Dell Inspiron 11 3000: A 2-in-1 For The Masses

Introduction and Specifications

As much as we obsess about the latest and hottest hardware, we sometimes like to take a look at a value system to see what kind of bang you can get for your buck on a tight budget. And with the school year just getting underway, the Dell Inspiron 11 3147 caught our eye as a possible candidate for a highly mobile classmate or conference room colleague. It’s a light, tiny laptop with a screen that folds completely back so you can use the device as a tablet whenever it suits your needs. To a budget-minded student who wants a versatile laptop that won’t feel like brick in his or her backpack, the Inspiron 11 3000 2-in-1 convertible could be a win. We took the system for a spin to see if it should be headed back to school with you this year.

Before we dive into the specs, it’s worth getting a sense of where the Inspiron 11 3000 series sits in Dell’s mobile lineup. Dell assigns the 3000 range to value systems, which are the most wallet-friendly rigs and are also lower-end on perks. The 5000 series is a step up in terms of price, performance, and frills, while the 7000 series has the best components of the line and a price tag to match. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the Inspiron 11 3000 convertible. 

Dell Inspiron 11 3000 2-in-1
Specifications & Features
 11.6-inch Backlit LED IPS Touch 1366x768 HD
 Intel Quad-Core N3530
 Intel HD Integrated
 4GB DDR3L 1600MHz (Single Channel)
 500GB 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive
 Dell Wireless-N 802.11bgn, Bluetooth 4.0
 I/O Ports:
 1x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, HDMI 1.4a, Card Reader, Security Slot
 43WHr, 3-Cell Integrated
 Dell Checkup, Dell Recovery, Dropbox, McAfee LiveSafe Trial, PocketCloud
 Operating System:
 Windows 8.1
 Size and Weight:
 11.81 x 0.83 x 7.93 inches (Width x Height x Depth); 3.07 pounds
 90 Days Premium Phone Support, 1 Year In-Home Service
$449.99 as tested

At 11.6 inches, the Dell Inspiron 11 3000’s touch screen is small, but it has plenty of utility. The resolution is 1366x768, which means it can play movies in HD, though you won’t get the benefit of a full 1080 resolution for your movies. It’s an LED-backlit display, which isn’t unusual, but the in-plane switching (IPS) technology is noteworthy. IPS displays have excellent viewing angles, and that’s a must for a tablet. (Or, in this case, a laptop that doubles as a tablet.)

Of the two models in the Inspiron 11 3000 2-in-1 line, the defining difference is the processor. The $349.99 version sports a dual-core Intel Celeron CPU. The model we tested, which rolls in at $449.99, has a quad-core Intel Pentium N3530 processor that launched at the beginning of the year. It has a clock speed of 2.16GHz (Burst Frequency puts it at 2.58GHz) and integrated Intel HD Graphics. Both versions of the Inspiron 11 3000 2-in-1 have 4GB of memory and a 500GB hard drive spinning at 5400RPM.

This convertible laptop doesn’t have an Ethernet port (which isn’t a surprise) but it has the Wi-Fi basics covered, courtesy of a Dell Wireless-N 1707 (802.11b/g/n), as well as Bluetooth 4.0. It has a reasonable set of ports for a system of this size and price, including two USB 2.0 ports, a single USB 3.0 port, an HDMI port, and an SD card reader. The security slot is there too, for your lock, if you’re hauling it around school or other public spaces. Forget an optical drive – unless you buy an external disc drive, it’s Netflix for you.

Dell installs less software on its systems these days than it once did: mostly Dell-branded utilities and a McAfee trial. And although it’s underpowered compared to most other Inspirons, the Inspiron 11 3000 has plenty of muscle for Windows 8.1 64-bit. Dell's warranty isn’t shabby either: 90 days of phone support and a year of in-home service.

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