Let’s say it this way – there aren’t a lot of 17-inch convertible notebooks on the market. And there is a reason for that. Most people can’t utilize that much working space and moreover – they find it impractical to carry such a large device with themselves. While these people are right for the most part, we still think that there is a certain amount of enthusiasts that would benefit from a huge 2-in-1 laptop. Well, this review is for you, enthusiasts.
We are in the process of testing Dell convertibles with Whiskey Lake CPUs. In this case, there is a huge difference, compared to the previous model – the Inspiron 17 7779, which featured Kaby Lake processors. So, naturally, we expect a lot more performance at a slightly higher price and more graphics power if you opt for a GeForce MX150 equipped model.
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/dell-inspiron-17-7786-2-in-1/
What’s in the box?
The retail box is comprised of two parts. One of them holds the 65W charging adapter and the power cord, while the other houses all of the manuals as well as the laptop itself.
Design and construction
Dell Inspiron 17 7786 2-in-1’s huge body is built from aluminum. It’s always going to be awkward opening a 17-inch notebook and placing it in tent mode, it can still have a positive side. One of the most prominent ones is that it can be used as an expensive shelter for your cat or cocker spaniel. On the other hand, it is a little heavy at 2.76 kg (6.1 lbs).
Frankly, it is impossible to use it in tablet mode if it is not supported on a table. Additionally, we found that the best way to use the Inspiron 17 7786 2-in-1 is with the keyboard facing down and the screen facing towards you. This way you can use a dedicated pen and the touch screen to its maximum.
This is due to the sturdy hinges. Speaking of which, sometimes they may seem a little too sturdy as it is impossible to open the display using one hand.
Enough for the 2-in-1 usability. Next, we move on to the keyboard. While it has a full-size layout, the keys feel a little smaller than usual, thus enhancing the enormous look of the notebook. Despite the shallow travel, it has good feedback and is back-illuminated. There is also a super quick fingerprint reader, located in the upper right corner. It is probably the same super-fast scanner like the one found in Inspiron 14 5482 2-in-1 and the smaller Inspiron 13 7386 2-in-1.
Located right beneath the space bar, we see a touchpad with Microsoft Precision drivers. Its keys are integrated underneath the surface, while the touch area is fast and responsive to touch.
On the bottom side, we can see a symmetrical design with a long grill for air intake and two smaller ones on the bottom for the speakers. The hot air is pushed through the right-hand hole on the back of the device, while the left one is just there for design purposes.
|Dell Inspiron 17 7782 2-in-1||413 mm (14.88″)||274 mm (10.24″)||21.5 mm (0.85″)||2.76 kg (6.1 lbs)|
|Dell Inspiron 17 7779||411 mm (16.18″)||276 mm (10.87″)||23 mm (0.90″) (+7%)||2.77 kg (6.1 lbs)|
Dell Inspiron 17 7786 2-in-1 doesn’t have any excessive connectivity options. On the left, apart of the charging plug, are located an HDMI connector, USB Type-C 3.1 (Gen. 1) port and an audio jack. On the other side, you can see two USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen. 1) ports, as well as an SD card reader.
Disassembly, upgrade options and maintenance
The disassembly of Inspiron 17 7786 2-in-1 reminds us of that of the smaller Inspiron 13 7386 2-in-1. As soon as you unscrew all of the screws (the top three of them stay mounted to the bottom plate) the plate itself lifts up. There is just enough space for the plastic tool to go in and unpry the rest of the plate. From our first glance inside we can’t help feeling disappointed. There is so much unused space inside this notebook.
Here, you can see the long heat pipe, sitting on top of both CPU and GPU. Looking at the fan, we are far from impressed, however, keep in mind that it looks so tiny due to the size of the laptop itself. Anyhow, a larger fan would never be excessive.
Just beneath the CPU socket are located both of the RAM DIMMs. Currently, one of them is taken by a 16GB tile of DDR4 2666 MHz RAM. Further down – at the bottom right corner is located the M.2 slot.
This year’s device inherits the 56Wh battery unit from the Inspiron 17 7779. We are yet to see if it manages to match its predecessor, or it will fail tremendously like the Acer Aspire 5 (A515-52G).
Oh, let’s not forget the SATA slot, currently occupied by a 1TB 5400 RPM Hard drive.
