Affordable laptops are now matching their more expensive counterparts in terms of flexibility and performance.
Dell new Inspiron 11 3000 2-in-1
Before you get confused with another Dell laptop that goes by the same name, this is actually an evolution of that, with a flexible design. Hence, the 2-in-1 moniker that goes with the name. The bright red colour brightens up the look, and the plastic shell is of good quality. The hinge mechanism allows you to move the display all the way back, to mimic a sort of tablet mode. It weighs 1.39kg, which isn’t ideal for regular tablet use—but it is good to have that sort of flexibility for occasional use.
The 11.6-inch LED (1,366x768 resolution) display is crisp and bright enough for productivity tasks and Web browsing. However, it doesn’t have the sort of top-end brightness punch that one would ideally want for movies and videos. The colours look a bit muted at times. The touch-screen response is precise though, and you will not need to take a second stab at trying to press an on-screen option.
A lot of compact laptops struggle to replicate a proper keyboard experience, and end up with cramped keys or not enough keypress travel. In both cases, the new Inspiron 11 3000 2-in-1 is doing well, and will allow you to thrash out a long document in quick time.
This runs the sixth-generation Intel Core m3-6Y30 processor, with 4 GB RAM. These specifications are actually not the most powerful, on paper, but the real-world performance actually allows for a certain amount of multitasking without any sluggishness or slowdowns. A dozen tabs on the resource-hungry Google Chrome browser, with a Full HD video in VLC, and we did not notice any stutter during the playback or timeline scrubbing.
The new Inspiron 11 3000 2-in-1 lasted around 5 hours in our system-stressing battery tests, and should be able to touch around 7 hours as a laptop used at work.
The unfortunate thing so far with Windows 10 convertible laptops was that the affordable options weren’t always worth recommending. But the Dell new Inspiron 11 3000 2-in-1 well and truly bucks that trend, with consistent performance, compact design and flexible modes.