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Dell Inspiron 7486 Chromebook 14 2-in-1 Convertible Review

Pixelbook alternative? The Dell Inspiron 7486 Chromebook 14 2-in-1 is a well-built, well-designed Chromebook. Thanks to its Intel Core i3-8130U CPU and gorgeous 14-inch FHD display with pen support, the Inspiron 7486 Chromebook may be the best alternative to the Pixelbook on the market.

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Most people view Chromebooks in one of two lights. The devices are either cheaply made low-priced laptops (like the Acer C740) or expensive, high-end luxury items held back by Chrome OS (like the Pixelbook). Today's review device falls somewhere in the middle.

The Dell Inspiron Chromebook 14 2-in-1 (Inspiron 7486) is a premium Chromebook that rivals the Pixelbook in almost every regard except for price. While US $600 is about twice as much as most other Chromebooks, the price feels a bit more justified than the Pixelbook's $1000 tag. The Inspiron's 8th generation Intel Core i3 CPU, its beautiful touchscreen display, and its excellent build quality put it far beyond the normal reach of most Chromebooks. Let's see just how well the Inspiron Chromebook 14 stacks up against other premium Chrome OS devices.

The Dell Inspiron Chromebook 14 2-in-1 rivals the best of the best in the Chromebook world, including Google's Pixelbook, the Acer Chromebook 14 for Work, and the HP Chromebook 13 G1. We will also compare the recently reviewed Lenovo Chromebook C330, a device that is more in line with the typical Chromebook.

Dell Inspiron 7486 Chromebook 14 2-in-1
Graphics adapter
Memory
4096 MB 
, DDR4, 2400 MHz
Display
14 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 157 PPI, 10-point multitouch, EMR Pen support, native pen support, IPS, glossy: yes
Storage
128 GB eMMC Flash, 128 GB 
, 128 GB eMMC Flash
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, Audio Connections: Headset (combo audio in/out), Card Reader: microSD card reader, Brightness Sensor
Networking
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265 (a/b/g/h/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.1
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 17.7 x 328.9 x 230.1 ( = 0.7 x 12.95 x 9.06 in)
Battery
56 Wh Lithium-Ion, Battery runtime (according to manufacturer): 10 h
Operating System
Google Chrome OS
Camera
Webcam: FHD
Additional features
Speakers: 2x 2 Watt, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Drive, Google Play Store, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
1.81 kg ( = 63.85 oz / 3.99 pounds) ( = 0 oz / 0 pounds)
Price
600 USD
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

The Inspiron Chromebook 14 definitely looks the part of a premium notebook. Its aluminum chassis is similar to Dell's other Inspiron laptops. While the build quality is on par with most other mid- to high-end Windows Ultrabooks, the Inspiron Chromebook 14's body is far beyond the average Chromebook. Most other Chrome OS laptops are made from cheap, weak plastic. The Inspiron's aluminum shell is solid and rigid throughout; there is some slight flex on the keyboard deck, but only under intentional pressure. The lid can be twisted a bit as well. Again, this warping only occurs under direct pressure.

The Inspiron Chromebook 14 also wins handily in the design department. The aluminum case is highly resistant to fingerprints and easily maintains a clean look. Gaps are even and tight. The 360-degree hinges are too stiff for one-handed opening but hold the screen firmly in place; the display does not move during typing and does not bob when touched. The Inspiron rivals the best of the Chromebook world in terms of looks. All said, the look and feel of the Inspiron Chromebook surpass most other Chrome OS devices. Not bad for $600.

The sturdy aluminum case and hefty touchscreen come at the cost of reduced portability. While the Inspiron Chromebook 14 certainly isn't bulky by any stretch of the imagination, it is a fair bit heavier than most other Chromebooks. This is primarily due to the display; the touch panel supports EMR pen input and thus requires a bit more hardware. The lid feels weighty in the hand, and the device makes for a heavy and bulky tablet when held in the hands. However, it's thin and compact enough to easily slide into a bag. The device is also light enough for extended use in a lap. A table may be needed for comfortable use in tablet mode.

