We occasionally look for the most recent 14-inch convertible laptop from the 5000 series and take it for a drive. We weren’t impressed at all with what we saw so far because earlier models of the machine either had displays that weren’t up to par with 2-in-1 equipment or were either excessively hefty or thick.
Yet when we received the Inspiron 14 5406 2-in-1, we genuinely believed it would be different. Dell, however, consistently chooses inconvenient, user-defying options that we find technologically incomprehensible year after year, model after model. The Core i3-1115G4 CPU, which is present in this device’s base model, is actually not a horrible CPU. They are nevertheless teaming it with a 768p TN display, 4GB of memory, and a 128GB SSD. Once Windows 10 in S mode is installed underneath the table, you have a tablet. Also, a tablet with a little Shop. Of course, you can exit S mode whenever you want to use your laptop as intended. More on that later, but before we begin testing, it is imperative that you avoid using the base model at all costs.
Drafting and building
So, this notebook has undergone two iterations in all. It’s interesting to note that they will differ slightly from one another depending on the hue you select. We won’t cover them because we’ve heard that the “Dune” hue will only be offered for laptops with 768p TN displays, which we consider to be a shame to humanity. On the other hand, the Titan Grey hue has a plastic body and an aluminum cover. Once more, we notice a regrettable fact: the notebook has a 17–18.9mm profile and weighs a startling 1.72 kg. Despite the fact that it is slightly lighter than it was last year, we believe it to be far too heavy for a convertible laptop. I’m sorry, Dell, but gather yourself. The lid is highly rigid and resistant to flexing in terms of structural integrity, whilst the base feels slightly more flexible but is still not at all flimsy.
The keyboard is the following addition to this laptop, and it’s definitely the best. That is without a doubt one of the nicest convertible typing experiences we’ve encountered. It has a backlight, nice clicky feedback, and long key travel. In fact, the Page Up and Page Down keys continue to be too close to the Arrow buttons, but this is a common problem with modern ultrabooks.
The fingerprint reader that is integrated into the power button is another useful feature here. Moreover, the touchpad is a very responsive and precise device. Well, it could have been larger, but even so, it fits and functions admirably with this system.
The barrel-style charging plug, an HDMI 1.4b connector, a USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 1) port, and a USB Type-C 3.2 (Gen. 1) port with DisplayPort, data transfer, and Power Delivery capabilities are all located on the left side of the laptop. The wedge-shaped security slot, an audio jack, a USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 1) connector, and an SD card reader are then all visible on the right.
The two RAM SODIMM slots for memory upgrades caught us off guard. Dell claims that it supports dual-channel 16GB DDR4 RAM. One M.2 NVMe slot is available for storage.
The Capacity for Upgrading
One of this laptop’s few redeeming qualities is its excellent upgradeability, but the fact that the base model only has 4GB of Memory is alarming in 2021. Fortunately, Dell claims that you may increase it to 16GB of dual-channel memory using the two SODIMM RAM slots. There is only one M.2 NVMe slot for storage.
We’ll leave our thorough deconstruction video here in case you don’t know how to access the slots; it goes over how to update the RAM and storage without risk.
The Touchpad and Keyboard
The best thing to come out of this mess is probably the input devices. One of the nicest convertible keyboards we have ever used, it offers a wonderful typing experience. It has a large key travel distance and pleasing feedback that clicks. The Touchpad is also quite precise and quick. Only a slightly larger size would have made us appreciate it more, but that is merely a minor quibble.
The Full HD IPS screen of the 2-in-1 Dell Inspiron 14 5406 has the model number BOE NV14N4M-22G8N. (BOE08AD). It has a 14-inch (35.56-cm) diagonal and a 1920 x 1080 resolution. In addition, the screen aspect ratio is 16:9, the pixels have a 157 ppi density, and their dimensions are 0.161 x 0.161 mm. When seen from a distance of at least 55 cm, the screen can be deemed Retina (at this distance, the typical human eye cannot discern the individual pixels).
With a maximum variance of 14%, the maximum measured brightness is 257 nits (cd/m2) in the center of the screen and 245 nits (cd/m2) on average throughout the surface. The average Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen at maximum brightness is 6200K, which is only little warmer than the ideal 6500K for sRGB.
You can see how the display works from a uniformity perspective in the example below. The example below demonstrates how things work for operational brightness levels (about 140 nits), in this case at 55% Brightness (White level = 142 cd/m2, Black level = 0.12 cd/m2).
If you intend to utilize the laptop for work that requires color sensitivity, values of dE2000 over 4.0 should not occur, making this one of the first parameters you should check (a maximum tolerance of 2.0 ). The contrast ratio of 1160:1 is favorable.
The touchscreen IPS display of the 2-in-1 Dell Inspiron 14 5406 boasts a Full HD resolution, a reasonable contrast ratio, good viewing angles, and adequate default settings. The fact that it only covers about half of the sRGB color gamut, which is not ideal for a convertible, is a significant drawback. Moreover, it employs strong PWM at every brightness level. Happily, the problem is resolved by our Health-Guard profile.