Customer Reviews: Dell Inspiron 14z 14-Inch Laptop Core i5-3317U 1.7GHz 6GB 32GB SSD+500GB DVD±RW [Discontinued By Manufacturer]
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on October 3, 2012
1st this is 3rd generation intel not 2nd generation.

This is a good laptop and I don't understand such harsh reviews. I too was having some internet connections issues and after a couple of calls to Dell, I was helped by a tech that went to Wireless Device Driver and made the follow values under the Advanced Tab and it helped!!!

802.11b Preamble = long only
802.11n Bandwidth = 20 Hz/40Hz Auto
Network Address = 1234567890AB
recieve buffers = 256
scan valid interval = 60
Transmit buffers = 512

I don't know why they don't come set this way, but that did help!!

Also it comes with hibernate and sleep to happen to fast and then it ends up shutting down improperly, but just modify those to get rid of that problem too. Otherwise this laptop is lightweight, with a fantastic screen.

I bought this from Amazon and saved too!

Edit: It has one HDMI input.
1212 comments| 59 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 3, 2012
This if a very nice, very responsive ultrabook. Mine has never disconnected from my wifi and I have had it for almost a month. The screen has brilliant color and sharp resolution. Only weighs 4 lbs and its .8 of an inch thick and you still get an optical drive, can't beat that.

It looks slick closed and open. I get about four to five hours on the battery with moderate to heavy use.
As for people with the wifi problem if you look on Dell's support site the problem could be with the pre installed McAfee anti-virus blocking the wifi. I uninstalled McAfee as soon as i got it and installed Norton so maybe thats why I never had a problem with the wifi.

Long story short this is a very good ultrabook regardless of the bad reviews that I have read. With the I5 processor, 32gb SSD, 6GB of Ram this thing flys. Oh its also well made and sturdy.
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on October 11, 2012
I received my Dell Inspiron 14z Ultrabook yesterday and over all I really like the product. First, it is a good value for the features it offers. Intel core i5 processor is huge for the price. Second it has a hybrid 32gb single state drive (SSR) in addition to the 500 gb hard drive, that is why it is super fast when booting up with a ton of memory. The 14z has a nice design, I don't mind how far apart the keys are and I don't mind that there are port covers on the sides of the ultrabook. It is also pretty sturdy...seems to be well made externally with a nice brushed aluminium case. A really cool feature is that Dell managed to fit in an optical drive in the slim design, this is nice since I did not have one with my two-year old Dell Inspiron 11z, though I really liked that little laptop, the screen was a bit too small with amount of word processing and spread sheets I do for school.

I have not had any issues with the touch pad so far, however, I have a problem with the Dell wireless card and loosing the connection with the internet too easily. If the signal is below three bars I get disconnected every couple of minutes, which is pretty frustrating especially since I take college courses online and do a lot of work online. I am hoping some of these issues get fixed in the next couple of days before I attend my next online class session. I am keeping my fingers crossed that nothing else negative will occur like some of the reviews I read on here. But other reviews I read online are mostly positive with the odd lemon here and there. In my opinion there will always be a lemon in any batch of consumer products, yet this does not excuse Dell from slipping on quality and implementing strict quality control standards. I believe Dell is still a decent product but they got to keep their game up in this competitive market. Otherwise they are going to lose repeat customers, like myself.

By the way I did purchase my Dell Inspiron 14z Ultrabook through Amazon and saved a decent amount of money (20%). Costco was selling it at the same price with an instant rebate (in store only) that reduced it to $699 but this was only for a limited time. Amazon is the best place to buy if you don't want to custom order one from the Dell website. The wait time is much reduced as well. I ordered my last Dell laptop and it took about 3 weeks to get it delivered because there was a hold up in parts. This laptop was delivered in three business days, standard shipping.

I just wanted to add an update since I received my laptop two weeks ago. I was able to fix the connectivity issues by adjusting the default settings in the network connection menu and that fixed my laptop dropping the connection every five minutes. That was from the help I got from reading one of reviews instructions on how to fix the connection problems. Thanks much for that! Also if any of you have issues with playing video games,such as video freezing and then the game crashing, like with Sims 3, for example then your laptop has the processing power to play the graphics, it is just the video card that needs to have the latest video card driver installed and I had absolutely no issues playing my game when the new drivers were installed.

To sum up how I feel about the Dell Inspiron 14z ultrabook, I would say it is great to use, and I use it A LOT, once all the bugs were ironed out. :)

A Happy Dell Customer.
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The manufacturer commented on the review below
on September 26, 2012
Overall, I like this laptop a lot. It feels very solid, and it is reasonably lightweight. I prefer the 720p screen on a 14 inch laptop, so that is not a problem. However, there are two things I wish were better. First, the battery life is very mediocre - no more than 4 hours of browsing the Internet and reading mail. Second, and much more of a problem, is that the network card is not good at all. It drops connections every few minutes, even though the signal is strong. The computer is turning off the wireless card to save energy, and failing re-enable it. There is an OS setting for this, but that hasn't solved the problem.
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on January 16, 2013
Purchased this one after Christmas. Came with windows 7 installed but also some dell own software, antivirus, etc. After I read that the antivirus might interfere with the wireless adapter (which in fact was disconnecting from my wireless network ) I removed it from my system. This still didn't resolve the disconnecting issue.

After, I did a clean install of windows 7 and put all drivers from bell site. (drivers that came with the dell CD are older than the ones on their site). I also made the modifications on the wireless driver in windows that I found in one previous review:
"802.11b Preamble = long only
802.11n Bandwidth = 20 Hz/40Hz Auto
Network Address = 1234567890AB
recieve buffers = 256
scan valid interval = 60
Transmit buffers = 512"

This seemed to fix the disconnecting problem.

