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The Dell Inspiron 2 in 1 Chromebook is an upper midrange chromebook aimed at a niche market; it has the display and build quality of a midrange chromebook, but the amount of storage and a processor you’d expect to find on more expensive models. It eschews your standard Celeron, Pentium, or even Core M in favor of a full-on Core U CPU (albeit only an i3), delivering very snappy performance on such a lightweight OS, and it supports Android apps to help bolster Chrome OS’s middling program compatibility. Its price and its performance make it a strong pick as the best chromebook for seniors, though several issues will likely keep it from being a techie’s next laptop.
The Dell Inspiron 2 in 1 Chromebook is a solid premium chromebook featuring an Intel Core i3 processor, a decent full HD display, and surprisingly good build quality thanks to its aluminum construction.
First, the good: the Dell Inspiron 2 in 1 Chromebook’s display is a typical 1080p IPS panel with touch support, delivering great viewing angles and much better colors than a TN panel. The praise stops there though; it’s dim, coming in at around 260 nits, and it’s only rated for around 72% of the NTSC color gamut, a figure that is not especially great. Even further compounding things are its chunky bezels, which make it a bit awkward to use in tablet mode, though this is more of a nitpick than anything. One thing sets its display apart from most other chromebooks–it has EMR pen support and even ships with an included stylus, making it adequate for aspiring digital artists that want a bit more flexibility than something like a Galaxy Tab or iPad Pro could provide.
Battery life on the Dell Inspiron 2 in 1 Chromebook is good overall, but surprisingly mediocre for the hardware it packs. It has all of the components needed to provide insane battery life; a mobile Core U i3 is not power hungry at all, and 56Whr is a fairly typical battery size for laptops of this caliber. Even so, it only provides 9 hours tops on a single charge, easily outliving lower end machines like the Asus Chromebook C523NA, but falling short of the similarly-priced HP Chromebook x360 14.
The Dell Inspiron 2 in 1 Chromebook is heavy for its screen size, weighing in at just shy of 4 lbs. This, combined with its very chunky bezels, make it clunky for tablet use; you can flip it into tablet mode, but its heft and its size make that suboptimal. Heavier 14” laptops absolutely exist, but for a machine rocking a 15w CPU that further touts its tablet functionality, it’s a bit disappointing it’s so heavy.
Thanks to its aluminum construction and surprisingly great build quality (Inspirons tend to be cheaply built), durability is fairly solid on the Dell Inspiron 2 in 1 Chromebook. Its hinge is a bit stiff, but it’s functional in its design. All in all, it’s a well-built laptop, which is impressive given the Inspiron lineup’s typical reputation.
In terms of inputs, you’re looking at one USB Type A port, two USB Type C ports, a microSD card reader, and an audio jack. An additional Type A port would have been nice to see, as would some form of display out; one USB C port supports display adapter dongles, but the exclusion of mini DisplayPort or HDMI is unfortunate at this price point. Its keyboard is merely alright; travel and spacing are both adequate, but like many Dell keyboards, the keys have a spongy feel with poor feedback.
The Dell Inspiron 2 in 1 Chromebook is very difficult to recommend to anyone who doesn’t need every ounce of CPU performance they can possibly get. The Acer Chromebook 514 is, in many ways, a better machine; it’s got similar build quality, a better keyboard, and a better screen in exchange for slower hardware that rarely makes a difference in Chrome OS. If you absolutely need the extra oomph the Inspiron has to offer, it’s a decent buy, but if you’re chasing value, save a bit of money and get the Acer Chromebook 514 instead.
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