While Dell makes plenty of laptops, choosing the right one can be a minefield. The company has so many different models and product lines that it’s easy to get lost in names and numbers. However, once you know what you’re looking for, it’s not as bad as it sounds. Inspiron is Dell’s mass-market brand, where you’ll find the most choice for the most consumers, and it’s also the one with the most variation.
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The Inspiron is part of Dell’s consumer-focused line of PCs, just like the XPS, G Series, or Alienware. It’s where you’ll find the widest variety of laptops on sale. While XPS is the premium brand, and Alienware and the G-series target gamers, the Inspiron devices are for just about everyone and are some of the best Dell laptops overall if you need something more simple and affordable.
7000 series vs. 5000 series vs. 3000 series
Dell’s Inspiron devices come in three different product lines: the 3000 series, the 5000 series, and the 7000 series. Deciding which one to buy can be made much easier by understanding what kind of hardware and prices you’ll find in each, which we’ll cover in more detail. next.
This is where you’ll find Dell’s lowest-cost, value-oriented, entry-level laptops. They may have low prices, but still offer an attractive user experience. One of our favorites is the Inspiron 11 3195 2-in-1, a small convertible laptop that’s great for kids and light laptop users. It comes in a few different colors and has now been moved to AMD-based hardware.
You’ll also find options for larger laptops that still focus on a value proposition with AMD and Intel CPUs on the slate. The range goes up to a beautiful 15-inch Dell Inspiron 15 3000 laptop complete with an 11th Gen Intel Core i5 and lightning-fast NVMe storage. When shopping on a tighter budget, there are always compromises to make, but Dell has kept them to a minimum and made sure that the overall experience of using these laptops remains great.
Ultimately, if you want a great laptop but want to spend less, the 3000 series is for you. The 5000 and 7000 range of devices are more expensive, but the vast majority of 3000 series laptops are extremely affordable.
Dell Inspiron 11 3195 2-in-1
If you need something for the kids, light work, or the best possible portability, the Inspiron 11 3195 2-in-1 is a great choice. It’s lightweight, inexpensive, and powerful enough for school work and general productivity.
This 15-inch device has options for 11th Gen Intel CPUs and fast NVMe SSD storage, making it a better choice for people who want something with a little more power. The tradeoff is a higher price, although the cost of the device is still very low.
The 5000 series is exactly where you expect it: right in the middle. The lowest-cost laptops in the line start in the $500-600 range, so there’s a crossover with the 3000 series in terms of price. This is where many people will find the sweet spot of great specs and build quality, experience, and cost. Unless you know you want a super cheap laptop or something near the high-end, it’s the first place you should probably look.
When it comes to size, you can choose from 13-, 14-, 15-, and 16-inch laptops from the 5000 series. You can also choose between AMD and Intel machines, as well as regular laptops or the 2-in-1 form factor. The 13-inch model it only comes as a notebook while the other sizes can be had as both.
One of the most significant differences between the 5000 series and the 3000 series is the overall design and construction. Everything looks and feels a bit higher quality compared to most 3000 laptops that scream “very cheap” with their thick bezels and middling screens.
The best overall 5000 series device is the Dell Inspiron 16 5000, which packs 12th Gen Intel Mobile CPUs like Core i5-1235U and Core i7-1255U in a sleek chassis along with Iris Xe graphics, up to 16GB of memory DDR4 and Up to 1TB of SSD storage space. The 16-inch 1920×1200 FHD+ also looks pretty good, offering better contrast and color gamut than you’ll find on the 3000-series devices.
Overall, with the many different variations on the 5000 series, it’s where most people should start looking. The wide range of specs and prices on offer make it worth taking a bit of time to browse thoroughly, but it’s likely where you’ll find what you’re looking for.
The Dell Inspiron 16 is our favorite Inspiron 5000 series device, offering excellent 12th Gen Intel CPUs, a good amount of memory and storage, and a solid FHD+ display at a very attractive price.
The split between the 5000 and 7000 series is a bit more confusing than with the 3000 and 5000 series. The 7000 series typically starts around the $700 range, so there is definitely a crossover with the 5000 series options as far as regards prices. Primarily, the 7000 series lineup is where you’ll find the most capable Inspiron laptops, and it’s where people looking for the best XPS grade, but not quite, should go.
Today, the 7000 series is the best place to look for a 2-in-1 convertible laptop. All 7000 series 2-in-1s have been upgraded to 12th-generation Intel processors, with a variety of size options ranging from 13-inch all the way up to 17. Across the series, it has great displays and specs like Intel Optane memory, fast NVMe storage, and even dedicated NVIDIA graphics on the 17-inch models.
The best 7000 series device for most people is probably the Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1 7620. It’s essentially a more advanced version of the 16-inch 5000 series device we mentioned earlier, featuring options like a 12. P-series Core i7-1260P CPU, an NVIDIA GeForce MX550 GPU, and a beautiful 4K UHD+ 3840×2400 display with rich, vibrant colors and a maximum brightness of 400 nits. It also comes with two Thunderbolt 4 ports, making it a great option for people who have a lot of laptop accessories or a Thunderbolt 4 hub.
Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1 7620
Offering a 12th generation Intel P-Series chip, NVIDIA graphics, Thunderbolt 4 connectivity and an option for a gorgeous 4K panel, the Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1 7620 is an excellent convertible that represents the best of Inspiron products. from Dell.
The bottom line
The entire Inspiron series has great laptops; the difference is the price and the specifications. The higher the number, the higher the specification and the average price. But by approaching everyone knowing what they’re looking for, choosing a laptop will be much easier.
Budget-conscious and entry-level buyers should go for the 3000 series, while those looking for a more premium experience or specifically a great 2-in-1 should go for the 7000 series. Everyone else has the 5000 series right in the middle, and that’s the best place to start.
In case you don’t like any of Dell’s Inspiron devices, be sure to check out our roundup of the best Windows laptops for other quality options.