If you want a 2-in-1 laptop you might’ve come across Dell Inspiron 11 i3148-8840sLV. It works as both notebook and tablet without being much pricier than a typical laptop. Understandably, such a device looks tempting to many. But despite its low price and best seller status, would this item be the right choice for you? Read on and find our opinion on that.
Dell Inspiron 11 i3148-8840sLV contains a processor called Intel Core i3-4030U. It’s a mid-range mobile CPU, released in 2014, with dual-core configuration and 1.9GHz clock speed with no turbo. In CPU Mark tests, it gets a grade of ~2700, making it an average performer amongst low voltage Core i3s. All the lighter activities, such as web browsing & video streaming, will be handled without issues. The processor is not a power user’s dream, but this convertible laptop doesn’t even try be one.
Four gigabytes DDR3L RAM is installed by default. The motherboard has one memory slot in total. If the official manual is to be believed, it supports only 4GB chip. However, I read that somebody upgraded the RAM on this model to 8GB so you can probably do the same. Anyway, 4GB is not a problem for everyday computing, but not ideal if you have a lot of demanding software. Then again, the whole point of 2-in-1 laptop isn’t performance but versatility, so one can’t complain too much.
The laptop houses a 500GB 5400RPM hard drive. It’s a common sight in notebooks in this price range, but as many have pointed out, a solid-state drive would be better choice for such a hybrid model. SSDs are faster (although smaller in storage) and far more durable than hard drives. You can add a solid-state drive on this model, people have been doing that and said it’s easy. Just remember there’s no space for two drives, so the old one has to go out.
Display and graphics
11.6 inches, the display size of Dell Inspiron 11 i3148-8840sLV, is small for a laptop but on the big side compared to real tablets. It has a 1366×768 resolution, something that might not make power users very happy, but in my opinion that resolution goes perfectly for a small display. The touchscreen has a 360 degree hinge, allowing you to easily switch between tablet and laptop modes. Panel type is IPS (In-Plane Switching), offering wider viewing angles than typical TN (Twisted Nematics) notebook screens do.
If you’re a devout gamer I can’t vouch for a hybrid laptop. This model comes with integrated Intel HD 4400 engine, known to run heavier games such as Battlefield 4 at around 20FPS on low details. I would say it’s playable but far from FPS and eye candy hardcore players like to have. Of course, if you don’t find these fancier titles enjoyable but want to play simpler games like Minecraft and Sims 4, you’re in much better position with frame rates.
Plugging in a peripheral or three is not a problem with Dell Inspiron 11 i3148-8840sLV. It has three USB ports, although only one of those is fast USB 3.0. You can also connect your HDTV or PC monitor to this laptop, there’s a HDMI-out for that.
Dell Inspiron 11 i3148-8840sLV has no optical drive, so what do you do if you want to use CDs or DVDs? Well, plug in an USB-connecting external drive and problem is solved. Another way around the missing drive is the SD card slot which is a good option if your files are on media cards.
There’s a 802.11n WiFi + Bluetooth 4.0 card installed on the notebook. Ethernet (RJ-45) is not supported, but that can be fixed with an USB adapter.
The laptop has no dual cameras like some tablets, but there’s a front-facing 720p webcam that you can use for Skype video chats.
Any other things to keep in mind?
The weight of Dell Inspiron 11 i3148-8840sLV is 3.07 pounds. It’s not much for a notebook, but real tablets weigh much less than that. The provided 3-cell battery is reported to give six to seven hours on light use. As such, road warriors and travelers should find this Dell a good choice.
The keyboard is permanently attached, featuring no illuminated keys or numeric keypad on the right.
The operating system of this notebook is Windows 8.1 (64-bit).
Summing it up
Dell Inspiron 11 i3148-8840sLV is a modern hybrid laptop, offering decent specifications of a Core i3 processor and 4GB RAM. The 500GB hard drive is big, but many people find those mechanical drives too slow. You might want to swap it for an SSD to get much, much better performance. Also, don’t expect the integrated graphics to be wonderful, but especially older games will run alright on it. Connections are everything you need: USB 3.0 and HDMI work for your peripherals. All in all, this device should be good for people after a compact, affordable and long-lasting laptop/tablet convertible.