Conclusion: If you don't demand the best gaming rig, or even the lightest laptop, but you do want a solid value for a second or third PC or a student's system, the Dell Inspiron 14R is more than worth a look. It's not a glamorous prize, but it's an affordable way to catch up with Windows 8.
Pros: Terrific battery life, Aluminum finish, USB 3.0 ports
Cons: Somewhat bulky and heavy, Finicky touch screen and touch pad, Keyboard not backlit
Summary: Ho-hum. The $649 Dell Inspiron 14R certainly has the right amount of endurance we want in a touch-screen notebook. The nearly 9-hour battery life is sure to be a hit with mainstream users and students that regularly burn the midnight oil. However, the design is a little chunky for a 14-inch laptop, and the keyboard is somewhat mushy.
Pros: Excellent battery life, Runs cool, Aluminum lid and deck
Cons: Somewhat bulky and heavy for 14-incher, Shallow keyboard feedback
Summary: The Dell Inspiron 14R proves that Intel's Pentium processor is still powerful enough for those who need a basic notebook for surfing the web, watching videos, and working on Excel or Word documents. Though it scored low on some benchmarks, this 14-inch laptop handled everyday computing tasks fairly well. Those who want more oomph can spend just $50 more to get a Core i3 version of this machine.
Pros: Sleek design for price, Strong audio quality, Comfortable keyboard and touchpad, Runs cool
Cons: Lackluster battery life, Lid picks up fingerprints