In the input department, though it’s a bit of a mixed bag.

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You see, Dell has thrown in what appears to be a full-size keyboard, and while it’s very springy, it’s still surprisingly comfortable. That’s the good side of things, and the more we played with the keyboard on the Inspiron 7000, the more we liked it, with a decent amount of travel, the right sort of click, and pretty much zero typing error or lag as we punched down the keys.

This is a very good keyboard, Dell. Keep them like this from now on.

But then there’s the mouse, and it just lacks the quality the keyboard oozes. Offering a slightly coarse texture to the top with a button that works but feels a little basic and plasticy, the mouse comes off feeling cheap while the keyboard offers an experience that begs to have text typed in.

It does offer multi-touch gestures, mind you, and is particularly fast at responding to them, but where the keyboard feels like Dell has paid plenty of attention, the mouse is just a little short.

Thankfully, you’re not forced to use the trackpad if you don’t want to.

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Remember that the 13 inch screen is also a touchscreen, and to help with this part, the keyboard hides a little slot for a push-to-eject stylus. Granted, it’s not one of those neato magnetic ones Samsung’s tablets and (at one point in time) laptops used, but rather a simple broad-tipped passive stylus.

That means there’s no mouse button here, so if you want to do anything more than simple double tapping — right clicking, for instance — you’re going to have to go back to that ho-hum trackpad under the keyboard.

But it’s at least an inclusion, and a positive one at that.

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And it’s an inclusion that will lead you to the Dell Inspiron 7000’s hidden secret.

Actually, it doesn’t really hide it, more like it just assumes you know what it can do, provided you’ve read the feature list when buying it, the box, and even taken a gander at the sticker on the wrist wrest.

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