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Unleashing the Power of the Dell Inspiron 14 Plus 7440: A Durable, High-Performance Mainstream Laptop


  • Sharp, bright display
  • Attractive, all-aluminum enclosure
  • Strong overall performance from Core Ultra CPU
  • Outstanding battery life


  • Heavy for a 14-inch laptop
  • So-so touchpad
  • Outdated HDMI connectivity

The Dell Inspiron 14 Plus 7440 is a mainstream laptop between Dell’s lower-end Inspiron (non-Plus) line and the premium XPS series. The all-aluminum chassis is a step up from the plastic shells on the Inspiron line, but the overall design isn’t as sleek and modern as an XPS. It also lacks the GPU upgrades offered on the XPS line, but the Intel Arc graphics, courtesy of the Core Ultra chip, are more capable than Intel’s previous integrated graphics processor. The 2.2K-resolution IPS display is a bit sharper than the typical 14-inch full HD laptop display, but superior OLED panels on offer in the XPS line remain out of reach for the Inspiron 14 Plus. 

The 14-inch, 16:10 display makes the Inspiron 14 Plus a versatile machine, giving you enough screen space to be productive without feeling too cramped while also being compact enough for daily travel, even if it’s a tad heavy for its class. And with lengthy battery life, you can roam for long stretches with the Inspiron 14 Plus between charges. Priced at $1,000, the Inspiron 14 Plus is a well-rounded, well-built mainstream laptop.

Dell Inspiron 14 Plus 7440

Price as reviewed $1,000
Display size/resolution 14-inch 2,240×1,400 IPS display
CPU Intel Core Ultra 7 155H
Memory 16GB DDR5 RAM
Graphics Intel Arc
Storage 1TB SSD
Ports Thunderbolt 4 USB-C, USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 (x2), HDMI 1.4, combo audio, microSD card slot
Networking Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3
Operating system Windows 11 Home 23H2

We received the baseline Inspiron 14 Plus 7440 model. It costs $1,000 for a configuration with a Core Ultra 7 155H CPU, 16GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD and a 14-inch IPS display with a 2,240×1,400-pixel resolution. The only upgrades Dell offers for the system are doubling the RAM to 32GB and a higher-resolution 2,880×1,800-pixel display. Each upgrade adds $100 to the price. You can upgrade the display without doubling the memory, but if you opt for 32GB of RAM, you are forced to upgrade the display.

The Dell Inspiron 14 Plus, based on a 13th-gen Intel processor, starts at £599 in the UK; Core Ultra-based models are not yet available. The Inspiron 14 Plus is not available in Australia, but the larger Inspiron 16 Plus is for sale there starting at AU$1,999.

The Inspiron 14 Plus proved to be a strong overall performer in lab testing. It produced positive results on our benchmarks and kept pace with the Acer Swift Go 14 and HP Spectre x360 14, each of which features the same Intel Core Ultra 7 155H as the Inspiron 14 Plus. It easily outpaced the HP Pavilion Laptop 15t-eg300 that features a previous 13th-gen Core i7 U-series processor throughout testing. It also lasted 13.5 hours on our online streaming video battery drain test, which is an outstanding runtime, particularly when you factor in the laptop’s high-resolution and bright display. You can scroll to the end of this review to see the full results of our testing.

Heavy, bright and icy blue

An all-aluminum case isn’t a given at $1,000. Frequently, laptops at this price have plastic shells or provide an aluminum top cover but a plastic keyboard deck and bottom panel. The Inspiron 14 Plus supplies a brushed aluminum chassis with a hint of blue. Dell calls the color Ice Blue, and it’s just different enough to let the Inspiron 14 Plus stand out from the standard silver color found on so many laptops.

Dell Inspiron 14 Plus 7440 turned to show icy blue top cover Dell Inspiron 14 Plus 7440 turned to show icy blue top cover

Matt Elliott/CNET

The overall design is simple and understated. The laptop edges have softly rounded edges, and branding is minimal. A Dell logo is on the lid, and an Inspiron wordmark is on the bottom panel. And in between those? Nothing. When the Inspiron 14 Plus is open and in front of you, it’s completely devoid of any identifying marks that would tell you who made it. 

The Inspiron 14 Plus looks and feels a bit more premium than the standard Inspiron, but its aluminum chassis isn’t without a bit of flex. It is not as rigid as an XPS laptop; I felt some flex in the lid and bottom panel. Thankfully, there was less flex on the keyboard deck, but I still felt some push in the center of the keyboard that detracted from the typing experience,

The Inspiron 14 Plus feels solid when toting it around. Its weight of 3.5 pounds places it on the heavy side for a 14-inch laptop. By comparison, two other 14-inch Core Ultra laptops I’ve recently reviewed are lighter. The HP Spectre x360 14 weighs 3.2 pounds, and the Acer Swift Go 14 weighs just 3 pounds. The Inspiron 14 Plus is heavier than the 15.3-inch M2 MacBook Air, which weighs 3.3 pounds. 

Dell Inspiron 14 Plus 7440 keyboard and touchpad Dell Inspiron 14 Plus 7440 keyboard and touchpad

Matt Elliott/CNET

The keyboard is an odd gray color that clashes with the icy blue chassis. I wish Dell would have leaned into the icy blue color scheme and made the keys an icy blue too, or gone the other way and outfitted the laptop with a standard black keyboard. Because it’s true what they say: black goes with everything.

I also wish the touchpad was better. It’s too much to ask for a haptic touchpad at this price, but the Inspiron 14 Plus’s mechanical touchpad is uneven. There’s the diving-board effect where clicks feel much firmer at the top half of it than the bottom half, and I also felt that the left side was firmer than the right, making right clicks feel too soft and left clicks requiring a bit more effort than they should.

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