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[Review] Dell i3168-0028BLU Halfway between a tablet and an entry level laptop

Deciding between a solid windows laptop and a tablet can be quite challenging, sometimes you're simply at a loss. That's where convertibles come in and the reason they've been a major success headlining several bestseller lists across the globe.

Pioneering this "movement" is Dell, who has a lot of convertibles up it's sleeve. Today we're gonna take a long hard look at one of its most budget-friendly models, and review the Dell i3168-0028BLU.

This convertible packs a lightweight design, the latest Celeron processor, SSD storage and a long lasting battery life, all while operating Windows 10 and rocking a low cut price. Ready to meet your next convertible?

Pros: Celeron N3060, 8 hour battery life, sturdy and colorful design, several connectivity options, touchscreen display with an HD resolution.
Cons: 2GB of RAM limits your multitasking abilities, 32GB of base storage imply you need an external drive to use this as a stand-alone laptop.

Dell i3168-0028BLU The fully uncensored review 

A Fun and solid design with a nifty touchscreen

Surely the fact that the Dell i3168-0028BLU is a blue laptop is not lost on you. In fact, it's one of its most attractive features in terms of design. Forget about those boring grey or black laptops that could very well have a sticker that says "I'm not original" on their back and move onto a more exciting design that's hardly been seen in the market.

Aside from the color on the i3168-0028BLU, it should also be noted that it's a very sturdy model and while we haven't tested it for falls something tells me you'll be just fine if this laptop where to fall off your couch or bed with no dentures to be seen.

As for the display, it's an 11.6 inch 1366 by 768 pixel screen with a LED-backlit display. Surely a Full HD display would've been more appealing but having an HD display on a smaller form factor means you actually get images that are much more crisp than its 13 and 15 inch HD counterparts. Also, the fact that the display didn't go down the FHD route also affords you some extra battery life which isn't something to ignore.

The precision touchpad coupled with a very ergonomic keyboard make for the perfect experience when typing away at a classroom or at your office. Obviously there's no room for a dedicated numeric pad but that's something we can easily live without.

Finally, as a truly portable laptop, Dell's new convertible weighs a little under 3.5 pounds making it very easy to just grab it and take it with you anywhere you go without worrying about the extra weight.

How does it perform in general terms?

We're not gonna bore you with benchmarks and that kind of stuff. No, that's not what our review of the Dell i3168-0028BLU is all about. We'd much rather look at the big picture and talk about actual usage performance. In this regard, this convertible is equipped with the latest generation Intel Celeron N3060 CPU (launched this year). This is actually one of the best entry level processors in the market.

Working at a base speed of 1.6GHz that can go up to 2.48GHz with two cores and 2MB of L2 cache this CPU is more than ready to handle everyday tasks without breaking a sweat. Be it streaming video, editing documents, chatting up with friends or doing some light coding, you're pretty much covered for your everyday computing needs. 

Obviously more demanding tasks like editing video or working with integrated development systems are a no-go because that's not what this laptop was designed to do.

As far as RAM is concerned, that's the only area where we see this model come closer to a tablet than it does to an actual desktop. Specifically this model is equipped with 2GB of RAM and no matter how you spin it; that's not enough for any kind of serious multitasking.

For light usage, web browsing and video streaming you should be fine but don't try and do 3-4 things at a time or you'll end up not having enough RAM to perform such things and that's when lagging performance starts and your love for this laptop ends.

Storage and battery life

Storage is another area where we can quickly appreciate that the Dell i3168-0028BLU has been designed with a tablet in mind instead of a desktop since you've got a base SSD storage of 32GB. 

We're not gonna beat around the bush; this model wasn't designed for you to download tons of media onto the system but rather to work on the cloud and through peripherals. Fortunately enough, external hard drives have dropped the ball on pricing and it's quite affordable to buy a 1TB hard drive right now. There's also the option of using an ultra fast SD card as an integrated external drive, you're not gonna get the speeds of an SSD but it's still faster than your standard external hard drive and you don't have to worry about carrying it around.

Fortunately for us, what this convertible lacks in storage it more than makes up in battery life, offering up to 8 hour of battery life through its 2 cell integrated battery. That's pretty good all things considered and that's another way where this model has more in common with a tablet then it does with a PC.

What's left to know?

Don't tell me you're giving up already! Come on, there's still ground to cover, like peripherals. To this point we've got a USB 3.0 port (good for connecting a USB 3.0 hard drive, for example), a USB 2.0 port, SD card reader and an HDMI output in case you'd like to connect the i3168-0028BLU to an external monitor.

There's also b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth support as well as a very convenient HD webcam with a built in mic. Oh and obviously you've also got an audio jack.

What's the verdict?

As you can attest after reading our review of the Dell i3168-0028BLU, this convertible is not for everyone. It's got a pretty solid CPU that you'd be hard pressed to find on a tablet but other than that it's got more in common with a tablet than a laptop when it comes down to general components.

Storage is a bit low and it serves as a good indicator of what this laptop's use should be yet battery life is pretty impressive, allowing you to spend several hours without needing to plug it in.

2GB of RAM is a bit short for a laptop but when looking at it from a tablet perspective it's not half bad. It's not an easy decision but if you're looking for an affordable entry level laptop that doubles as a mid-level tablet then this is a pretty safe bet on all fronts. You can check pricing and availability here.