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Ah, who doesn’t love to browse budget desktops now and then. If not in the buying mood, then just for fun. One prime example of such a penny-pincher computer is Dell Inspiron i3647-1233BLK. It had already received great reviews, and because the price falls into the “Cheap” category, it was time for Tech For Pennies review department to take a look at this Dell and tell you if it’s a good pick or a hype for nothing!
The main things
Dell Inspiron i3647-1233BLK is equipped with Intel Celeron G1840 processor. That CPU is often seen in low end desktops and looking at its performance you can see why. It’s meant for lightweight use, and one would do well in home or small office with this Dell. Also gaming would be possible, although the poor integrated Intel HD chip dictates what games you can play and what not. Your best bet would be to go for older games, or then hop out of the budget league and get a more expensive computer altogether.
Other main components of Dell Inspiron i3647-1233BLK are typical 4GB RAM and 500GB hard drive. I checked the memory configuration and all of that four gigabytes is installed on one chip. One slot is free, meaning that you can install more memory if your needs are big, all the way to 16GB.
Hard drive space is 500GB and it comes on a 7200RPM drive. What can I say about it, a typical size that suffices or not, depending what you do on this computer. If you download enormous files or install lots of, say, games (don’t know why you would do that on a non-gaming friendly desktop) the drive becomes small quickly. But if you’re not keen on big data, half a terabyte is just fine for you. And as a small plus, the hard drive is the faster 7200RPM model. You’ll get a little edge over the 5400RPM drives in terms of speed.
The manufacturer itself says Dell Inspiron i3647-1233BLK has six USB 2.0 ports and two USB 3.0 ports. Some sites say it has just 4 USB 2.0s, and one even claims it comes with 4 USB 3.0s. The safest thing here is to assume manufacturer’s word the truth.
The back panel also sports both HDMI and VGA outputs, which means one can use this Dell with dual monitors keeping the performance limitations of the integrated graphics card in mind. Mainly, don’t expect this system – especially with two monitors – function well for gaming. But for everyday home use, dual monitor configuration should work.
The front panel also has a 8-in-1 media card reader. You can use that to upload pictures from digital cameras to the computer.
To get Internet access, you can choose wired (Gigabit Ethernet) or wireless (802.11n) option. Bluetooth 4.0 is also supported.
Other things to remember
Unlike many, this desktop comes with the older Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit edition). Consider this an advantage if you don’t want to embrace Windows 8 yet. There are also trials for MS Office and McAfee Live Safe installed which work for the first 30 days, after that you’d have to pay if you want to continue using them.
People have been asking if this Dell has a monitor. It does not. You must buy display separately, although optical USB mouse and keyboard are shipped along. It also has a tray-load DVD burner which lets you create CDs and DVDs as well as read them.
Power supply wattage is 220W which allows some small upgrades. However, as a small 10.4 x 4 x 13.7 (H x W x D) desktop there’s not too much space for expansion. Both drive bays are taken, although there should be one PCI-E x16 slot free on the motherboard.
For friends of a traditional budget desktop it’s hard to beat Dell Inspiron i3647-1233BLK. It has the basic performance sufficient for watching videos, browsing Internet, calling in Skype and playing some low-demand games. Networking is convenient with WiFi & Ethernet adapters, and support for Bluetooth is a useful, handy detail. All in all there’s nothing inherently wrong with the desktop. If you want a worthwhile computer for little money, this Dell could be something to think about.