Top critical review
60 people found this helpful
not bad, but not real good either
on November 10, 2011
The interface selection is decent, Dell didn't cut corners here, even though more than just 3 USB ports would be nice.
For ~$600, an i3 was ok in Summer, but with the Year drawing to its end and Intel's new Ivy Bridge CPU's showing up in a couple of months, it would have been nice if a discounted i5 with its HD3000 could have made it into this model.
There's no dedicated GPU at all, so you're stuck with the i3's anemic integrated graphics... e[...]
As for the screen, I find the 1366x768 pixel resolution poor, no matter what fancy names they give it. But Dell isn't alone with this, everything from 11" to 15" comes with this atrocious resolution these days.
To me, this resolution would be effective in an entry level gaming machine with a lower mid-range GPU like the HD6630M or GT540M, since those GPUs do a lot better with low resolutions.
This notebook however has no GPU, so you won't be playing any games with it - leaving it for people who only do office work and maybe watch an occasional video. For office work, 1366x768 is extremely poor, especially if you're stuck with Microsoft's latest version of Office with those big ribbons... there is very little screen space left for Excel and Word to display what you're actually trying to work on. You can forget about legibly displaying a whole page of a document. In Excel, you'll be in a hell of scrolling-up-and-down-and-back-and-forth.
So, I consider this display a mismatch for the only role this laptop can fulfill. (if you want nothing more than browse the web, you could of course buy a much lighter weight netbook, or, god forbid, a tablet)
Lastly, its not exactly light weight for the screen size, there are 15.6" notebooks that weigh less.
You are probably able to configure this model differently on Dell's website, but there can be drastic price differences in either direction, even for a unit with identical spec, cause Dell's own quoted prices never include tax, so on Dells site your bill jumps when you reach checkout, on Amazon it doesn't. At other times, Dell may have cut its prices, while the sales channel is still full of product with the old price. So do yourself a favor and double check :)