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In-Depth Review: Dell Inspiron 14 5405 with 4700U (With pictures!) AMA as well!
submitted by Corentinrobin29 to AMDLaptops
UPDATE ON BATTERY LIFE AND EXTRA THOUGHTS HERE:
TL;DR: Excellent design, solid quality and premium feel, good keyboard but an acquired taste, windows precision touchpad, bright and comfortable matte screen, solid performance, easy upgradability and serviceability. An almost perfect laptop sabotaged by Dell’s nonsensical decision to put a ridiculously small battery in there. (Will run another battery benchmark to confirm).
I’ve just received my Dell Inspiron 14 5405 today. I haven’t seen any reviews online about this machine (apart from a single, very surface-level, Japanese review), so I’ve taken it upon myself to review this laptop as best as I can for you all. I hope this can shed some light on what turns out to be a very obscure laptop. Beyond the review itself, AMA if you want any further information. I’m far from the most active redditor myself, but I’d love to help people who are interested by this device.
What a gorgeous design!
It was ordered on the 26th of July, was shipped a couple of days later. It arrived today, the 7th of August, in the early portion of their estimated delivery range, so that’s a good start. I live in France and the laptop was shipped from Taiwan, so props to them, the timing wasn’t too bad given the human malware we’re stuck with.
By the way, it looks like I’ve been lucky and managed to snag one of them before they disappeared from the online store a few days later. Everything seems to point towards AMD Renoir APU shortages as the cause for this. I’ve seen another poster comment that the HP Envy 360 disappeared to, so most manufacturers seem to be affected by this. No, the laptops aren’t being discontinued, because I’ve seen a single configuration of the Inspiron 14 5405 go back onto the shelves of the Dell online store.
CPU Ryzen 7 4700U
GPU Radeon Vega 7
RAM 1 x 8Gb Samsung 3200MHz 22-22-22-52-74 DDR4 SODIMM at 1.2V; upgraded to 2 x 8Gb with identical speed and timings
Display No way to confirm this as I don’t own a colour calibrator like the Spyder 5, but pretty damn sure it’s the 72% NTSC (so 100% sRGB), 300 nit panel
1920 x 1080 60 Hz IPS matte display
Storage 512Gb SK Hynix NVMe PCIe SSD; 2230 (22*30mm) format
Networking Qualcomm QCA61x4A :
Price 801,55 € (including office 365 and 14% student discount for orders over 899 €)
When the box came in, I have to admit I was shocked by how tiny it was. I was used to my father bringing home big rectangular Dell boxes when he got a new work laptop, even for 13-inch models. This time, the box was square and barely bigger than the laptop itself.
Now this is down to personal preference, but I absolutely love the design of the Inspiron 14 5405, visually. It’s a fully matte silver finish that is uniform across the entire laptop. Dell advertises that the screen back panel and top cover (keyboard + palm rest) are aluminium. I can’t tell if the rest of the laptop (the bottom panel) is a magnesium alloy or plastic, but it’s impossible to tell it’s made from a different material without touching it. Only the screen bezel is made of a matte white plastic, and it isn’t distracting at all.
The laptop is extremely light at 1,35kg. For context, my 2017 15-inch Macbook Pro weighs 1,8kg. The included 45W power brick measures approximately 2,75m long, and weighs in at around 275g.
Unlike the Inspiron 15 5505 (the Renoir-equipped 15-inch big brother), the 14 5405 doesn’t suffer from any kind of flex at all. The 5505’s biggest issue was a significant amount of keyboard deck flex where you could easily depress the centre of the laptop by a good centimetre. This isn’t the case here: the chassis resists very well to pressure, well beyond what a normal typing experience would be. I’ll go into details in the upgradability section, but this rigidity in the keyboard region is due to a push pin mechanism at the centre which locks the upper plate (keyboard + trackpad side) to the back panel.
