27 May 2017

REVIEW: Dell Vostro 14 5000

Everything you need. Nothing you don't.

Our recent reviews of Dell products have all been of pretty spectacular machines. From the high-powered and high-spec XPS 13 to the protected and versatile Chromebook 11, they've been stand-out laptops and unique in their own ways. The following laptop isn't, which is why we kinda like it the most. We check out the Dell Vostro 14 5000.

This is a Windows 10 laptop. That's about it, really. Obviously it isn't, but if you're looking for a laptop for casual work use, word processing, and net surfing, that is all you really need, isn't it? The slogan for the Dell Vostro 14 5000 is what we used above, the "Everything you need..." line, and that is true. This computer lacks the headline-grabbing thrills and frills, and instead is a reliable work-horse of a machine.

As you might have guessed, the Dell Vostro 14 5000 features a 14 inch screen. That screen is not touch-responsive (so you can wipe it without deleting half your work - common touchscreen problem, that) and has a resolution of 1366x768p - nothing to write home about, but more than acceptable - especially considering the price.

As this is a Dell product you get a choice if internals, but the model we were sent was the lowest costing of range, possessing 4GB of RAM, a 500GB hard drive, and an Intel i3 processor. For a bit more cash the RAM can be increased to 8GB, while the drive can be swapped out for either a 128 or 256GB SSD, and the processor can be exchanged for an i7. Those are your only options, and the likes of the screen and battery are the same across the models.

And that's fine, because even with the lowest specs available for the Dell Vostro 14 5000 we found it it to be a solid and trustworthy laptop. One of our number has been using it every day now for a fortnight, writing reviews and features, surfing the net, and streaming Netflix and YouTube. At no point did it feel like a budget laptop.

The Dell Vostro 14 5000 certainly doesn't look like a budget laptop, and despite being slightly less powerful and cheaper than the HP Envy 15 we reviewed lat year, it is smaller, thinner, lighter and far better looking. The metallic lid blends well with the plastic back and the back-lit keys (thank you Dell - all keyboards should be back-lit in our opinion - take note Toshiba) are well laid out and clean. The trackpad was smooth and responsive, and the whole thing was comfortable to type on over long periods. It weighs 3.5lbs, so slightly less than laptops of this size that we're seen before. Big win.

In terms of connectivity and ports, all the usual suspects are present. There are three USB 3 ports, HDMI, VGA, SD Card reader, Ethernet, headphone/mic port and a Kensington lock. No USB C port, but the vast majority of people still have no use that yet. Oh, and WiFi and Bluetooth as normal. 

One of the most crucial things for us with any new laptop is the battery performance. With the Dell Vostro 14 5000 we were happy find it provided us with a good ten hours of life. Bear in mind that those ten hours were mostly spent doing things like writing in Open Office and internet stuff, but still that is more than enough for an entire day of work and office-y business. When used exclusively for streaming media that time dropped to about seven hours, which is still excellent. 

So yes, you won't be editing movies on this thing, nor will you be swiping your fingers over the screen like a boss. But the Dell Vostro 14 5000 isn't designed for that; this is a work machine, one perfect both for the office worker and the student. We like it. Nice price, too.

From £389

Visit www.dell.com

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