If you’re a “casual” computer user (who likes to be called average, so word casual is more appropriate here :) you don’t need a fancy notebook, for a simple reason they cost a lot. There are cheap alternatives available, one example being the new Dell Inspiron i3147-10000sLV with Windows 10. There’s a Pentium processor, four gigabytes system memory and 500GB hard drive helping you to get started with applications like web browser, email program and MS Office. But let’s see if there’s enough performance to keep those programs running all day, and moreover, if the notebook offers good enough value for its price…
Dell Inspiron i3147-10000sLV is all about budget performance. The most obvious thing in that regards is Intel Pentium N3540, an entry-level processor with four cores and 2.2 – 2.7GHz clock speed. Despite these strong specifications, it’s still a basic Pentium, reaching only a low 2000 points in CPU Mark benchmark (in comparison, next level i3s get around 3000 points). Firing up a web browser, email client or even YouTube videos won’t be a problem, but doing heavier work on a daily basis is not going to work here.
Theres’s 4GB (DDR3L 1333MHz) memory installed inside. It’s not a lot, you’ve probably seen many models sporting 8GB RAM, but for lightweight use four gigabytes is likely enough. However, it’s said in the specifications that upgrading the memory is not possible, you’ll have to do with the default 4GB for the whole lifespan of this device.
Storage drive is what you could expect from an inexpensive notebook: a 500GB 5400RPM (SATA 3 Gbps) hard drive. It’s large enough to store casual user’s data, for example around 100,000 JPEG photos (assuming 5MB size for one). If you want better performance, you can always replace the hard drive with a 2.5″ SSD.
Screen and graphics
Dell Inspiron i3147-10000sLV features a 11.6″ touch display with 0-360 degrees operating angle. In another words, you can use this computer in laptop and tablet mode. Resolution is just 1366×768 but you can’t have excellent Full HD for this price.
Graphics are often a weak spot for notebooks, especially for cheap 2-in-1 models like this Dell. There’s a slow integrated Intel HD (Bay Trail) responsible for the graphics. It’s good for watching videos, but for gaming the Intel HD struggles. You can say goodbye to heavyweight AAA titles like GTA 5 and Witcher 3, those would get less than 10 frames per second rendering them totally unplayable. However, some lighter games run fine. For example, playing on 720p and low details you’ll get around 30FPS with Counter-Strike: Go. Also Minecraft and League of Legends run alright if you keep eye candy at bay.
Dell Inspiron i3147-10000sLV has three USB ports crammed in its body, two of them are USB 2.0 while one is USB 3.0. In addition, it’s also possible to use this device with a PC monitor, the laptop features a full-size HDMI output.
As you might guess, there’s not much space inside, hence internal optical drive is not available. You can still use discs here, but you need an external DVD drive for that (rest assured they are cheap, ~30 bucks). Furthermore, the notebook’s SD card slot can be utilized for file transfers from several devices, such as cameras and mobile phones.
Network connectivity relies on the 802.11b/g/n WiFi + Bluetooth 4.0 card. If you want Ethernet functionality you can always buy a simple USB to RJ-45 adapter.
A webcam is available on this laptop, a front-facing one with 1280×720 video resolution.
What else to keep in mind?
Like all smaller laptops, also Dell Inspiron i3147-10000sLV weighs only a little: 3.1 pounds. Combine that with 0.74 thickness and ~8 hours battery life and you got a pretty portable machine at your disposal. Also keep in mind the 3-cell 43Whr battery is a removable unit.
The keys don’t light up and there’s no 10-key pad available.
Summing it up
As someone pointed out in the reviews, Dell Inspiron i3147-10000sLV is a “you get what you pay for” notebook. It’s quite inexpensive and works for basic stuff, but there’s not much extra performance for heavier programs or games. The display is small, hence this 3.1 pounds unit might be a good choice for on-the-go computing or traveling. Being a convertible model, you also don’t need to buy laptop and tablet separately – they are both featured in this device. So if you don’t expect to receive a fast workhorse but a basic 2-in-1 laptop for home or perhaps student use, you probably don’t need anything faster (and more expensive) than this Dell.