Dell announced a couple of new laptops at Computex 2014 and Pocket-lint managed to track down the Inspiron 11-inch and get a play with it.
The Inspiron 11 3000 is a 2-in-1 hinged device - much like the Lenovo Yoga. The device can operate as a laptop, a tablet, and somewhere inbetween in the tent mode and stand modes. It was easy enough to switch between the three form factors and the hinge mechanism was fluid and seemed solidly built.
However like many converting devices, the Inspiron 11 has a chiclet keyboard which presents a problem when in tablet mode. There is quite simply no natural way to hold it comfortably. You always are left with the uneven feel of the keyboard on the reverse.
It's something that you'd get used to after a while, but doesn't give a good first impression.
At 11 inches it's also a little large and weighty to hold comfortably with a single hand. As you can see from the photo, you tend to use the lower part of your arm to support the tablet. So you can probably look forward to small square imprints on your arm after browsing on it during your morning commute.
At 1.5kg it feels like a reasonable weight for a laptop, slightly heavy for a tablet- although that's to be expected in this form factor.
The version we saw was running Windows 8.1 on Intel Baytrail and it did seem operate smoothly enough. The press release had promised an oddly specific 8 hours and 18 minutes battery life, however the onsite info proffered up 7.5 hours.
There is an HD IPS display - which as you might expect was adequate but not particularly bright. The viewing angles were fairly good though.
The Window's rep who was presenting the device had clearly absorbed the press release and eagerly accessed YouTube so we could have a listen to the "really good sound quality".
Perhaps he shouldn't have left us to choose the song as Ace of Base came out sounding tinny and distinctly underwhelming. In the interests of fairness we popped on the less bassy "Happy" after he'd slunk off, but we have to say it still sounded average.
There is a reasonable 500GB of storage on the HDD and 4GB of RAM.
The general look of the device is pleasing enough although there isn't much in terms of innovation. It did feel quite solid and the keypad had a reasonable amount of bounce. There are all the usual ports, including two USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 and HDMI and SD and MMC card slots.
All-in-all the Inspiron 11 is a basic device without many frills, however at the affordable price point of $499 set for the US launch on 19 June, it seems like a reasonable enough buy.