Two in one laptops are hot. Because who doesn’t like having a notebook and tablet but only paying for one? Well, also Dell has jumped on the bandwagon, and has recently released new hybrid models. Dell Inspiron 13 i7348-3286SLV is one of those, boasting a 360 degree turning touchscreen and the latest i5-5200U processor. Very interesting, but does a closer examination reveal something unacceptable about it? Well, let’s see…
Dell Inspiron 13 i7348-3286SLV enjoys the newest technology of a 5th generation Intel processor. Dubbed i5-5200U, the dual-core CPU was released in January 2015, featuring a 2.2GHz base speed and 2.7GHz turbo frequency. It’s expected to be around 10 percent faster than the predecessor i5-4200U, something at least power users will find beneficial. All in all, the CPU has enough oomph for most purposes, including multitasking and advanced programs.
The system has four gigabytes memory installed. It’s the slowest you should go with Windows 8, any less than that and lag is guaranteed. However, 4GB is acceptable for everyday computing. You can double the RAM if you want to, but only by removing the old chip first and putting a 8GB module in place. There are no free memory slots on the motherboard.
Half a terabyte hard drive should be enough on such a laptop/tablet hybrid. It can take a lot of data, hundreds of movies for example. If the 5400RPM speed is not enough, you have the option to install a solid-state drive. However, there’s no space for two drives, so you’d have to take the hard drive out first.
Screen and graphics
So, it’s the screen that makes Dell Inspiron 13 i7348-3286SLV so innovative. If you take a look at the product images you see why: it turns more than a normal laptop display, full 360 degrees, which makes the device work just like a tablet. The compact 13 inches size means it shouldn’t be too heavy to use, although a real tablet still weighs a lot less. Either way, you have two devices in one, with the ability to touch and swipe your way through Windows 8.1.
The integrated Intel HD 5500 is a bit faster than the older HD 4400 model. Games such as Minecraft, CS: Global Offensive and LoL are piece of cake for it, even on higher settings. Those games that require more from the system, such as Battlefield 4, should average over 30FPS on lower settings. It’s not ideal, but not bad at all for this cheap machine. Playing most games is possible if you don’t desire full eye candy and resolution.
Dell Inspiron 13 i7348-3286SLV has three USB ports, a solid amount for small device. Two of those are USB 3.0, so you can enjoy fast transfer rates on multiple ports. The left side houses a HDMI output which you can use to plug in HD television or PC display.
The laptop has solid wireless communications: 802.11 A/C WiFi with Bluetooth 4.0 enabled. There’s no RJ-45 port, but you can get that with an USB adapter.
No optical drive is installed in this little notebook. So, again, your best bet is to use an external DVD drive. The SD/MMC card reader can also be helpful should you have files on memory cards.
A 1280×720 webcam is attached on top of the screen, good for video chatting with relatives, friends and colleagues.
What other things to keep in mind?
Dell Inspiron 13 i7348-3286SLV weighs 3.7 pounds, a lot less than a typical 15.6 inch laptop (~5lbs). Compared to other 13 inchers, it’s around average, perhaps couple of ounces more. Somebody keen on traveling will probably find this size and weight comfortable to work with. Another treat is the over 5 hours running time for which the 43Whr 3-cell battery is capable of.
The keyboard is backlit, useful for people working in the dark. No 10-key pad is available on the right side, understandably so due to small unit size.
Summing it up
In my opinion, Dell Inspiron 13 i7348-3286SLV is worth its price. You’ll get a powerful laptop thanks to the new 5th generation i5 processor. And when you want something else, just turn the screen and you have a tablet at your disposal (although a rather heavy one). Good connectivity is present, but the few who want a DVD burner should get an external one. There’s nothing big to complain about, so if you want a very decent 2-in-1 notebook you might want to check this one out.