The Best Video Editing Laptops of 2017

Few tasks need horsepower more than video editors. Though you can clip small clips with cheap laptop, with original HD or 4K video or create special effects, you need a fast processor, powerful discrete graphics and high resolution display. There are five laptop computers that are powerful enough to handle your most critical video editing programs.

If you’re wondering if your gaming laptop can edit video, it probably can, but a dedicated media creation system is more likely to get perfect renders every time.

How much does a video editing laptop cost?

For a video editing laptop, you want something with a discrete graphics card. The cheapest on our list, which boast Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1050 GPU, start at around $1,000. For something with a more powerful card like a high-end Quadro or GTX 1060, as well as features like a high-end display, you may pay around $2,500 or more.

If you prefer editing on an Apple machine, the new 15-inch Macbook Pro with Touch Bar is hard to top. It comes with a faster Intel Core i7 CPU, a more powerful Radeon Pro 460 GPU and a brighter and more colorful display. The Touch Bar can even adapt depending on what app you’re using, so you can apply filters or scrub through a clip without ever leaving fullscreen mode. Weighing just 4 pounds and 14.9mm thick, the new MacBook is even thinner and lighter than last year’s model.

Pros: Light weight for the size; Sharp Retina display; Long Apple 15 inch macbook pro Battery life

Cons: Has only Thunderbolt 3 ports

Key Specs: 15.4-inch, 2880 x 1800 screen; Core i7 Kaby Lake CPU; AND Radeon Pro 560 GPU; 4 pounds

With a gorgeous, lightweight carbon-fiber chassis and an eye-popping 4K screen that displays 188 percent of the sRGB color gamut, the XPS 15 lets you edit video in style. The 15-inch, 4.6-pound laptop also offers strong specs, such as a quad-core, Core i7 CPU, Nvidia GTX 1050 graphics and an NVMe-PCIe SSD.

Pros: Gorgeous InfinityEdge display; Stylish carbon-fibre and aluminum chassis; Good Dell xps m1530 laptop battery life
Cons: Webcam looks up your nose

Key Specs: 15.6-inch, 1080p or 4K screen; Up to Core i7-7700HQ CPU; Optional Nvidia GTX 1050 Graphics; 4.6 pounds

Both a powerful laptop and a portable tablet, the Surface Book 2 is the most versatile notebook you can use to edit video. It comes with a powerful 8th Gen Core i7 CPU and discrete Nvidia GTX 1060 GPU, as well as an incredibly vibrant 3240 x 2160 display. It lasted over 12 hours on our battery test, so you can edit all day without fear of losing a charge. If the 15-inch version is too big or too expensive for you, there’s also a 13.5-inch option, but that steps down to either integrated or GTX 1050 graphics.

Pros: Detachable screen;  Great pen experience; Long battery life;
Cons: Very expensive; No Thunderbolt 3 port;

Key Specs: 15-inch, 3240 x 2160 screen; Intel Core i7-8650U CPU; Nvidia GTX 1060 GPU;

HP’s ZBook Studio G4 isn’t just a good looker. It’s a utility focused workstation that’s perfect for video editing thanks to a wide variety of ports for hard drives and other peripherals, a 4K display option with vivid colors, and a range of Nvidia Quadtro graphics. It can get really expensive for the most powerful configurations (we tested it at over $6,000), but you also get a 3-year warranty.

Pros: High-end performance; Vivid 4K display; Durable design
Cons: Bulky; Very pricey

Key Specs: 17.3-inch, 4K display;  Up to Intel Xeon E3-1535M v5 CPU; Up to Nvidia Quadro P5000 GPU; 7.1 pounds

You may flip for the Yoga 720. This convertible 2-in-1 has a 15.6-inch 1080p display, a quad-core Core i7-7700HQ CPU, a 256GB PCIe SSD and an Nvidia GTX 1050 GPU for a starting price of $999 (a 4K screen is extra).

With that kind of power under the hood, you can easily edit and transcode Ultra HD videos. You can even bend the screen back 270 degrees and edit clips in presentation or tent modes. The Yoga 720 lasted almost 9 hours the Laptop Mag Battery Test, so it will get you through a cross-country flight’s worth of media creation.

Pros: 2-in-1  Design; Long battery life; Vivid display; Strong Performance
Cons: Plain design

Key Specs: 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 (or 4K) screen; Core i7-7700HQ CPU, Nvidia GTX 1050 GPU; 4.55 pounds

Review:HP EliteBook 1040 G4

REVIEW

HP’s 14-inch EliteBook 1040 G4 is a solid business notebook that’s as good for play as it is for work. This is because its bright, vibrant display screen is of good quality and produces solid sound with a Bang & Olufsen tuned loudspeaker. The high performance, the four core model provides a ton of speed, and the dual core (Intel Series) model can be charged for 10 hours, but not very suitable for typing. But there are lots of places to love for this laptop, especially if you can make good use of its excellent sound effects.

Design

When closed, the aluminum EliteBook 1040 G4 looks like a sleek pair of silver wedges sitting on top of each other. Its matte lid and deck look somewhat standard, but its shiny, reflective edges stand out.

Weighing 3.4 pounds and measuring 13 x 9.2 x 0.6 inches, the EliteBook 1040 G4 is lighter and thinner than the 14-inch Lenovo ThinkPad 25 (3.6 pounds, 13.25 x 9.15 x 0.8 inches) and heavier than the 13-inch Dell Latitude 7380 (2.8 pounds, 12 x 8.3 x 0.6 inches).

The EliteBook splits its dual Type-A USB 3 ports between its left and right sides, and both of its power-drawing USB Type-C (3.1) ports are on the right side, next to its HDMI 1.4 port. The left side also has a laptop lock slot and a headphone jack.

Display

The EliteBook 1040’s 14-inch display offers crisp, vivid images. As I watched the teaser trailer for Avengers: Infinity War, I admired how it nailed the difficult-to-display purple of Thanos’ body, his gold armor and the blue glow from Black Panther’s spear. The 1920 x 1080-pixel panel is also crisp enough to show the intricate glowing patterns that emanated from Doctor Strange’s hands.

According to our colorimeter, the two EliteBook 1040 models we tested produced an average of 113 percent of the sRGB color gamut. . That beats the 101-percent average for thin-and-light notebooks and the 77-percent score from the Lenovo ThinkPad 25, but it’s less than the 144 percent we saw from the Dell Latitude 7380.

The two EliteBook 1040 models we tested emitted 278 and 292 nits (for the 7820HQ and 7500U models, respectively) of brightness. Those marks soar above what we recorded for the Latitude 7380 (267 nits) and the ThinkPad 25 (221 nits), as well as the 253-nit category average. That’s bright enough for a solid range of viewing angles, as I saw Doctor Strange’s red cape stay strong at 30 degrees to the left and right.

