Dell Inspiron 3043 i3043-3752BLK Review

August 17, 2015
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System units known as desktops without monitor and input devices have evolved into All-in-One desktops. They are ready-to-use packages, including a display, keyboard and mouse as well. One modern “AiO” is Dell Inspiron 3043 i3043-3752BLK with entry level components like Celeron processor, 4GB RAM and a 500GB hard drive. That doesn’t promise a lot, but the price isn’t bad, either. Let’s see if there would be any legitimate use for such a computer or not…

What programs can I use with it?

Dell Inspiron 3043 i3043-3752BLK has Intel Celeron N2840 as its processor. It features two cores, 2.2Ghz clock speed and 2.6Ghz burst frequency. Good sides of the chip include low power consumption a.k.a running cool, but performance is unfortunately quite bad. The N2840 gets mere 1000 CPU Mark benchmark points, so it can be used only for very basic programs such as web surfing, doing homework or watching YouTube. Power user or especially gamer wouldn’t find it fast enough for his needs.

Another noteworthy thing in the desktop is 4GB (DDR3L 1333MHz) RAM. I’d like to call that the minimum acceptable amount in 2015. It’s good for the aforementioned uses but not sufficient for more demanding stuff. If you want to make the system run faster you can upgrade the memory to maximum 8GB, as there’s just one SODIMM slot inside.

Storage consists of a 500GB 5400RPM SATA 2 drive. It’s pretty small compared to many other hard drives and quite slow compared to solid-state drives. So I won’t give any extra points for the HDD. Replacing it with a proper solid-state drive would speed things up a lot.

Any games that work?

Dell Inspiron 3043 i3043-3752BLK doesn’t run games very well. It has no dedicated graphics card but an entry-level Intel HD (Bay Trail) chip integrated to the Celeron processor. It’s one of the worst graphics engines for players so you can say goodbye to fancy games like GTA 5 – you would get something like 15-20FPS on lowest possible settings, not playable in my opinion. That being said, titles easier on the system such as Minecraft with Optifine runs without issues.

Is the screen good?

Manufacturers often skimp on the screen quality with budget machines. I suspect it’s also true here, although I don’t see why the current display wouldn’t work for everyday computing. The size is 19.5 inches, so larger than laptop but not as big as an external desktop monitor. Resolution is nothing more but 1600×900, so friends of Full HD might not like it. The panel type is TN (Twisted Nematics) so I wouldn’t expect excellent viewing angles or brilliant colors either.

However, there are some useful features in the display also. It supports touch, and the screen turns from the normal ~20 degree to 80 degree tilt, meaning it almost folds flat. As system unit is built into the screen, this thing also works essentially as a big tablet (there’s an internal 4-cell 58Whr battery there). In addition, wall mount is supported, you need a separate VESA mount for that.

What peripherals may I connect?

Dell Inspiron 3043 i3043-3752BLK has three USB ports, but unfortunately all are USB 2.0 – none of the faster type 3.0 are present. So you’ll have to do with moderate bandwidth when using your USB peripherals. In addition, there’s no HDMI output but HDMI input, meaning you can connect some video source with HDMI out (like gaming console) and play that through this Dell.

Communications include a 100Mbps Ethernet RJ-45 controller and 802.11n WiFi card. Bluetooth 4.0 will work, too.

Despite being advertised as All-in-One, the unit has no optical drive. You can easily see why, there wouldn’t be space for that in the thin screen part. You can “fix” this problem by getting an external DVD burner.

Other features you might put to good use are SD/MMC card reader and 1MP webcam ready for Skype video.

Summing it up

If it’s convenience, ease of use and some portability you want, an All-in-One like Dell Inspiron 3043 i3043-3752BLK shouldn’t be a bad choice. It’s not only a desktop, but by utilizing the built-in battery you can use the screen part as a huge tablet as well. In either mode, you’ll be able to browse web, send emails and even watch stuff from YouTube and play low-level games. All the things that require heavy duty performance, like 2015 games or video editing, you can’t really do – the components are not top notch here. If you’re fine with that, and want a very affordable desktop-tablet solution with minimal set-up hassle, you might want to include this Dell in your shopping list.

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