Dell Inspiron 11 3000 (2014) review: Dell's Inspiron 11 3000 does the 2-in-1 thing on the cheap and does it well

There is also a speaker on each side that's capable of pumping out some pretty good audio. They won't blow away a decent set of headphones or desktop speakers, but they aren't the thin, tinny-sounding stereo speakers you might expect to find.

Performance and battery life

The configuration I tested was powered by the 2.16GHz Intel Pentium N3530 processor. Though its status as a quad-core CPU doesn't mean much, it is better than an Intel Atom processor, both in performance and battery life. Again, Dell offers a slightly less powerful dual-core Intel Celeron configuration at a slightly lower cost.

The slow-spinning 500GB hard drive is nice to have for storage, but doesn't do performance any favors. A cold boot takes about a minute and launching software isn't exactly fast either. However, if you haven't yet been spoiled by the speed of a solid-state drive, you probably won't notice. (On the upside, the 11 3000 isn't completely sealed like higher-end ultrabooks, allowing you to easily remove the bottom panel for memory or storage upgrades.)

dell-inspiron-3000-11-product-photos12.jpg
Sarah Tew/CNET

Still, it's not a system you want to try to do too much with all at once. It had little problem handling basic home office tasks or streaming movies and music while Web surfing or playing casual games. If you do a lot of photo or video editing or want to play 3D games at even reduced settings, you'll want to spend more and get something with a fourth-generation Intel processor and better integrated or discrete graphics.

Battery life was unexpectedly excellent, handily beating out similarly configured laptops we've tested. On our video playback battery drain test, the Inspiron 11 3000 reached 7 hours and 41 minutes. With some power management or, better yet, a change to a less power-hungry SSD, you should be able to reach 8 hours.

Conclusion

The Dell Inspiron 11 3000 might not be a powerhouse, but if your computer needs don't go too far beyond basic home office or student work and nongaming entertainment, it's a great option. The design's versatility is nice to have, you can upgrade memory and storage yourself, and it has a long battery life to boot.

Apple iTunes encoding test

Lenovo Ideatab Miix 2
398
Acer Aspire Switch 10
372
Lenovo Yoga 2 (11-inch)
313
HP Pavilion 11 x360
312
Dell Inspirion 11 3000
293

Note:

Shorter bars indicate better performance

HandBrake multimedia multitasking test

Lenovo Ideatab Miix 2
1001
Acer Aspire Switch 10
953
Lenovo Yoga 2 (11-inch)
760
HP Pavilion 11 x360
746
Dell Inspirion 11 3000
704

Note:

Shorter bars indicate better performance

Video playback battery drain test

HP Pavilion 11 x360
287
Lenovo Yoga 2 (11-inch)
335
Acer Aspire Switch 10
372
Lenovo Ideatab Miix 2
442
Dell Inspirion 11 3000
461

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance

System configurations

Dell Inspirion 11 3000
Windows 8.1 (64-bit); 2.16 Intel Pentium N3530; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1333MHz; 32MB (dedicated) Intel HD Graphics; 500GB, 5,400rpm HDD

Lenovo Yoga 2 (11-inch)
Windows 8.1 (64.bit); 2.16GHZ Intel Pentium N3520; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1333MHz; 32MB (dedicated) Intel HD Graphics; 500GB HDD

Lenovo Ideatab Miix 2
Windows 8.1 (32-bit); 1.33GHz Intel Atom Z3740; 2GB DDR3 SDRAM 1066MHz; 32MB (dedicated) Intel HD Graphics; 128GB SSD

HP Pavilion 11 x360
Windows 8.1 (64.bit); 2.16GHZ Intel Pentium N3520 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1333MHz;32MB (dedicated) Intel HD Graphics; 500GB HDD

Acer Aspire Switch 10
Windows 8.1 (32-bit); 1.33GHz Intel Atom Z3745; 2GB DDR3 SDRAM 1066MHz; 32MB (dedicated) Intel HD Graphics; 64GB SSD

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