What we liked:
- Premium and elegant design
- Immersive and high-quality speakers
- Excellent keyboard
- Slim profile
- Long battery life
- Rock-solid build
- Multiple Thunderbolt 3 ports
- 2-in-1 Flexibility
What we didn’t like:
- Audio cracks at high volumes
- Low SSD storage capacity
Dell released a trio of new laptops under their Inspiron 7000 line just before 2017 ended. The selection includes a thin and light ultrabook, a gaming powerhouse, and a 2-in-1. What we’re taking a look at today is the most flexible of the bunch — The Dell Inspiron 13 7373 2-in-1. It carries the same design structure and layout as the Inspiron 13 7370, apart from a few subtle differences. So, is it a 2-in-1 worthy of your hard earned cash? Let’s find out!
Design and Construction
The Inspiron 13 7373 2-in-1 has a simple overall design. Covered in a matte silver finish, the notebook has little intricate details apart from the Dell logo, chrome accents, and the circular power button. Thanks to that matte silver finish, the entire notebook doesn’t attract even the slightest fingerprint or smudge.
Nevertheless, even with no standout design features, the device is sturdy and impressively well-built. It has minimal keyboard, body, and screen flex. The hinges too, are rock-solid, as it should be since, it’s a 2-in-1 and will most likely be stressed out from the constant shifting of modes. The laptop itself is quite thin and light, making it portable enough to carry around with ease. It may not have a striking design, but it still very much feels and looks elegant.
Speaking of modes, the notebook has four — Laptop, Tent, Stand, and Tablet. Each mode caters to different kinds of purposes depending on your needs. It certainly isn’t the first 2-in-1 out there, but it might very well be one of the sturdiest in terms of build quality.
As for the keyboard and trackpad, they’re excellent. Due to the smaller form factor, the laptop was given a TKL (Tenkeyless or no NumPad) keyboard layout. Typing was a great pleasure as the keyboard has excellent tactile feedback and short yet good travel distance. One could even argue that the feel of the keys is almost close to mechanical. It’s just a joy to type on and the layout is just right for anyone accustomed to speed typing.
It’s one of the best keyboards we have ever tried on a laptop. It also has three levels of backlighting, (off, low, max) so night or low-light operations are possible. Dell also did a good job with the arrow keys as even though they are smaller than usual, they’re still long enough not to miss.
The trackpad on the other hand, is a precision touchpad and ClickPad, meaning the whole pad can be clicked in order to register commands. It still has those dividers on the bottom to distinguish left and right click functions, but users could simply single tap to register a left click or tap the pad with two fingers to register a right click. The trackpad itself has a smooth surface and registers gestures and commands quickly. Clicks are also springy and have good acoustics and haptic feedback. Users who are accustomed to using a trackpad will be pleased with this one.
It would’ve been nice though if Dell included a fingerprint scanner like the one on the Inspiron 13 7370, especially since this notebook has a higher price tag.
Display and Multimedia
The Dell Inspiron 13 7373 2-in-1 is equipped with a 13-inch Full HD IPS touch display. It has relatively thin side bezels, but the top and bottom ones are a bit thicker. Either way, the overall thin bezel design gives the notebook a good screen to body ratio. The display itself produces nice colors and has good color accuracy and viewing angles.
It’s bright enough for outdoor use, but the glossy screen will most likely hamper operations, though it was equipped with such to enable touch sensitivity. Swipes and gestures are registered easily and touch operations are a breeze. Overall, it’s a good display for productivity and even some color-heavy work, although it will need some calibration.
The notebook comes equipped with two down-firing loudspeakers and Waves MaxxAudio Pro, an audio enhancement software that promises to bring a suite of advanced options and customization. The software is great and provides ample customization. The speakers themselves are also impressive. It can get loud, and Mids, Highs, and Lows blend together well but audio cracks are present at high volumes. If volume levels are maintained at around 80-90%, the speakers provide an immersive and enjoyable experience.
OS, Apps, and Storage
The Dell Inspiron 13 7373 is powered by Windows 10 Home, which is now the norm for laptops these days. It is equipped with a 256GB SSD from SK Hynix. While it does offer faster speeds than conventional Hard Drives, it is nowhere near the speeds of other more mainstream SSDs. The notebook has little to no bloatware except for a few small games (Bubble Witch Saga, Candy Crush Saga, Minecraft) and the standard Microsoft programs like Office and Microsoft Edge. It does, however, have McAfee installed which will most certainly affect your initial setup when you download or install your programs. Luckily, it can easily be uninstalled.