Those who want a solid business notebook with a great screen, strong performance and all-day battery life should check out the EliteBook 1040 G4.

The touch-screen display on the EliteBook offers speedy input recognition, doing a fantastic job of keeping up as I rapidly doodled in Paint. The screen’s right and left sides correctly registered Windows 10’s gestures for navigating windows and opening side menus.

The touch screen is a $133 upgrade, and HP also offers an optional 4K (3840 x 2160-pixel) display for $145, a 4K touch screen for $287 and a Sure View privacy screen for $53.. Sure View, HP’s technology that makes it harder for people to read over your shoulder, isn’t available for either 4K display.

Security and Durability

The EliteBook 1040 G4 has several ways to keep your data secure. In addition to HP’s optional Sure View privacy screens, which can help prevent someone from stealing intellectual property from you by peeping at your screen, the EliteBook 1040 packs HP’s Sure Start technology, which automatically repairs your laptop’s BIOS (the root-level infrastructure of your system) in case of attack.

While every EliteBook 1040 G4 features an IR webcam for Windows Hello-protected logins, only certain models (those with Intel’s Core i5-7300U, Core i7-7600U and Core i7-7820HQ CPUs) include Intel’s vPro security technology for remote management by IT professionals. Fingerprint scanning and smart-card reading are notably missing; the former feature is optional for the Dell Latitude 7380, while both features are in the Lenovo ThinkPad 25.

HP promises that this EliteBook is durable. To ensure this, the notebook passed MIL-SPEC-810G testing — the rigors that U.S. military gear must pass — which HP says will keep it safe from “drops and minor spills.”

Keyboard and Touchpad

The EliteBook’s keyboard delivered a mixed typing experience. Testing out the EliteBook 1040’s keyboard on the 10fastfingers.com typing test, I hit a rate of 73 words per minute, a small drop from my 80-wpm average. The keys felt OK, with 1.4 millimeters of travel and 68 grams of required actuation force. (We look for around 1.5 mm and at least 60 grams.)

Annoyingly, the keyboard deck on the Core-i7 7820HQ model we tested had a sharp front edge, which distracted multiple Laptop Mag staffers during testing, leading one colleague to describe it as “cutting into his wrists.” This oddity wasn’t present in the Core i7-7500U model.

In contrast to these EliteBook keyboards, which we found to be somewhere between OK and frustrating, both the Lenovo ThinkPad 25 and the Dell Latitude 7380 pack amazingly comfortable keyboards, with the former also offering Lenovo’s TrackPoint nub.

The 4.3 x 2.5 touchpads on the EliteBooks tracked my input accurately as I navigated the desktop. It also correctly registered the navigational gestures in Windows 10 and web-page scrolling in Chrome.

Audio

The strong sound produced by the EliteBook 1040 G4 is yet another example of HP’s partnership with the audiophiles of Bang & Olufsen, whose branding sits next to the gridded speaker above the keyboard. When listening to St. Vincent’s “Los Ageless” on the EliteBook, I noted clear vocals, accurate synths and sturdy bass. Neither the Dell Latitude 7380 nor the Lenovo ThinkPad 25 offers sound quality that comes close.

The included Bang & Olufsen Audio app includes three audio options; the default Music setting is best. The Movies option distorts vocals, and the Voice setting drops out nearly all of the bass.

Performance

Though both EliteBook 1040 G4 configurations we tested had 1080p screens, 16GB of RAM and 512GB solid-state drives, one was powered by a dual-core Core i7-7500U CPU while the other had a more powerful, quad-core Core i7-7820HQ processor. Both offer great multitasking, but the quad-core processor delivered much stronger overall performance. When testing both machines, I saw no lag or delay as I scrolled down pages and moved between tabs after splitting each screen between a 1080p streaming YouTube video and a dozen Chrome tabs (including Giphy, Slack, Gmail and Google Docs).

The performance gap between these two HP machines widened on the Geekbench 4 general performance test. The 7820HQ-enabled model hit a higher 13,463, beating the 8,360 from the 7500U-powered unit. This means the U model is closer to the 8,493 thin-and-light-notebook average and the 8,355 from the Dell Latitude 7380 (Core i7-7600U CPU with vPro technology, 8GB of RAM). Both scores are higher than the 7,766 from the Lenovo ThinkPad 25 (Intel Core i7-7500U, 16GB of RAM).

The strong sound produced by the EliteBook 1040 G4 is yet another example of HP’s partnership with the audiophiles of Bang & Olufsen.

The 512GB PCIe NVMe TLC SSDs in the EliteBook 1040 G4 are fast, but the 7500U-powered model had an edge with its 282.7 MBps copy speed, outpacing its 231-MBps counterpart in the 7820HQ-enabled model. Both rates exceed the 218.8-MBps category average and the 196 MBps from the ThinkPad 25 (512GB NVMe M.2 PCI-e SSD) but fall below the 299 MBps from the Latitude 7380 (256GB SATA hard drive).

On our OpenOffice macro test — which matches 20,000 names and addresses — the EliteBook 1040 notebooks posted a pair of close times (3:41 for 7820HQ, 3:36 for 7500U). Those marks are shorter than the 4:21 category average, close to the 3:36 from the ThinkPad 25 and longer than the 3:14 from the Latitude 7380.

Gaming and Graphics

Armed with Intel’s 620 and 630 integrated graphics (for the 7500U and 7820HQ, respectively), the EliteBooks pack a modest amount of firepower for gaming. Both ran the Dirt 3 racer game (set to medium graphics, 1080p) at rates exceeding our 30-frames-per-second playability threshold. But the 7500U model’s 620 card scored a higher 63 fps, and the 7820HQ’s 630 card managed 34 fps. The 47-fps category average is between those two marks.

The EliteBook 1040’s 14-inch display offers crisp, vivid images.

Over on the 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited benchmark, the HP EliteBook 1040 G4 scored 84,917 (7820HQ) and 78,347 (7500U), both of which are above the 70,461 category average and the 73,063 from the Dell Latitude 7380 but below the Lenovo ThinkPad 25’s 112,717.

Battery Life

The EliteBook 1040 G4 offers decent to great longevity, depending on the model. Intel’s HQ model uses a power-hungry 45-watt CPU, and the U model uses a 15-watt CPU. The more efficient U model of the EliteBook lasted 10 hours and 35 seconds on the Laptop Mag Battery Test, which involves continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi. The HQ model lasted a more modest 8:07.

The 8:37 category average falls between those two times, and the Dell Latitude 7380 made it even longer (10:46). The Lenovo ThinkPad 25 lasted a short 6:52 with its three-cell Lenovo thinkpad t60 battery but 13:14 with its six-cell battery (an optional $139 upgrade).

Webcam

The 0.9-megapixel webcam in the EliteBook 1040 G4 is serviceable, and that’s about it. Yes, I can recognize myself in the selfies I shot in the office.

