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I've been testing a few laptops recently, my background is a pc builder and enthusiast so I am rarely super impressed with pc offerings even less laptops, as they usually are fairly bog standard and not that exciting. And I usually pick up on some weaker areas fairly quickly.

Having tested this new Dell though, I am officially impressed because Dell have outdone themselves in most areas and for the asking price you get a very good spec laptop that stands out among competitors for a number of reasons. Firstly the overall specification is very good, with a decent processor, lots of ram and a quite sensational battery life.

I'll run through my quick fire good/bad list first and go into a bit more detail afterwards

+ Very good processor and overall spec, more than enough to handle a desktop replacement job or most home users needs
+ 1TB hard drive and 6GB ram is plenty for even demanding media collectors. DVD burner also present
+ Built is good with solid plastics, firm lid mechanism and it looks quite attractive too
+ Very good LED screen, clear bright and good viewing angles 1,366x768 resolution
+ Good connectivity, HDMI port, 4x USB ports, (2 being USB 3.0) (3 on the left one on the right near the DVD burner), 3.5mm headphone socket, wired LAN port and a card reader (SD), most of what you want is here.
+ Decent webcam (did quite well in lower light too)
+ Nice quality keyboard good tactile feedback and responsive touch pad (I touch type and found the keyboard excellent overall)
+ Stunning battery life I got over 7 hours in use and this is one area where the Dell is most impressive, that's way better than many offerings in this price range. The days of grabbing your charger after a couple of hours are gone with this laptop
+ It's quite a slim laptop compared to some offerings, though not the smallest (about 1" thick)

- Screen can pick up reflections a bit
- Speakers are quite loud but lack bass response, this isn't unusual on most laptops (bar higher end offerings)

Some notes:
You have 2 memory slots so there is potential to upgrade the ram to 16GB in total though few will need the extra memory which is very comfortable for most users

The Intel Intel Core i3-3217U runs at 1.8GHz, I've used slightly faster variants of this from other makers, however the performance is good overall and more than capable of handing normal day to day tasks and even a bit of video/image editing, it's not a high end processor, but it's significantly faster than some of the super budget models out there.

Roughly on a par with a budget desktop processor, I have a slightly slower (older) model in my older laptop and it's more than capable of delivering the goods for most work tasks.

On-board graphics are suitable for some lighter gaming (if you turn the settings down a bit) this isn't a gaming laptop but is capable enough for casual use. More importantly the Intel HD chip-set can offload most of the work from the processor for HD video and media playback..smooth frame rates and you can work on other tasks without the processor getting taxed.

Windows is now on 8.1 which has improved a few areas (boot to desktop option, and a semi return of the start menu) it's a step up from the first release, but give yourself a bit of time to get used to it if you are coming from previous windows version.

Whilst some rivals might have slightly quicker processors, you are getting a good deal here lots of ram, good storage and a nice quality package overall (in every way screen, build, keyboard) If you are the type of user who wants some good battery endurance I feel this model has the edge over some other offerings. Battery life is quite outstanding for such a laptop, far better than the usual 3/4 hour offerings. So with that in mind I think taking everything into account, this is a very capable and good value offering.

One of the best laptops I've used in this price segment, highly recommended
88 comments| 150 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 9 June 2014
I returned this laptap to the seller and requested a full refund. At the moment, the seller has the laptop but refuses to refund or answer my questions about when they will refund, although Amazon have ordered the seller to refund me in full including the cost of returning the laptop to the seller.

This laptop worked OK for a couple of weeks and then, suddenly, would not power on. I contacted Dell support but they could not come up with a permanent fix. I went on the web, then, and found dozens of other unhappy people experiencing the same problems that I was having. After setting aside for a couple of weeks to lose the static electricity build-up, the laptop would power on but refused to load Windows. Tried and failed a few more times, then decided to abandon attempt.

In my experience - and, apparently, that of many others - this model is not fit for purpose, having a design failure that makes it completely unreliable. You could not count on it for maintaining your e-mail correspondence or checking your bank statements at any time on any day of the year. What else are computers for but at least to be able to do that? I gather that you can get it to work by taking out the battery. But, as this is a bit of kit that is intended to work with the battery IN, it is not acceptable that in many instances it can be got to work only by taking the battery OUT.

The reviews on the product page for this laptop must have been written by the seller's mates, as they are wholly misleading.

As the seller is now sitting on both the laptop and my money, despite Amazon ordering them to refund I have had to ask the credit card people to start a charge-back process. Very angry.
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on 26 July 2013
It is very stylish and very fast laptop.Intel i3 processor is really faster than i thought.i bought this laptop for 1000gb storage and i am really happy with that
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on 9 July 2014
Really enjoying the speed of this laptop. I did not like the Windows 8 as supplied but to upgrade to 8.1 was simplicity in itself. A no brainer and so much easier to work with. Boot-up is really very quick. Love the sharpness of the screen as I do a lot of photography and a joy to see the reproduction
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on 29 May 2014
A good specification for the price coupled with a strong build quality.

+ Nice fingerprint free textured finish
+ Good feel to the keyboard
+ Handles most applications with ease.
+ Spacious and well performing hard drive

- Screen is quite washed out and of a relatively low resolution
- Poor inbuilt speakers
- Lack of an audio in port, though this is not a common feature
of laptops in this price range, it may put off some.
- Stupid dell bloatware pre-installed
0Comment| 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 10 February 2015
No hardware prob but software isn't as expected. System hangs and not as smooth as it should be
I wasn't gave any detail regarding software point of view. I hope Amazon would try to make it more transparent.
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on 5 July 2014
Previous Acer laptop was a disaster and the daughter's old Dell had been great, so bought this.

Looks good and speed is okay, but I do a lot of writing on it and it has a problem with fake mouse clicks. You are typing and suddenly your text moves to a different place on the page. Not being a touch-typist I have to look at the keyboard most of the time, so don't always see this has occurred until I've wasted some time. Very annoying and it is nothing to do with me touching the mouse pad, it just happens when the laptop fancies it. Therefore, when working on a large piece it is necessary to plug in a keyboard and mouse. Now while I prefer these, you shouldn't have to use them on a laptop. It becomes no more than a small screen desktop. Very annoying.

The second and worse problem, is Windows 8/8.1. What an absolutely terrible OS this is. It surpasses Windows 95 and Vista in awfulness. Accordingly, having had so much trouble with Bill Gates' system I've taken the drastic step of scrubbing Windows and loading Ubuntu. What a difference. It just does what it should. No hidden files and no irritating pop-ups or stupid settings.

No more Windows in my house. It would be good if Dell and other manufacturers offered Ubuntu ready-loaded or even with no OS so you can load your choice. I've seen this available on some desktops and will email Dell my comments. Anyway, that's why i cannot give this product more than two stars.
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on 27 May 2014
Very pleased with my Dell laptop,easy to use and always plenty of help if needed. Sound, screen resolution, all great.
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on 16 June 2014
I am really happy with my purchase. I like Dell laptops and I am actually moving from an old D830 to this new model.

Plenty of momory and disk space and pretty fast
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on 19 January 2015
the laptop is great,very fast but windows 8 is a nightmare, had to update to be able to get 8.1 download which actually stopped me thinking of returning the product as not fit for purpose. Now it is usable as a PC with 8.1, but I do feel the way you have to dilsclose/sign up to windows outlook just to get updates is a bit mean on microsofts part. I dont like being forced into anything but the kids insisted
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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