Dell Inspiron 15z review

Dell's latest family-friendly Windows 8 Ultrabook

Dell Inspiron 15z review
The Dell Inspiron 15z Ultrabook runs Windows 8 but lacks a touchscreen

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It's difficult to find fault with the Dell Inspiron 15z as a standard, everyday laptop. It fulfils all the basic requirements and isn't difficult to use. However, consumer trends are changing. Ultrabooks are, for the most part, more desirable and far more portable than this.

Whether you want a laptop-tablet hybrid, Ultrabook, tablet or laptop comes down to personal preference.

While the Dell Inspiron 15z doesn't offer a full resolution display, masses of portability or an expansive hard drive, it does offer good usability and an attractive price tag. If all you want is a new, Windows 8-running laptop for the family, then Dell has produced another worthy contender.

We liked

The solid construction and design of the Dell Inspiron 15z, along with its usability, are excellent reasons to consider this laptop. Not only that, but the performance and specifications are both more than reasonable for the price.

There are a couple of bonus features, such as the presence of a RW DVD drive and a backlit keyboard, that also lift this above the budget range.

We disliked

The Dell Inspiron 15z would benefit a great deal from having a touchscreen as standard. This would enable you to interact better with the Windows 8 UI and go some way towards future-proofing the Ultrabook.

Given the popularity of tablets and the new crop of hybrids arriving at the moment, customers are comfortable with touchscreens on PCs, and the absence of it here makes the Dell Inspiron 15z feel dated. We also would have liked to see a better resolution, more hard drive space and a better battery.

Final verdict

The Dell Inspiron 15z continues to deliver an accomplished laptop experience without any of the extra bells and whistles that manufacturers use to market new devices.

It's an old-fashioned laptop experience with significant build quality, design and technical power to lift it above the hoardes of budget notebooks.

It doesn't cling to any one discipline - being neither a truly portable device, nor a gaming laptop, nor a hybrid, but manages to successfully cover all the bases.