But the edges of my clear glasses are blurred out, and a chromatic particle filter seems to be applied to the image; you can see flecks of all the colors of the rainbow on the white ceiling tiles above me and the beige wall behind me.

Heat

Both configurations of the HP Elitebook 1040 G2 stayed cool throughout our tests. After we streamed 15 minutes of HD video on both versions of the laptop, our heat gun recorded temperatures on the touchpads (76.5 and 82.5 degrees Fahrenheit), keyboard (84.5 and 91 degrees) and underside (86.5 degrees and 94 degrees) that stayed under our 95-degree comfort threshold. However, the left side of the bottom of the HQ-series machine had a small spot that hit 97 degrees.

Software

HP loaded software onto the EliteBook with a light hand. HP JumpStart is your guide to getting to know the laptop, while Sure Click monitors browser activity to protect you from malicious attacks. PhoneWise shares calls, messages and notifications from your smartphone to the laptop, and while it works seamlessly on Android devices, it requires iPhones to be unlocked, with the app open, to reap the benefits.

Expect the same third-party apps that come preloaded on Windows 10 laptops, including Candy Crush Soda Saga, Drawboard PDF, the Keeper password manager, March of Empires: War of Lords, and Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition.

HP offers the EliteBook x360 1020 G2 with a one-year warranty. See how it performed on our Tech Support Showdown and Best and Worst Laptop Brands ranking.

Configuration Options

We tested two higher-end configurations of the EliteBook 1040 G4. The more affordable of the two is a $2,291 model with an Intel Core i7-7500U CPU, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD, an integrated Intel HD Graphics 620 chip, a 1080p touch-screen display, NFC connectivity and HP’s 65-watt AC adapter.

For $273 more, you can upgrade to the other machine we tested, the $2,564 EliteBook 1040 G4, which bumps you up to a Core i7-7820HQ processor, an integrated Intel HD Graphics 630 chip and HP’s 90-watt AC adapter. The entry-level $1,379 model includes an Intel Core i5-7200U, half the memory (8GB of RAM), a quarter of the storage (a 128GB M2 SATA-3 TLC SSD) and a 1080p nontouch screen.

I’d go with the $2,291 model we tested, for its roomy storage, longer Hp elitebook 8530w laptop battery life and Core i7 CPU.

Bottom Line

If you want a solid business notebook with a great screen, strong performance and all-day battery life, check out the HP EliteBook 1040 G4. Just know that the keyboard could be better.

For a much more comfortable keyboard and greater longevity, you can get the Lenovo ThinkPad 25 with a six-cell battery for $2,038, though you’re trading away some speed. But anyone who’s looking for a high-end work laptop with great audio and image quality will find a lot to like in the EliteBook 1040 G4.

The Notebooks with the Best Keyboards

When you buy a laptop, everyone looks at CPU, storage capacity, and screen resolution. But people should think more on the keyboard because they spend more time touching the keyboard than the rest of the laptop. With a good keyboard, you can work faster, commit fewer mistakes, kill less in your favorite games, and bad keyboard will cause pain in your fingers and wrist.

It’s impossible to determine keyboard quality from a spec sheet, but that’s one reason we test hundreds of models a year. Based on our extensive testing, we’ve listed the most-comfortable laptop keyboards below.

When evaluating a laptop keyboard, consider the following:

Lenovo’s ThinkPads are known for their excellent keyboards, but even compared to its siblings, the ThinkPad T470 stands out for its typing experience. The keys have a deep 2 millimeters of vertical travel (1.5 to 2mm is typical) and 70 grams of actuation force, which gives them really snappy feedback. The gently curved key caps also make it easy to feel your way around the letters and symbols without looking. Using the TrackPoint nub also improves the typing experience, because you can navigate while leaving your fingers on the home row.

In addition to its world-class keyboard, this 14-inch notebook provides incredible battery life, lasting over 17 hours on a charge with the extended battery. The T470 also has a durable chassis that’s designed to survive bumps, dings, extreme temperatures and vibrations.

Pros: Long battery life; Speedy PCIe SSD; Durable design; Thunderbolt 3 charging;
Cons: Relatively-dim screen; Tinny sound

Key Specs: 14.1-inch display; Up to 1920 x 1080 screen resolution; Up to Core i7 CPU; 3.48 pounds / 3.88 pounds (6-cell battery)

From the tantalizingly vivid RGB backlighting to the firm feedback, the MSI GT75VR Titan Prohas, without question, the best keyboard we’ve ever tested on a gaming laptop. Throw in the extreme clickiness of the mechanical switches — they feel and sound like Cherry Blue switches — and you’ve got a feast for three out of five of your senses. But what really cements the Titan Pro into the top spot is the raised palm rest, which makes the typing experience extremely comfortable.

In addition to its industry-leading keyboard, the GT75VR Titan Pro sports a vibrant, 17-inch display; strong graphics performance; and a wide-array of ports. This GTX 1080-powered gaming rig also stays comfortably cool while you play.

Pros: Great graphics performance; Cool temperatures;  Good overall performance
Cons: Heavy; Below average battery life

Key Specs: 17-inch up to 4K display. Core i7-7700HQ CPU; GTX 1080 graphics; 10.1 pounds

This 2-in-1 Chromebook is made for kids, so we wouldn’t expect it to cater to touch typists. Nevertheless, the Asus Chromebook Flip C213SA offers a superior typing experience, with strong feedback and no flex. The keys have an extremely deep 1.95mm of travel, which is more than most large notebooks have.

This 11.6-inch Chromebook is practically indestructible. Even when we dropped it from 3.9 feet onto concrete, it survived with just some mild scratches. The Chromebook Flip C213SA also lasts for over 11 hours on a charge.

Pros: Nearly indestructible; Runs Android apps; Long Asus A32-F80 laptop battery life
Cons: Poor cameras; Average performance

Key Specs: 11.6-inch, 1366 x 768 screen; 4GB of RAM; 2.81 pounds

A great choice for students, the lightweight Envy 13t offers really strong tactile feedback with keys that snap back as quickly as you can press them down. Though the keys have a modest 1.2mm of travel, their responsiveness kept us from bottoming out and allowed us to get one of our highest typing rates.

After you’re done enjoying its key feel, you’ll appreciate the Envy 13t’s gorgeous aluminum chassis, sharp display and powerful Intel 8th Gen Core processor. This 2.93-pound system also lasts nearly 10 hours on a charge.

Pros: Light design; Long Hp envy 13t-1000 notebook battery life; Strong performance; Great value
Cons: Expensive; Tinny audio

Key Specs: 14-inch screen; Up to 2560 x 1440 display;  Up to Core i7 CPU; Dual Thunderbolt 3 ports; 2.49 pounds

While its keys don’t have quite as much travel as the T470’s, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon and its 1.5mm-deep keyboard offer an excellent typing experience, thanks to some really strong tactile feedback. A soft-touch deck gently cradles your wrists for a better ergonomic experience and less chance of getting an RSI.