Connectivity

Port selection is a bit anemic. The Inspiron features two USB 3 Type-C ports, one on either side of the chassis. These are simply USB ports and do not support Thunderbolt 3. However, both offer power delivery and can be used to charge the device with a USB Type-C charger. The left side Type-C port doesn't seem to charge as fast as the right side, though. There is a single Type-A USB port, so dongles or hubs may be needed. Sadly, the SD card slot only accepts microSD cards, although these sit near-flush with the case when inserted.

Right: USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C/power delivery, USB 3.0 Type-A, headset jack
Right: USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C/power delivery, USB 3.0 Type-A, headset jack
Left: Power button, volume rocker, microSD card reader, USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C
Left: Power button, volume rocker, microSD card reader, USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C

SD Card Reader

Speaking of the SD card slot, the reader's speeds are on par for a convertible and are comparable to high-end Chromebooks. Chromebooks aren't known for fast SD card readers, so anything above 50 MB/s in Chrome OS is far faster than average.

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SDCardreader Transfer Speed - average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Average of class Convertible
  (7.5 - 197, n=111)
58.9 MB/s ∼100% +4%
Dell Inspiron 7486 Chromebook 14 2-in-1
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 UHS-II)
56.89 MB/s ∼97%
Acer Chromebook R 11 CB5-132T-C4LB
 
54.2 MB/s ∼92% -5%
Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Chromebook
 
50.9 MB/s ∼86% -11%
Acer Chromebook 14 CP5-471-53QV
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
37.5 MB/s ∼64% -34%
Lenovo Chromebook C330-81HY0000US
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
30.8 MB/s ∼52% -46%

Communication

Wireless speeds are excellent thanks to the Intel 7265 wireless card. In addition to speedy transmission over WiFi, connections are solid and reliable. We have yet to experience a dropped signal, even when connected to a router positioned 25 meters away through 3 interior walls.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Dell Inspiron 7486 Chromebook 14 2-in-1
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
673 MBit/s ∼100%
Google Pixelbook
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
596 MBit/s ∼89% -11%
Average of class Convertible
  (38.3 - 678, n=123)
484 MBit/s ∼72% -28%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Dell Inspiron 7486 Chromebook 14 2-in-1
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
491 MBit/s ∼100%
Average of class Convertible
  (39.2 - 685, n=123)
490 MBit/s ∼100% 0%
Google Pixelbook
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
462 MBit/s ∼94% -6%

Maintenance & Warranty

Opening the Inspiron Chromebook 14 is straightforward and simple. Ten Phillips Head screws and some small plastic clips hold the bottom panel in place. Sadly, there isn't much to do inside the chassis. The RAM, CPU, and storage are soldered in place and non-replaceable. The wireless card is socketed and can be replaced.

Input Devices

Keyboard

The Inspiron Chromebook 14's keyboard is a step above those typically found in Chromebooks. Key travel is good, and the keys are well-sized and well-spaced. The keyboard feels similar to Dell's other Inspiron notebooks, which is to be expected. Feedback isn't as crisp as we would like and feels spongy, but key clatter is almost non-existent. There is a five-stage backlight. Typists will find a lot to like here.

Touchpad & Touchscreen

The touchpad, like the keyboard, feels premium compared to other Chrome OS laptops. The glass surface feels smooth underhand, and tracking is accurate and responsive. The touchpad is larger than those of most Chromebooks; the greater size makes the touchpad much easier to use. The clicking mechanism feels responsive and lacks the hollow sound of cheaper Chrome notebooks.

The touchscreen is another high point. The Inspiron Chromebook 14 support EMR pens such as those from Wacom. The notebook comes with an EMR stylus, and the experience is excellent. Palm rejection on the touchscreen is on point, allowing for a natural feel when jotting down notes or drawing. Pen input is quick with minimal lag; astute artists will notice the few milliseconds of delay, but most users won't be bothered by it. Students and others who prefer handwritten notes should be pleased by the touchscreen. We have attached some samples of the touchscreen against physical pen-and-paper below.