The keyboard suffers no flex at all when applying some torsion. The screen doesn’t flex either when applying torsion too. The screen panel is very rigid, meaning that you can easily open it from one side without twisting the screen. Mind you that doesn’t mean it’s indestructible – rigid also means that it snaps more unpredictably too, so don’t play around with it. 😊
I unfortunately have extremely sweaty hands, and the blazing heat here in France (up to 38 degrees today) doesn’t help. Nonetheless, in the few hours I’ve been using this laptop, I can report that it doesn’t seem particularly prone to picking up fingerprint, neither on the trackpad, case or keyboard.
The laptop does sometimes creak a tiny bit when opening or closing the lid or when carrying it one handed by a corner, so the weight dangles off on one side, with no visible flex. It’s not a unibody design so this is to be expected. The fan (I think?) clicks a bit when moving the laptop around, but that might be my fault for tinkering with the internals, I might have left something a bit loose. Future owners can let me know if they experience this too.
Rigid hinge gives a premium feel
Firstly, props to Dell for being the only manufacturer apart from Apple to offer customisable keyboards on consumer devices. I’m French but HATE the French AZERTY layout, as I’ve lived abroad forever, and grew up with the QWERTY layout. Dell, Apple, Lenovo Thinkpads as well as third-party laptop companies like Schenker are thus my only options for new laptops with US layout keyboards.
The keyboard is going to be a divisive issue, I think. Coming from a MacBook Pro 15 with the infamous “butterfly” keyboard, the 5405 is a pleasure to type with. I can see a night and day difference in typing, where my mistype rate is pretty much zero. I have no issues typing the letters that I want, and no issue knowing when I actuated the key itself. I’ll explain why the keyboard feels so good down below.
The layout for the QWERTY US is fairly standard, although it does suffer from the small arrow key problem at the bottom right. Coming from a MacBook Pro 15 where only the Up/Down keys are half height, I didn’t expect two more out of the 4 arrow keys being half height to be an issue. Turns out that when typing, you use the sideways arrow keys a lot more than the Up/Down arrow keys to correct mistakes. Pretty much every time I wanted to hit a sideways arrow key, I’ve clicked PageUp or PageDown instead. Not the end of the world, as I feel I’ll get used to it eventually. The keys are comfortably spaced from each other, meaning mistypes are rare. Moreover, the gap between the keys and keyboard cover, while not tiny,is small enough that I don’t see too much dust or crumbs (wash your hands, you dirty, dirty people…) getting through.
To the keys themselves. They have the distinct “mushy” keys that Dell laptops have had forever, and that I loved since my i7 4712HQ XPS 15. 2020 XPS 15s have a different keyboard so don’t use them as an irl comparison, a lot has changed since then. I mean “mushy” here in the best possible way, although it’s going to be down to personal preference. The keys have a decent initial resistance, so you know when you actuate a key, but it feels “spongy” when it happens, as you can clearly feel it’s a rubber dome mechanism rather than a “sharper” more “clicky” mechanical system. The travel is long enough to be comfortable ( I don’t feel I have to hold my fingers back like on the MacBook Pro) but short enough to bottom out firmly against the core of the laptop. Therefore, I have two layers of response when I press a key:
The keyboard backlight is… well… utilitarian. By that I mean that it’ll do more harm than good during daylight, as a white backlight on silver keys means you can barely see what you’re typing. Turning the backlight off in daylight yields a much better contrast. Don’t get me wrong, the backlighting is decent with clearly readable keys in full darkness and minimal light leakage. This keyboard just reminds us all that backlights weren’t a fashion accessory at first, and were used to, well, type in the dark. And it does just that. Saves battery life to turn it off during the day too.
I do have to note, halfway through typing this long ass review, that the backspace key is starting to click with an uncomfortable metallic scraping sound. Poor quality control or something got underneath it, but it’s important to note nonetheless, as none of the other “long” keys which require stabilisers produce the same noise.