An awesome keyboard is just one part of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon’s appeal. This 14-inch laptop weighs just 2.49 pounds and measures only 0.6 inches thick. Still, it finds room for a colorful, full-HD display; a speedy SSD; and a battery that lasts over 12 hours on a charge. It also sports a wide selection of ports, including dual Thunderbolt 3 connections, standard USB Type-A and Ethernet connectors.

Pros: Luxurious soft-touch design; Colorful display; Long battery life Very light
Cons: Expensive; Tinny audio

Key Specs: 14-inch screen; Up to 2560 x 1440 display;  Up to Core i7 CPU; Dual Thunderbolt 3 ports; 2.49 pounds

Alienware is old hat when it comes to over-the-top customizable light shows, especially when it comes to keyboards. But once you get past the flashy light effects on the Alienware 17, you can still enjoy the springy joy of the keys.

Unlike other laptops, which mostly use chiclet-style keyboards, Alienware keeps things traditional, with no space between the keys. The scissor switches produce nice, snappy feedback that, when coupled with the soft-touch palm rest, makes for a great typing experience.

Pros: Sharp display; Long battery life on cheaper model; Strong gaming performance
Cons: Dim display on starting mode; Slower SSD than competitors

Key Specs: 17-inch up to 4K display; Up to GTX 1080 GPU; Up to Core i7-7820HK CPU; 9.6 pounds

We don’t expect a great typing experience from budget laptops, so we were pleasantly surprised by the key quality on the $329 Acer Spin 1. Though this 11.6-inch system has a relatively small space for its keys, it has strong feedback and none of the flex we see so often on sub-$400 systems. Considering the keyboard’s slim (0.56 inches thick) dimensions, the 1.4mm of vertical travel seems generous.

Overall, the Spin 1 is a fantastic value. For $329, you get a bend-back 2-in-1 with an aluminum chassis, an active stylus and one of the most colorful screens you can get.

Pros: Gorgeous screen; Aluminum design; Active stylus included
Cons: Below-average Acer as10d31 battery life; Limited storage

Key Specs: 11.6-inch, 1080p screen;  Intel Celeron N3350 Processor, 4GB of RAM;  32GB of eMMC Storage; 2.65 pounds

The Elitebook x360 G2 has just 1.2mm of travel and 65 grams of required actuation force, but this is another case in which the numbers don’t tell the story. The keys are extremely clicky and responsive, so they don’t feel shallow. Because of the keys’ responsiveness, the reviewer achieved one of his highest rates ever, speeding along at 122 words per minute with a 2 percent error rate.

One of the best 2-in-1s for business, the EliteBook x360 G2 has a gorgeous aluminum unibody design, a vivid 13.3-inch display and strong performance. This 2.8-pound system also lasts over 9 hours on a charge.

Pros: Great design; Long battery life; Strong security
Cons: Dimmer-than-average display

Key Specs: 13-inch, 1920 x 1080 screen ; Up to Core i7-7600U CPU; 2.8 pounds

With a pleasant clicking sound and strong tactile feedback, the Gigabyte Aero 15’s keyboard feels and sounds a lot like a mechanical keyboard. The keys require an impressive 80 grams of actuation force and spring up as fast as you can press them down. They also have a strong 1.6mm of vertical travel.

Equally at home in the boardroom or the living room, the Aero 15 is powerful enough for playing games and professional enough to use for photo or video editing. The 15-inch laptop comes with a colorful, full-HD screen; a quad-core Core i7 CPU; and Nvidia GTX 1060 graphics.

Pros: Vivid display; Colorful chassis; Strong performance
Cons: Runs hot; Webcam looks up your nose; Poor battery life

Key Specs: 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 screen; Core i7-7700HQ CPU; 512GB SSD; 4.66 pounds

Despite its svelte, 0.5-inch-thick chassis, the ZenBook 3 Deluxe UX490UA offers a great typing experience. Its keys have a decent (for the keyboard’s size) 1.3mm of travel and a very strong 74 grams of actuation. With that find of resistance, we never bottomed out and got great tactile feedback.

The ZenBook 3 Deluxe’s keyboard is also one of the best-looking, with royal-blue keys and gold letters that match the color scheme of the entire laptop. This beautiful 14-inch Ultrabook weighs just 2.7 pounds and features a speedy Core i7 CPU, generous SSD and vibrant screen.

Pros: Beautiful design; Vivid display
Cons: Low-res webcam; Below-average battery life

Key Specs: 14-inch, 1920 x 1080 screen; Up to Core i7-7500U CPU; 16GB of RAM and 512GB SSD.

Apple’s best MacBook has been in history for more than 2 years.

I recently made an unwise decision to update my 13 inch MacBook Pro before MacOS high Sierra, which was approved by our IT department. That’s not allowed.

So while I waited for my machine to get rolled back to regular Sierra, I borrowed a 4-year-old MacBook Pro 15-inch for a few days. As it turns out, these were the best work days I’ve had all year. And you can still buy a very similar 2015 “MacBook Pro Classic” model for $1,999, which is the MacBook Pro I’d recommend to most people right now.

At first, I scoffed at the sheer girth of this ancient beast, which weighs 4.5 pounds. That’s heavier than an iPad Pro and my usual 13-inch MacBook Pro combined (and half a pound heavier than the current 15-inch MacBook Pro).

Then, I started using the old 15-inch Pro, and it never felt so good to be so retro.

For starters, going back to a real keyboard was a revelation. The keys were pillowy soft yet provided just the right amount of snap. Apple‘s second-generation butterfly mechanism on the current MacBook Pros feels like typing on cardboard by comparison.

There’s a big reason this downgrade feels like an upgrade: The layout on the old 15-inch MacBook Pro has 1.34 millimeters of travel, compared with just 0.7 millimeters on my 13-inch MacBook Pro.

New vs. Old MacBook Pro

13-inch MacBook Pro (2017) 15-inch MacBook Pro (2015)
Price $1,299-$1,799 1999
CPU 7th-generation Core i5 4th-generation quad-core Core i7
RAM 8GB, 16GB 16GB
SSD 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
Display 13 inches (2560 x 1600) 15 inches (2880 x 1800)
Ports 2 or 4 Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports 2 Thunderbolt 2/DisplayPorts, 2 USB 3, HDMI, SD card
Keyboard (Travel) 0.7 mm 1.3 mm
Battery Life 9 hours and 50 minutes 9 hours and 8 minutes
Thickness 0.59 inches 0.71 inches
Weight 3 pounds 4.5 pounds

Let’s talk about ports. My 13-inch MacBook Pro has a grand total of two Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports, though you can spend $500 above the base $1,299 price to get four of them (along with the Touch Bar and a faster CPU). The latest 15-inch MacBook Pro also comes with four Thunderbolt 3 ports. That means that, if you want to plug in full-size USB peripherals, you need to plug in an annoying dongle first — and remember to take it with you.

