Convertible machines are a relatively new category of products that offer the best of two worlds thanks to their laptop and tablet-like capabilities. For those who are looking for both experiences, these machines are often the solution.
This time around we have a familiar product from Dell. This is the review of the Dell i5368-0502GRY, which is very similar to a laptop we previously reviewed, the Dell i5368-4071GRY, but comes with a different configuration and a lower price attached to it.
Pros: unmatched screen for the price, convertible positions, backlit keyboard, sixth generation Core i3, DDR4 RAM, very competitive price.
Cons: just 4 GB of RAM out of the box, slower hard drive
Review of the Dell i5368-0502GRY
The “modes” that Dell offers
As every convertible laptop does, the Dell i5368-0502GRY has several “modes” you can choose to use, and the company advertises four possible positions: the regular “laptop mode”, “tent mode” for shallow footprint spaces, “stand mode” for multimedia playback and finally “tablet mode” for, well, all things tablet related.
All of this comes in a 13.3 inch package, which in laptop terms is a medium size (think MacBook Pro), but on tablet terms is certainly a huge standard. The final piece of the puzzle is Windows 10, which offers a responsive interface that adapts depending on how you want to use it.
CPU and multitasking
Dell chose an Intel Core i3-6100U processor for the i5368-0502GRY. This is a low voltage chip with two cores clocked at 2.3 GHz, which means you’ll strike a nice balance between performance and battery life.
As a result, the Dell i5368-0502GRY will perform like a champ for tasks like web browsing, office work and multimedia playback like watching your favorite TV series. But even though it's probably not what it is made for, it’s still capable of handling more complex tasks like media editing.
On the multitasking corner we find 4GB of RAM (DDR4, 2133 Mhz) included. Though a bit less than some models, the speedier spec will still help you to do several things at the same time with decent results. Besides, you can expand it to 8GB if that’s what you want down the line.
Display and graphics
The best thing about the review of the Dell i5368-0502GRY is that the laptop includes a 1080p IPS touchscreen. Both touch and IPS features are a must for any convertible, so it’s nice to see them present. Additionally, both the high resolution and “stand mode” combined will also make it ideal for watching Netflix and the sort.
Games at full resolution, on the other hand, won’t probably run very smoothly. The reason is that the i5368-0502GRY relies on the integrated Intel HD Graphics 520; it doesn’t have a dedicated GPU. Though older titles as well as new ones with low requirements will work with just fine (think Minecraft, The Sims 4), more demanding games will only work on low ones. Light gaming is an option, but you shouldn’t go here looking for games.
No tablet has this many ports
In short, we found the i5368-0502GRY has a decent offer of ports, though when looking at them from a tablet perspective, it certainly doesn’t have a match. It comes with two USB 3.0 ports, and one 2.0 port totalling three USB ports, which is a bit more than smaller laptops tend to offer.
The SD card reader, the audio combo jack are present too, but the best thing is the inclusion of an HDMI port that makes this an excellent multimedia machine. There are no optical drive or LAN insert to be found, though for a laptop this thin and with so many positions, that’s to be expected.
Battery life and storage
The Dell i5368-0502GRY includes a 42WHr, 3-Cell battery. The company claims that that the laptop can last up to 8 hours, so if we expect a bit less than that, it’s still a great number that makes sense for a convertible machine that is designed to be mostly plugged off.
Dell chose to favor space over performance with the storage, so it comes with a 500GB mechanical hard drive with a 5400 RPM speed. While not the fastest hard drive available, the 500 GB will certainly come in handy for storing lots of things.
Final thoughts and opinions...
Tablets are useful, laptops are indispensable. That’s what we think at the end of the review of the Dell i5368-0502GRY, a machine that fortunately offers both experiences thanks to its hardware and software, both flexible in their own way.
If you’re looking for a mid-level fully-fledged laptop but you are also interested in the tablet experience, Dell has a very compelling offer here. And best of all, you’ll get an amazing screen out of it.