Readable by night, I've seen worse leakage
Coming from a MacBook Pro, my standards for touchpads were extremely high. My last experience with Windows touchpads was pretty bad and uncomfortable. I had gotten used to the gloriously huge glass-topped Apple touchpads and swore never to come back. I was nervous when I saw the 5405 had no glass top but was instead polished plastic (I think?). Thankfully the touchpad is very accurate and smooth. Scrolling through webpages is mostly accurate and controlled. I did have issued with my fingers not gliding properly sometimes since the touchpad isn’t perfectly smooth, but that might also have to do with my sweaty hands. I actually prefer the plastic touchpad: the slight ruggedness gives more grip and feedback, but I feel like it won’t survive stains and finger grease better than glass. Overall, the rumours of how good Windows Precision drivers are true. Don’t get me wrong, a MacBook Pro touchpad is clearly better and leagues ahead in usability (Macs are imo the only true one-handed laptops), but Windows touchpads have gotten so good that I’m satisfied enough to forget about comparing.
This touchpad has no dedicated keys for left and right clicks, but has zones in the touchpad which correspond to a left click or right click. These are not marked on the touchpad itself to preserve the seamless look. The clicks are firm and shallow, and very comfortable to use, although they require a bit more force than I’d like to actuate. The further up you go on the touchpad, the harder it is to click: the last top quarter of the touchpad is “unclickable” because of this. But this is expected as the clicking system is mechanical and hinged on the top of the touchpad, this is no Apple touchpad with haptic feedback where the whole touchpad is equally clickable. The clicks are quite loud however, without feeling cheap though. I have to report that non mechanical clicks (touching the touchpad instead of clicking it) have taken some time to get used to. They’re not bad or unreliable per se, but definitely several steps down from Apple. This touchpad is more reliable as a “clicker” than a “toucher”.
Both above and under average for the price. I’ll elaborate. The image is unfortunately very grainy, but not to the point it would be unusable. I’d say it’s fine for those who nearly never videoconference/skype, (i.e. the kind of people for whom the coronavirus outbreak was their first intensive use of webcams) as it’s nice to have one in the first place (looking at you, Redmibook 16). The colours, however, are surprising. If I manage to understand how to insert pictures in text in a reddit post, you’ll see that my pillows pop out nicely against the black couch in my demo pic.
The above average colour reproduction compensates the under average detail by making the image as a whole “comfortable” and lively. If you do any kind of serious videoconferencing or skype regularly – just use your phone or get a dedicated webcam – this one isn’t worth it.
Decent colours, grainy image
Maintenance and upgradability:
The laptop is very easy to service, since the whole motherboard faces the correct way when you remove the bottom panel. The bottom panel can be removed by unscrewing 7 Philips head screws about 1,5mm to 2mm in diameter. Both screw sizes worked. Do not be alarmed in the 2 screws closest to the hinges refuse to come out completely: they are retained screws. They will stick to the bottom panel even when they have completely left their threads in the rest of the laptop.
Nice, at least I'll have 2 of my 7 screws...
Once you’re done with the screws, use a credit card or other flat, rigid tool to gently unclip the bottom panel from the rest of the case. Go around the entire length of the sides of the laptop to fully unclip it.
Now the fun part, which is no problem at all once you know about it. I had removed all the screws and the bottom panel still wouldn’t come off. I could rotate it but not yank it off. I pulled a bit harder and the whole bottom panel came off. Remember the push pin that stabilises the keyboard area? Well it’s fixed to the bottom panel, which explains why you can’t remove it gently even after removing all screws. Don’t worry though, once you know to expect it, it requires nearly no force to unclip the push pin and remove the panel completely.
The push pin clip the pin locks into
Clever, Dell, hats off to you!
Once you remove the bottom panel, you’ll be greeted with the internals. The battery is screwed into place and (as far as I could tell) not glued. So easy replacements to be expected.
The holy grail of hardware access: one panel gives access to everything!