With the old 15-inch MacBook Pro, I could just plug in my Plantronics USB headset and charge my mobile hotspot without having to live the dongle life. I also like that the old MacBook Pro has an SD card slot, a feature that’s missing from the newer MacBook Pros. I don’t use my mirrorless Sony camera often, but it’s nice to know that I have a slot to use.

I also appreciate having a real HDMI port on the old MacBook Pro, as I could just come back to my desk and connect my Dell monitor. I have a Pluggable USB-C Docking Station at my desk that can power two monitors, but I’ve had a devil of a time getting it to work with my newer 13-inch MacBook Pro. Sometimes my notebook freezes, and I can’t use my Bluetooth mouse and keyboard until I reboot.

Bottom line: I’d rather have one monitor that works seamlessly than two that force me to reset my computer. (You can buy a Thunderbolt-to-HDMI adapter to power a second monitor for just $8.99.)

As far as the display goes, 15 inches is almost too large for my long bus commute, as it’s definitely a tight squeeze. But this older MacBook Pro’s Retina display does have a sharp resolution of 2880 x 1800 pixels, and it’s plenty bright and colorful. And, no, I don’t miss the P3 wide color gamut that the newer 13-inch Pro has.

This is a small convenience, but I definitely welcomed having a MagSafe power adapter back on the 15-inch MacBook Pro. With my newer machine, it takes more time to plug in a USB-C cable, and it doesn’t automatically detach when it senses tension like MagSafe, which can prevent your system from crashing to the floor when someone trips on your cable.

The 2015 MacBook Pro has a fourth-generation Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD, which should be fine for most workloads. In our initial review, we found the performance to be snappy, and the SSD delivered a zippy transfer rate of over 600 megabytes per second.

You can expect strong battery life, too, as the older MacBook Pro lasted more than 9 hours on our battery test. However, my newer 13-inch Pro lasted a little longer, enduring for 9:50 on the same test.

The only feature you miss out on with the older model is the Touch Bar, which comes standard on today’s 15-inch MacBook Pro and is available on the $1,799 version of the 13-inch Pro. But I never got it for my 13-inch Pro, because the model without it offers longer Apple a1322 laptop battery life. And while the shortcuts the Touch Bar provides can be convenient, they don’t make up for the other trade-offs you have to make with Apple’s latest designs.

Overall, I was pretty shocked by how much I didn’t want to give up this old MacBook Pro when my newer system was ready to go again. And that’s a problem for Apple.

You can still get a no-trade-offs MacBook Pro if you’re willing to schlep around a 15-incher with older specs. But that’s not a viable long-term solution for consumers. The company needs to address user complaints about its keyboards, dongles and other issues to win people back.

Fortunately, just this week, Apple’s design chief, Jony Ive, said the company is willing to make design improvements, Business Insider reported.

“Absolutely, all of your feelings and feedback around the MacBook you use — we couldn’t want to listen to more,” Ive said. “And we hear — boy, do we hear.”

Well, please add my feelings to the pile.

Notebook batteries that last 20 hrs! Snapdragon 835 chipset brings mobile phone tech to big gadgets

In one of the more interesting links have revealed that Microsoft has teamed up with the mobile phone chip maker Qualcomm in order to get the next generation technology to the new computer technology in the December 7th Snapdragon summit, the two announced they are to connect personal computer, which means they will develop a notebook computer Snapdragon 835 will run on Windows 10. The chip has power almost every Android flagship smart phone such as Samsung S8, S8 plus Google pixels 2 pixels 2 XL, or even 5T. The two companies say that combining powerful chipset and Windows 10 operation system will make way for a huge 20 hour battery life on laptops.

In fact, manufacturers like Asus, HP and Lenovo have started developing convertible laptops which combines the best of both worlds. Asus and HP have unveiled their laptops and Lenovo’s laptop with Snapdragon 835 is slated for the CES 2018 release on January 9.

On December 6, Asus announced their first 2-in-1 convertible laptop, NovaGo which is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset. The company claims that the laptop will be the world’s first Gigabit LTE laptop. But the bewitching fact is that the laptop is supposed to have 22 hours of Asus a32-k52 laptop battery life. Asus claims that the battery can last up to 30 days on standby. It comes in two storage variants – one with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage and the other with 8GB RAM and 256GB of onboard storage. While the 4GB RAM version is priced at $599, the 8GB RAM version is priced at $799. As for the Indian market, the laptop maker has not said anything about availability.

At the event, Qualcomm also announced their next generation of mobile chipset, the Snapdragon 845. The new chipset will have Semi-custom ARM Cortex – Kryo 385. It will be an octa-core chipset with 4 cores at 2.8GHz (Cortex-A75) while the other 4 cores will be powered by 1.7GHz (Cortex-A55). The GPU on the new chipset is Adreno 630.

Even HP unveiled their new 2-in-1 laptop called HP ENVY x2. The Snapdragon 835 based Windows detachable laptop is said to have an incredible up to 20 hours of Hp elitebook 8530w notebook battery life.

HP ENVY x2 comes with a 12.3-inch touchscreen which is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 4. It is made of CNC machined aluminium and is .9 mm thick There is also an integrated stand that can be adjusted from 110- to 150-degrees.

Review:Asus Chromebook Flip C101

The new 10 inch ASUS Chromebook flipped confidently with its 12 inch big brother’s footsteps. Instead of 2015 models, notebook computers are impressed with similar, compact and generic design and $299 (349) prices. The pricing and availability of the AU have not yet been announced, but the price is converted to a $375.

With access to the Google Play Store in beta mode, the Asus is more useful than its predecessor. It can install and run most Android apps, although some work better on the bigger laptop screen than others.

It has a new processor designed for Chromebooks that run Android apps. Don’t mistake this for a higher-end Chromebook with a mainstream Intel CPU, but it still runs apps and performs other basic Chrome OS tasks fast and smoothly enough for it to be a great travel-friendly laptop that kids can also enjoy.

Pretty and petite

The Asus Chromebook Flip’s petite and lightweight dimensions make it easy to travel with. Yet, it still feels solid and looks stylish, thanks to its all-metal and glass design.

Dimensions

The brushed aluminum chassis and black keyboard keys give it a MacBook-esque look when open, though the Chrome logo on the lid (and the lowercase keyboard) is a dead giveaway.

The laptop has a 360-degree hinge that allows the keyboard to completely fold over to prop up like a tent, flip over like a stand or completely turn over to transform into a tablet.

Ready for App-tion

Chrome OS revolves around Google’s Chrome web browser, but with the addition of the Google Play Store, the laptop becomes more like an Android device. Now, imagine a processor within a processor that’s solely dedicated to powering apps. That’s a simple way of describing what’s inside of the Asus Chromebook Flip C101PA. It’s the same SoC (system on a chip) found inside the $350 Samsung Chromebook Plus.

