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Dell Inspiron 11 3000

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What's Hot: Good value, pleasing IPS touch screen, more upgradeable than most, good port selection.

What's Not: No Intel Core CPU options for those who need higher performance.


Reviewed September 10, 2014 by , Editor in Chief (twitter: @lisagade)

Dude, you got a Lenovo Yoga, except it's a Dell. Lots of companies have copied Lenovo's very successful 360 degree hinge design that turns a laptop into a tablet, and now it's Dell's turn. The Dell Inspiron 11 3000 is their counterpart to the Lenovo Yoga 2 11 inch. Both are mid-tier priced 11.6" full Windows 8.1 machines that are designed for the price and portability minded. We actually like Dell's take on the small convertible: it's actually reasonably upgradable in a world where 11.6" tablets and convertibles are chock full of soldered-on, and thus not upgradable parts.

Dell Inspiron 11

The Inspiron 11 starts at $399, though you may find it for less at retailers. That base model runs on a dual core Intel Celeron N2830, which is actually part of the Bay Trail platform where the latest Intel Atom processors reside at the lower end. It's clocked at 2.16GHz with burst to 2.41GHz and it's a 64 bit CPU. Though it's not nearly as fast as the latest generation Core i5, it's more than adequate for web, MS Office, streaming full HD video and editing photos. That CPU can address up to 8 gigs of DDR3 RAM, and the good (and rare) news is that the Inspiron's RAM is a standard removable SODIMM so you can upgrade it yourself. Generally, RAM is soldered on and thus not upgradeable, even on Ultrabooks, and we genuinely appreciate Dell's design move. The machine ships with 4 gigs of RAM, which is adequate for most folks, and is an improvement over Intel Atom products that generally have just 2 gigs of RAM. That means multi-tasking is a real possibility with the Inspiron 11 3000. In contrast, the Yoga 2 11's RAM is soldered on and 4 gigs is the max you can get from the factory.

Dell Inspiron 11

The convertible is also available with the Pentium N3530 quad core CPU clocked at 2.16GHz with boost up to 2.58GHz (this is the model we have for review) for a small performance boost. This comes and goes on Dell's website, but a few of our local retailers sell it for $479. It is otherwise the same as the Celeron model. Other features include Intel HD graphics, decent side-firing stereo speakers, a 500 gig HDD, single band Dell WiFi 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.0 and a very pleasing IPS 1366 x 768 touch screen. The Inspiron has an SD card slot, a full size HDMI 1.4a port, one USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports and a spill-resistant (but not backlit) keyboard. As we've come to expect from Dell, it's one of the better keyboards you'll find in a small machine, though we wish it were backlit.

Dell Inspiron 11


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Dell Inspiron 11 Video Review


Dell Inspiron 11


The machine looks like a baby Inspiron, though the interior keyboard deck is silver rather than matte black. It's not a bad looking laptop and though it's not insanely thin or made of sculpted metal like the XPS line, it doesn't look or feel cheap. At 3 lbs., it's comparable to the Yoga 2 11 and the lighter 13" Ultrabooks, and the power brick is predictably tiny and light. Stereo speakers fire from the sides and they're relatively loud for a laptop this small. The battery and internals are sealed inside, but it's not hard in the least to remove the bottom cover (several screws hold it on) and then you can access the battery, socketed wireless card, RAM slot and the 2.5" HDD. Unlike the Yoga 2 that uses an unusually slim 5mm HDD with a proprietary connector, the Dell Inspiron 11 has a standard SATA drive connector and works with commonly available 7mm HDDs and SSDs. So if you want to increase storage or increase speed by replacing the HDD with an SSD, you can do so.

The 360 degree hinge works well, and as with the Yoga, the keyboard is exposed on the bottom when the Inspiron is in tablet mode. The keyboard is disabled, so input is ignored even though the keys move when you handle the tablet. At 3 pounds, this isn't an iPad Air, and you'll want to rest it on a desk or your lap for extended use. You can also use the Dell in presentation or tent modes, making it handy for presentations and movie watching sans stand.


Intel Pentium model used for all benchmarks.

PCMark 7: 1643 (low score due to HDD rather than SSD)

wPrime: 28.82 sec.

Geekbench 3 (32 bit): 1031/3300

PCMark 7 benchmark comparison table:

Dell Inspiron 11 1643
Acer Aspire Switch 10 2501
Asus Transformer Book T100 2323
Lenovo ThinkPad 10 2467
Dell Inspiron 11 3000 1643
Sony Vaio Tap 11 (1.2GHz Pentium) 3058
Dell Venue 8 Pro 2306
HP Split x2 (Core i3) 3054
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S (Core i5) 3837
Sony Vaio Duo 13 (Haswell Core i7) 4800
HP Envy x2 Intel Atom dual core 1424
Asus VivoTab TF810C 1256
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 (Core i5) 4427
Microsoft Surface Pro 2 4905


Battery Life

The Dell has a 4 cell 43 wHr Lithium Ion battery. You'll need to unscrew several Phillips head screws and remove the bottom cover to access the battery. Dell claims up to 8 hours battery life, and with mixed productivity use we averaged 6.5 hours with brightness set to 40%.


If you're in the market for an 11.6" convertible, it's easy to recommend the Dell Inspiron 11 unless you need the horsepower of a full Core i5 or i7 machine. The somewhat larger Dell XPS 12 and Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga would be two solid convertibles that come to mind with Intel Core CPUs and 12.5" designs. But those are typically $1,000 or more, and the Inspiron 11 is for those on tighter budgets and modest to moderate computing needs. It can run Photoshop fine, though some filters might take a few seconds on larger images, and full HD video editing and export is a sluggish affair even on the Pentium Inspiron 11. As for the competition, the Yoga 2 11 is also a sweet machine, but we favor the Dell for the readily upgradable RAM and HDD/SSD.

Price: starting at $399 (or less)



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Dell Inspiron 11


Dell Inspiron 11


Dell Inspiron 11


Dell Inspiron 11


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Display: 11.6", IPS 1366 x 768 LED backlit touch screen. Intel HD integrated graphics. HDMI 1.4a port, supports Miracast wireless display.

Battery: 43 wHr Lithium Ion rechargeable.

Drives: 500 gig SATA HDD, 5400 RPM. Standard 7mm height drive.

Performance: 2.16 GHz dual core Intel Celeron N2830 processor. Quad core 2.16GHz Pentium N3530 optional. 4 gigs DDR3L 1600MHz single channel RAM as one standard SODIMM. 8 gigs max supported.

Size: 11.81 x 7.93 x .83 inches. Weight: 3.06 pounds.

Camera: HD webcam.

Audio: Built-in stereo speakers, mic and 3.5mm standard stereo headphone jack.

Networking: Integrated single band Dell N-1707 WiFi 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0.

Software: Windows 8.1 64 bit.

Expansion and Ports: 1 SD card slot, 1 USB 3.0 port, 2 USB 2.0 ports, full size HDMI.



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