunately Dell does not provide one with the laptop and will have to buy separately.
While the display is good enough, we’re happy to announce that the 13-inch thin and light notebook is one of the best I / O selections we’ve seen in a while at this price. It has two standard USB 3.0 type ports on either side. Features a USB 3.0 Type-C Gen 1 port, HDMI out, headphone / microphone 3.5mm jack and an SD card slot. This is more than what its competitors have to offer. Dell, however, stuck to the Thunderbolt port that is present in the Dell XPS 13 and other machines such as the Yoga 720. Also, the laptop is still using a standard barrel charger and Dell could easily replace it with a future-proof USB Type-C port.
Keyboard and touchpad
On the other hand, the keyboard may not win the award, but it is reliable. Don’t set your expectations too high though. If you are looking for a similar typing experience like the Dell XPS 13 then you will be disappointed. The keyboard of this machine is a small travel and the keys are a little stiff. So, just a few hours after typing we start to get an annoying feeling in the fingers, but your mileage may change. All keys are pressed down with an equal amount of force and go down with a small audible sound. It has a two-stage white backlighting feature, but the toggle for it is in the F10 key which is not easy to find in the dark.
The touchpad is not as good as its expensive siblings. You get a plastic matte finish touchpad, which is not as smooth as some of its competitors. It has a weird ‘granular’ feel to it, which seems a bit rough. That said, it was right and once you get over the roughness, it allows for all kinds of Windows gestures. Windows precision drivers are easy to use and can be further calibrated to suit your needs. For left-click and right-click keys, they go down with a small click and give a subtle audible sound.
Inside you will find the latest Intel Core i7-8550U processor. For non-gaming laptops at the moment this is the latest top of the line 8th Gen Intel processor. Until the 7th generation, all processors were dual-core, but with the 8th generation, Intel is finally bringing a quad-core setup to its U-Series product lineup. This gives these new Zen processors and machines a huge increase in performance compared to their predecessors. This powerhouse chip comes with a dual channel 16GB RAM kit, which is enough for almost all the work that this processor can handle. The 512GB M.2 SSD storage is just a SATA drive and so you’ll get much lower speeds than PCIe based SSDs which are quickly becoming commonplace in thin and light laptops. In fact, this SSD made by SK Hynix is one of the slowest seen in recent times on a thin and light.
If you use the machine just for office work or browsing the web, it gets a little warm on the keyboard. When we pushed the machine to its limit through Prime 95, we saw that the heat in the bottom panel was becoming unbearable. The num key area also gets hot, but this shouldn’t be a problem if you work at a desk. That said, we would advise against using the machine in your lap when the processor is working intensively.
Audio output through twin speakers cracks quite loud but at high volume. The audio quality seemed decent and although it would lack a suitable pitcher, you could still hear some music.
In addition, the Inspiron 7373 misses a fingerprint scanner and instead offers a Windows Hello-enabled camera, which only works randomly and only in good light conditions.
However, the worst part of this laptop is the battery life, which is extremely bad for a laptop of this size for only 3-4 hours. In comparison, most slim and lightweight laptops offer almost twice as much battery life. We find it quite surprising that on one end the Dell XPS line offers one of the best battery life in this segment and then there is the Inspiron 7373 which is incompatible with some mainstream laptops. Even more gaming-centric Dell Inspiron 7000 gaming laptops offer a better battery life. We’re not sure about you, but it could be a breach of contract for something we’ve included.
The last row
The Dell Inspiron 7373 may be next to a much higher XPS line, but it seems to be a much more compromised machine than paper. Performance is excellent, build quality is good, displays are usable, but beyond that, things start to go downhill. The keyboard isn’t particularly great, it misses a fingerprint scanner and then has awesome battery life. Subper Battery Life completely eliminates the need for it to be ultraportable. To be fair, even at 96K no other thin and light laptop offers the same functionality or port. However, unless you are happy to sit near a power plug, you should avoid the Dell Inspiron 7373 altogether.
Alternatively, we suggest you spend a little more and get the Dell XPS 13 first, or you can choose the old but still powerful Lenovo Yoga 720, which is a good machine for the price. Even the Asus Zenbook Flip is a substantial alternative.