The New Dell Inspiron 11 3000 Series: An Okay Try at a Hybrid, but Too Expensive

DellInspiron11-3157Notebook Review stated it well, “Windows 10 device makers must think there is market gold in taking underpowered Windows 10 laptops, adding a touch screen along with a tablet mode, and pushing them as 2-in-1s”. If all the computer giants have decided to go along with this idea (although some have succeeded), it must be the next big trend, right? Try to consider this notion after learning about the Dell Inspiron 11 3000 Series (3157) hybrid, a mixed-reviewed, 360-degree hybrid, featuring Intel processing power and a super comfortable keyboard.

There’s nothing weird about a nice laptop or tablet hybrid, not anymore at least. The big dogs know it’s tricky to make a good 2-in-1. The only thing you might have to compromise is spending a little extra to get all of the features you want. As far as the Dell Inspiron 11 3000, Dell offers several configurations, but as a general guide, let us focus on the $400 mid-range machine, powered by Intel Pentium, and stacked with 4GB of RAM, and a 500GB hard drive.

DellInspiron11-3157-1One thing Dell did right off the bat was to use a 360-degree hinge, an idea well-known from Lenovo (and one which has made its Yoga line of notebooks so popular). When a hybrid computer has multiple modes, tent, laptop, tablet, etc, you’ve gotta be able to alternate easily. Having 360 degrees of freedom is sometimes easier (and more fun) than detaching and reattaching. The 11.6-inch 1366 x 768 display is covered by a midnight blue soft touch lid. The lack of full HD is noticeable when placed next to something like the Surface 3, when you try maxing out the brightness, or when glare presents itself outdoors. The entirety of the design is plastic, but the 3.07 pound, .76-inch thick notebook is mostly solid.

Dell gave the Inspiron 11 3000 an HDMI port, 2 USB 3.0s, a USB 2.0, SD memory reader, headphone jack, and a security lock slot. Why is there no Ethernet jack, and why isn’t every new device given a USB Type-C port? It’s 2015, guys. Its keyboard has a “bouncy, pleasant-to-click” feel, says Laptop Mag, but the trackpad has some issues with response. The Intel Pentium N3540 chip clocks at 2.16GHz, with a 2.66GHz burst frequency. Intel also provided the graphics, a chip from 2014, which is compatible with Windows 10 tasks.

The processor could be better, as could the pixel count, Dell even threw in a barely there .9 megapixel camera just to give us another thing to complain about. More bad news, Notebook Review counted a total of 3 and ½ hours running before its battery died. Now, this is with Netflix running non stop and the display at its peak, but still, this kind of falls short of what you might want if stranded somewhere without your charger.

DellInspiron11-3157-2I’d say, don’t lose your charger, and don’t go crazy buying the more sophisticated configurations of the Dell Inspiron 11 3000. Paying $500 to get a slightly better Pentium processor and 2 extra GB of RAM won’t really balance out the issues found everywhere else.

Topics: Convergence & Convertible Hybrid PCs Dell Tech Reviews Technology News

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