Dell Inspiron 9400
- Power and multitasking, Entertainment centre, Connectivity options
- Graphics, Not for gaming, Looks
Although Dell's build quality is once again a winner, the Inspiron 9400 is lacking in other areas, mainly looks and graphics.
Price$ 2,499.00 (AUD)
The design of the Inspiron 9400 is almost exactly the same as the 9200 and 9300, so the chassis is starting to look a bit dated. It's a sturdy desktop replacement, but compared with the styling of the Inspiron XPS, it leaves a little to be desired.
The 9400 is a world ahead of the 9300 as far as specifications are concerned, though. Gone is the Pentium M processor, replaced by the dual-core T2500 chip, seriously increasing the 9400's power and helping it to a WorldBench 5 score of 94. We've seen quicker overall results, but in our multitasking tests the Dell was second to none.
Another difference between the 9400 and its predecessors is the choice of operating system - XP Home has been replaced by XP Media Center 2005 Edition, indicating a greater emphasis on making the 9400 an all-round entertainment centre. The screen is good, giving a sharp, colourful image, but we'd have liked to see a higher resolution than 1,440x900.
In terms of graphics, the 9400 really falls down - that onboard Intel processor simply isn't up to the standard established by ATI and nVidia. The frame rates we got in our Doom3 and Halo tests weren't very good at all. Believe us when we say that this laptop isn't for gaming. We suspect that a better graphics chip would have boosted the Inspiron's WorldBench 5 result.
Other than this disappointment, the 9400 is a decent model, with plenty of space on the hard drive, a decent DVD writer and good connectivity options, both wired and wireless. There's a newer version of Microsoft Works than the one Dell provides with this model, though, and the warranty isn't the best on offer. The build quality of the Dell is beyond reproach, but it isn't exactly a looker and there are plenty of better deals available.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 2016 Ford Mustang EcoBoost review
- 2 Review: TCL C1 series 4K TV
- 3 Sony 75-inch UHD TV (X9400C) review: Sony and Android are a winning duo
- 4 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera UHD TV review: good hardware, fragmented software
Best Deals on Good Gear Guide
Latest News Articles
- Microsoft's pricey Surface Book is getting stomped by the ancient Surface Pro 3
- Alienware's tiny Alpha gaming PC gets bigger muscles... in the US
- Why Apple's new MacBook Pro needs more than just one USB-C port
- Asus ROG teases a massive gaming notebook that outperforms Titan X
- Chromebooks beat Mac notebooks 1.4-to-1 in U.S.
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- CCSystem AnalystACT
- CCService Desk AnaystNSW
- CCProduct Solution DesignerVIC
- CCProgram ManagementWA
- FTTechnical Consultant - ServerSA
- CCSAP ABAP - Senior developerVIC
- CCSenior Business AnalystVIC
- CCSystems Monitoring Specialist - Foglight focusNSW
- CCWeb Developer (Drupal)SA
- CCSolution Architect / Designer - Cyber SecurityNSW
- CCWindows 2003-2012 R2 Active Directory Consultant/ManagerNSW
- CCContract Systems Analyst (Linux/MySQL/Oracle) 160630/SA/254Asia
- FTPractice Lead - InsuranceNSW
- FTSoftware Services Team LeaderNSW
- CCTelecommunications Operations Support officerACT
- FTContract System SpecialistAsia
- FTTechnical Services ManagerACT
- CCData ArchitectSA
- CCProject/ Program AnalystVIC
- CCProject Manager | Experimental military technology | NV1ACT
- CCSenior Project ManagerNSW
- CCMulesoft Integration DeveloperWA
- CCSAP PI/PO ConsultantVIC
- CCSAP BASIS ConsultantVIC