Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 17th Sep 2013 15:11 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems

With Intel's new Haswell chip, manufacturers can choose to either build slimmer notebooks or try to optimize battery life as much as possible. Dell has clearly shown its dedication to the latter with the new Inspiron 11 3000 series. Budget notebooks don't always have big batteries, but Dell claims the $379 Haswell version of the Inspiron 11 lasts up to eight hours and 20 minutes on a single charge.

Something I've been pondering for a while: if we can have high-quality tablets and smartphones at low prices, why can't we have high-quality laptops at said prices too? Cheap laptops are almost always crap, but this Inspiron 11 actually looks like it could reverse the trend. Since I don't really need an expensive laptop anymore, a cheap but still relatively high quality 11" laptop is right up my alley. Is anyone aware of any alternatives?

Also, when did Dell find the design stick?

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Asus Transformer Book T100
by Luke McCarthy on Tue 17th Sep 2013 15:43 UTC
Luke McCarthy
Member since:
2005-07-06

Like the look of this. It's Bay Trail not Haswell so it might not be up to your performance requirements. Biggest downside is the small and limited storage options.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Asus Transformer Book T100
by Drizzt321 on Tue 17th Sep 2013 15:54 UTC in reply to "Asus Transformer Book T100"
Drizzt321 Member since:
2013-09-17

Actually, according to http://www.theverge.com/products/inspiron-11-3000-series/7332, it has a Celeron 2955U, which according to http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/Celeron_Dual-Core/Intel-Mobile%20... is a Haswell chip. To be sure, it's a very low end, but still Haswell which will probably have a pretty decent bump over Bay Trail, especially in the graphics department.

Reply Score: 2

did? Me thinks you mis-spelled "will"
by themwagency on Tue 17th Sep 2013 15:59 UTC
themwagency
Member since:
2013-03-06

>"Also, when did Dell find the design stick?"

did? Me thinks you mis-spelled "will"

Reply Score: 1

jared_wilkes Member since:
2011-04-25

Yeah, this looks like a Mashup of the Inspiron N series of late (which was ugly and very low quality) frankensteined with an Air-like PC. Not excited at all based on the downward slide in quality I've seen in Dell.

Reply Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Keep in mind the price point. The XPS series is much better quality.

But regardless of quality, its ugly as heck. Maybe a"style stick" is something they use to beat pretty things until they are ugly in the Netherlands? I mean, nothing ever looks great after being hit with a stick.

Edited 2013-09-17 19:25 UTC

Reply Score: 2

jared_wilkes Member since:
2011-04-25

I see virtually every model of Dell on a daily basis. As per this model, I see nothing remarkable whether with respect to price, design, or any other factor.

As for the XPS, it is actually notorious for its high-rate of failure. Sure, they're sexy. High-end specs. But the components are complete crap and Dell is very poor at supporting them.

Reply Score: 1

BushLin Member since:
2011-01-26

If you're talking about good design in terms of a balance between lightness and robustness while being very easy to service...

then Dell have been doing that with Latitudes for years.

Toshiba Portege models make a sacrifice to get the lowest weight ultra portables if you're a careful owner but I still prefer X-Series ThinkPads personally.

Reply Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Interesting, I've only dealt with one XPS which worked fairly well, so obviously I'd defer to your experience. Good to know.

I almost with XPS with my last notebook, but went with a thinkpad T series instead.

Reply Score: 2

talaf Member since:
2008-11-19

I'd say that the pro line from Dell went up in quality, if anything.

No idea about Inspiron laptops though...

Reply Score: 2

Resolution
by demosthenese on Tue 17th Sep 2013 16:21 UTC
demosthenese
Member since:
2011-02-01

An laptop with a pixel count less than my tv is useless for working on, and why else would you get a laptop? If its just to consume media get a tablet.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Resolution
by CapEnt on Tue 17th Sep 2013 18:08 UTC in reply to "Resolution"
CapEnt Member since:
2005-12-18

No manufacturer really expends a dime anymore developing descent laptops, except for the ultra high end market.

Even current up-to-date mid range models still ships with TN panels, has light leaks, max resolution around 720p, lacks 5GHz wi-fi radio, no NFC, meager 2,5" touchpads, cheap thin plastic enclosures, slow HDDs with 40mbps max, beg-me-cry batteries with less than 45KWh, too big power bricks with crap connectors, poor cooling, full of bloatware... and the list goes on.

Currently, this market is in a sorry state. The average quality of current laptop lines made by big manufacturers is something that we expect only from 40 bucks tablet market.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Resolution
by project_2501 on Tue 17th Sep 2013 21:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Resolution"
project_2501 Member since:
2006-03-20

This is why the macbooks are doing better than some might think. I know many people who didn't set out to get macosx or even apple ... but they feel they have to just to get a decent well design well built laptop of any brand or OS.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Resolution
by lucas_maximus on Wed 18th Sep 2013 11:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Resolution"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Yes I am considering a MacBook Pro for this very reason.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Resolution
by BallmerKnowsBest on Wed 18th Sep 2013 11:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Resolution"
BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

This is why the macbooks are doing better than some might think. I know many people who didn't set out to get macosx or even apple ... but they feel they have to just to get a decent well design well built laptop of any brand or OS.


