There is a super cheap Dell laptop in town, well, it has been in town but there has officially been enough time for the users, testers, and reviewers to give us their two cents on the device. The Dell Inspiron 11 3162, in particular, houses a 64-bit Windows 10 operating system and is aimed to please the folks at the bargain bin. The laptop has a similar price and fun design as some of the competitors out there, many actually. There is no avoiding the countless rivals to a device like this; anything sub-$300, basically. Take the $199.99 HP Stream 11 for example, a laptop bursting with color choices, running Windows, and fully cloud-based. Then there’s the Acer Aspire One Cloudbook 11, and even the Dell Chromebook 11-3120, with Intel inside and HD graphics. The Inspiron from Dell, however, sits in the same price range, making the question simply, “what’s in it for me?”.
The Inspiron 11 3162, measuring a mere .69 x 11.1 x .72 inches, and weighing an airy 2.64 pounds, is all plastic, but built quite sturdy. As cheap and portable as you can get, Dell prides itself on giving good options to its lower-budget customers. Beyond looking into all the physical features, which of course include catchy color choices, which include “Tango Red”, “Bali Blue”, or white finishes, one of the top selling features of the model is its tantalizing price. Around $200 gets you the device, and let me tell you, that’s a whirlwind of a deal. Consider first time students (who love trendy colors), or even someone who needs that basic companion, a sidekick of sorts in computer form. There are many incidences where price is the winner in the tech world.
For this sub $200 price, users get a 64-bit Windows 10 OS, which in conjunction with Intel’s dual-core 1.6GHz Celeron N3050 processor. Along with that, you get Intel HD graphics, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB of eMMC storage; plus connectivity includes a USB 2.0 and a USB 3.0, a full sized HDMI port, microSD, and headphone jack. You might notice this is mild, not over-the-top systematic hardware, ready for a ton of editing or even crazy benchmark testing. But hey, it’s got McAfee Internet Security 2016 Unlimited bundle, plus dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Let’s go ahead and say “boo hoo” on the pixel count, which is being touted as possibly the weakest part of the Inspiron, at just 1,366 x 768 pixels. See, although many laptops of this caliber and price have similar display specs, Dell disappoints when it comes to poor viewing angles, obvious colour cast, as well as the lacking of color contrast, at just 203:1 (can you say, ouch?). Because the laptop is small, and rather limited to its capabilities, you shouldn’t expect idea of huge amounts of storage while running that Windows 10 software. Fortunately, you can use a microSD slot for additional space. Don’t push it battery wise, you’ll get just under 6 hours of video playback, yet Dell claims nine hours if you’re workload is lighter and using reduced brightness.
You can’t go crazy criticizing something from Dell, and you also have to remember the crowd it’s pushing. For a first laptop, many consumers could get along perfectly fine with this super cheap device. Similar to snagging a similarly-specced Chromebook, you’ll probably get just what you want, and pay for, in terms of functionality.
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