While Dell makes a lot of great laptops, choosing between them can be a little bit of a minefield. The company has so many different models and product lines that it's hard to get lost among names and numbers.
Once you know what you're looking for, though, it's not as bad as it first seems. Inspiron is Dell's mass-market brand, where you find the most choice for most consumers, and it's also the one with the most variation. So we'll explain it to you so you can make the best choice when buying your new laptop.
What is Inspiron?
Inspiron is part of Dell's consumer-focused PC lineup, just the same as XPS, G Series or Alienware. It's where you'll find the biggest variety of laptops on offer. While XPS is the premium brand, Alienware, and G Series targets gamers, Inspiron is for pretty much everyone.
Whether you want a budget laptop or a gaming laptop and everything in between, you'll find it in the Inspiron range.
7000 series vs 5000 series vs 3000 series
Deciding which to get can be made a lot easier by understanding what you'll find in each of the numbered series.
This is where you'll find the lowest-cost, value-oriented entry-level laptops from Dell. The absolute lowest priced model is the new 11-inch Inspiron 11 3000 which starts at $179. It's great for kids and light laptop users comes in a few different colors and has now shifted to AMD-based hardware.
You'll also find choices for larger laptops, still centered on a value proposition. The latest 14-inch model comes in a variety of packages to offer things like a free mouse or included Office 365. There's even now an Inspiron 3000 2-in-1 in the 11-inch size.
Ultimately if you want a great laptop but want to spend less than $400, the 3000 series is for you. The most expensive models are a little over $400, but the vast majority is comfortably under.
The 5000 series sits exactly where you'd expect it to: Right in the middle. The lowest cost laptops start at $449, the level the 3000 Series stops at. This is where a lot of people will find the sweet spot of great specs, build quality, experience and price. Unless you know you want a super-budget laptop or you want something approaching the high-end, it's the first place you should probably look.
Size wise you can choose 13-, 15- and 17-inch laptops in the 5000 Series and you have a choice of both AMD and Intel powered machines as well as regular notebooks for the 2-in-1 form factor. The 15-inch Inspiron 15 5000 is where the most choice lies, with plenty of options for price and performance as well as a normal notebook or a 2-in-1 style.
You'll be getting solid build quality and some pretty exciting specs in some of these laptops, too. The Inspiron 17 5000 with AMD processors is the most expensive, but at the top end comes with a Ryzen 5 with integrated Radeon Vega graphics.
The divide between the 5000 and 7000 Series is a little muddier than with the 3000 and 5000 Series. The 7000 Series starts at $649, so there's some budget crossover that adds to the confusion. Essentially it's the high-end Inspiron laptops and it's where folks hunting for the best but not quite XPS-grade should go.
The 7000 Series offers an air of the premium luxury without the price tag, as well as covering the bases of offering sizes between 13- and 17-inches as well as 2-in-1 laptops and regular notebooks. It's also one of the only places you'll find a 17-inch 2-in-1 laptop, and while it's priced from $930, if that's what you've been hankering for, you found it with Dell.
The 7000 Series also brings some of the XPS style to the lower price point. The latest 14-inch model has an InfinityEdge display, metal chassis and 8th Gen Intel Core i5 and i7 processors in its spec sheet.
Gamers will also find a home in the 7000 Series. The 7000 Gaming is one of the very best budget gaming laptops that money can buy.
The bottom line
All of the Inspiron series' have great laptops in them, the difference is price and spec. The higher the number the higher the spec, and the average price. But by approaching each knowing what you're looking for, choosing a laptop will be much easier.
Budget-conscious and entry-level shoppers should hit the 3000 Series, gamers or those looking for a more premium experience should hit the 7000 Series. Everyone else has the 5000 Series right in the middle.
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