Specs

The ARM-based Rockchip 3399 CPU consists of a dual-core Cortex-A72 and a quad-core Cortex-A53 with a separate coprocessor that’s designed specifically for Chromebooks running Android Apps. The processor runs alongside 4GB of RAM. It only has 16GB of internal storage, making the MicroSD card expansion slot an essential feature for those interested in downloading many apps.

Performance isn’t the fastest, but it’s still a good performer, especially for a budget Chromebook. Apps ran smoothly and launched relatively fast, as long as there weren’t many apps or windows open in the background.

I was able to have about eight tabs open in Chrome, including a streaming HD video, with Instagram, Slack and Spotify apps open in the background before slowdown and lag started. Most cheap Chromebooks can do about a third of that activity before significantly slowing down.

Propping the laptop into a stand or tent makes it easy to watch video without that pesky keyboard getting in your way. Screen resolution isn’t high, but HD video still looks sharp with life-like colors.

Screen specs

The screen was brighter than I expected and had good viewing angles. Occasionally, glare on the glossy screen caused visibility issues in bright environments.

The laptop’s speakers were surprisingly loud, though quality suffered at high volumes. Audio sounded unattractively harsh and tinny when pushed to the max.

The laptop charges via USB-C and Asus estimates nine hours of Asus a32-m50 laptop battery life per charge. In our testing it lasted seven hours and 36 minutes.

Small flaws

Since it’s such a small laptop, the touchpad and keyboard felt cramped. However, the keys are well-spaced considering the tight parameters and travel well. Kids will feel right at home using the keyboard, but anyone with large hands might feel awkward.

Though the Asus can be used as a tablet, I wouldn’t recommend it. When the screen and keyboard fold over to transform into a tablet, the edges flare out and dig into your palms, making it uncomfortable to hold. It’s fine if set on your lap or a table, but I wasn’t able to hold it as a tablet for more than a few minutes before switching to another configuration.

Bigger is better

The Asus is a good bargain if you’re interested in a very compact laptop for casual use. If you don’t mind spending extra, the 12-inch Asus Chromebook Flip isn’t that much more expensive, yet it features a bigger, sharper screen, a backlit keyboard and better performance.

There are other small Chromebooks in the same price range, like the durable Lenovo Chromebook Flex 11 and slim Acer Swift 1, but the Asus Chromebook Flip is the smallest and lightest of them all.

Keeping A Notebook Powered Up After A Storm

Robin asked: “I’ve just gone through a 2 – day blackout, which makes me wonder if I can recharge my laptop. ”

Yes there is, Robin. If you’ve ever seen an external battery for a phone, it’s basically the same thing, but bigger, heavier, and more expensive.

We can’t tell you how big of a battery you’d need, different laptops use different amounts of power, the same amount of power that might keep an ultra portable laptop running for the better part of a day may only keep a gaming laptop for an hour.

Depending on your expectations, you may be able to spend a couple of hundred and keep an efficient laptop running for a couple more hours, or many hundreds and keep it running for maybe a day.

Two days will not come cheap, in fact it will be expensive enough that for someone in a storm-prone area like you it may literally be less expensive to buy a small gas-powered generator if you happen to have a more power-hungry computer.

A 300Wh battery can cost you over $500, even a smaller 100Wh battery will probably cost you over $200.

Now, if your computer is not that power hungry, you may be able to make due with an even smaller battery. These days there are plenty of laptops that run on a 40-45 Wh HP 593553-001 laptop battery and can pull a good 12 hours out of it. That means that if it’s fully charged by the time the power goes out, you may be able to squeeze two energy-efficient, low-power useage days out of the laptop and a 50Wh battery, and you can get those for around $150.

You can also look into solar kits, Gobi and Eton make them, and you can buy off-brand ones as well, but they will take a very, very long time to charge and they will still be in the hundreds.

Also keep in mind that a fully charged laptop won’t pull internet out of thin air, so you’re looking at being able to access your local documents, but don’t expect more than that unless you’re willing to power at least a modem too.

How to improve your Mac laptop’s battery life for free with Chargeberry

Many laptop users, including Mac professionals, are surprised to find that laptop batteries are considered expendable, and their lifespan is not always matched with the life expectancy of other components of laptops. The notebook battery has the known maximum cycle count, so once the battery charging cycle has been completed, it loses efficiency.

Here’s how laptop battery charge cycles work. Say you use half your Macbook Air’s battery charge today, then recharge it at night, and the next day you repeat the same actions. Although the battery never discharged completely, Apple states that, because you twice drew the battery charge down by half and recharged it, the battery experienced one complete cycle.

How many charge cycles can most Mac laptop batteries experience before being considered consumed? It depends upon the model. 2017 12″ MacBooks, 13″ MacBook Airs, and 15″ MacBook Pros are all rated for 1,000 maximum cycles, whereas a Mid 2009 MacBook Air is rated for only 500. A Late 2008 17″ MacBook Pro is only rated for 300 charge cycles. To confirm your Mac notebook’s cycle limit, check Apple’s site.

How to use the Chargeberry app

While it’s possible to natively check a Mac notebook’s battery charge cycle count (while holding the Option key, click the Apple icon on the menu bar, then select System Information, which lists the battery cycle count within the Hardware’s Power section), the free Chargeberry app simplifies the process and provides guidance to help improve Apple a1322 laptop battery life. The app also generates alerts to help prevent the battery level from dropping below 40%, a threshold below which many users do not wish to operate.

Chargeberry permits displaying the battery’s remaining estimated run time within the menu bar, as well as the battery’s charging status and charge percentage. When running, Chargeberry monitors and records a Mac battery’s electrical performance, which the application displays within a customizable Power History view. The Power History view, in addition to logging the time the battery powered the notebook, the time spent charging, how long the battery was fully charged, and how long the notebook was plugged in to electrical power, also lists the applications consuming the most power.

For guidance on maximizing battery life, Chargeberry users can click the app’s menu bar icon and then click the Tips: How to maximize battery life link (Figure A). To view the battery’s power history, users need only click the History button that appears when clicking the icon within the menu bar.

Figure A

chargeberry.jpg

Chargeberry collects helpful battery status information within a single, easy to use window.

Within its main menu, Chargeberry displays the battery’s current charge, health status, and time remaining. Within its health details section, Chargeberry displays information regarding the battery’s capacity, factory capacity, charge cycle count, temperature, voltage, and manufacture date.

If you want Chargeberry to automatically launch at startup, click the application’s icon within the menu bar, click the gear icon in the top right corner, then click Preferences. From the resulting screen, ensure the General tab is selected and click the checkbox for Launch Chargeberry at system startup.