Dell Inspiron 17 7786 2-in-1 features a Full HD IPS touch-enabled screen, model number AUO B173HAN01.3. Its diagonal is 17.3″ (43.94 cm), and the resolution – 1920 х 1080. Additionally, the screen ratio is 16:9, the pixel density – 127 ppi, their pitch – 0.1995 x 0.1995 mm. The screen can be considered Retina when viewed from at least 69 cm (from this distance, the average human eye can’t see the individual pixels).
The viewing angles are comfortable. We have provided images at 45 degrees to evaluate quality.
The maximum measured brightness is relatively high – 335 nits (cd/m2) in the middle of the screen and 329 nits (cd/m2) average across the surface with a maximum deviation of 8%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen and at maximum brightness is 6460K (average) – basically matching the 6500K optimum for sRGB. The average color temperature through the grey scale before profiling goes a little warmer – at 6250K, which is pretty good.
In the illustration below you can see how the display performs from uniformity perspective. The illustration below shows how matters are for operational brightness levels (approximately 140 nits) – in this particular case at 41% Brightness (White level = 142 cd/m2, Black level = 0.1 cd/m2).
Values of dE2000 over 4.0 should not occur, and this parameter is one of the first you should check if you intend to use the laptop for color sensitive work (a maximum tolerance of 2.0 ). The contrast ratio is very good – 1440:1.
To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction to the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. To start, there’s the CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram that represents the visible specter of colors by the human eye, giving you a better perception of the color gamut coverage and the color accuracy.
Inside the black triangle, you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB) that is being used by millions of people in HDTV and on the web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used in professional cameras, monitors etc for printing. Basically, colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is the essential part of the color quality and color accuracy of a mainstream notebook.
Still, we’ve included other color spaces like the famous DCI-P3 standard used by movie studios, as well as the digital UHD Rec.2020 standard. Rec.2020, however, is still a thing of the future and it’s difficult for today’s displays to cover that well. We’ve also included the so-called Michael Pointer gamut, or Pointer’s gamut, which represents the colors that naturally occur around us every day.
The yellow dotted line shows Dell Inspiron 17 7786 2-in-1’s color gamut coverage.
Its display covers 92% of the sRGB/ITU-R BT.709 (web/HDTV standard) in CIE1976.
Our “Design and Gaming” profile delivers optimal color temperature (6500K) at 140 cd/m2 luminance and sRGB gamma mode.
We tested the accuracy of the display with 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass, orange etc. You can check out the results at factory condition and also, with the “Design and Gaming” profile.
Below you can compare the scores of Dell Inspiron 17 7786 2-in-1 with the default settings (left), and with the “Gaming and Web design” profile (right).
The next figure shows how well the display is able to reproduce really dark parts of an image, which is essential when watching movies or playing games in low ambient light.
The left side of the image represents the display with stock settings, while the right one is with the “Gaming and Web Design” profile activated. On the horizontal axis, you will find the grayscale and on the vertical axis – the luminance of the display. On the two graphs below you can easily check for yourself how your display handles the darkest nuances but keep in mind that this also depends on the settings of your current display, the calibration, the viewing angle, and the surrounding light conditions.
Response time (Gaming capabilities)
We test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “black-to-white” and “white-to-black” method from 10% to 90% and vice versa.
We recorded Fall Time + Rise Time = 32 ms – not one of the fastest in the market.
Health impact – PWM / Blue Light
PWM (Screen flickering)
Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is an easy way to control monitor brightness. When you lower the brightness, the light intensity of the backlight is not lowered, but instead turned off and on by the electronics with a frequency indistinguishable to the human eye. In these light impulses, the light/no-light time ratio varies, while brightness remains unchanged, which is harmful to your eyes. You can read more about that in our dedicated article on PWM.
Gladly, the light coming from Dell Inspiron 17 7786 2-in-1’s display is not PWM-adjusted for any brightness level. This ensures comfortable usage without excessive eye strain in this aspect.
Blue light emissions
Installing our Health-Guard profile not only eliminates PWM but also reduces the harmful Blue Light emissions while keeping the colors of the screen perceptually accurate. If you’re not familiar with the Blue light, the TL;DR version is – emissions that negatively affect your eyes, skin and your whole body. You can find more information about that in our dedicated article on Blue Light.
Dell Inspiron 17 7786 2-in-1’s touchscreen Full HD display has one of the better IPS panels on the market. It excels in maximum brightness, contrast ratio, color coverage and the lack of harmful PWM brightness adjustment. The only possible downside would be the glossy finish, which may present discomfort in direct sunlight, albeit the high maximum brightness.
