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Dell's new 2-in-1 PCs run the gamut in screen size

Written by Richard Lai

It’s no secret that the PC market has been shrinking due to the onslaught of smartphones and tablets, but if you ask Dell, it’s apparently bucking the trend thanks to its 2-in-1 notebooks and gaming laptops. At Computex, Executive Director Monty Wong told us that Dell saw 13 consecutive quarters of increasing PC market share, to the point where it overtook HP as the number one PC brand in the US back in Q1, according to IDC. As such, it’s no surprise that the PC giant has been mostly focusing on 2-in-1s at this year’s show, with the new lineup running the gamut from the world’s first 17-inch 2-in-1 all the way down to a $249 11-inch device. Let’s take a closer look.

Gallery: Dell Inspiron 17 7000 2-in-1 notebook hands-on | 9 Photos


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Starting off at the high end, we have the aluminum Inspiron 7000 series 2-in-1s, which come in sizes of 13, 15 and 17 inches. The 17-incher is a first in the 2-in-1 market, with its beastly size making it especially handy for kitchen use, small meetings and maybe movie watching. These are all designed with prosumers in mind. As such, they pack Intel’s sixth-generation Core processor, NVIDIA’s GeForce 940M graphics chip and a backlit keyboard.

These will also come with an infrared camera for Windows Hello’s facial recognition login feature. In addition to the HDMI port, the two full-size USB connections (one of them USB 3.0), the SD card slot and the usual power plug socket, there’s also a USB Type-C port on the left for an external dock, monitor or secondary battery. This series starts at $749 and will be hitting Dell’s US site on June 2nd, followed by retail availability at Best Buy.

Gallery: Dell Inspiron 5000 2-in-1 notebook series hands-on | 9 Photos


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Next up we have the more mainstream Inspiron 5000 series. While their bodies are made of plain plastic, I’m digging their clean, understated design. There are only two size options: 13 inches and 15 inches, both offering a full HD touchscreen with wide viewing angle. The infrared camera is here to stay, and these machines will support up to 16GB of dual-channel DDR4 RAM. In terms of sockets, you’ll miss out on the USB Type-C port featured on the 7000 series; instead you’ll get an additional full-size USB 3.0 port. These start at $529 and will be on Dell.com at the same time as the 7000 series.

Gallery: Dell Inspiron 11 3000 2-in-1 notebook hands-on | 8 Photos


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Finally, there’s the Inspiron 11 3000 2-in-1, an 11-inch convertible laptop aimed at children and budget-conscious shoppers. Given its $249 entry price, there’s not much to expect in terms of performance: It comes with an Intel Pentium chip, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage space and a 1,366 x 768 touchscreen. That said, you still get one USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 connections, an HDMI socket and a microSD slot. It will be available June 2nd, initially in red and blue, followed by gray and white at a later date.

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About the author

Richard Lai

8 Comments

  • I would have to disagree with the Dell being crappy comments. Bought an Inspiron 3000 2in1 (11.6″ Pentium N3530) 18 months ago and been really pleased with it. So much so I just bought updated ones with a skylake pentium (N3700) for my wife and father.
    For the money (just paid $299.99) no-one comes close in design, screen (IPS) and battery (43whr). Most competitors at this price point have crappy TFT screens and you’ll be getting a non upgradable eMMC drive. Plus it looks nice and smart.
    Yes it’s plasticy and weighs 1.4 KG, but you’re not going to get a metal body and super light weight for $300.
    Agree with trackpad issues and Windows 10 though – I find sleep is the culprit. Whenever it wakes from a long sleep the trackpad goes loopy. Doesn’t happen after shutdowns / restarts. I’ve swapped drives for SSD so I don’t use sleep to avoid the problem – but I agree it’s poor.
    Not prepared to pay what Apple want for a MBA to get a really good trackpad, and as stated above the touchscreen is way more important. Expecially in the 11.6″ form factor we have. Very rarely use the trackpad the touch is so good – like having a really big smartphone.
    Only disappointment from this new 5000 series announcement is no 11.6″. Dell obviously thinks the Fisher Price look is appropriate for that screen size judging by the new 3000, but I’m afraid I don’t. If anyone from Dell reads this – please add an 11.6″ to the 5000 series with a backlit keyboard. I’ll be a customer and replace my 2 year old 3000 if you do?

  • I’d like a 24-27″ tablet which sits on a stand provided by a 3rd party (no design issues) and use a wireless keyboard and mouse. It would be awkward to use as a portable so it could be built without batteries and run off the mains.

    Right now I have the Samsung TabPro S which is 12″ and a bit unweildy on public transport but could use a wireless mouse & keyboard via BT so it doesn’t use up the sole USB- C port. I think a tablet that is more than 12″ would be awkward to use so should be on a stand.
  • Nope, no way. Sorry… Dell makes some decent products. Great servers, some of the Latitude and Precision business class laptops are pretty good and are very reliable … They also make some cheap crappy ones as well. The Inspiron line is part of the cheap crappy lineup.

  • There is always MacBook/MacBook Pro. Once you use an Apple glass trackpad, and the various gestures, there is no going back, unless you get a touch screen machine. They have nailed it really.

  • I had a similar issue with the touchpad on my xps 13, had it a couple of months with the erratic 2 finger scrolling in chrome. Switched to the Synaptic drivers, which fixed the two finger scrolling but took away all the 3 finger tap and swipes.

    Until the lastest May fast track insider preview windows 10 update , It updated the touchpad back to MS drivers and fixed the touchpad issues I’ve had.
  • I just bought a Dell 13 7000 series 2-in-1, and will be returning it to Dell because of one MAJOR failing: the touchpad.

    As a longtime tech savvy user, I have a lot of experience with touchpads on many many devices. This touchpad is the worst, and I can point to the most likely reason – the drivers. Specifically, there is no driver provided for the touchpad. That’s right! Dell decided to have the computer simply use whatever driver Microsoft supplies with Windows Updates and Windows 10.
    The result is that when I’m using the touchpad, the mouse frequently goes jumping all over the place. Oh, sometimes it works just fine. But it’s at least 30% of the time where I will be trying to put the mouse over something I want to click, and the mouse jumps an inch or five away. Then it erratically jumps elsewhere, and quivers there.
    My sister had this same problem on her HP laptop recently. Hers uses a Synaptics touchpad, and had been working just fine for weeks. Turns out Windows Update decided it had a better driver for her touchpad about two weeks prior, and just installed it, no questions asked (Windows 10, yes). When I tried installing the Synaptics-supplied driver, it just wouldn’t take, because Windows thought the other was newer/better.
    Careful searching gave me the fix. It turns out there’s a small program you can download which scans your computer for any Windows Update supplied drivers, then gives you the option to tell Windows Update to never install drivers for those devices. I got that .exe, ran it, blocked it for the touchpad (and other devices), and was able to install the touchpad driver. Lo, and behold! It works like a champ once more!
    Moral of the story: Dell, use a non-Microsoft driver for your touchpads!
  • The 7000 series is apparently going after Lenovo’s Yoga 700/710 series of 2-in-1s by adding a midrange dGPU – I’ve had the Yoga 3 14-inch (same as the Yoga 700, but with a Broadwell processor instead of a Skylake one), and they’re quite decent.

  • Dear Dell,

    Love your monitors, but if you’re going to make a large laptop/convertible, instead of plonking the numeric keypad less keyboard in the middle like Apple annoyingly do on their large MB Pros, please include a full on numeric keypad and Page Up/Down key cluster in between. This makes navigating documents and inputting oodles of numbers way way faster.

    Thx and best to Michael.
    xx

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