Using the same Preferences menu, clicking the Notifications tab enables configuring charge level notification settings and discharge process alerts. The Notifications tab is also where you configure Apple a1278 notebook battery health change alerts and the reminder alert to plug in the notebook’s charger when the battery level reaches 40%.

The bottom line

While some of Chargeberry’s status display information is available using the Mac’s Battery icon and System Information views, Chargeberry places all the battery management information within a single, free app. That’s a compelling combination for Mac users seeking to keep an eye on their Mac notebook’s battery performance.

Hands-on: Windows based PC management expectations for Snapdragon of ASUS NovaGo

The Asus NovaGo is a brand new Windows laptop: 835 Snapdragon mobile PC platform, Qualcomm’s bidding uses its smart phone chip, and grabs some Windows PC to share a long Intel class.

Spending a little time with the machine on Tuesday was an exercise in testing—and managing—expectations. Qualcomm executives have admitted that the Snapdragon platform will be a bit slower to launch apps, a bit slower to boot, a bit slower here and there. Our early impressions show the kind of performance that Qualcomm hopes will be “good-enough” for mainstream users with modest demands.

On the outside, the Asus NovaGo looks like any other ultrabook. It measures 12.4 x 8.7 x  0.59 inches and weighs just over 3 pounds. The NovaGo feels sturdy in the hand, perhaps a bit heavier than some other ultrabooks we’ve tried. The 13-inch screen has a midrange, 1920×1080 resolution that’s conducive to Qualcomm’s promise of long Asus A42-G73 Laptop Battery life from Snapdragon-based PCs. Memory amounted to 6GB.

Some external features hint that this isn’t just an ordinary PC, however. For one thing, the demo units weren’t plugged in. Qualcomm and the device makers believe the Snapdragon PC platform can deliver 22 hours or so of active use on battery, or about two days when standby time is mixed in. The idea is that you’ll leave your charger at home, and those chargers—standard barrel types, not USB-C—never made an appearance at our event.

Speaking of USB-C, it’s nowhere to be seen on the NovaGo. There’s a pair of USB-A ports on the left-hand side. On the right, there’s the power button, headphone jack, an HDMI port, and the other hint that this is something special: a SIM slot. SIM slots are more commonly found on business-class devices. Its presence on the NovaGo suggests this feature will be trickling down to consumer devices.

Interestingly, the NovaGo and the other Snapdragon-based device we saw, the HP Envy x2, both run the Insider (beta) version of Windows 10. We’re told this makes them quickly patchable. As it happens, the existing Windows 10 Fall Creators Update supports the new Snapdragon processors.

Performance: Your mileage may vary

With a Snapdragon smartphone chip controlling a full-fledged PC, it’s natural to wonder about performance. In our experience, some of the basic tasks you’d ask a PC to worked great, while others didn’t. Web browsing flew, at least on Edge. When we tried the PowerPoint desktop app, the NovaGo slowed down and then actually crashed. It took more than a minute to restart, but the six slides in a short presentation loaded over a quick few seconds.

Windows took just a few seconds to resume after the notebook was closed. A cold boot, though, took an even 30 seconds to reach the login screen. That’s not horrendous—we’ve all sat through boot cycles that lasted long enough to fetch a cup of coffee—and, as Qualcomm execs pointed out, an always-on PC doesn’t need to reboot often.

Other software tests continued to vary. I tried upgrading one of the NovaGos at the Qualcomm demo table to Windows 10 Pro, which worked fine. I installed Google Chrome, and tried loading the same site on both Chrome and Edge. PCWorld.com loaded markedly faster on Edge. I tried again on CNET.com, timing the load times. Edge required 8.5 seconds before I could interact (scroll) with the page; Chrome required 14.7 seconds.

I tried loading two common benchmarks, Maxon’s Cinebench and Geekbench 4.0. Cinebench failed to install for some reason. Geekbench reported a single-core of 857, and a multi-core score of 3117. Microsoft executives said that once a binary is interpreted and cached, it’s stored to help improve future performance. Unfortunately, I was stopped from repeating the benchmarks and could not confirm that.

The real benefits of the Asus NovaGo and its Snapdragon platform remain to be seen. Delays in loading an app are far different from delays in actually using it. While I solidly endorse the fundamental principles behind Qualcomm’s strategy—more battery life, please!—we’ll need to reserve further judgment until we can test a system completely.

Review:Dell Inspiron 13 5000 2-in-1 (8th Gen Core)

With a starting price of 499 dollars (729 dollars as a configuration), DELL Inspiron 13 of 5000, is a solid manufacturing quality and 1080p screen standard, reasonable and affordable convertible car. However, DELL has cut corners on the laptop, from the use of uncomfortable stiff keyboard to the use of very slow solid state drives. If you are willing to spend 70 to 100 dollars, you can get a higher quality consumption in two in one, but if the price is very important, the 5000 of Inspiron 13 is worth considering.

 

Specs

CPU Intel Core i5-8250U
Operating System Windows 10 Home
RAM 8GB
RAM Upgradable to 16GB
Hard Drive Size 256GB
Hard Drive Type M.2 SATA SSD
Display Size 13.3
Highest Available Resolution 1920 x 1080
Native Resolution 1920×1080
Graphics Card Intel UHD Graphics 620
Video Memory Shared
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Wi-Fi Model Qualcomm QCA61x4A 802.11ac Wi-Fi adapter
Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.1
Touchpad Size 4.1 x 2.6 inches
Ports (excluding USB) HDMI
Ports (excluding USB) Combo Headphone/Mic Jack
USB Ports 3
Card Slots SD memory reader
Warranty/Support one year
Size 12.76 x 8.85 x 0.8 inches
Weight 3.45 pounds
Company Website www.dell.com

Design

The Inspiron 13 5000 2-in-1 has a functional, but unimpressive design. Made of gunmetal-gray, matte plastic, the Inspiron at least is a slightly different color than Dell‘s many silver Inspirons. The screen area has a thick black bezel with oddly rounded corners that don’t match up with the square lid. This results in an area at the upper left and upper right of the screen where you see the gray plastic layer behind the bezel.

Though the Inspiron looks boring, it feels pretty solid and well-made. The body never buckled or creeked when I held it, and the hinges, which allow you to bend the screen back into tablet and tent modes, are nice and tight. However, I did notice a creaking sound on the right side of the chassis when I pressed down on the underside of the unit near the SD card slot.

At 3.45 pounds and 12.76 x 8.85 x 0.8 inches, the Inspiron isn’t particularly thin or light for its size class. Lenovo’s Yoga 720 13-inch is a mere 2.8 pounds and 0.6 inches thick, while Dell’s own Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1 is 3.4 pounds, but 0.61 inches thick.

