The Dell Chromebook 11 (Intel Core i3) ($379 as tested) is the latest in a string of new Chromebooks that push the envelope of what the inexpensive Chrome-OS-based laptops can be, remixing the basic Web-connected laptops with new features and unique capabilities. As the name implies, the Chromebook 11 (Intel Core i3) boasts an Intel Core i3 processor, a big step up from the Intel Celeron and Samsung Xynos processors that have populated the category thus far. It’s not the first—the Acer C720 Chromebook (C720-3404) also offers a Core i3-powered Chromebook—but it is another in a rapidly evolving category.
Design and FeaturesDell Chromebook 11 we reviewed last year, with the same 8-by-12-by-0.9-inch (HWD) chassis, dark-charcoal color, and plastic construction. The only hint that anything is different is the small blue Intel sticker on the palm rest, which indicates that this particular Chromebook boasts an Intel Core i3 processor.
The system has a tile keyboard, with a layout optimized for Chrome. The function keys are all tied to specific Chrome functions, indicated by icons; the Caps Lock key is replaced with a dedicated search button, and there is no Windows key or Chrome equivalent. The keyboard is on the small side (understandable on an 11-inch device), but otherwise is pretty good, with good spacing between keys, and firm typing response. The touchpad is equally solid, supporting Chrome gesture controls like two-finger clicking for right-click and two-finger scrolling.
The port selection, identical to that of the last iteration, is healthy. There are a full-size HDMI port, an SD card slot, and two USB 3.0 ports. Dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi provides the wireless connectivity you need. The SD card slot is nice in that it allows the card to be fully inserted into the system. In some competing Chromebooks, like the HP Chromebook 11, the card reader is only half as deep, leaving half of the memory card protruding from the side of the system, just waiting to be snagged on some loose clothing or have a heavy object set on it by accident.
As a Chromebook, the system uses the Google Chrome operating system. For a Windows based alternative in the same price range, consider something like the HP Stream 11 (11-d020nr). The Chromebook 11 has a 16GB solid-state drive (SSD) for downloads and offline apps and documents, but that’s not the only storage you have available. Included with the system is 100GB of free G-Drive cloud storage from Google (free for two years). Dell covers the laptop with a one-year warranty, including mail-in service.
The Intel Core i3 processor offers
The other area where Chromebooks often falter is video chat, specifically in Google Hangouts. A Hangout with multiple people can fill your screen with as many as 10 video streams, but most Chromebooks have enough trouble dealing with three or four due to the Celeron and Atom processors they use. Not so with the Chromebook 11 (Intel Core i3). The faster processor not only keeps up, it does so without so much as a hiccup. If you regularly rely on video chat for work, collaboration, or just hanging out with friends, this is the Chromebook to get.
Aside from these specific instances, overall performance was quite good. The system boots in 5 seconds, actually slightly faster than the other Core i3-equipped Chromebook, the Acer C720-3404, which saw boot times between 5 and 7 seconds. Both of these are faster than the already speedy boot times seen on Celeron-powered alternatives, which often range between 8 and 10 seconds.
Although the performance is significantly improved, the battery life doesn’t take a hit. The Chromebook 11 (Intel Core i3) lasted 9 hours even in our battery rundown test, a mere 8 minutes behind its previous iteration. That’s significantly longer than the HP Chromebook 11 (Verizon LTE), which lasted only 5:31, and ahead of the Acer C720-3404 (7:05). It’s not the leader for the category, however, as others have outlasted it by a significant margin. The Asus C200 Chromebook, for example, lasted 11:14. And if you’re considering a Windows system in the same general price range, the HP Stream 11 lasted 9:23.
- Get an extra 17% off Dell and Alienware PCs this weekend, and more tech deals
- Dealmaster: Get our favorite budget gaming monitor for just $190
- Both Xbox Live Gold and Game Pass Ultimate subscriptions are on sale today
- The best cheap laptop deals in February 2020: prices start at just $62
Dell Chromebook 11 (Intel Core i3) have 749 words, post on sea.pcmag.com at February 18, 2015. This is cached page on VietNam Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.