Dell Inspiron 11 11.6-Inch Convertible (i3148-8840sLV) Review

After yesterdays review of the Lenovo G50 I decided I need to review another device in the same price range. The new Dell Inspiron 11 3000 series Convertible laptop seemed like a very good choice. Let’s see what we get with this little Dell.

The Exterior

We are looking at a Convertible Laptop. This means it can be used either as a regular laptop or be turned into various configurations all the way to a fully functional tablet.
The entire body is finished in a matte metallic silver finish. The top cover gets a big shined black Dell logo in black right in the middle and is connected to the rest of the body with 2 sturdy 2 way hinges. These hinges will get a lot of wear and tear during all the maneuvering the display will see in its lifetime and it’s a good thing they are solid.
On the inside we find the 11.6-Inch touchscreen display covered by one peace of glass edge to edge. It is surrounded by a black border that contains the integrated webcam, dual michrophone and ambient light sensor in the middle of the top edge.
As a final feature the display features a start button located at the bottom of the display right in the middle. This is there to help you use the laptop in tablet mode, giving you quick access to the start menu.
Dell Inspiron 11 11.6-Inch Convertible (i3148-8840sLV) Review keyboard detail.jpg
The body gets a contrasting matte black keyboard and a generously proportioned touchpad.
The built in stereo speakers are located on each side of the body. The power button and 2 volume buttons are mounted on the right side of the body.
The overall simple and elegant design is kept throwout the entire body. Dell has taken the time to make this Laptop look as well built as possible going as far as hiding the edges of the body panels out of sight. Have a look at this photo: Dell Inspiron 11 11.6-Inch Convertible (i3148-8840sLV) Review detail view.jpg
The Dell Inspiron 11 is still very much functional while having a very good fit and finish. Dell is on top of their design game right now. Most of the Dells we’ve seen recently have been very well built.

The Connectivity

Due to its small size and build details some connectivity aspects had to suffer.
Dell Inspiron 11 11.6-Inch Convertible (i3148-8840sLV) Review connectivity.jpg
As you might expect at this size it doesn’t feature a DVD-drive or a VGA-out, but the surprising thing to me is that it’s also lacking an Ethernet Lan port. I know we live in the 21st century and have mostly wireless everything but I see this as a very important port for a computer in general.
It comes equipped as follows:
Power port, HDMI-out 1 USB 3.0 and 1 USB 2.0 and the combo Headphone-Mic Jack on the left side of the body.
Kensington Lock port, SD Card Reader and another USB 2.0 Port on the right side of the body.
On the inside it features Wireless WiFi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity.
Basically the Dell Inspiron 11 is geared toward mobility so that you can use it like you would a tablet.

The Performance

Due to the fact that we are looking at a Convertible Laptop and not a regular laptop the performance figures are actually good. It comes equipped with a 4th Generation Intel Core i3-4030U processor running at 1.90 GHz 4GB of DDR3L RAM and a 500GB HDD. The 4th Generation Core processors come with the Intel HD 4400 graphics card and are as standard equipped to run basic 3D applications. As long as you don’t get carried away and try to run recent name title games you will be able to run some older games.
It comes equipped with a 3-cell Battery with 43 WHr of energy. This, in combination with the ULV Processor and DDR3L RAM mean the Dell Inspiron 11 can be used on the go for over 5 hours. Some people have managed to even go for 8 hours if you baby it, but I think for everyone else with regular usage on the go you can expect about 5 to 6 hours of battery life.

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Who is it for? discussing who would benefit most from this laptop...

  • Student
    This little Dell Inspiron 11 brings the necessary equipment required by most students. You can use it effectively during and entire day of courses and still have enough battery life left over to unwind when you get home. The performance is enough for browsing the web and word processing. You might want to consider getting a HDMI-to-VGA adapter for it if you're going to do presentations.

  • Casual User
    If you can't decide if you would rather get a laptop or a tablet than a convertible laptop is the perfect in between solution for you. The Dell Inspiron 11 2 in 1 offers the performance and capability of a laptop with the mobility and touch functionality of a tablet. You could even use it as a digital picture frame by letting it run a photo gallery as a screen saver.

  • Business User
    We usually recommend high mobility devices for business users and the Dell Inspiron 11 is the perfect tool to keep you productive while on the go. How would you like to be able to work an entire day out of the office? The 11.6-inch display is larger than most tablets and you end up getting the best of both worlds. If you intend on doing PowerPoint presentations you will need to get yourself an HDMI-to-VGA adapter with this laptop.

PROs Vs. CONs

If you are looking for a very good multimedia device on the go then the Dell Inspiron 11 Convertible ticks all the right boxes. It is a 2 in 1 laptop and thanks to its good battery life it can be used like a tablet for quite some time. It comes with a elegant and sleek design and has enough performance for most people.

I am conscious that this is an 11.6-inch Laptop and as such it has to do many things in a limited space but the lack of a Lan-port is really surprising. Even most Ultrabooks that often have much thiner designs manage to pull that off. The lack of an Optical drive or VGA-out don't seem such a big deal in comparison as they can be easily fixed.



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Summary

I think the Dell Inspiron 11 Convertible is the ideal multimedia laptop for casual home use. It comes with enough performance for the daily web load, can keep up with office workload and is light weight and has enough battery life to be used as a full time tablet if needed.
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Technical Details

Processor Intel Core i3-4030U 1.90 GHz
Video Card Intel Graphics HD 4400
RAM Memory 4GB DDR3L
Audio Built-in Stereo Speakers with Wave MaxxAudio
Operating System Windows 8.1
Display 11.6-inch 1366 x 768px
Storage Drive 500 GB 5400rpm
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
USB 2.0 Ports 2
USB 3.0 Ports 1
Built-in Camera Yes
Built-in Microphone Yes
Optical Drive none
Memory Card Reader Yes
Bluetooth Yes
Headphone-out Yes
VGA-out -
HDMI-out Yes
LAN-out -
Color Silver
Width 11.81 in.
Depth 7.91 in.
Height 0.74 in.
Weight 3.08 lbs.
Battery Life up to 7 Hours
Warranty 1 Year Limited Warranty

Updated on June 7th, 2015

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