The preinstalled NVMe M.2 SSD is in 2230 format (so “short” M.2), but the structure (SSD support bracket and screw threads) is there to install a 2280 format M.2 SSD in its place should you wish. This is confirmed by the fact that Dell’s configuration list shows that up to 2TB SSDs in 2280 size are available for the 5405 in some regions. Now whether you can use the screws for the 2230 SSD to screw in a 2280 SSD instead is another thing entirely, but these screws are pretty standard so I wouldn’t worry.
2230 SSD with space for 2280
There is also a second M.2 slot that is empty in my configuration, with again structures (SSD support and threads) for both 2230 and 2280 mountings. No screws are included however, but I again expect that standard screws (as those included with desktop motherboards featuring M.2 slots) will work just fine. The real question is whether that second M.2 slot is even electrically active: I had no spare M.2 SSD to test it out and didn’t think about simply switching the default SSD at the time. Might do it later, but you’ll see why I probably won’t open up my laptop again later.
The second M.2 slot, right of the battery, under the speaker it seems.
The Qualcomm QCA61x4A card uses another M.2 slot with an A/E key for networking. It is also available for user upgrade. If you want to upgrade later, or if the WIFI 6 configuration with the Intel AX200 WIFI chip wasn’t available at all (that was the case in France) then you can upgrade it later. Just remember that most laptop manufacturers use a whitelist system, where only hardware the use themselves will actually be recognised even if it fits and works. For future reference, the supported networking chips are, as per the Dell manual:
A decent 802.11ac module, wish there was Wifi 6 by default
The RAM is thankfully user upgradable, which is pretty much a necessity since Dell, as far as I’ve seen, only offers the 5405 with RAM in single channel. This cripples CPU performance of the 4700U and destroys GPU performance especially since the integrated Vega 7 has no dedicated VRAM and relies on system RAM for memory.
Upgradable RAM in a thin and light - nice to see
I had bought some Corsair Vengeance 3000MHz memory (2 x 8Gb) with tight timings (16-18-18) to replace the stock RAM which while fast, had very loose timings (3200MHz at 22-22-22). To my surprise when I boot up the laptop, I saw that my RAM was running at 2666MHz with 18-18-18 timings. It turns out that the 5405’s BIOS does not support XMP, and RAM will run at their SPD/JEDEC settings. Luckily I had an 8Gb stick of non-XMP Crucial 3200MHz 22-22-22 RAM laying around that paired nicely with the preinstalled RAM. I’ve looked online and have not been able to find non-XMP RAM with better timings than this. This is as far as you can go without XMP. So don’t buy a dual channel kit of RAM expecting to replace the preinstalled memory with something faster, it won’t work.
The best 1.2V laptop DDR4 out there IMO. Doesn't work here though!
No XMP setting available anywhere in the BIOS. Corsair Vengeance running at 2666MHz
Here’s the reference to the Crucial Kit I used: CT8G4SFS832A. But any non-XMP 3200MHz RAM with 22-22-22 timings running at 1.2V should work nicely.
RAM timings and clocks after upgrade
The heatsink assembly and fan seem to be secured with Philips screws, so repasting the laptop should be no problem at all. I’ve toyed with repasting it with Noctua NT-H1 or Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut, but I have yet to see if the laptop needs it at all. Therefore, given the risks involved, I’ve decided not to touch that yet.
According to the Dell Manual, the Inspiron 14 5405 ships with two possible panels:
· A 250 nit, 45% NTSC (75% sRGB) screen.
· A 300 nit, 72% NTSC (100% sRGB) screen.
Both are 1080p, matte, and IPS, as far as I know. Many people were afraid to buy this laptop since the Dell configurator did not specify what panel you would get. Understandably, people weren’t okay with gambling on an 800 € machine. I’m happy to report that, in France at least, I seem to have gotten the 300 nit 72% NTSC version. I’m also happy to report that it appears the Dell rep was right when she said that all 5405s ship with the 300 nit screen. The mystery regarding the 250 nit screen remains: what configuration causes you to end up with that one? Is it for 4300U 5405s? Is it a region thing? No idea, but I seem to have dodged a bullet.
