Dell's foray into the convertible laptop market has been quite successful thus far, with a wide range of convertibles reaching the market, the company has everything from entry level to high end convertibles on its catalogue. Today we take a look at one of its most popular mid range models; the quite affordable Dell Inspiron i3179-0000GRY.
This new laptop packs a retractible 11.6 inch touch-sensitive display powered by a very efficient Intel Core M3 7Y30 processor and 4GB of DDR3L RAM. Now, we take a look behind the curtain to see if this laptop has what it takes to spark our interest in this review of the Dell Inspiron i3179-0000GRY.
A modern design with good build quality
If there's one thing you can expect from Dell its a good built quality, and the Dell Inspiron i3179-0000GRY is no exception to this. Sure enough, it's not a premium quality like the one you'll come across on the XPS lineup but despite having a plastic chassis, this notebook holds well and seems rather durable when you hold it in your hands.
Check out the customer reviews to see what people have to say about this laptop
Speaking of holding it in your hands, this is actually a pretty lightweight machine, weighing slightly less than 3.3 pounds. For reference, that's lighter than the 2015 MacBook Pro and slightly heavier than the 13 inch MacBook Air.
The display is one of its star performers thanks to its touch sensitive capabilities that allow you to switch seamlessly between laptop and tablet-mode. Overall, it's an 11.6 inch display with an HD resolution (1366*768) and LED-Backlit technology. Truth be told, at this price point you could easily get your hands on a Full HD laptop, however, its harder when you're also looking for said laptop to work as a two in one, doubling as a part time tablet.
If what you're looking is for a two in one laptop that also boasts a Full HD display and a set of decent internals then you're gonna have to bump up your budget, you can check the available options here.
Once that's out of the way, the truth is we rather like the HD display on this model, and it's actually very accurate to touch which is always a plus. As far as the keyboard goes, it's got a standard keyboard without a numerical pad and, all in all, it's pretty comfy for long typing sessions.
Grade A performance for a tablet, decent performance on a laptop
We've gotta look at this on both lights; as a tablet and as a laptop. As a tablet its set of internals are pretty good and you get an optimal performance. As a laptop, it falls well within the mid range to entry level specs. Specifically, we've got a latest generation Intel Core M3 7Y30 processor that works at a base speed of 1.0GHz and a maximum turboboost speed of 2.7GHz. This is a pretty good dual core processor that can do a pretty good job with most tasks.
If we where to compare it to Intel's more popular "Core i" lineup then we'd say it's performance is somewhere along the lines of a 5th generation Intel Core i5. That's not a bad CPU, actually being pretty well equipped to deal with most friendly tasks as well as some more "professional endeavors".
Moving on from the CPU which actually does a pretty good job with standard stuff like amateur video editing, streaming movies and so forth, it's time to take a look at the rest of the components. On the RAM department we've got a single 4GB module of DDR3 RAM operating at your base 1600MHz.
Honestly, the ability to expand RAM would've been a big plus on our review of the Dell Inspiron i3179-0000GRY but unfortunately that's not really an option with this model, and that might just be its biggest disadvantage.
That said, 4GB of RAM will more than suffice for most "average users" and should only pose an issue when you get down to some serious multitasking in which case you might run a little short and load times might run a little long.
Graphics controller and storage
This laptop is not really suited for gaming. It comes packed with an Intel HD Graphics 615 chip which should get you through the likes of Minecraft, SIMS 4 and maybe a friendly game of Fifa but anything that's more graphically demanding than that is definitely not a good idea.
When it comes to storage, you've got a 500 GB Serial ATA hard drive that operates at your standard 5400 rpm. That's not as cool as an SSD storage unit but at this price point you can either choose between plenty of storage via hard drive or limited storage vía an SSD and the cold hard truth is that most people will ultimately opt for more storage space as opposed to a higher storage speed that many people don't even notice.
What's up with the connectivity on this thing?
Connectivity on the Dell Inspiron i3179-0000GRY is pretty good. It features an HDMI output, microSD card reader, WiFi b/g/n antena, Bluetooth support, as well as a few USB ports, one of which is USB 3.0, leaving the other two remaining ports to be USB 2.0 ports.
Being a Dell Laptop there's also DTS Sound technology as well as an HD webcam with an integrated microphone.
Gun to your head; should I buy this laptop?
That will depend on your particular needs. If you're a poweruser then I'd be quick to recommend other more efficient models in the same price range such as the infamous HP ay013nr. However, if portability and "convertibility" are major factors in your decision making process then this is an excellent option and one of the best ones you'll find within its price range, if not the very best.
It's screen along with the fact that RAM is not upgradable are this laptops biggest drawbacks, however when you consider it also works as a tablet these don't seem to be very big issues. All in all, the processor is pretty great, the graphics chip is great for consumer tasks and available storage is more than enough to carry around your media library. Couple all that with a very competitive price tag and you've got yourself a great laptop.