So far I like the laptop, it's pretty fast. Too bad they ship it with a not so good wireless card.

UPDATE April 2014 : Yesterday the system froze. Did a reset and laptop will not boot. I get blank black screen and 3 beeps. I did a search and found many with the same problem. Seems it's the motherboard (3 beeps) issue and needs replacement. For me this is totally unacceptable. The laptop wasn't abused or anything, looks like new. Never again a DELL.
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on December 3, 2012
I gave this machine a decent review initially about 10 months ago. It isn't perfect, it had a problem with the wireless connections I had to work to resolve. But it was a decent low cost laptop with pretty good specs.

Well the hard drive died a few weeks ago while still under warranty. Dell's bad customer service surpassed my expectations. They took an hour to get the machine ready to be shipped. Half of that time was spent trying to get me to extend my warranty. I declined and told them I'd consider once they ACTUALLY fixed this machine.

That was a good decision. They came up with a cock and bull story about physical damage to the hard drive and wanted to charge me $187 for a new hard drive. I told them to cram it as I can replace a hard drive for less than half of that myself. When I told them just to ship the machine back, the Dell rep acted like I had just committed the biggest sin in the world. His words... This is my second really bad experience with Dell and their products. I tried to give them a second chance...and in this case 2 strikes and they are out...forever.

Dell you are dead to me now.
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on September 7, 2012
From the very beginning started to have problems with the Internet connection. Sometimes it just disappears. It is not my wifi, because other two notebooks I have work perfectly well. Googled it and seems like a common problem on dell notebooks with Windows 7. I also find the touch-pad not very responsive: you have to hit it really hard in order to make a click. I tried to change that in the settings, but could not. Tried to contact the support service yesterday, but they were not very helpful. Very negative impressions so far. Stay away from it.

Update: the problem of internet connection was solved after contacting the support service. However, I still have problems with the touch pad. Although I managed to also solve the touch pad problem described above, it is still not very responsive and jittery. For some reason the clicklock or draglock (or I don't know what that function is called) activates by itself every time I start the machine. To deactivate it I just have to open and immediately close the mouse properties window. To avoid this problem I just use a regular mouse. I am also not very happy with the battery life. It doesn't last more than 3-4 hours with normal browsing.
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on March 23, 2013
This was a great value around ~$500, it is sexy looking and well powered for our needs. I bought this for my wife for Christmas (2012) and she loved it, except for the problem with the WiFi.

I had read the reviews including those who posted the driver settings that "fixed the issue". While this helped reduce the symptoms, it did not fix the problem. (thanks for posting this!) WiFi would still continuously disconnect!

Windows update did not detect a new driver, however I found a new driver on dell's website, updated on Feb '13. Installed the driver update and now no more issues! One thing to note, the WiFi card in this unit is not wireless N, and the wifi card is not accessible from the bottom of the unit due to the ultra book form factor. So it would require taking the whole unit apart to replace/upgrade.

To update the wireless driver... Go to Dell, Support, Driver Downloads, enter your service tag and select the correct network driver (updated Feb 7th, '13).. We have the Dell 1703 Card the name on Dell's site for the update was DW1703,WIFI:,BT:7.4.0000.0165,a02. That fixed the issue for us.

Other than that the laptop is great and my wife is quite happy with it. If there was no effort required with the WiFi it would be 5 stars, since I was able to fix the WiFi 4 stars. Hope this helps others who are considering purchasing or might still have problems.
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on May 13, 2013
I would give 5 stars if this computer came with Windows 7. I thought that was what I was getting. Too bad for me.

The good: the keys are spaced well to minimize typos, it is extremely lightweight, everything mechanical seems to work well. The 2-toned brushed metallic surface is sleek and classy, if you are interested in pure style.

The bad: the 3rd time I turned it on, it did not boot past the Dell logo. It took 1 hour and 27 minutes on the telephone to get it working. The Dell technician had me trying so many different sequences of keystrokes that I have no idea of what actually happened. I hope the spell is broken and it works long enough for me to get the Win 8 update that is supposed to be in the works. That I am writing reviews on Amazon shows that it is working at this moment. I hope my luck holds....

I really like the physical package. I wish it had Win XP or Win 7.

May 23, 2013 update: I am still nattering on about how much I loathe Win 8. I have made some excursions into Microsoft's "Help" pages, email contacts, phone contacts. That is a joke. I guess because I am physically located in Africa, Microsoft magically flips me to an email help site in Singapore. I don't know why they bother, as I think I get the same guy from India telling me why Microsoft can't help me.

But blessings upon Dell, as I just found on one of their Help sites a way to Downgrade to Win 7 with step by step instructions on how to do this. Dell tells me I cannot do this via the cell phone SIM card that runs my modem here in West Africa. But I just figured out how to save a web address that I will need in the future (email it to myself). So I hope to Downgrade to Win 7 next time I am in the USA. Thank you, Dell. And I still LOVE this computer. Everything is wonderful about it. I'd give 6 stars to Dell for the computer and their Help site.
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on December 1, 2012
I was excited about the specs of this laptop for the price. I ordered this laptop on Cyber Monday, opened it up and noticed a very loud whirring/clicking sound every time I started it, restarted it, or woke it up from hibernation. I ordered a replacement from Amazon and received it the next day. I opened that laptop and immediately realized that the "9" key was not working properly. I contacted Dell Support and was told it would take 10-13 days to get it repaired and was refused a replacement. After speaking with a supervisor, the best they could offer was to have a technician come to my house at some point after a replacement keyboard was sent to the technician.

I contacted Amazon support and they immediately offered to send another replacement. I have not opened the third laptop (in 4 days) yet, but am hoping I do not discover immediate problems.

Bottom line - poor quality of product, even worse customer service from Dell. Excellent customer service from Amazon.
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