Buy our profiles
Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for Dell Inspiron 17 7786 2-in-1 configurations with 17.3″ AUO B173HAN01.3 (FHD, 1920 × 1080) IPS.
*Should you have problems with downloading the purchased file, try using a different browser to open the link you’ll receive via e-mail. If the download target is a .php file instead of an archive, change the file extension to .zip or contact us at [email protected]
Read more about the profiles HERE.
In addition to receiving efficient and health-friendly profiles, by buying LaptopMedia's products you also support the development of our labs, where we test devices in order to produce the most objective reviews possible.
Office Work should be used mostly by users who spend most of the time looking at pieces of text, tables or just surfing. This profile aims to deliver better distinctness and clarity by keeping a flat gamma curve (2.20), native color temperature and perceptually accurate colors.
Design and Gaming
This profile is aimed at designers who work with colors professionally, and for games and movies as well. Design and Gaming takes display panels to their limits, making them as accurate as possible in the sRGB IEC61966-2-1 standard for Web and HDTV, at white point D65.
Health-Guard eliminates the harmful Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) and reduces the negative Blue Light which affects our eyes and body. Since it’s custom tailored for every panel, it manages to keep the colors perceptually accurate. Health-Guard simulates paper so the pressure on the eyes is greatly reduced.
Dell Inspiron 17 7786 2-in-1’s speakers produce a good quality sound. Tones are clear throughout the whole freqency range.
Usually, the Dell Inspiron 17 7786 2-in-1 comes with a preinstalled Windows 10 onboard. However, you can download all of the drivers and utilities separately from Dell’s official web page: https://www.dell.com/support/home/si/en/sibsdt1/product-support/product/inspiron-17-7786-2-in-1-laptop/drivers
Now, we conduct the battery tests with Windows Better performance setting turned on, screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits and all other programs turned off except for the one we are testing the notebook with. The 17-inch behemoth of a convertible is equipped with a 56Wh battery – a legacy from the older model. While we would be more happy to see a larger battery on a device this big, we were able to extract a relatively good screen on times – 7 hours and 15 minutes of web browsing, 5 hours and a half of video playback and an hour and 15 minutes of gaming. Still, a downgrade from the predecessor, albeit with more powerful hardware.
In order to simulate real-life conditions, we used our own script for automatic web browsing through over 70 websites.
For every test like this, we use the same video in HD.
Dell Inspiron 17 7786 2-in-1 is offered with a choice of Core i5-8265U and Core i7-8565U Whiskey Lake CPUs by Intel. They provide slightly higher turbo boost frequency than their Coffee Lake compatriots.
Results are from the Cinebench 20 CPU test (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Fritz chess benchmark (the higher the score, the better)
Alongside the integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620, you can get the laptop with the GeForce MX150, which proved to be the obvious choice for low-voltage gaming.
Results are from the 3DMark: Fire Strike (Graphics) benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 3.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 4.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
The larger size of the Inspiron 17 7786 2-in-1 helped the GeForce MX150 perform better than the one found in one of the fastest devices we tested – ASUS VivoBook S15 S530.
|CS:GO||Full HD, Low (Check settings)||Full HD, Medium (Check settings)||Full HD, MAX (Check settings)|
|Dell Inspiron 17 7786 2-in-1||119 fps||95 fps||73 fps|
|ASUS VivoBook S15 S530||116 fps||93 fps||74 fps|
|DOTA 2||Full HD, Normal (Check settings)||Full HD, High (Check settings)||Full HD, MAX (Check settings)|
|Dell Inspiron 17 7786 2-in-1||69 fps||60 fps||48 fps|
|ASUS VivoBook S15 S530||86 fps||56 fps||45 fps|
|TC Rainbow Six Siege||HD 768p, Medium (Check settings)||HD 768p, High (Check settings)||HD 768p, Very High (Check settings)|
|Dell Inspiron 17 7786 2-in-1||87 fps||71 fps||67 fps|
|ASUS VivoBook S15 S530||78 fps||67 fps||63 fps|
|Far Cry Primal||HD 768p, Normal (Check settings)||HD 768p, High (Check settings)||HD 768p, Very High (Check settings)|
|Dell Inspiron 17 7786 2-in-1||47 fps||41 fps||32 fps|
|ASUS VivoBook S15 S530||43 fps||38 fps||29 fps|
|Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016)||HD 768p, Lowest (Check settings)||HD 768p, Medium (Check settings)||HD 768p, Very High (Check settings)|
|Dell Inspiron 17 7786 2-in-1||65 fps||43 fps||18 fps|
|ASUS VivoBook S15 S530||61 fps||42 fps||14 fps|
Temperatures and comfort
Max CPU load
In this test we use 100% on the CPU cores, monitoring their frequencies and chip temperature. The first column shows a computer’s reaction to a short load (2-10 seconds), the second column simulates a serious task (between 15 and 30 seconds), and the third column is a good indicator of how good the laptop is for long loads such as video rendering.
