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First look: Dell Inspiron 11 3000 Series 2-in-1

Dell's latest hybrid is big on value and looks handsome in silver. VINCENT CHANG tells you what you can expect from this two-in-one device

Published on Jun 20, 2014 5:00 AM
 

$699, available next month

Processor

The entry-level model comes with an Intel Celeron dual-core processor (Bay Trail-M) and 4GB of RAM. Buyers can bump it up to a quad-core Intel Pentium chip.

It should be fine for playing HD videos and browsing the Web, but the built-in graphics chip is good enough only for casual games.

Interestingly, while the base configuration has a single-stream wireless-N adaptor, Dell offers a faster dual-band wireless-AC chip as an upgrade option.

Storage

500GB of hard drive storage is certainly ample, though it is not as fast as a solid-state drive. But at $699, it is well within expectations. Dell has also bundled 20GB of Dropbox cloud storage.

Ports

A fairly standard configuration of three USB ports (two 2.0, one 3.0), a HDMI port and an SD card slot.

Battery life

Dell promises up to eight hours of battery life, but the good news is that the three-cell battery is removable. Stock up on spare batteries if you need extra uptime.

Keyboard

The keys are disabled automatically when the Inspiron is used as a tablet. The island-style keyboard is even spill-resistant.

Screen

The 1,366 x 768-pixel screen resolution is typical for a 11.6-inch display. However, the fact that it is also an in-plane switching (IPS) panel, which results in wide viewing angles, is a pleasant surprise given the Inspiron's affordable price.

Design

The Lenovo Yoga was the first to sport a flexible 360-degree hinge, but almost every PC vendor has a similar design now.

Like the Yoga, the Inspiron can be used as a laptop and a tablet. It can also go into tent mode, where the device is balanced on its edges; and easel mode, where the keyboard is face down on the table and the screen is within easy reach of your fingers.

At 1.39kg, the Inspiron is hefty for a tablet, though light enough as a laptop. Build quality seems solid for a budget device and the design is clean and simple.

This article was first published in The Straits Times Digital Life on June 18, 2014.

First look: Dell Inspiron 11 3000 Series 2-in-1