The keyboard is excellent.
The keyboard is excellent.
The large touchpad offers plenty of room.
The large touchpad offers plenty of room.
Handwriting sample using the included stylus.
Handwriting sample using the included stylus.
Handwriting sample on physical paper.
Handwriting sample on physical paper.

Display

The 14-inch FHD (1920x1080) display is one of the best we've seen on a Chromebook. The IPS panel gets reasonably bright at about 320 nits. While this is average for most mid-range notebooks, it is far brighter than most of its Chromebook brethren. Only the Pixelbook has a brighter backlight. The Inspiron's contrast level is also far above most other Chromebooks at about 1250:1. We did not detect any PWM.

Our biggest complaint is the uneven backlight. It's only noticeable at the highest brightness settings, and even then only keen eyes will see a difference in luminance. Most users won't notice anything. Chromebooks are continually getting better in the display department, and the Inspiron is a prime example of how far these devices have come.

297.1
cd/m²
324.3
cd/m²
304.7
cd/m²
315.7
cd/m²
348.1
cd/m²
315
cd/m²
318.1
cd/m²
342.4
cd/m²
321
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 348.1 cd/m² Average: 320.7 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 85 %
Center on Battery: 348.1 cd/m²
Contrast: 1243:1 (Black: 0.28 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 1.75 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.2
ΔE Greyscale 2.6 | 0.64-98 Ø6.4
Gamma: 2.206
Dell Inspiron 7486 Chromebook 14 2-in-1
IPS, 14, 1920x1080
Google Pixelbook
IPS, 12.3, 2400x1600
Acer Chromebook 14 CP5-471-53QV
IPS, 14, 1920x1080
Acer Chromebook R13 CB5-312T-K0YK
IPS, 13.3, 1920x1080
Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Chromebook
IPS, 13.3, 1920x1080
Lenovo Chromebook C330-81HY0000US
IPS, 11.6, 1366x768
Response Times
-29%
12%
18%
-3%
-1%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
40.8 (22, 18.8)
59.2 (29.6, 29.6)
-45%
38 (19, 19)
7%
38 (14, 24)
7%
37.6 (15.2, 22.4)
8%
43.2 (21.6, 21.6)
-6%
Response Time Black / White *
32 (17.2, 14.8)
36 (20, 16)
-13%
27 (16, 11)
16%
23 (5, 18)
28%
36 (5.2, 30.8)
-13%
30.4 (16.4, 14)
5%
PWM Frequency
819.7 (100)
Screen
-30%
4%
-24%
-73%
-43%
Brightness middle
348.1
473.9
36%
214
-39%
192
-45%
262.9
-24%
198.9
-43%
Brightness
321
443
38%
214
-33%
204
-36%
261
-19%
204
-36%
Brightness Distribution
85
80
-6%
90
6%
88
4%
92
8%
95
12%
Black Level *
0.28
0.35
-25%
0.1
64%
0.23
18%
0.601
-115%
0.16
43%
Contrast
1243
1354
9%
2140
72%
835
-33%
437
-65%
1243
0%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
1.75
3.9
-123%
4.87
-178%
3.24
-85%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
4.74
7.7
-62%
12.18
-157%
17.61
-272%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
2.6
5.4
-108%
3.86
-48%
3.99
-53%
3.51
-35%
1.6
38%
Gamma
2.206 100%
2.13 103%
2.42 91%
2.45 90%
2.17 101%
2.311 95%
CCT
6441 101%
7643 85%
6276 104%
6380 102%
6476 100%
6553 99%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-30% / -30%
8% / 6%
-3% / -14%
-38% / -59%
-22% / -34%

* ... smaller is better

Color Accuracy

Color accuracy is excellent out of the box. The average DeltaE2000 for colors sits at an impressive 1.75, far beyond the general threshold for professional use (DeltaE2000 of 3 or lower). No other Chromebook comes close to the Inspiron in terms of color accuracy; not even the Pixelbook challenges the Inspiron. Color variance is also fairly tight; the maximum DeltaE2000 for color is only 4.74 (seen in lighter shades of blue). Grays are equally excellent; the DeltaE2000 for grays averages 2.6, and average gamma is near-perfect at 2.206. Color temperature (6441 K) is very close to the ideal of 6500 K. All said, the Inspiron's screen stands out among most laptops, not just Chromebooks.

