Since Dell stoped being a publicly traded company it's become quite clear that the company is determined to take more risks as it tries to gain more marketshare not just from the enterprise users but also from the home users. Such risks become clear in models such as the Dell Inspiron i3179-0000RED we're going to review today due to its very affordable price tag.
This particular laptop is what we'd call a 2-in-1 laptop which offers both the laptop functionality as well as the tablet function. As such, it comes with certain compromises which other fully fledged laptops in its price range don't take on.
Such compromises can be seen on the display, or even in the storage. That said, let's get on with our review so you can draw up your own conclusions to determine if this machine is worth it or not.
Dell Inspiron i3179-0000RED Review of a practical two in one
An attractive and juvenile design that stands out in a crowd of monotone laptops
Chances are, if you're reading this review it's because you like the design of the Dell Inspiron i3179-0000RED. You aren't the only one. Truth is that when you tend to see black and silver laptops all day long, having a nice red laptop stands out and inevitably brings a smile to your face.
That said, this laptop is built of red plastic so don't be expecting to see a premium build on this one. However, don't expect it to be a flimsy plastic either, since Dell is known for caring a great deal about the build quality of its machines and this model is no exception to that providing a sturdy design with a good grip that somehow manages to weigh in at just 3.24 pounds and measure 0.75 inches.
The display on this notebook is one of its most attractive traits as well as one of its most unattractive ones. Specifically, you're getting an 11.6 inch HD backlit LED display with touchscreen capabilities.
I say that it's also unattractive because if you're not on the lookout for a 2 in 1 specifically, you can easily get a Full HD display laptop within this price range. If you don't believe me just check out the HP ay013nr which also packs more RAM and SSD storage for a similar price.
The trackpad on this 2 in 1 is quite precise and a major improvement over other budget laptops. The keyboard is comfortable for extensive usage and though it's not backlit we found that it's got a good travel distance that allows for great ergonomics.
Great specs for a tablet, mid range for a laptop
When looking at performance on the Dell Inspiron i3179-0000RED we need to evaluate its set of key components; those that will determine what this machine is good for. In that regard, we're pretty pleased to find an Intel Core M3 7Y30 7th generation M processor with a clock speed of 2.6 GHz that works nicely with the two cores and 4MB of cache in place.
For all of those who aren't used to these kinds of processors designed for the most mobile of laptops, it would be the performance equivalent of a 5th generation Intel Core i5. That means that you get a good overall performance but you aren't gonna design the next Nasa shuttle on this notebook.
In practical terms, this processor is best suited for tasks such as light video editing, HD video streaming, web browsing, skyping with friends and family as well as coding.
However, we wouldn't recommend you use very resource intensive software such as photoshop or run more than one virtual machine on a regular basis unless you don't mind having to wait around for load times.
RAM, on the Inspiron i3179-0000RED is determined by a single DDR3L module of 4GB that works at 1600 MHz. Unfortunately, this is what I'd call the aquiles heel of this laptop since it's not upgradable.
That said, 4GB is plenty for most users and you'll find that you can easily have a bunch of browser tabs open whilst listening to music and downloading a couple of light files on the side. If you're a poweruser then i'd recommend looking for 8GB as a minimum but if that's not your case then 4GB should be fine.
Gaming is out of the question
The graphics controller on this model is an Intel HD 615 Graphics which means it's well suited for video streaming and light video editing. You can also play "simple games" such as Sims and perhaps even FIFA at low settings but anything above that is simply setting yourself up for disappointment.
Battery life and storage
Battery life on the Dell Inspiron i3179-0000RED is not something that Dell has gone out to address specifically. However, the company did say that it boasts a "good battery life". Considering the fact that it features a 2 cell battery and relatively low consuming hardware I would venture to say that this laptop/tablet can handle anywhere between 5-7 hours of battery life but anything beyond that would seem extremely unlikely since Dell would've been quick to specify it.
Storage on this model is 500GB of serial ATA hard drive operating at 5400 rpm. This is the standard hard drive speed for most laptops and therefore it's hardly a surprise.
We would've preferred an SSD but had that been the case we would've had to settle for 64GB and most people simply wouldn't compromise for that amount of base storage and honestly we can't blame them so 500GB is pretty good all things considered.
Extra stuff worth pointing out in our review of the Dell Inspiron i3179-0000RED is that it lacks a DVD drive (typical within the 11 inch form factor) as well as an ethernet port. We do, however, have 3 USB ports, an HDMI output port, an audio jack and an HD webcam. There's also MaxxAudio technology for an enhanced audio experience as well as WiFi b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0 support in case you wanna use a wireless speaker or mouse.
Curiously enough, there's also a microSD card reader (not an actual SD card reader) and we've got a preinstalled version of Windows 10 right out of the box.
Wrapping things up...
The Dell Inspiron i3179-0000RED is a special kind of laptop so we really can't judge it by comparing it to a standalone laptop that can't be flipped onto tablet mode in a moments notice. If that where the case then we'd suggest you look at other models. However, being a two-in-one model it's actually quite good with a solid processor, vast storage capacity and quite a few connectivity options that most tablets simply won't give you.
We would've appreciated a bigger RAM capacity since as a tablet 4GB is more than great but as a standalone laptop it may come up short for the more intensive powerusers out there. All in all, our review shows that it offers a great price/value relationship and if you're on the hunt for a two in one and don't wanna go overboard with the expense then this is an excellent choice with a price that's hard to beat and the added bonus of being a Dell laptop and all that that entails.