We benchmarked the SK Hynix drive using Crystal Disk Mark, as expected we got average scores for an SSD. Although, these are by no means ba results. Check out the scores below.
256GB SSD (SK Hynix SC311):
Sequential Read – 415.7 MB/s
Sequential Write – 364.0 MB/s
Performance and Benchmarks
The Dell Inspiron 7373 2-in-1 is a notebook designed for productivity and general office use. Although its processor the Intel i5-8250U, is by no means a slouch. Mind you, this is one of the first “U” processors with 4 cores. Still, it doesn’t have enough firepower to support any heavy lifting. It offers good multitasking capabilities right off the bat though thanks to the 8GB of RAM. In any case, we still subjected it to our usual rounds of synthetic benchmarks. Check out the results below. Again, don’t expect high numbers.
While the notebook is not necessarily that powerful, light to medium games such as League of Legends and Dota 2 are playable. Not to mention, light photo and video editing can also be accomplished. Just don’t expect stellar performance.
Thermals and Acoustics
The cooling system of the Inspiron 13 7373 2-in-1 is actually quite impressive. We were quite surprised that Dell equipped the notebook with two rear exhaust vents. Not that we’re complaining, it certainly did make the laptop run cool in any and all situations. It’s just that the laptop isn’t really packing that much hardware to warrant such a setup. Of course, when we subjected it to our stress tests, the cooling system was challenged.
We ran Prime95 to check out the temperatures of the Intel i5-8250U. We weren’t able to properly monitor the Intel UHD 620’s temps as FurMark wasn’t recording it properly. The i5-8250U’s temperatures maxed out at 78-degrees Celsius, which is impressive and well within the acceptable margin. While the internals remained cool, the same cannot be said for the external temps.
During our benchmarks and stress tests the top part of the chassis, near the exhausts, became hot to the touch. The bottom panel also became too hot to even place on our laps. Then again, the main contact points, such as the palm rests and keyboard remained relatively cool and usable. Fan noise is audible but not to the extent that it’ll disturb you. You actually have to go near the exhausts to even hear the fans roar. Overall, we were impressed by how the notebook handled its cooling.
Connectivity, I/O, and Battery Life
As for I/O, on the right, we have a Kensington lock, USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A port, and a Multi-card reader. On the other side, we have another USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port, HDMI port, a USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A port with power share, and an audio port. Connectivity options are just about right for a device of this size.
The notebook’s battery life is excellent. It lasted us an average of 6 to 7 hours a day on light to moderate usage. In our standard video loop test (playing a 1080p video in airplane mode at 50% brightness and volume) the laptop lasted for 6 hours and 33 minutes. Charging, on the other hand, takes about 2 hours. The Dell 13 7373 2-in-1 is definitely a notebook you can take with you to class and on long travels and café sessions.
The Dell Inspiron 13 7373 2-in-1 is an impressive little device. It has excellent built quality, an elegant design, immersive speakers, a stellar keyboard, and long battery life. The 2-in-1 flexibility actually became the icing on the cake. The $1,230 price tag is most certainly justified and worth it. Anyone looking to have a portable thin, light and flexible device should definitely consider the Inspiron 13 7373 2-in-1.
Dell Inspiron 13 7373 2-in-1 specs:
- 13.3-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS Truelife LED-Backlit Narrow Border Touch Display
- 360-degree hinge
- 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8250U 1.60GHz Processor
- Intel UHD Graphics 620
- 8GB DDR4 2400Mhz
- 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD
- Backlit, spill-resistant keyboard, Multi-touch gesture-enabled precision touchpad with integrated scrolling
- Supports Pen and Facial Recognition
- Infrared camera for Windows Hello
- WiFi 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.2
- USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C
- USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A
- USB 3.1 Gen 1 with PowerShare
- HDMI 2.0
- 3-in-1 SD Media Card Reader
- 2x speakers w/ Waves MaxxAudio Pro
- Combo headphone/microphone jack
- 38WHr, 3-Cell Battery
- Windows 10