The Dell Inspiron 11 3000 pops up on OzBargain often for around $320-350, so I took a punt on one a few months ago to see if it’d be a competent machine for me to write issues of The Sizzle on the go.
Here’s some nice pics of the unit:
And some YouTube reviews:
Weighs only 1.1kg and is surprisingly sturdy. Plastic well done. Reminds me of Apple’s unibody plastic MacBooks from 2009-2010. Specs are ok, Intel N3710 CPU, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD (not an eMMC shitbox). You can even upgrade it with a faster SSD and some more RAM if you like. Here’s some pics of the insides:
Keyboard is fine for short typing stints, trackpad is average, but gets the job done (I use an external mouse anyways). Battery life is great, gets 5-6 hours easy just web surfing. Everything about the laptop is great, except the CPU. Oh man, the CPU is ratshit.
I knew the Intel N3710 was average, but I thought it’ll at least give me some smooth web browsing. I was wrong. Everything slows down after a few tabs and it’s a pretty unpleasant experience. Even just sitting idle in Windows 10 sucks up 25% CPU. Sure, I can get work done on it, but it’s not the greatest.
I ran the Speedometer browser benchmark on some other devices, just to compare:
iMac 27″ with an i7 4GHz CPU and Chrome – 150iPhone 7 Plus (Safari) – 114.49.7″ iPad Pro (Safari) – 89.78Dell 11 3000 (N3710, Win 10 & Chrome) – 26.1
26.1! That’s slow as piss. Maybe it’s just me who likes everything to be incredibly snappy. I hate slow computers with a passion and the web is getting more and more bloated. I shouldn’t need such a powerful CPU just to type in a text editor and surf the web. The N3710 should be more than adequate. But it isn’t.
Even running Ubuntu and ChromeOS (via CloudReady), the same shitty performance occurs. So it’s not like Windows 10 is the issue here. RAM is never maxed out, so adding more won’t help. The SSD is a bit lame, but that still doesn’t excuse the high CPU usage.
If Dell made this laptop with an i5-7Y57 CPU instead it’d be way faster. It wouldn’t even cost much more to use the i5-7Y57. It’s RCP is US$281 vs. US$161 for the N3710. If Dell charged say, an extra AU$150, it’d still be a sub-$500 laptop. Install a nice quality 14″ 1080p IPS panel, a bigger battery and keep it all under 1.5kg for an extra $100 and I’d go as far as to say it would be the perfect laptop for me.
When it’s on sale, with the 128GB SSD for $320, it’s a good machine for the price if all you do is use a handful of websites at once. Install ChromeOS on it and you’ve got a light, portable and cheap unit. It ain’t for me though.
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