ColorChecker
ColorChecker
Grayscale
Grayscale
Saturation Sweeps
Saturation Sweeps

Viewing Angles and Reflections

Thanks to its IPS panel, the Inspiron Chromebook 14 offers wide viewing angles. Images and text remain clear and accurate up to about 80° off-center, at which point they begin to dim. Backlight bleed is minimal but present, primarily along the bottom edge. Bleed is only noticeable on black backgrounds in dark environments the screen brightness is set to ~85% or higher.

The primary weakness of the display is its glossy finish. There is no anti-glare coating of any kind across the screen. As a result, fingerprints and reflections are problematic, especially in bright light or outdoors. The laptop is somewhat usable in direct sunlight, but the experience is not enjoyable.

Outdoors in shade
Outdoors in shade
Outdoors in direct sunlight
Outdoors in direct sunlight
Backlight bleed
Backlight bleed

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
32 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 17.2 ms rise
↘ 14.8 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 81 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (25.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
40.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 22 ms rise
↘ 18.8 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 47 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (41 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 52 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9247 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Performance

Most Chromebooks sit in one of two camps. Either they are Core i5- or Core i7-based beasts that are overpowered for Chrome OS, or they have underwhelming ARM or Celeron CPUs at their heart. The Inspiron leans toward the former but pares things back by opting for an 8th generation Core i3 CPU. The choice of processor is wise as it brings excellent performance in Chrome OS without the wasted potential of other premium Chromebooks.

Processor & System Performance

The Core i3-8130U is one of Intel's latest ULV processors and brings the welcome addition of hyperthreading to the Ultrabook-class of processors. Doubling the thread count vaults the Inspiron far into the upper echelon of Chromebooks, doubling the performance of other Celeron- or ARM-based devices in most benchmarks. The Inspiron even takes the crown in WebXPRT 2015, which takes better advantage of multi-threaded CPUs.

In practical use, the Inspiron is one of the smoothest and quickest Chromebooks we've tested. Apps open immediately and load without any of the jerkiness seen in budget devices. Content-rich web pages load without a hitch. Scrolling and UI navigation is fluid, and the system is incredibly responsive. Most impressively, the Core i3-8130U puts out this performance while remaining efficient and cool, as we will see below.