...combined with an unwillingness to look beyond the 2 or 3 best-known Windows OEMS and/or do the 5 minutes of research necessary to figure out that business laptops are a much better value on the Windows side of the fence.

Macbooks only measure up favorably when they're compared against bargain-basement, consumer-grade garbage (which is probably why that's the comparison you see most often). Compare Macbooks against, say, a high-end Thinkpad of similar specs/price/vintage and it doesn't look so hot anymore. There's a line between high-end and over-priced... I tend draw that line *just* below laptops that lack even an OPTION for a matte screen, despite a $3k-plus sticker price.

And that's only general-purpose use, I'd LOVE to see someone try to use a Macbook in the type of situation that the Toughbook is designed for.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Resolution
by MeinNick on Fri 20th Sep 2013 14:44 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Resolution"
MeinNick Member since:
2013-03-14

Here we go again, the classic Apple bashing.

I have been using thinkpads for years, and always the so called high end models. I recently acquired a macbook pro (with windows, mind you), and it is certainly FAR higher quality than the x230 I paid the same price (1800$).

The x230 feels and is flimsy, has a shitty display with light leaks, and have poor battery life. I also have a T serie from 2012.

Yes macbook pro had a big premium maybe only 5 years ago, and the now defunt consumer grade macbook were always shit. But to say that current macbook pros aren't priced right and don't compare favorably to similarly priced PCs is just silly.

Reply Score: 1

Is it OSsified?
by tomz on Tue 17th Sep 2013 22:33 UTC
tomz
Member since:
2010-05-06

Windows 8? Can I get 7 or Linux?

Reply Score: 0

RE: Is it OSsified?
by woegjiub on Tue 17th Sep 2013 22:45 UTC in reply to "Is it OSsified?"
woegjiub Member since:
2008-11-25

It gets a free upgrade to 8.1, which is significantly better than 7 in size, performance, appearance, and basically anything that isn't "having a start menu".

Install an app to swap the start screen with a start menu, and you will likely find 8.1 far more to your liking than 7.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Is it OSsified?
by hamster on Wed 18th Sep 2013 11:38 UTC in reply to "RE: Is it OSsified?"
hamster Member since:
2006-10-06


Install an app to swap the start screen with a start menu, and you will likely find 8.1 far more to your liking than 7.


Why should one have to install a 3rd party app to fix a design issue? And what about the rest of the issues one can find in the latest edition of the toy os from ms?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Is it OSsified?
by woegjiub on Wed 18th Sep 2013 12:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Is it OSsified?"
woegjiub Member since:
2008-11-25

Because it's not a design issue.
It's a search based interface like in unity, osx's spotlight/alfred, KDE's krunner, etc.
It also presents a large number of installed items in a manner that is easier to browse when accessing the all programs section.

start menu addons are there for people who cling to an arbitrary behaviour, just like those who can't let go of gnome2.

Care to add what those problems are?
It has more functionality, better organisation of functionality, a cleaner appearance, lower resource usage (significantly so for disk space), they finally brought in an app store, and oh so many more improvements.

For the record, I use KDE on arch linux, but I have been needing to use win8.1 for .NET purposes, and have found it much nicer than 7 ever was.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Is it OSsified?
by hamster on Wed 18th Sep 2013 12:26 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Is it OSsified?"
hamster Member since:
2006-10-06

I dont care for a "start menu" in full screen. Thats for me atleast would be a design error...

I am running win8 in a lab atm to test some vpn clients. I wanted to reinstall a client but it would not let me do so without admin rights. It just so happens that i only have one account with full rights on this machine. And even with those credentials i was not allowed ot uninstall the client. I had to find another way to do it. I never seen that in win7...

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Is it OSsified?
by woegjiub on Wed 18th Sep 2013 13:02 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Is it OSsified?"
woegjiub Member since:
2008-11-25

personal preference != design error


There are merits to both, it's simply a different method. I find it better, but then I run everything fullscreened or tiled.

The software removal issue is odd, though. I'm very curious as to the cause.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Is it OSsified?
by hamster on Wed 18th Sep 2013 14:17 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Is it OSsified?"
hamster Member since:
2006-10-06

Another fuckup from ms would be opening af pdf in desktop ie wupti you are in metro land. If thats not bad design i don't know what it is.

I do know that my opinion does not make it a design error. Thats why i wrote its a design error in my world. I have yet to find just one thing i think is good in win8. Sofar i have found a number of fuckups but no 'ah nice' moments.

I for one find the idea of 2 desktop enviroments idiotic. And it doesnt help that worst of them is being used as a full screen start menu in the one that can be used for real work...

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Is it OSsified?
by woegjiub on Wed 18th Sep 2013 14:25 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Is it OSsified?"
woegjiub Member since:
2008-11-25

If your default pdf software is metro, it only makes sense that it would open in it.


Metro is fine, and will be fine for "real work" once more apps are ported.

Until then, the desktop works exactly as it always did, except that the start menu is bigger and prettier.

Reply Score: 3