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Dell’s Inspiron 14 laptops are typically budget or mid-range laptops with Intel or AMD processors. But now Dell is also offering another option: you can opt for a Windows 11 on ARM version of the laptop with a Qualcomm processor.

The new Dell Inspiron 14 with Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 is available now for $500, making it one of the most affordable laptops to date powered by a Snapdragon 8-series processor.

That’s the good news. The slightly less good news is that this is a chip that was first introduced in 2020, so it won’t offer the same level of performance as newer systems with Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 chips, like the Lenovo ThinkPad X13s, Microsoft Surface Pro 9 5G, Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro 360.

Dell’s new Inspiron 14 3420 with a Snapdragon chip is a 3.2 pound fanless notebook with a 14 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel display, 8GB of LPDDR4x-2133 memory and a 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD. The memory is not user upgradeable, but the storage is.

The laptop has two USB 3.2 gen 2 Type-C ports, a USB 2.0 Type-A port and a headset jack, a microSD card reader, a 1080p webcam, stereo speakers, and support for WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2.

It’s a fanless laptop that should offer silent operation, and Dell promises “epic battery life” despite the relatively small 40 Wh battery, thanks to Qualcomm’s energy-efficient processor. The laptop also comes with a 65W USB Type-C power adapter.

Or if you like the look of the Inspiron 14 but would be willing to put up with a fan and a slightly heavier body in exchange for better performance, it doesn’t cost that much more to get a similar laptop with beefier specs.

Dell currently sells an Inspiron 14 5425 for $580, and that laptop has an AMD Ryzen 7 5825U processor, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. Or you could pay $650 for an Inspiron 14 5420 laptop with an Intel Core i7-1255U processor, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage.

Models with these x86 chips weigh 3.4 pounds, have 54 Wh batteries, and include fans for active cooling. They also have 1920 x 1200 pixel displays with a 16:10 aspect ratio and user-upgradeable memory.

via @Snapdragon and Dell

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  1. Curious how well Linux is supported, and how much price can drop after a year.
    I’m still rocking my pentium 5000 Acer swift because it’s noiseless and lasts for 10 hours.

  2. You might notice on Dell’s site, the Intel version is $649, with 16GB ram, 512GB storage, and can run RSAT tools(for anyone that works in IT), along with full-fat executables without the need for emulation. That’s something the win11 for ARM version cannot do. There is also an AMD version for $579, with 8cores, and 16GB ram, 512GB ssd. The troubles with that ARM don’t quite reflect in that price, and sadly the more people that get one, with those middling specs, on that terrible OS, the less people will be interested in ARM, despite ARM chips being really awesome with other OS’. This sort of hardware should be running linux.

    1. 🙂 I came here to ask about the Windows experience on ARM processors, and all the comments here seem to agree that it’s sub-par.

      I completely agree with your last statement. Dell offers other products running Linux… so it presumably wouldn’t be a huge effort for them to get a Linux distro booting here. That would save the customer the Micro$oft license fee, and make the hardware more attractive at the same time, immho.

      1. As soon as I hit the Post Comment button, I realised that it was a daft thing to have said : drivers, etc.! Has anyone got Linux running on Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2?

        1. Linux kernel 6.3 will include support for Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2, apparently… so maybe there’ll be some Linux versions on offer soon. 🙂

  3. You had me a fanless. I am willing to sacrifice performance for being fanless. Fans are noisy, no matter how “silent” they are. Fans kick up and picks up dust, and will fail. My fanless tablet has outlasted two generations of Surface Pro because there’s no moving parts.

    Even if it runs hotter than an equivalent system with an active cooling, the MTBF is negligible within a human lifetime.

    1. There are x86 ULP processors running without fans inside same ultrabooks and convertible-tablet-notebook computers from years ago. With them you have real Windows on x86, not limited ARM Windows with slowly emulated x86 on ARM.

    2. Well i have fanless laptops, but they have moving parts still. You can move the screen and using the keyboard in totally silent room is so annoying, because of constant clicking-like noise. I have to open the windows for background traffic noise that balances the keyboard for my brain.

  4. I’ll wait for battery life figures before getting excited but it’s good to see more manufacturers getting started with Windows on ARM. Even if performance isn’t there today it’s a path forward for improved battery life.

    Oh, not available in the UK. We also didn’t get those huge think pad x13s discounts the US got. Darn.