WebXPRT 2015 - Overall Score
Dell Inspiron 7486 Chromebook 14 2-in-1
Intel Core i3-8130U
472 Points ∼58%
Average Intel Core i3-8130U
  (446 - 472, n=2)
459 Points ∼57% -3%
Google Pixelbook
Intel Core i5-7Y57
441 Points ∼55% -7%
Acer Chromebook 14 CP5-471-53QV
Intel Core i5-6200U
373 Points ∼46% -21%
Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Chromebook
Intel Core i5-6300U
359 Points ∼44% -24%
Average of class Convertible
  (63 - 608, n=15)
296 Points ∼37% -37%
Lenovo Chromebook C330-81HY0000US
Mediatek MT8173C
216 Points ∼27% -54%
Acer Chromebook R 11 CB5-132T-C4LB
Intel Celeron N3160
166 Points ∼21% -65%
Acer Chromebook R13 CB5-312T-K0YK
Mediatek MT8173C
138 Points ∼17% -71%
Octane V2 - Total Score
Google Pixelbook
Intel Core i5-7Y57
32334 Points ∼65% +1%
Dell Inspiron 7486 Chromebook 14 2-in-1
Intel Core i3-8130U
31980 Points ∼64%
Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Chromebook
Intel Core i5-6300U
29435 Points ∼59% -8%
Average Intel Core i3-8130U
  (25180 - 31980, n=3)
28326 Points ∼57% -11%
Acer Chromebook 14 CP5-471-53QV
Intel Core i5-6200U
27414 Points ∼55% -14%
Average of class Convertible
  (3067 - 42822, n=168)
21163 Points ∼43% -34%
Lenovo Chromebook C330-81HY0000US
Mediatek MT8173C
11089 Points ∼22% -65%
Acer Chromebook R13 CB5-312T-K0YK
Mediatek MT8173C
10139 Points ∼20% -68%
Acer Chromebook R 11 CB5-132T-C4LB
Intel Celeron N3160
8018 Points ∼16% -75%
Sunspider - 1.0 Total Score
Acer Chromebook R 11 CB5-132T-C4LB
Intel Celeron N3160
990.6 ms * ∼11% -250%
Lenovo Chromebook C330-81HY0000US
Mediatek MT8173C
838.7 ms * ∼9% -197%
Acer Chromebook R13 CB5-312T-K0YK
Mediatek MT8173C
577.7 ms * ∼6% -104%
Acer Chromebook 14 CP5-471-53QV
Intel Core i5-6200U
298.2 ms * ∼3% -5%
Dell Inspiron 7486 Chromebook 14 2-in-1
Intel Core i3-8130U
282.7 ms * ∼3%
Google Pixelbook
Intel Core i5-7Y57
268.1 ms * ∼3% +5%
Average of class Convertible
  (63.8 - 1002, n=122)
251 ms * ∼3% +11%
Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Chromebook
Intel Core i5-6300U
213 ms * ∼2% +25%
Average Intel Core i3-8130U
  (91.3 - 283, n=2)
187 ms * ∼2% +34%
JetStream 1.1 - Total Score
Average Intel Core i3-8130U
  (161 - 209, n=3)
190 Points ∼57% +18%
Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Chromebook
Intel Core i5-6300U
173.25 Points ∼52% +8%
Average of class Convertible
  (33.5 - 288, n=160)
167 Points ∼50% +4%
Dell Inspiron 7486 Chromebook 14 2-in-1
Intel Core i3-8130U
160.93 Points ∼48%
Google Pixelbook
Intel Core i5-7Y57
144.78 Points ∼43% -10%
Acer Chromebook 14 CP5-471-53QV
Intel Core i5-6200U
142.28 Points ∼43% -12%
Acer Chromebook R13 CB5-312T-K0YK
Mediatek MT8173C
56.99 Points ∼17% -65%
Lenovo Chromebook C330-81HY0000US
Mediatek MT8173C
53.997 Points ∼16% -66%
Acer Chromebook R 11 CB5-132T-C4LB
Intel Celeron N3160
42.09 Points ∼13% -74%

* ... smaller is better

Storage

Chromebooks are not known for their generous local storage, but the Inspiron Chromebook 14 stands out in this regard. Dell's offers one configuration with 128 GB of eMMC flash storage. Coupled with Google's 100 GB of free Drive storage offered with each new Chromebook, there should be more than enough room for documents, media, and Android apps. The eMMC flash storage will be slower than modern SSDs, but considering that most files and apps compatible with Chrome OS are relatively small, this shouldn't present much of a problem. Load times in heavier Android games (like PUBG) will require some patience.

Android Integration

Chrome OS has improved quite a bit over the past year thanks to the integration of Android apps via the Google Play Store. The Inspiron is a good showing of this new feature; every Android app we threw at the device ran flawlessly. Alternative browsers like Brave and Firefox run without a hitch. Office applications like Polaris Office are smooth. Even simple photo editing via Adobe's Photoshop is easy. In short, the Android experience is similar to top-end Android tablets. 

