Dell’s going all out this year with its mid-range laptop/tablet hybrids, and the next series in line to receive the 2-in-1 treatment is the Inspiron 13 5000. It’s essentially a miniature version of Dell’s Inspiron 15 5668, taking its 360 degree hinge and fitting it on a smaller 13.3in screen. It also comes in a wider range of specifications, with the entry-level model starting at just £499.
Just like the Inspiron 15 5668, the Inspiron 13 5368 looks stunning, and its lightly textured gunmetal grey chassis adds a touch of class to its design that’s rarely seen on £500 laptops. It might be made out of plastic, but it feels remarkably robust and showed very few signs of flex when put under pressure.
Its compact size is also a much better fit for using its 360 degree hinge. In fact, when it’s folded back into tablet mode, its size feels much more akin to a sheet of A4 paper, making it a lot more manageable and easy to use than the 15.6in screen on the Inspiron 15 5668.
It has built-in palm rejection, too, so it’s a good fit for graphic designers and digital artists who need a touchscreen they can bend to their will. You’ll need to buy a stylus if you don’t already have one, though, as it doesn’t come with one in the box. Still, even if you’re only using it to kick back with a bit of Netflix, the hinges are incredibly sturdy and they held the screen in place no matter how hard I prodded and pushed with my fingers. There was naturally a little bit of bounce, but the screen didn’t fall backwards like it did on the Inspiron 15 5668.
It’s a shame, then, that the Inspiron 13 5368’s colour accuracy is so poor, as our colour calibrator showed its 13.3in, 1,920×1,080 display was only capable of showing 58.7% of the sRGB colour gamut. This is very disappointing regardless of which specification you’re looking at, as its lack of colour coverage means you lose out on a lot of detail and overall colour depth. Its contrast ratio of 1,220:1 was more promising, capturing a decent amount of shadow detail in darker images, but its low peak brightness level of 252cd/m2 just makes everything look rather drab and washed out. It also makes it tricky to use outdoors, as I struggled to see the screen clearly out in the sun.
Keyboard and touchpad
Thankfully, it’s still a great laptop to work on thanks to its excellent keyboard. Every key is incredibly tactile and responsive, and it made word processing an absolute breeze. The full-sized keyboard uses up pretty much all of the space available to it, but those with large hands may still find it a little cramped – a problem the Inspiron 15 5668 suffered from as well.
Still, I certainly didn’t have any problems with the touchpad. General web browsing and two-finger scrolling was perfectly responsive, and the integrated mouse buttons didn’t pose too much of a problem, either.
Admittedly, the Inspiron 13 5368 doesn’t have a huge amount of stamina for when you’re away from the mains, but its 5 hours and 26 minutes of continuous video playback in our battery life test should still get you through a lengthy commute. This was with the screen brightness set to 170cd/m2 as well, so turning the screen brightness down will likely extend the laptop’s run time even further.
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