Dell Inspiron is ubiquitous term for both affordable desktops and laptops. They’re usually seen on best-selling lists of several vendors, and I’ve come to think there’s perhaps a reason for that. Maybe these Dells are just so good. In this review, we’ll figure out if Dell Inspiron i3647-1234BLK, one of the popular desktops, has indeed earned its place on the top lists.
For such a cheap price, this Dell Inspiron has surprisingly capable CPU. It contains Intel Pentium G3240, a processor with 3.1GHz clock speed and two cores. Taking look at benchmarks, it handles simple tasks no problem, and there’s also enough power for occasional demanding work like image editing. Currently, the processor also features one of the best price-performance ratios, so you’d be getting excellent bang for your buck.
The installed memory is four gigabytes on one chip. Adding more is possible, there’s one slot free and the maximum memory for Dell Inspiron i3647-1234BLK is 16GB. If you’re unsure whether to upgrade the RAM or not, I’d advice against doing that right away. Start with the default 4GB and only put more if the system is slow for some reason.
Storage space is so and so. There’s 500GB 7200RPM hard drive which can be considered the minimum for desktop these days. It can host all of your vacation images (tens of thousands of them), but even half a terabyte fills up fast in case you have the habit to download lots of stuff from Internet. However, I wouldn’t complain too much considering the price of this desktop.
One group who should think twice before getting this Dell Inspiron is the gamers. As it is, cheap desktops are cheap for a reason, and always compromise on the graphics performance. The system features the infamous Intel HD Graphics chip which is fine for non-gamers, but for playing later games with full eye candy on, the Intel HD is just too weak. Expect to drastically decrease the resolution and settings, or completely move to older games (such as World of Warcraft and Minecraft).
According to manual, in total 8 USB ports are installed, two of them being USB 3.0. For video, there are HDMI and VGA outputs. This allows for use with HDTV and also dual monitor setup.
Networking options are many on Dell Inspiron i3647-1234BLK. It has Gigabit Ethernet for wired connection, and there’s also WiFi which supports Bluetooth 4.0.
There’s tray-load DVD drive installed which burns and reads DVDs and CDs.
The memory card reader supports the following formats: SD, SDXC, SDHC, MS, MS Pro, MMC, MMC+ and xD.
Other important things
The operating system is Windows 8.1 64-bit. The desktop doesn’t have monitor by default, you must get that separately. It has to be touchscreen if you want to take advantage of Windows 8’s touch features. Otherwise, you’re good to go with non-touch monitor. USB keyboard and mouse are however shipped with this desktop.
You can install a dedicated graphics card on Dell Inspiron i3647-1234BLK. It has free PCI-e X16 slot, although the dimensions (10.4″ H x 4″ W x 13.7″ D) impose limit on how big the card can actually be. The 220W power supply would also be too weak after graphics card upgrade, meaning the PSU would have to replaced for stronger one as well.
Somebody commented the system doesn’t come with MS Office. At least on the specifications page Microsoft Office Trial is listed as included software. Indeed, that only works for 30 days after which you have to buy it or stop using it. In addition, 30-day trial for McAfee anti-virus is also available.
After taking a look at its specs, price and reviews, I can certainly understand why this Dell Inspiron remains on the top lists. The performance the Pentium processor spiced with 4GB RAM can offer is definitely enough for home users, and there’s no reason for many power users to shun this computer either. In addition, there’s no fear of running out of connections (8 USB, HDMI, VGA, Ethernet, WiFi+Bluetooth). Gamers would of course do well to pick something beefier, but for everyday use this desktop is totally worth it, especially if you can get it around 300 bucks.