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[Review] Dell Inspiron i7359-6790SLV an Ultraportable Powerhouse

Of all the PC manufacturers, Dell has always been kind of a special partner for Microsoft’s Windows platform. The company has gone through some major restructuring in the past few years, but a constant has always remained for them: they still are one of the best references for identifying how great Windows machines can be.

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This is especially true of the XPS line, the company’s premium set of laptops; though that’s definitely not all they have to offer. Between the ultrabooks, the netbooks and even the chromebooks, Dell also makes a specific kind of machine that’s been gaining some popularity as of late: convertibles.

The Dell Inspiron i7359-6790SLV is one of such convertibles. With a respectable set of specs, it comfortably sits in the mid-to-high spectrum of ultrabooks and thin laptops. This configuration comes with either an Intel i5 or i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and, perhaps more attractively, an 1080p IPS touchscreen. Check our in-depth review of the Dell Inspiron i7359-6790SLV to see just what this laptop is all about.

Pros: Core i5-6200U processor, Full HD touchscreen, 8GB of RAM, 256 GB of SSD storage, long battery life.
Cons: No dedicated graphics chip, no dvd reader.

Dell Inspiron i7359-6790SLV Full Review of a portable powerhouse

Touchscreen and design

A convertible without a touchscreen wouldn’t make much sense since most of the positions the machine offers are almost completely dependent on it (admit it, you’ll be using it as a giant tablet more than once!) fortunately, the Inspiron 13 does come with one. 

It’s your standard 10-finger capacitive panel, though with a twist: a built-in stylus for taking notes, sketching and even retouching images. It’s a very nice addition that certainly amplifies the machine’s possibilities.

But perhaps the most exciting part is that we’re dealing with a 13.3 inch panel with a 1080p resolution. That translates to portable size (think smaller MacBook Pro) with a high pixel density. 

It's scary to see how many laptops stick with a 720p resolution at this price point, but fortunately Dell doesn’t make that mistake here. To top it all, the panel also uses IPS technology, which basically means you’ll be able to look at it from all angles without the image distorting. 

The size is perfect for a machine that also aims to be multipurpose (in light of its convertible features): not small enough to be a netbook, but also not big enough that it would be awkward to handle. 

The body’s silver color mixes nicely with the black keyboard, but the best part is that the keys are backlit, an incredibly useful feature that can be missing in models even at this price point. What it doesn’t have is a numerical pad; but it also wouldn’t make much sense to have one on a machine this size. 

Power and multitasking

That screen wouldn’t be of much use if you didn’t have enough power to use it. Fortunately, we have an excellent Intel Core i5-6200U dual-core processor running at a base 2.5 GHz onboard.

This is the ideal CPU for the Dell Inspiron i7359-6790SLV in review for a couple of reasons: first, we’re dealing with Intel’s newest Skylake generation, which means you get the best option available. Second, these are the “ultra-low voltage” versions of the more robust mobile chips, which are specially made for thin and portable machines like this one.

What this means is that we’re getting two cores instead of four, for example, but it also means we’ll get less power consumption (which leads to more battery life!) and a comfortable form-factor (thin and light). Additionally, the laptop will produce less heat.

However, this doesn't mean the chips have a bad performance: on the contrary, they’ll handle office work and multimedia activities without a problem, as well as complex programs. 

Multitasking isn’t an issue either: the 8GB of DDR3L SDRAM (1600 MHz) present will handle all of those Chrome tabs you have open, and then some. What’s best, you can upgrade it to 16GB, if you so feel inclined, thanks to the additional empty slot.

What games can I play?

Laptops like this one tend to stick to the integrated graphics that Intel provides in its chips, and the Inspiron i7359-6790SLV is no exception. 

That means you’ll only be able to play less demanding games like indie titles or older classics. Most modern hit games are a big no in this case. You’ll be able to run some of them at lower settings, but you probably wouldn’t like that anyway. 

Simply put, although it can handle it at some level, this machine is not made for gaming. You can certainly enjoy titles like TowerFall: Ascension, The Sims 4 or even Minecraft decently, but not much more than that.

Battery life

The Inspiron 13 has a 3-Cell battery. As always, battery life varies wildly depending on the situation, but these types of machines usually last a lot and we have no reason to believe otherwise. In most conservative sessions, the Dell Inspiron i7359-6790SLV could easily come to 7 or 8 hours, though more demanding activities can certainly reduce that time to 6 or 5 hours.

Storage and connectivity 

One of the strongest points here is the presence of a 256 GB SSD for storage. That means you’ll access your data a lot faster than you would with a standard hard drive, and the laptop should also boot in a matter of seconds. The size may seem small for some people, but the benefits on performance are certainly a big deal.

Connectivity is your standard fare. On the right side, the laptop has one USB 2.0 port and an SD card reader; on the left side we can find two more USB ports (3.0 this time), the obligatory headphone-microphone jack and a very useful HDMI port for using external displays. 

It’s worth noting there’s no Ethernet port present, which means you’ll be dependent on Wi-Fi connectivity. Similarly, and as expected, there’s no optical drive for CDs, though that’s hardly a problem for anyone at this point.

What’s the verdict?

Once we've had a closer look at this model through our review of the Dell Inspiron i7359-6790SLV  we understand a bit more what kind of machine we’re dealing with. What initially passed as a powerful convertible suddenly looks a lot more like a full-fledged multimedia laptop. 

Don’t let the smaller size and convertible form-factor deceive you: thanks to its powerful processors, its high quality display and 8 GB of RAM, the Dell Inspiron i7359-6790SLV easily goes beyond its more gimmicky features.

If you are on the lookout for a capable and portable multimedia machine that also happens to double as a giant tablet (and many other positions), Dell has you covered with this one. The pricing is right and there doesn’t seem to be any compromises whatsoever. Gamers should look at other options, but in the realm of portable Windows, the Dell Inspiron i7359-6790SLV sits on a high place.