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Dell brings Intel’s 10th-Gen processors to refreshed Inspiron, Vostro laptops

Dell showed off its refreshed lineup of Inspiron notebooks ahead of the IFA trade show, and they share the same premium design as their predecessors – including a metal case – but these laptops also come with important under-the-hood upgrades that promise better performance all around. Considered an iterative refresh, the latest crop of Inspirons – spanning the 3000, 5000, and 7000 series, as well as the premium 2-in-1 convertibles —  now ship with Intel’s latest 10th-generation Comet Lake processors. The upgrade means that these laptops will come with better integrated graphics performance and long battery life.

2-in-1 convertibles

Dell Inspiron 7000 series 2-in-1 with 10th-Gen Intel Image used with permission by copyright holder

Available in 13-, 15-, and 17-inch display sizes, the Inspiron 7000 2-in-1 comes with a full-size Active Pen that works with the screen when it’s rotated a full 360 degrees, allowing the laptop to convert into tablet mode. This model is available in either Platinum Silver or Abyss Black color variants, but you’ll want to choose the darker-hued tone if you want a more premium experience. Though both models will allow you to draw or annotate on the screen with the bundled Active Pen, the black model is the only one that comes with pen garage built into the rotating hinge to stow the accessory when not in use, and unlike the silver tone, it can be configured with up to a 4K UHD touchscreen display with narrow borders. Dell claims that the screen can reach up to 300 nits of brightness and the display can cover up to 100 percent of the sRGB color space.

The 13-inch 7391, 15-inch 7591, and 17-inch 7791 2-in-1 variants all top out with Intel’s Core i7-10510U processor, though a less expensive 10th-Gen Core i5 option is also available. The 13-inch model makes due with Intel’s integrated UHD graphics, while the two larger models come with Intel’s GeForce MX250 graphics. If you like to have a bite of food or a drink while tapping away at your laptop, these models come with Dell’s spill-resistant backlit keyboardg, and the chassis is made from stamped aluminum for a more premium feel. Similar to Apple’s latest MacBook Air, a fingerprint reader is built into the power key. Other specifications include a maximum of 16GB of memory and 1TB solid-sate drive.

These laptops start at $849, and all models will be available on October 1 in North America and on August 22 in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region.

If you need something more affordable, Dell’s Inspiron 5000 series convertible with a 14-inch display comes in at just $579 when it ships on October 1. Here, you’re still getting the same 10th-Gen processor that tops out with a Core i7 configuration, but the Inspiron 5491 convertible starts with an Intel Core i3-1011U, giving it a lower starting price. In addition to Intel’s integrated UHD graphics, you’ll also find Nvidia’s GeForce MX230, along with a 14-inch panel that tops out with FHD resolution. Both SATA hard drives and solid-state drive options are available here.

This model is geared more toward media consumption, and it comes with Dell CinemaColor display profiles, CinemaSound with Waves MaxxAudio tuning, and CinemaStream to help optimize video traffic for the best streaming experience. Like the more expensive 7000 series, there’s slim bezels to give you an immersive display experience, and you can also use an optional Active Pen to draw or annotate on the display. Modern Standby delivers an instant-on performance, helping you get to what you need to do on a PC faster.

Premium clamshell

Image used with permission by copyright holder

In North America, the smallest Inspiron 7000 non-convertible notebook will be the 14-inch model, so those looking for a more compact 13-inch 7000 series Inspiron will have to splurge for the 2-in-1 convertible model. Like the 2-in-1, this refresh brings Intel’s 10th-Gen Core i7-10510U to the mix, along with a plethora of radios and modems designed to keep you connected and productive all day.

This laptop features Wi-Fi 6 for speedy connections to Wi-Fi hotspots at home and at work, and when you’re away, you can even add an optional WWAN modem for fast 4G LTE mobile broadband access with either a micro SIM card or eSIM. Thunderbolt 3 over USB-C ensures future-proof connection to peripherals and accessories, and will allow you to connect the Inspiron 14 7000 series 7490 to an eGPU should the integrated Intel UHD or discrete Nvidia GeForce MX250 prove insufficient. This laptop maxes out with a 14-inch FHD resolution display with 300 nits of brightness and 100 percent sRGB coverage in either touchscreen or non-touch variants.

Lending the 7000 series notebook its premium feel is its magnesium alloy construction, which gives the laptop added sturdiness and makes it more resistant to dings than one wirth standard aluminum construction. Security is handled by an optional fingerprint reader, which is built into the power key. Configurations max out with 16GB of DDR3 RAM and 1TB NVMe solid-state storage.

The laptop is available in either Platinum Silver or Ice Berry color tones, and it will begin shipping October 1 in North America with a starting price of $929.

Inspiron 5000 and 3000 laptops

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Stepping down to the Inspiron 3000 and 5000 series will still give you similar 10th-Gen Intel performance as the premium Inspiron 7000 series notebook but at a more affordable cost. The Inspiron 3000, for example, starts at just $389 for the 14-inch version when it ships on October 1 in North America, while the Inspiron 13 5000 series starts at $579.

In North America, the Inspiron 3000 series will be available in three screen sizes. In addition to the 14-inch version, a 15-inch model will be priced starting at $599, and the large 17-inch variant starts at $100 more. These models feature many of the media consumption enhancements of the Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1, like CinemaStream, CinemaColor, and CinemaSound.

To keep costs low, the models start with a Core i3 processor, with upgraded configurations topping out with the same 10th-Gen Intel Core i7-10510U as the premium 7000 series models. Displays start with HD resolution, though users can upgrade to FHD on these models, and a touchscreen option is available on models with the larger screen sizes.

All the models come with integrated UHD graphics, though some models will come with Intel Iris Plus graphics. Discrete graphics range from Nvidia GeForce MX230 to AMD Radeon 610, depending on the model. Given the low entry price, there will be a hard drive option, though users can upgrade to a model with a solid-state or hybrid dual drive configurations.

As the midrange model, the 5000 series, available in a 13-inch configuration in North America, comes in at 14.9mm thin with a starting weight of 2.59 pounds and shares a lot of its features with both the affordable 3000 series and the premium 7000 series. An aluminum top cover and palm rest helps add to the 5000 series’ premium appeal. It also has a power button integrated into the keyboard itself.

Available with an option for a 4G LTE radio, the 13-inch 5000 series comes in either a touchscreen or non-touch configuration, and both screen options come with FHD resolution. Intel UHD graphics are complemented by Nvidia’s GeForce MX250 discrete graphics, and the keyboard is backlit. Configurations top out with a 10th-Gen Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB of DDR3 RAM, and 512GB PCIe solid-state drive.

Business class upgrades

Dell Vostro side profile Image used with permission by copyright holder

Dell also updated its Vostro line of small business notebooks to 10th-Gen processors. The Vostro 3000 and 5000 series start with Intel’s Core i3 and top out with Intel’s Core i7 processor., Select models include discrete graphics powered by AMD Radeon 610 or Nvidia GeForce MX250 graphics.

Dell claims that the Vostros are designed for intelligent cooling, with thermals managed by hardware and software. The hinge lifts up the laptop’s rear, for example, to optimize airflow, and the laptop uses accelerometers to detect if it’s on a stable surface or used on a lap. On a tabletop, it will switch to performance tuning for the best results, while on your lap, where clothing may obstruct the bottom-facing vents, the notebooks will throttle down to prevent overheating.

Given that these laptops are designed for business use, they’ll be outfitted with an anti-glare non-reflective screen.

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Chuong Nguyen
Silicon Valley-based technology reporter and Giants baseball fan who splits his time between Northern California and Southern…
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