Display and Audio

The 13.3-inch, 1920 x 1080 screen isn’t very bright or vibrant, but it provides sharp images and fairly accurate colors. When I watched a trailer for Avengers: Infinity War, fine details like the lines in the Vision’s brow or the squares on Spider-Man’s suit were prominent. Colors, such as the red in Iron Man’s suit, which appeared somewhat brownish, or the bland blue in Doctor Strange’s costume, seemed believable but dull.

According to our colorimeter, the Inspiron 13 5000 2-in-1’s panel can reproduce a mere 71 percent of the sRGB color gamut. That’s 32 percent less than the ultraportable category average, over 50 percent less than the score from the $799 Lenovo Yoga 720 (15-inch) and nearly 40 percent behind the $849 Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1’s showing.

At just 188 nits on our light meter, the Inspiron is around 100 points behind the category average and the scores from the Dell Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1 and Lenovo Yoga 720 (13-inch). However, viewing angles were pretty decent, as colors stayed true at up to 45 degrees to the left and right and faded only slightly at wider points.

The Inspiron 13 outputs audio that’s reasonably accurate and loud enough to fill a midsize room. When I listened to AC/DC’s “For Those About to Rock,” the guitars and drums were only a little tinny, not horribly distorted like they are on many other laptops. If you want to tweak the sound, the Waves MaxxAudio app gives you different sound profiles and the ability to manually adjust the equalizer.

Keyboard and Touchpad

The Inspiron 13 5000 2-in-1’s keyboard is one of the stiffest and least comfortable I’ve tested this year. Laptops with chassis this thick normally have plenty of key travel (1.5 to 2 millimeters), but Dell’s keys provide only a shallow 1.1mm. Though we sometimes find low-travel laptops that provide good tactile feedback, the Inspiron isn’t one of them.

As I pounded the keys, I kept bottoming out or hitting the base with a lot of force. By the time I’d finished the 10FastFingers.com typing test, I had sore fingers and a 13 percent error rate with a speed of only 87 words per minute. My typical scores are between 95 and 105 wpm with a 2 to 4 percent error rate.

The 4.1 x 2.6-inch buttonless touchpad provided accurate navigation around the desktop in our tests. It also responded accurately to multitouch gestures such as pinch to zoom and three-finger swipe. However, the pad is just as stiff as the keyboard, making it unpleasant to click.

Ports

The Inspiron 13 5000 2-in-1 has a decent selection of ports.

The right side contains an SD card reader, a USB 2.0 port and a Noble lock slot. The left side houses two USB 3.0 ports, a 3.5mm audio jack and HDMI-out.

Performance

With its Intel 8th Gen Core i5-8250U CPU, 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD, our review configuration of the Inspiron 13 5000 2-in-1 was more than powerful enough to handle everything we threw at it.

The laptop scored a strong mark of 12,041 on Geekbench 4, a synthetic benchmark that measures overall performance. That score is more than 50 percent better than the category average and the showing from the Core i5-7200U-powered Lenovo Yoga 720. The Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1, which has the same Core i5-8250U CPU, scored about 8 percent higher.

The Inspiron 13 5000 2-in-1 took just 3 minutes and 45 seconds to complete our spreadsheet test, a result that’s nearly 2 minutes faster than the category average. That showing is nearly identical to the Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1’s time and a full 17 seconds quicker than the Yoga 720’s.

The machine’s 256GB SSD is very slow for a solid-state drive, taking 42 seconds to copy 4.97GB of mixed files, for a rate of 121 MBps. That’s 46 percent behind the category average and 62 percent behind the Yoga 720.

Graphics

With its integrated Intel UHD 620 graphics, the Inspiron 13 5000 2-in-1 is quick enough to play videos and run some casual games, but forget about demanding titles. Dell’s 2-in-1 scored a modest 58,043 on 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited, a result that’s 3 percent less than the category average. However, the Yoga 720 and Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1 were 18 and 39 percent quicker.

When we fired up racing game Dirt 3, the Inspiron 13 5000 2-in-1 managed a very-playable 47 frames per second, which is about 15 percent above the category average and within 5 frames of scores from the Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1 and Yoga 720.

Battery Life

The Inspiron 13 5000 2-in-1 lasted a mediocre 7 hours and 1 minute on the Laptop Mag Dell inspiron 5000  battery test, which involves continuous surfing over Wi-Fi. That’s over an hour behind the ultraportable category average, but it’s within minutes of the Lenovo Yoga 720’s time and an hour and a half longer than the Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1’s result.

Heat

The top surface of the Inspiron 13 5000 2-in-1 stayed comfortably cool throughout our tests, but the bottom got a little warm. After the machine streamed video for 15 minutes, the touchpad measured 77 degrees Fahrenheit and the keyboard hit 92 degrees Fahrenheit, both under our 95-degree comfort threshold. However, the bottom inched up to 98 degrees.

Webcam

The Inspiron 13 5000 2-in-1’s 720p webcam is pretty accurate compared to most built-in cameras.

A selfie I took under the flourescent lights of our office had reasonably accurate colors — my beige shirt looked a little gray — and there was a small but palatable amount of visual noise in the background.

Software and Warranty

The Inspiron 13 5000 2-in-1 comes with a few useful Dell utilities and more than its fair share of bloatware. Dell Help & Support allows you to register, check your warranty or connect to support. Dell Power Manager Lite allows you to check the battery health and set it to charge your laptop in ways that increase the number of years your battery will last.

Dell also packs on Dropbox, which comes with a free 20GB of storage for new users, and Netflix, which most people probably have anyway. There’s also a free trial of McAfee Security, which you need to uninstall if you want to stick with Windows Defender or install the antivirus app of your choosing. As with all Windows 10 laptops, there’s plenty of Microsoft-chosen bloat, including Candy Crush Soda Saga, Bubblewitch Saga, Keeper Password Manager and a link to download the Drawboard PDF editor.

Dell backs the Inspiron 13 5000 2-in-1 with a standard one-year warranty on parts and labor. See how Dell fared on our Tech Support Showdown and Best & Worst Brand Ratings.

Configurations

The Dell Inspiron 13 5000 2-in-1 starts at $499. For that price, you get a 1080p screen, but are stuck with a sluggish Intel Pentium 4415U processor, just 4GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive. Our $729 review configuration features a Core i5-8250U CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD.

You can pay a full $999 to get a model with a Core i7-8550U CPU, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD, but that’s a big price to pay for a laptop with this kind of budget chassis, screen and keyboard. For the best balance between performance and price, we recommend our review model.

Bottom Line

The best description for the Dell Inspiron 13 5000 2-in-1 is “meh.” It has decent performance, a dim but usable display and a plastic chassis that’s functional if not attractive. Picky typists, however, will probably want to steer clear because of the stiff, uncomfortable keyboard. If you can pay just a $100 more, you’ll get a lot more style and a better keyboard and screen from Lenovo’s Yoga 720 or Dell’s own Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1, but if this is all you can spend, you should consider the Inspiron 13 5000 2-in-1.

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