Hands on with Dell’s New Inspiron 11 3000 and 7000 Series

Dell has some new and very affordable notebooks hitting stores in their new Inspiron line, boasting some pretty impressive battery life and a pretty good bang for your buck in the spec department.

The smaller Inspiron 11 3000 Series features an 11.6” notebook with an HD touchscreen display with 200 nits of brightness and an 80 degree viewing angle. This one will just be powered by an Intel Haswell Celeron processor, along with 4 GB of RAM and Intel HD graphics. You’ll also see a 500 GB SATA drive, noise-cancelling dual microphones, and Waves MaxxAudio Pro. On the outside, the Inspiron 11 3000 has two USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 port, HDMI out, a card reader, headphone and microphone jacks, N-Lock, and an ethernet port. The whole thing is 21.2 mm thick, and the battery life is put at a pretty nice 8 hours and 20 minutes. That’s all not bad, but it looks pretty compelling given the price point – $380. You can go even lower, to $350, if you opt for an AMD processor.

The Inspiron 7000 Series is the more powerful set of notebooks, coming in 14, 15, and 17 models. These will feature Intel Haswell Core processors, up to i7, along with optional SSDs for storage. You also have your choice of display quality, but if you want 1080p with touch, that’s available. Either way, they’ll all be beefed up by Corning Gorilla Glass NBT. Also optional, just for the 15 and 17 models, are discrete NVIDIA graphics processors. All models will have Waves MaxxAudio Pro and backlit keyboards. For ports, the Inspiron 14 will have two USB 3.0 ports (one PowerShare), HDMI out, a card reader, headphone and microphone jacks, N-Lock, and an ethernet port, while the 15 and 17 models will have four USB 3.0 ports (one PowerShare), HDMI out, RJ45 (Gbe), a card reader, headphone and microphone jacks, N-Lock, and an ethernet port. Battery life for the 14, 15, and 17 is estimated to be 9 hours and 37 minutes (i3 processor), 9 hours and 52 minutes (i3 processor), and 7 hours and 41 minutes (i5 processor), respectively, with those numbers taking modest steps down as processing power goes up.

So, for the Inspiron 7000 Series, you have a lot of options – a lot of ways to draw up your notebook exactly how you want it. Good thing is, the starting prices aren’t too high here, either – for the 14, 15, and 17, you’re looking at $850, $700, and $850, respectively, all with touchscreens.