To date, the choice of a convenient, multi-functional and most importantly quite productive laptop for home use is an extremely difficult and responsible task. It is necessary to create a list of requirements, analyze a huge amount of information and only after that come to the only right decision. However, with the advent of a separate segment of the so-called transformers, this process has become even more time-consuming and confusing.
In this review, we will discuss the current situation and try to find the optimal solution to this problem using a laptop as an example. Dell Inspiron 17 7778. Introduced in the last days of spring 2016, it became the world’s first 17-inch 2-in-1 hybrid device. We add a stylish aluminum case, an energy-efficient 2-core Intel Core i7-6500U processor and a high-quality IPS screen and get a truly universal device that can satisfy the needs of a huge audience of users.
Manufacturer and Model
Dell Inspiron 17 7778
Intel Core i7-6500U (2 x 2500-3100 MHz; L3. 4 MB)
16 GB DDR4-2133 MHz
17.3", IPS, 1920 x 1080 (127 PPI), touch, LED-backlight, protective glass
Intel HD Graphics 520 (300. 1050 MHz)
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX (2 GB GDDR5)
Micron M600 (512 GB SSD, SATA 6 Gb / s)
1 x combo audio jack
1 x power connector
1.3 MP, CMOS module, IR (720p at 30 fps)
802.11ac WIFI Bluetooth 4.0 (Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165)
Noble Lock, BIOS Password, HDD Password
Li-ion, 4-cell, non-removable (3200 mAh, 56 Wh)
Output Parameters: 19.5 VDC e.g. 3.34 A, 65 W
Input Parameters: 100
240 VAC e.g. at 50/60 Hz
412.5 x 227.5 x 22.6 mm
Windows 10 Home
Delivery and assembly
Notebook Dell Inspiron 17 7778 is packed in a white cardboard box of a fairly large size. It is distinguished by the minimum required information content (a couple of logos and a sticker with technical parameters) and is equipped with a plastic handle for easy transportation.
The delivery set consists of a power supply unit, a network cable and standard user documentation. Also, the laptop owner can independently purchase a wide range of useful accessories, among which are not only a wireless mouse or branded backpack, but also an additional power source, as well as a portable Bluetooth speaker.
Appearance, arrangement of elements
This year, Dell has slightly refreshed the Inspiron line of corporate design, making it more modern, but still recognizable. As it turned out, only a few, at first glance, minor touches could turn a typical “urban workaholic” into a stylish and very attractive device.
The case of the novelty is made of high-quality aluminum, and quite thick. On the one hand, it provides high rigidity and reliability of the design, and on the other, it allows developers to experiment with the design and form. In addition, this material has good tactile properties (it cools your hand nicely and does not collect fingerprints as quickly as plastic), which, of course, should be attributed to the advantages of a laptop.
Another important feature of the Dell Inspiron 17 7778 is its size and weight. Do not forget that we have before us the world’s first hybrid 17-inch model, which in the blink of an eye can turn into a huge tablet. And for its comfortable use will require a lot of space both on the desktop and during transportation. However, the transformation process itself will not cause difficulties even for the most inexperienced user, since it takes place in a very easy and intuitive format.
The upper part of the laptop is presented in the form of a flat metal surface, which is covered with a barely noticeable polished texture. A rather wide chrome chamfer stretches along its contour, while at the upper edge there is a small narrow recess with a plastic insert, where the antennas of the wireless modules are located. The lid is decorated with the familiar manufacturer’s logo of the manufacturer, located exactly in the center.
Almost the entire front side of the display unit is covered with a protective glass with a good oleophobic coating. The frames around the screen do not occupy much useful space (19 mm on top, 43 mm on the bottom, 15 mm on the sides) and absolutely do not interfere when working in tablet mode. An additional protection of the display is a rubber edging with a height of 0.5 mm.
The block itself is held by two metal loops. They have a very tight ride (despite a smooth bevel at the base, you won’t be able to open the laptop with one hand) and provide a maximum opening angle of 360 ° with reliable fixation in a fairly wide range (35-325 °). In the closed position, the halves of the body are held by a pair of magnets located at the edge of the sub-palm area.
The keyboard section is covered with a solid aluminum panel. To match the top cover, it has a natural silver color and is covered with a stylish textured pattern.
With the exception of a few “hybrid” controls, the Dell Inspiron 17 7778 laptop has a classic and very convenient arrangement of functional elements.