Average core temperature (base frequency + X); CPU temp.
|Intel Core i7-8565U (15W TDP)||0:02 – 0:10 sec||0:15 – 0:30 sec||10:00 – 15:00 min|
|Dell Inspiron 17 7786 2-in-1||3.22 GHz (B+79%) @ 90°C||2.63 GHz (B+46%) @ 83°C||2.48 GHz (B+38%) @ 79°C|
|Dell Inspiron 14 5482 2-in-1||3.12 GHz (B+73%) @ 96°C||2.56 GHz (B+42%) @ 94°C||2.01 GHz (B+12%) @ 76°C|
Dell Inspiron 17 7786 2-in-1 proved to be the best Core i7-8565U equipped notebook by far. What impressed us most is the clock speeds at the end of our test – 470 MHz more than the smaller Inspiron 14 5482 2-in-1, while keeping the temperatures just 3C over it. However, the fan was spinning at supersonic speeds.
|NVIDIA GeForce MX150||GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 2 min)||GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 30 min)|
|ASUS VivoBook S15 S530||1591 MHz @ 74°C||1475 MHz @ 74°C|
|Dell Inspiron 17 7786 2-in-1||1570 MHz (-1%) @ 69°C (-7%)||1447 MHz (-2%) @ 69°C(-7%)|
Moving to the gameplay test we saw no difference in the sound environment. We were just able to hear our thoughts when we ended the test and the fan eased off. However, this helped the GeForce MX150 keep temperatures 5C lower than those of the ASUS VivoBook S15 S530, a current champion among devices equipped with this GPU.
Dell Inspiron 17 7786 2-in-1’s large body heated up mostly around its center. The highest temperature reached was 49.6C and was located just above the “Y” key. Despite the relatively warm keyboard, the palm-rest area was not even lightly affected and remained cool at all times.
Being a child of a very tiny family of devices – 17-inch convertibles, the Dell Inspiron 17 7786 2-in-1 is destined to be a front-runner. The lack of severe competition didn’t make Dell lay back and spoil this device. Actually, here we see quite the opposite. They presented everything a modern flagship of a laptop should offer, just with a larger footprint.
First, we see the build quality which is excellent. Then we have the performance which happens to be one of the best on a ULV-enabled hardware – performance and temperature-wise. Speaking of thermals, despite the single heatpipe, Dell Inspiron 17 7786 2-in-1 performs pretty well mainly due to the free space оn the inside. This boosts the breathability of the cooling, thus improving thermal efficiency.
Next, we have probably the only setback of this notebook, if it can be considered as a set-back actually. We are talking about battery life. Well… yes, it still gives us around 7 hours and 15 minutes of web browsing and 5 hours and a half of video playback and especially considering that it has to push a huge 17.3-inch panel. However, there is a huge space gap inside the machine, which could easily be filled with a bigger battery unit.
Input devices here are good enough as well. Its keyboard and touchpad are adequate and the touchscreen is responsive enough. Speaking of the screen, there is no possible downside (without excessive nit-picking, of course). It (AUO B173HAN01.3) is bright enough, has a very good contrast ratio, displays most of the colors in the sRGB gamut and is pretty color accurate as well. In addition to that, the display doesn’t use PWM to adjust its brightness.
Everything sounds perfect, although keep in mind that all of these pros, apart from the performance, are inherited from the Inspiron 17 7779. So if you don’t really need the performance benefits, which are huge, by the way, we would suggest you settle with the older, cheaper notebook. However, if you are all about content creation, the Inspiron 17 7786 2-in-1 can be a really good deal.
- Beautiful all-aluminum design
- Good input hardware
- Excellent display with wide sRGB coverage, high contrast and high maximum brightness (AUO B173HAN01.3)
- No PWM across all brightness levels (AUO B173HAN01.3)
- Superb performance
- The thermal efficiency is improved from the older model
- Quite uncomfortable to use as a 2-in-1
- I/0 limited to the essentials, despite the available space
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/dell-inspiron-17-7786-2-in-1/