People have asked the question: are laptops a dying breed? After all, they can be big and uncomfortable to use. But I think they’re far from dying – they’re just evolving. Dell Inspiron i3147-3750sLV is a good example of such a modern notebook. It features two sides: a regular laptop and a compact tablet. It’s also a best selling model, so the unit must be decent at least. But would it be a good pick especially for you? Read on and you’ll see…
It’s the Intel Pentium N3520 processor that is commanding this system. The chip is a dual core model running on 2.2 – 2.4GHz clock speed, depending on the burst frequency. The Pentium N3520 is almost two times faster than Celerons (N3520 reaching ~1800 Passmark points while the popular Celeron N2840 gets 1000). However, Pentiums are still far from a powerful CPU. You’ll find them ideal for daily tasks, but not really for complex programs or gaming. Anyway, for this kind of a simple convertible such a Pentium is spot-on choice.
Dell Inspiron i3147-3750sLV has one 4GB DDR3L memory chip installed. Its speed is 1600MHz although processor supports only 1333Mhz. The chip eats up the only memory slot on the mainboard. In the manual 4GB is listed as the only working configuration but I don’t think that’s true. I’ve read people replacing the current memory for 8GB without problems. That will indeed make system run smoother, it’s something to think about to maximize this computer’s performance without paying too much.
The hard drive here is 500GB large with 7200RPM speed. It’s a bit faster than 5400RPM drive but still not even close a real SSD. The Dell being a small laptop has no space for additional drives, but replacing the HDD works. The interface is SATA 3 Gbps and size is 2.5 inches, make sure the replacement will fit those measurements.
Dell Inspiron i3147-3750sLV is a small notebook, or what do you think about the 11.6″ display size? It is a touch screen with operating angle from 0 to 360 degrees. In another words, a real laptop/tablet convertible. The screen will rotate to accommodate portrait and landscape orientation on tablet mode. Furthermore, the keyboard should be recessed to prevent you from accidentally hitting it.
The more technical side is 1366×768 resolution, an excellent amount for such a little screen. Viewing angle is 160 degrees, refresh rate 60hz.
Of course, any computer works for some gaming. It’s just the matter of picking the right titles. For Dell Inspiron i3147-3750sLV, you must choose very lightweight games because there’s only integrated Intel HD (Bay Trail) responsible for graphics. For example, games like League of Legends, Sims 4 and Farmville (and any browser-based game) will run fine. However, fancy titles will struggle. Most 2014-2015 games would have less than 20 frame rates, so unplayable in my opinion.
Dell Inspiron i3147-3750sLV features two USB 2.0 ports and one USB 3.0, not bad for a sub-notebook. A full-sized HDMI output is also provided, allowing you to connect a bigger display or even an HDTV.
Wireless connection is provided by 802.11b/g/n adapter. Bluetooth 4.0 is supported too. Ethernet cable is not, for that an RJ-45 to USB adapter must be used.
Also remember a notebook of this size doesn’t have an internal DVD drive. An external one can always be used, though.
The system features a built-in SD/MMC card reader on the right hand side. You’re able to upload images and other multimedia files from cameras, MP3 players and such.
There’s a 0.92MP (for video, 1280×720 at 30FPS) front-facing webcam installed, so video meetings are possible with this model.
Other relevant things
Dell Inspiron i3147-3750sLV is a good choice for road warriors. At 3.1 pounds and 11.6 inches screen it wont be a cumbersome to travel with.
The unit also includes a removable 3-cell 43Wh battery. People have been getting around 6 hours on light use which is an excellent amount if you ask me.
The keyboard has no illuminated keys. There’s no dedicated numpad either, but the good side is that trackpad is perfectly centered – in my opinion, it’s easier to use like that.
The shell of this laptop is made of metal.
Dell Inspiron i3147-3750sLV is a versatile computer that offers a little bit for everybody: it can do as a home or work laptop now, and when you’re on travels and need not to write so much, turn it into a tablet in split second. The performance itself is good for lighter use, but very demanding software would be too taxing for the Pentium processor. But one (and recommended) way to make this rig a lot faster is to put in a solid-state drive. Anyway, it’s still a very decent convertible laptop, and if you’re not after a heavy-duty notebook you don’t need anything fancier than this Dell.