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Dell Inspiron 13 5000 (5368) review

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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.

Display

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.

Dell Inspiron 13 5000 flipped

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.

Dell Inspiron 13 5000 keyboard

Battery life

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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