POCKET FRIENDLY LAP­TOP

Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - TEST BENCH - —TEXT BY NANDAGOPAL RA­JAN & PIC­TURE BY RA­JWANT RAWAT

Dell is bank­ing big on the pop­u­lar­ity of its af­ford­able range to ce­ment its pop­u­lar­ity among the youth. So the In­sp­iron 14R, in ad­di­tion to be­ing af­ford­able, is also stylish and prac­ti­cal.

The curved edges give this note­book a clamshell look, which also works to hide the fact that this is not a re­ally thin lap­top. In fact, the 14R is on the heav­ier side at 2.29 kg. But that doesn’t mean this is a bulky de­vice. With an eye on the young crowd the 14R comes in three colours, of which the Moon Sil­ver that we tested seemed the most sober. The brushed alu­minum fin­ish from out­side spills over to the palm rest and track pad. The key­pad is well spaced out for a 14-inch lap­top and has enough travel to keep you in­ter­ested. The HD WLED True-Life dis­play is good de­spite the 1366x768p res­o­lu­tion.

The real stand­out fea­ture of the lap­top has to be its sound, which gets a real boost from Waves MaxxAu­dio 3 pro­cess­ing. In fact, there are modes for movie, mu­sic and gam­ing with dis­tinct au­dio out­put. This will make it a great buy for peo­ple who are look­ing for a good en­ter­tain­ment op­tion.

The 14R is avail­able with In­tel’s sec­ond- and third-gen­er­a­tion iCore pro­ces­sors. The unit we re­viewed had a third-gen­er­a­tion In­tel Core i53210M CPU with 4GB RAM. So this lap­top has a re­ally quick two-sec­ond wake up, strangely ac­com­pa­nied by a click­ing sound from the op­ti­cal drive. The pro­cess­ing power is good and we had no trou­ble play­ing HD files. An­other place where the new pro­ces­sors are mak­ing a dif­fer­ence is with the bat­tery. We got four hours of av­er­age use on a full charge, even more in power saver mode. Adding to the ease-of-use fac­tor are three ded­i­cated keys for set­tings, MaxxAu­dio con­trols and in­stant launch. There is also the Dell Stage dock that lets you keep the desk­top clean by giv­ing you one-click ac­cess to pro­grammes and fold­ers. How­ever, we did not like the de­sign and place­ment of the dock, which does not hide it­self af­ter a while like the oth­ers.

Over­all, the In­sp­iron 14R is a good op­tion for peo­ple who are look­ing a bud­get lap­top that lives up to their ex­pec­ta­tions and re­quire­ments.

BAG IT OR JUNK IT?

Good value for money, de­cent per­for­mance.

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