I say I seem to have dodged a bullet, because I have no way of confirming whether this is indeed a 300 nit 100% sRGB screen. I do not own a colour calibrator like a Spyder 5 which could confirm all these values. Best I can do is bring this laptop to the store where I compared in person what 45% and 72% NTSC screens looked like using other brands’ laptops with similar panels.
I remember feeling that the 250 nit screen was fine brightness wise, but that colours were the real issue. They are really, really bad and dull on laptops with that panel. Now the panel on the 5405 doesn’t look as colourful as the 100% sRGB laptop I saw (a dell Inspiron 14 7000) in the store; but that one was glossy while this one is matte. And this screen feels much better than the 45% NTSC I saw on display, so it leads me to believe that it is indeed 300 nit sRGB, but that the matte coating makes it fall ever so slightly behind the glossy version in the Inspiron 7000 series.
Still with me, even with my shitty comparisons, which you can’t relate to because you haven’t been to that one French shop in Paris that I went to? Good. I’ll try to be more objective here, and convey my thoughts on this display. Contrast is excellent (has to be over 1000:1): blacks are deep, and backlight bleed is interesting on this device. It’s extremely faint, and extremely uniform, so the bleed is the same width across the entire bezel. In my ten years dealing with computers, I have never seen an IPS panel with such controlled backlight bleed. Nice.
I have to admit that I was slightly taken aback by the colours when I first turned on the laptop, as I felt slightly disappointed by how dull they felt. However, I can safely say that they have grown on me (not in a bad way) because I come from a glossy IPS on a MacBook and a glossy AMOLED on my Huawei P30. The colours are rich, but not overly saturated. By toying with the “Dell Cinema Colour” app, I was able to boost the saturation: there, I realised the panel was indeed capable and rich in colours, it just looked more natural in its default “duller” state. So take it with a grain of salt, but this display has made me appreciate more restrained saturation again. Don’t get me wrong, the colours are plenty good enough and miles ahead of what I remember from the 45% NTSC screen: I’d bet money on the 5405 being 72% NTSC.
The matte coating is of high quality, with no visible aberrations, and the laptop is perfectly usable in direct filtered (daytime translucent curtain) at around 60% brightness; so plenty to spare. Haven’t tested in broad daylight yet but I’m confident the panel can handle it.
Honestly this’ll be extremely short because it’s getting late and I feel talking about performance is a bit pointless. If you want numbers, look for 4700U and Vega 7 benchmarks, or ask me what you want me to run and I’ll indulge you when I have the time. The variance between 4700U laptops should be minimal – only RAM speed and latency will make a noticeable difference. Considering this laptop is running 3200MHz RAM with poor timings at 22-22-22, you can expect middle of the pack performance in comparison to other 4700U devices, both in CPU and GPU tasks.
The included NVMe SSD is very responsive in everyday tasks, as you would expect. I checked SK Hynix’s website for the data on this SSD to see if it lived up to the claims. SK Hynix claims 2300MB/s sequential reads and 1000MB/s sequential writes (which matters mostly when reading/writing large files, when video rendering for instance) at QD32, and 190K IOPS (input/output operations, which is what matters in everyday use to make the laptop responsive) in both random reads and writes.
I got 1800 MB/s reads and 1050 MB/s writes sequentially, so no problems here. I got 200K IOPS on reads, so it does better than expected there, but I get a pitiful 89K IOPS on writes. Now random writes happens to be ¾ of the way through the benchmark, which is where the SSD reaches an alarming 78 degrees Celsius, but only for a few seconds as the fan ramps up to save it. The SSD is clearly throttling under sustained loads (especially writes, although this could be because writes come second in the benchmark, so reads will have heated it up more). Under normal use the SSD thankfully doesn’t throttle at all. This means avid video editors or people expecting sustained read/write loads should consider another laptop or replace the SSD with a cooler one, or one with a higher throttling termperature.
SK Hynix BC511 NVMe SSD: hotter than you think!