Gaming Performance

It's hard to believe these words can be said with a straight face, but the Intel UHD Graphics 630 iGPU is a gaming powerhouse for Chrome OS. Web browser games are no problem, and demanding Android games run smoothly at high frame rates. Asphalt 8 is playable at the highest settings and runs at about 40-50 fps on average. There are some issues with a few Android games, notably PUBG Mobile. The app refuses to run at anything other than Low, stating that other options are "coming soon to your device." Still, the game is enjoyable with high framerates.

Emissions

System Noise & Temperature

Fan noise profile
Fan noise profile

Despite the more powerful hardware, the Inspiron Chromebook 14 remains whisper quiet under most loads. There is a single small fan, but it rarely turns on. Even under load (streaming 3 1080p YouTube videos in 3 separate tabs), fan noise stays under 30 dB(A). However, most other Chromebooks are fanless and will always be silent. There is no noticeable coil whine. 

Noise Level

Idle
28.7 / 28.7 / 28.7 dB(A)
Load
29.8 / 29.8 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   BK Precision 732A (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 28.7 dB(A)

Temperature

Despite the fan rarely turning on, heat stays very well managed. Under load, the only noticeable warm spot lies on the bottom panel directly above the CPU. This spot only feels mildly warm to the touch; the rest of the underside remains cool under any workload. Thus, the notebook can be used in a lap anytime. When in tablet mode, heat may be problematic. The main exhaust vent dumps heat out of the middle of the hinge. If held at this point, users will feel the warm air and their palms may start to sweat.

Max. Load
 30 °C
86 F
31.6 °C
89 F
28.6 °C
83 F
 
 27.8 °C
82 F
30 °C
86 F
24.6 °C
76 F
 
 25 °C
77 F
23.2 °C
74 F
22.4 °C
72 F
 
Maximum: 31.6 °C = 89 F
Average: 27 °C = 81 F
29.6 °C
85 F
38.6 °C
101 F
34 °C
93 F
26.8 °C
80 F
32.4 °C
90 F
31.6 °C
89 F
25.6 °C
78 F
27.8 °C
82 F
28.4 °C
83 F
Maximum: 38.6 °C = 101 F
Average: 30.5 °C = 87 F
Power Supply (max.)  32 °C = 90 F | Room Temperature 20 °C = 68 F | Fluke 62 Mini
(+) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 27 °C / 81 F, compared to the average of 30.3 °C / 87 F for the devices in the class Convertible.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 31.6 °C / 89 F, compared to the average of 35.4 °C / 96 F, ranging from 21.8 to 55.7 °C for the class Convertible.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 38.6 °C / 101 F, compared to the average of 36.5 °C / 98 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 20.9 °C / 70 F, compared to the device average of 30.3 °C / 87 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are cooler than skin temperature with a maximum of 25 °C / 77 F and are therefore cool to the touch.
(+) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 29.1 °C / 84.4 F (+4.1 °C / 7.4 F).
Keyboard, idle
Keyboard, idle
Bottom, idle
Bottom, idle
Keyboard, load
Keyboard, load
Bottom, load
Bottom, load

Speakers

One of the weaker points of the Inspiron Chromebook 14 is sound output. The speakers are quiet, averaging about 65 decibels. Bass is anemic, but mids and highs are well-balanced. On the plus side, there is no peaking or distortion at any volume level; sound remains clear throughout. It's a shame that a device with such a gorgeous display is a mediocre media machine because of its weak speakers.

Speaker sound profile
Speaker sound profile
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2042.338.32534.433.63134.132.6403131.35029.832.46330.429.78030.531.21002829.712527.129.416026.33920025.648.725025.553.231524.955.640024.257.250024.259.363023.559.88002369100023.367.112502364.2160023.266.7200023.165.5250022.960.6315022.661.3400022.767.1500022.860.2630022.860.1800022.766.51000022.768.31250022.763.21600022.863.4SPL35.276.9N2.439.9median 23.1median 60.6Delta1.26.234.639.535.134.73433.531.932.13233.530.334.329.130.829.133.628.238.427.942.127.244.626.649.525.453.924.952.924.455.223.960.123.863.823.560.723.168.722.970.222.769.122.570.222.568.322.268.722.166.622.267.622.361.322.258.922.36222.350.435.179.32.442.6median 23.1median 60.71.78.6hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseDell Inspiron 7486 Chromebook 14 2-in-1Google Pixelbook
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Dell Inspiron 7486 Chromebook 14 2-in-1 audio analysis

