It’s been almost two years since I wrote about installing Linux Mint on a Dell Inspiron 13 7375 2-in-1, and in that time I’ve used it pretty regularly. After two years of using the laptop on a nearly daily basis, it seemed like a good idea to write about my experiences with it.
I’m not sure how useful this will be as a laptop review, since Dell no longer sells this exact model. The 13-inch Inspiron is still part of their product lineup, but the version currently being sold is a more modern version. Plus, my Inspiron uses an AMD Ryzen CPU, which is no longer an option on the current 13-inch Inspirons.
One of the annoying quirks is that the power button is on the side of the laptop, and is next to the volume up/volume down button. Since it’s a 2-in-1 device and can be used as a large tablet, this probably made sense to the designers, but it’s sort of annoying when it’s used primarily as a laptop. In retrospect, I probably wouldn’t bother getting another 2-in-1 or even a touchscreen, since it’s very rare I use it in this way. If I really need to draw something, I could just as easily connect a drawing tablet to a regular laptop. At any rate, I wish the power button was in a more conventional location close to the keyboard.
The most annoying issue is that the laptop randomly freezes, and I’m not exactly sure why. Often, it will happen if I’m trying to play Second Life. Since the laptop runs Linux, I have to use a 3rd party viewer. Normally, I use the Firestorm Viewer, but I’ve also tried it with the Singularity Viewer, and the laptop has frozen with each. In instances like these, I assume that maybe the virtual world is too taxing for the laptop. However, sometimes it’ll also freeze if I’m browsing the web, though that seems to be more random. To overcome the frozen laptop, I have to do a hard restart by holding in the power button for 30 seconds, wait a few seconds, then press the power button again to cause it to restart.
I’m not sure if this is an issue with the hardware, the operating system, or a combination of the two. I’m inclined to believe the latter, but I’m not 100% positive. Linux probably wasn’t a consideration for Dell when they developed this laptop, so it may just be that they don’t always play well together. Dell does sell laptops with Linux already installed, but they’re more expensive. Considering my experience however, I think if I ever plan on getting another Dell laptop for use with Linux, I’ll opt to spend more money for the assurance that it’ll run consistently and well.
In the meantime, I’ll keep using the Inspiron for some things, but I plan on rebuilding my old Project Sputnik XPS 13 to see if it fares better Second Life.
Photo by Michael Hawkes of gottahavacuppamocha.