Noise and thermals:
The fan is mostly off during casual use (web browsing, typing on work, watching 1080p youtube, etc), thanks to the low overall wattage. The fan does ramp up quite aggressively though, as soon as the CPU starts doing anything intensive. Installing a game on steam for instance, which requires the CPU to decompress package downloaded by steam before installing them, immediately launches the fan to very audible levels. The fans do take their time to turn back off after a load though, even though temperatures have already returned to their normal state. I would describe the sound signature are loud but mostly comfortable. The fan at full speed is clearly audible, but the noise heard is mostly from air displacement, and the high-pitched noise the from fan motor is not at the forefront and stays clearly in the background. From my limited use typing all night, I’d say this laptop is perfect for school/office use as it’s dead silent during casual use. The keyboard too is silent while typing, so props for that.
When it comes to thermals, the laptop does fine. During the few runs of Cinebench R20 that I ran, the 4700U initially ran at 27 watts with all 8 cores boosting between 3,3 and 4,1GHz, which fits AMD specs. As the load continues, the 4700U quickly reaches 90 degrees, and the chip stabilises at 22 watts between 2,9 and 3,0GHz. The 4700U does continue to push towards 95 degrees, and I’ve reached a maximum of 98 degrees on mine. This seems acceptable, although I wish Dell’s fan curve would be more aggressive when the system is clearly under sustained heavy load.
The max operating temperature of the 4700U is 105 degrees, and its base clock is 2,0GHz, so I can confirm that the chip does not throttle here.
No part of the laptop becomes uncomfortable due to the heat during these intensive tests, even with Dell’s use of aluminium and what seems to magnesium for the bottom panel. This is because the 5405 doesn’t suffer from a bad case of Asus design, the vents are both large and well placed, all the while being stylish. Moreover, the hinge mechanism elevates the laptop by a significant amount, allowing both ample airflow and a comfortable typing experience. Take notes, Asus.
Coming from a MacBook Pro (sorry if I keep saying that ☹), it’s hard for me to think of them positively. I don’t want to call them trash, because I don’t really have any reference for what 800 € laptop speakers sound like, so I can’t tell if it’s better or worse than the competition. I’d say they have 3 main issues:
· They are clearly downward firing: the sound is audibly aimed away from you, and what you hear is the sound bouncing back at you from the surface the laptop rests on. You can somewhat hear the physical separation between left and right speaker too.
· They interestingly have quite a lot of bass, although the range of that bass falls very short: in other words, the bass is surprisingly punchy, but the frequency stops surprisingly high. I don’t know if my words convey that feeling very well. Basically, what little bass there is, is on the higher end but is clearer than most bad speakers I’ve seen.
· Dynamic range is very limited: you can tell that these tiny speakers have a very limited range and are struggling to produce both very high pitched and very deep sounds. Nothing replaces a subwoofer for bass and tweeters for highs, and these speakers are very limited in their range. Highs aren’t very high and lows aren’t very low.
They do have some positives though:
· They have nice audio separation: while yes the downward firing effect and the clear separation between left and right speakers is distracting, it has the unintendedly positive side effect of making audio separation quite good. It’s easy to tell instruments apart, and voices are never drowned into the instruments, nor do they overpower the melody. This ties in to my second point.
· They are quite clear: while the range of sounds they produce is very limited, and you can feel that the speakers don’t have much power, they execute what little range they have very well. In essence, you’ll be complaining about “not enough bass” or “man those highs don’t peak”, but never “man these mids sound muddled”. These speakers lack quantity (range), not quality, if that makes sense.
· They seem quite loud: It’s now 3 am (not saying I deserve karma for my effort but hey 😉) so I couldn’t test max volume and distortion, but I was comfortable listening with the laptop on my lap at 10 to 20% volume. I’ve always had extremely good ears and listen to my music at low volumes, but I’m confident these speakers can easily fill a room with music if needed.