(-) | not very loud speakers (69.03 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 17.9% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (12.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.4% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (7.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 3.1% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (10.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (19.7% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 38% of all tested devices in this class were better, 11% similar, 51% worse
» The best had a delta of 11%, average was 22%, worst was 53%
Compared to all devices tested
» 40% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 53% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Google Pixelbook audio analysis

(-) | not very loud speakers (70.71 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 17.1% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (10.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 5.4% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (8.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 5.7% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (5.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (22.7% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 57% of all tested devices in this class were better, 8% similar, 35% worse
» The best had a delta of 11%, average was 22%, worst was 53%
Compared to all devices tested
» 58% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 34% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Despite the relatively powerful processor, the Inspiron's power consumption is in line with most other Chromebooks, even those that use low-powered ARM and Celeron CPUs. The Inspiron pulls a maximum of 28 Watts under full load, which is higher than other Chrome OS laptops. However, on average, the Inspiron draws 30-40% less power than other high-end Chromebooks like the Acer Chromebook 14 for Work. The Inspiron Chromebook 14 comes with a 45 W USB Type-C power adapter.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.3 / 0.6 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 1.6 / 6.3 / 6.5 Watt
Load midlight 8.1 / 28.6 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Dell Inspiron 7486 Chromebook 14 2-in-1
8130U, UHD Graphics 630, 128 GB eMMC Flash, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Acer Chromebook 14 CP5-471-53QV
6200U, HD Graphics 520, 32 GB eMMC Flash, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Acer Chromebook R13 CB5-312T-K0YK
MT8173C, PowerVR GX6250, 32 GB eMMC Flash, IPS, 1920x1080, 13.3
Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Chromebook
6300U, HD Graphics 520, 32 GB eMMC Flash, IPS, 1920x1080, 13.3
Acer Chromebook R 11 CB5-132T-C4LB
N3160, HD Graphics 400 (Braswell), 32 GB eMMC Flash, IPS, 1366x768, 11.6
Lenovo Chromebook C330-81HY0000US
MT8173C, PowerVR GX6250, , IPS, 1366x768, 11.6
Power Consumption
-25%
-24%
27%
1%
33%
Idle Minimum *
1.6
2.7
-69%
3.8
-138%
0.77
52%
3.2
-100%
1.4
12%
Idle Average *
6.3
6.2
2%
6.2
2%
5.11
19%
4.6
27%
4.9
22%
Idle Maximum *
6.5
6.7
-3%
6.6
-2%
5.88
10%
4.9
25%
5
23%
Load Average *
8.1
14
-73%
11
-36%
7.43
8%
9
-11%
5.3
35%
Load Maximum *
28.6
24
16%
12.7
56%
14.73
48%
10.4
64%
7.9
72%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

One area where most Chromebooks excel is battery life, primarily because of their low-powered CPUs. How, then, does the Inspiron Chromebook 14 fare with its more powerful CPU? Fairly well. Thanks to its 56 Wh battery and the lower power demands of Chrome OS, the Inspiron lasted 10.5 hours in our WiFi v1.3 test (screen set to 150 nits, opening a new web page every 30 seconds). This falls short of other Chromebooks like the Lenovo Chromebook C330 and Acer Chromebook R13, but these devices have smaller screens with lower resolutions and much less powerful hardware. The Inspiron Chromebook 14 should easily get users through a day full of meetings or classes.

Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
10h 37min
Dell Inspiron 7486 Chromebook 14 2-in-1
8130U, UHD Graphics 630, 56 Wh
Google Pixelbook
7Y57, HD Graphics 615, 41 Wh
Acer Chromebook 14 CP5-471-53QV
6200U, HD Graphics 520, 45 Wh
Acer Chromebook R13 CB5-312T-K0YK
MT8173C, PowerVR GX6250, 53.9 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Chromebook
6300U, HD Graphics 520, 42 Wh
Acer Chromebook R 11 CB5-132T-C4LB
N3160, HD Graphics 400 (Braswell), 39 Wh
Lenovo Chromebook C330-81HY0000US
MT8173C, PowerVR GX6250, 45 Wh
Battery Runtime
WiFi v1.3
637
835
31%
540
-15%
773
21%
536
-16%
421
-34%
698
10%

Verdict

Pros

+ excellent build quality
+ beautiful display
+ best-in-class performance
+ pleasant keyboard
+ vibrant, color accurate touchscreen
+ runs Android apps very well
+ included stylus is fluid and responsive
+ good battery runtimes

Cons

- expensive
- screen backlight is slightly uneven
- lid is heavy
- speakers are quiet
In review: Dell Inspiron 7846 Chromebook 14 2-in-1. Review unit courtesy of Dell.
In review: Dell Inspiron 7846 Chromebook 14 2-in-1. Review unit courtesy of Dell.

Dell nailed it. The Inspiron Chromebook 14 2-in-1 (Inspiron 7486) is far and away the best Chromebook we have tested. The build quality is on par with the Pixelbook, the screen is beautiful, the included stylus and EMR pen support are wonderful bonuses, and performance exceeds almost every other Chrome OS device.

The Core i3-8130U is perhaps the perfect CPU for Chrome OS; the chip perfectly balances performance with heat and power draw to offer a buttery smooth experience with little to no heat output and fan noise. Battery runtimes are great as well.

We have some minor complaints. The speakers are clear but quiet, which is a shame considering the media playback potential. The device is also a fair bit heavier than other 2-in-1s due to the dense display lid. The 14-inch screen makes the device somewhat awkward to hold in tablet mode as well.

Lastly, there's the price. $600 is a lot to ask for a Chrome OS device. Despite Android integration, the Inspiron Chromebook 14 is still a Chromebook at the end of the day. As such, it's a fair bit limited compared to traditional Windows or Mac laptops. That said, this is quite possibly the best Chromebook on the market right now. It handily beats the Pixelbook in most areas for $400 less. Most consumers, students and working professionals included, will find a lot to like in the Inspiron Chromebook 14. Depending on their workflow, Chrome OS with Android may have everything a user needs.

The Inspiron 7846 Chromebook 14 2-in-1 is the Chrome power user's dream Chromebook. In addition to its great build quality, solid input devices, and excellent EMR pen support, the Inspiron Chromebook 14 offers superior performance and a better display than Google's flagship Pixelbook at almost half the cost. Chrome OS has a new star.

Dell Inspiron 7486 Chromebook 14 2-in-1 - 01/17/2019 v6
Sam Medley

Chassis
89 / 98 → 91%
Keyboard
91%
Pointing Device
96%
Connectivity
46 / 80 → 57%
Weight
65 / 35-78 → 70%
Battery
92%
Display
88%
Games Performance
0 / 68 → 
Application Performance
83 / 87 → 95%
Temperature
96%
Noise
98%
Audio
76 / 91 → 83%
Camera
62 / 85 → 73%
Average
82%
87%
Convertible - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Dell Inspiron 7486 Chromebook 14 2-in-1 Convertible Review
Sam Medley, 2019-01-20 (Update: 2019-01-20)
Sam Medley
Sam Medley - Review Editor - @samuel_medley
I've been a "tech-head" my entire life. After graduating college with a degree in Mathematics, I worked in finance and banking a few years before taking a job as a Systems Analyst for my local school district. I started working with Notebookcheck in October of 2016 and have enjoyed writing news articles and notebook reviews. My areas of interest include the business side of technology, retro gaming, Linux, and innovative gadgets. When I'm not hunched over an electronic device or writing code for a new database, I'm either outside with my family, playing a decade-old video game, or sitting behind a drum set.