Its left side contains a power connector, a USB Type-C port, an HDMI interface, a USB 3.0 port and a combined audio jack, while the right side contains a power button (has a tight turn), a volume rocker (protrudes slightly, is easily pressed), a card reader slot, a port USB 2.0 and Noble Lock. An LED indicator is placed on the front side, while the back is partially occupied by the cooling system grill.
The bottom of the Dell Inspiron 17 7778 is covered with a solid aluminum lid. It has a noticeably darker color (it gets less dirty) and is equipped with two elongated rubber legs for better contact with the surface (they serve as an additional support for the display unit when fully opened).
To remove the bottom panel (this procedure does not affect the warranty in any way), you need to unscrew a few screws and tighten a couple of latches. In this way, you can access almost all the internal components of the system.
The laptop is equipped with a full-size (340 x 104 mm) island keyboard with a full digital block. It has an absolutely flat work surface and has an excellent margin of safety. There is more than enough space for hands, so typing is very comfortable. There is moderately bright, fairly uniform and generally very pleasant LED backlighting.
The buttons are based on a classic scissor-membrane mechanism. He has a quiet, well-predicted course and a pleasant tactile feedback. The corporate caps (rounded, with a small depression in the center) were replaced by keys of a more traditional shape (square, with a flat base). But the size has remained quite standard: the main ones are 14 x 14 mm, the functional ones are 12 x 8.5 mm, the arrows are 16 x 8 mm, the digital unit is 12.4 x 14 mm. Drawing characters made by the printed method with a single color design of all available elements.
Video: Where to Find Dell Inspiron Laptop Battery
The touchpad of the laptop is represented by a large single-piece touch panel (110 x 80 mm). It is slightly recessed into the base and has a good selection in the form of a glossy edging. The matte finish contributes to smooth and precise gliding of the fingers. Tactile sensations are pleasant. Traditionally, there is support for multi-touch gestures in the Windows environment.
Display, sound, webcam
Laptop Dell Inspiron 17 7778 is equipped with a 17.3-inch IPS-screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and a pixel density of 127 PPI. It has wide viewing angles, high contrast and rich color reproduction. Detailing, although not the maximum, but it is more than enough for a comfortable solution to everyday tasks. Despite the noticeable glare of the protective glass in bright light, the built-in backlight copes well with the display of information. The touch pad recognizes up to 10 simultaneous taps. Everything works quickly and clearly, without false positives and other inconveniences.
The sound subsystem is represented by two stereo speakers. They are placed on the rounded base of the sidewalls, which provides a loud and fairly clear sound in any operation mode.
By default, the audio range has a slight bias towards high frequencies. But this is easily fixed through the proprietary Dell Audio utility and the MaxxSense profile. It significantly enhances the extracted flow, especially if the laptop is installed on a flat surface. But to listen to music, oddly enough, the Music profile is most suitable, in which the sound acquires tangible depth and volume, and also gets a slight bass response.
The webcam is represented by a standard 1.3-megapixel module with a resolution of 720p. It is complemented by an IR sensor that provides support for the Windows Hello feature. The location of the camera is typical. above the screen, surrounded by an activity indicator and two stereo microphones.
Hardware platform and performance
The laptop is built on the basis of a 2-core Intel Core i7-6500U processor, which supports Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 and Intel Hyper-Threading technologies. The first dynamically increases the core clock speed from 2500 to 3100 MHz during loading, and the second allows you to simultaneously process up to four data streams. The crystal is made on the basis of Intel Skylake-U microarchitecture in accordance with the 14-nm process technology. The L3 cache is 4 MB and the TDP level does not exceed 15 watts.
The processor is equipped with a built-in Intel HD Graphics 520 with a frequency range from 300 to 1050 MHz and support for the most popular APIs, including DirectX 12 and OpenGL 4.4. The amount of accelerator video memory is allocated from laptop RAM and can be up to 32 GB.
A pleasant expansion of graphic capabilities is the discrete graphics card NVIDIA GeForce 940MX. It has at its disposal 384 CUDA cores, 24 texture and 16 raster blocks, and is also equipped with 2 GB of internal GDDR5 memory with an effective frequency of 4000 MHz.
The basis of the adapter is the NVIDIA GM108 (Maxwell) graphics processor, which has support for all popular technologies and APIs, including DirectX 12, Shader Model 5.0 and NVIDIA PhysX.
