Dell Inspiron 11: An affordable Windows 10 notebook

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Karthekayan Iyer | Published: December 8, 2016 6:05:39 AM

The PC industry has reported the eighth consecutive quarterly decline in shipments. But that hasn’t stopped manufacturers from innovating.

If there is one thing to really like about this notebook, then it is the form factor.If there is one thing to really like about this notebook, then it is the form factor.

The PC industry has reported the eighth consecutive quarterly decline in shipments. But that hasn’t stopped manufacturers from innovating. The threshold of innovative design is still catapulted by Microsoft (looking at the Surface Book) but the broader PC industry is catching up with thinner design, near bezel-less display and yes, convertible form factor. Dell Inspiron 11 is the latest from the company that pushes the convertible form factor to an even more affordable price range. The USP of Dell Inspiron 11 is its affordable price, colourful variants and 360-degree hinge. It is that ideal back-to-school notebook that now gains the ability to flip 360-degrees. But do you really need one?

What is good?

If there is one thing to really like about this notebook, then it is the form factor. I have used notebooks with a 360-degree hinge costing nearly R1,00,000 before, but this is the first time I have found it to be effective. Since Dell Inspiron 11 features a smaller 11-inch display, it works well in all kind of modes—tent, tablet, stand and standard laptop. If you watch a lot of videos then you’ll find the tablet mode convincing on this one.

With Dell Inspiron 11, Windows 10 nicely helps the form factor. The tablet mode, with Windows 10 which converts the icons into larger live tiles and disables the keyboard, helps when you flip the notebook flat on its face. Windows 10 core features like Cortana and touch work seamlessly along with easier workflow between programs. The app support is not big, but it is decent enough for PC users.

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With Inspiron 11 series, you get bold colour options—our review unit came in punchy blue colour. There is also a pink option. The design highlight is the 360-degree hinge which is sturdy and can easily last for years. The design also involves a nicely laid out keyboard and a decently large trackpad. Dell has also laid out the ports nicely, allowing for ease of access to HDMI and USB ports.

What is not good?

There is only one little quirk with this machine—the display. Dell Inspiron 11 has a 11-inch 1366 x 768 display which is adequate in terms of resolution but fails in terms of brightness and viewing angles. The viewing angle becomes a pain point when you push the notebook to a slightly odd angle in tent mode. The display is definitely not bad, but is not the most comfortable.

Should you buy?

With Inspiron 11, Dell has managed to bring the premium convertible design to a sub-35k range and I am convinced it works in favour of the device. If you are a student looking for a notebook to take notes or write assignment, Inspiron 11 easily fits the bill, especially as it weighs just under 1.5 kg which means you can easily carry it around. If you are a student thinking of a back-to-school notebook, I think this is where your money should be.

Estimated street price: Rs 34,990

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