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For just $250, Dell will sell you this colorful backflipping laptop

Dell brings back its cheap convertible laptop: the Inspiron 11 3000 2-in-1.

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Sean Hollister Nic Healey
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Sean Hollister Senior Editor / Reviews

When his parents denied him a Super NES, he got mad. When they traded a prize Sega Genesis for a 2400 baud modem, he got even. Years of Internet shareware, eBay'd possessions and video game testing jobs after that, he joined Engadget. He helped found The Verge, and later served as Gizmodo's reviews editor. When he's not madly testing laptops, apps, virtual reality experiences, and whatever new gadget will supposedly change the world, he likes to kick back with some games, a good Nerf blaster, and a bottle of Tejava.

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Nic Healey Senior Editor / Australia

Nic Healey is a Senior Editor with CNET, based in the Australia office. His passions include bourbon, video games and boring strangers with photos of his cat.

2 min read

You'll never find a cheap laptop that doesn't cut corners, but 2014's Dell Inspiron 11 3000 2-in-1 came close. For $400, it was one of the very best budget convertibles you could buy. (I know because I tried them all.) Now, Dell's bringing back the 11-inch portable with a new price and some fresh coats of paint: Just $249 (roughly £170) or AUD$599 in your choice of a beautiful blue, red, white, or silvery grey.

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The new Dell Inspiron 11 3000 2-in-1 (2016).

Dell

Now, you might be a little bit confused. Wasn't this laptop already on sale? Not quite, that was the regular $199 Dell Inspiron 11 3000, which doesn't come with a fancy hinge to let it flip over backwards or a touchscreen display.

But other than those two characteristics, they seem like basically the same machine. Your $250 buys you the same dual-core Intel Celeron processor, paltry 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, low-resolution 1,366x768-pixel screen and a decent 10 hours of manufacturer-estimated battery life with those particular specs. You can also upgrade to 4GB of RAM (which we recommend) or add a faster processor if you're willing to sacrifice some battery life as well as your cash.

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Dell's 13-inch entry level 2-in-1 at Computex 2016.

Nic Healey/CNET

So how does it feel? A little cheap, but cheerful, especially in more vibrant colors like the blue and red. At just under 0.8 inches (21mm) thick, it's pretty slim for an entry-level laptop and surprisingly solid too, like something you can trust a kid not to break in a few minutes. The low-resolution screen doesn't dazzle and the hinge feels a little stiff at first, but for the price it seems like a well-built product.

We'll have to spend a good bit more time with the Dell Inspiron 11 3000 2-in-1 to let you know if it's the new budget laptop champ, but if you were already eyeing the standard Inspiron 11 3000, now you know you can get a touchscreen, too, for an additional $50. It'll go on sale in the US and China on June 2nd.

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