Dell for some reason decided to equip their 4500U and 4700U configurations with 40Wh batteries, while the 4300U configuration gets a 56Wh battery. For context, 56Wh on an Ultrabook (intel trademark be damned this is what this laptop is) is considered average. 40Wh is considered trash. So why would Dell sabotage their own laptop with a shitty battery? It makes no sense. The competition (HP Probook, Acer Swift 3/7, Lenovo Ideapad/Thinkpad/Flex, etc) all have between 46 to 58Wh batteries as far as I can remember.
Now battery size isn’t the only thing hurting the 5405’s battery life. This laptop uses DDR4 SODIMMs: this is standard RAM for laptops, which runs at 1.2V. Desktop DDR4 also runs at 1.2V, although most use XMP and thus run at 1.35V. Some Renoir laptops such as the Acer Swift 3 use LPDDR4X, which is soldered RAM made to run at very high frequencies and low voltages (between 0,6V and 1,1V compared to standard 1,2V). You may be wondering how much of a difference low voltage RAM can make. Well in a laptop where the total power draw is around 45W, RAM consuming a few watts less is a 10% improvement. Not that small now is it?
The Acer Swift 3 for instance, which is also a 14 inch laptop running a 4700U, uses 8Gb of LPDDR4X running at 4266MHz. That laptop has a 48Wh battery, so not that much bigger than our 5405 here. Granted it also has a dimmer screen, and only half the RAM. But these changes combine to grant the laptop 12 to 16 hours of casual use.
In comparison, here I am after typing and researching for 5 hours now, and I’m down to 20% battery.I think I can reach 6, or 6 and a half hours. Yes, I did install a few games on steam, I did run a few SSD benchmarks, I did indeed run a few runs of Cinebench R20 on battery power. So you might be able to scrape 7 hours out of this laptop. That’s about half the battery life of the Acer Swift 3. Renoir APUs are famed for their energy efficient and Dell stands out in the crowd as the only manufacturer to sabotage their own Ultrabook with a terrible battery, why?
I’ve still got 20% and I’ll watch some YouTube after I finish writing, before I sleep, to reach 0% battery. That way I’ll have accurate numbers to present to you rather than the vague prediction above. I also plan on running another battery benchmark which more accurately represents a school day, no windows updates in the background, no benchmarks, etc. Just Word, PowerPoint, YouTube, emails, etc. I need this laptop to be able to last 8 hours, which is a full school day, if I want to keep it. We’ll see if it can do that.
UPDATE at 3:30am: battery went from 19% to 6% instantly, might be the battery needs calibrating with a few cycles, but this is disappointing: it seems the battery won’t even pass the 6 hour threshold. Hopefully this doesn’t happen in my next instance of the battery torture test.
UPDATE 2 at 3:45am: laptop died on me after 5:11h of use. I can maybe reach 6 withouts the benchmarks next time, but this is overall very disappointing.
The culprit unveiled. Has Intel money been here? It makes no sense to sabotage your own product...
DDR4 vs LPDDR4X is a trade-off of upgradable, power hungry RAM versus soldered, efficient RAM. A bright screen is also useful, so this is a trade-off that I’m willing to make. But if you want the Renoir laptop with the absolute best battery life and peak performance isn’t a must, stay away from the 5405 and go for the Acer Swift 3. But if you still want upgradable RAM, a bright screen and battery life that’s better than this, go for the Ideapad 5 14 among other things.
And this is where something is seriously wrong with the Dell Inspiron 14 5405 specifically. The Lenovo Ideapad 5 14 runs for 10 hours with the same CPU, and the same upgradable, power-hungry RAM. Why? It has a 56,5Wh battery.
Closing words: Dell, well done for making what is imo the best Renoir laptop; and Dell, damn you for sabotaging the best Renoir laptop with one fatal flaw, a total deal breaker.
Also, please ignore the spelling mistakes, grammar errors, etc; I've been typing for 6 hours, and I'm depressed to realise that my new laptop has a battery life shorter than my daily attention span. :(