The processor RAM controller supports the operation of DDR4-2133, LPDDR3-1866 and DDR3L-1600 standard modules with a maximum capacity of up to 32 GB.
The laptop also has a pair of high-speed modules DDR4-2133 with a total volume of 16 GB, which operate in dual-channel mode.
The laptop’s wireless communication is carried out using the Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165 combined network adapter. It can transfer data according to Wi-Fi 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.0 standards. Wired connection, as well as the corresponding controller, are absent.
The disk subsystem is represented by a 512 GB Micron M600 SSD. The connection is made through the SATA 6 Gb / s interface, which provides decent read and write speeds.
Out of the box, the Dell Inspiron 17 7778 is equipped with the Windows 10 Home operating system. Already traditionally, it is supplemented by a number of proprietary applications and utilities that significantly expand the basic capabilities of the OS, and also help keep the software up to date.
Thanks to the modern hardware platform, the laptop can easily perform any everyday tasks, which once again was confirmed by test results. Office or multimedia applications, working with photos or video editing will not be difficult for the Dell Inspiron 17 7778.
In addition, the presence of a full-fledged discrete video card will allow the laptop owner to play many modern game projects at low / medium graphics settings, even if for some of them it will be necessary to reduce the display resolution.
Cooling system, noise level and temperature
For the timely removal of hot air from the housing, a fairly quiet and effective CO is responsible. It is represented by a small aluminum radiator, combined with a cooler and heat pipes, which end with heat distribution plates above the processor and a discrete graphics card.
In idle or at low loads, the Dell Inspiron 17 7778 cooling system is passive. If the temperature rises above 75 ° C, then a fan comes into play, which spins up to 3500 rpm (the noise is barely visible) and continues to work until the temperature of the internal components drops below 45 ° C. Game mode or stress test increases the cooler speed to an extreme value of 5600 rpm. In this case, a noticeable hum appears, but maximum efficiency is also achieved.
The aluminum case quickly absorbs the generated heat. The area above the keyboard and at the base, where the discrete graphics card is located, is especially heated. Fortunately, in ordinary life this is quite rare and manifests itself only with active and intentionally prolonged stress.
Power supply, battery and battery life
The Dell Inspiron 17 7778 is equipped with a 3200 mAh (56 Wh) non-removable 4-cell lithium-ion battery, which is able to provide a decent level of autonomy even against the background of more compact competitive solutions.
For its diagnosis and quality service, the proprietary utility Power Manager Lite is designed, which has a pleasant design and a useful adaptive charging function.
From a full battery at maximum load, the laptop can work for 2 hours, and when watching Full HD-video. 5 hours. In idle time, this indicator approaches the mark of 13.5 hours, noticeably ahead of the more compact 13.3 ”and 14” models.
To completely restore the original condition of the battery through a proprietary 65 W power supply (19.5 V, 3.34 A), you need to spend 2.5 hours. At the same time, the unit is practically not heated and fully meets the declared parameters.
A laptop Dell Inspiron 17 7778 has all the makings to become a universal pet. He is dressed in a stylish aluminum case, has a large IPS touch screen and boasts a powerful hardware platform based on an energy-efficient processor and a full-fledged discrete graphics card. Even such trifles as a uniform keyboard backlight, an infrared webcam sensor or a set of pre-installed proprietary utilities make everyday interaction with a laptop even more comfortable and enjoyable. Well, thanks to the transformation technology, the user gets at his disposal two portable devices at once, whose functionality allows them to solve a wide range of diverse tasks.
Being the only representative in its class, the transformer laptop is practically devoid of serious competitors. But even considering the rivals in the face of classic 17-inch laptops, the Dell Inspiron 17 7778 will be an excellent choice for those users who are looking for a modern, quite productive and most importantly portable replacement for a home PC, and at the same time do not mind getting acquainted with something new and very promising.
- Stylish and well recognizable design;
- high build quality;
- fast and intuitive transformation process;
- full-size island-style backlit keyboard with large touchpad;
- high-quality screen;
- pleasant sound of the audio subsystem;
- webcam with infrared sensor;
- modern hardware platform;
- a good set of interface connectors and ports;
- quite quiet and very effective cooling system;
- good level of autonomy;
- A wide selection of branded accessories.
- There is no physical network port.
- at prolonged high loads, the metal case transfers heat to the internal system components well.
We express our gratitude to the Ukrainian representative office of the company Dell for the laptop provided for testing.