The world seems to revolve around everything tech-related in the age we live in today. From enterprises and businesses to the whole education department, the focus has shifted towards the normalization of digital learning. To facilitate this grand prospect, manufacturers have started to make more purpose-oriented devices, and the Dell Chromebook 11 3100 series precisely fits that statement.
The US-based company is known for making robust and compact devices that settle for nothing less than the best standard. Let’s gauge whether the Dell Chromebook 11 is truly a compelling device or no more than a mere disappointment.
In this article, therefore, we’ll discuss the Dell Chromebook 11 (3100)’s major pros and cons, and review it in general. Without any further ado then, let’s get straight into the specifications of this laptop.
Dell Chromebook 11 (3100) Specifications
- CPU: Intel Celeron N4020 Dual-Core Processor
- Display: 11.6″ HD (1366 x 768) Anti-Glare Screen
- Hard Drive Size: 16 GB
- RAM: 4 GB
- Camera: Front-Facing 720p Webcam
- Ports: x1 USB-C, x2 USB-A, 3.5 mm Headphone Jack
- Weight: 2.85 pounds
- Price: $249
Dell Chromebook 11 (3100) In-depth Review
Taking into account the budget-friendly price tag of the Chromebook 11, one wouldn’t help but think of the device as cheap and low-class in quality. It turns out that the truth is far away from that stereotypical approach. This laptop is designed to withstand the rigor of children on a consistent basis. There are a couple of design-centric features that makes this Chromebook stand out in terms of durability and endurance. Its rounded edges are made to extend outwards to protect the USB ports from damage. In addition, the bottom of the device has rubber-type bumpers to cancel out most of the harm done by falls and drops.
That brings us to the overall resilience of this device. Coming from Dell, the strength of the Chromebook 11 is surely no joke. The strength-testing for this laptop is quite ahead of the basic MIL-STD standards. Dell assessed this Chromebook’s durability by dropping it onto steel from 30 inches and making it survive 5,000 free fall micro-drops. This is a device that’s intended for classrooms and homes teeming with children and taking that into consideration, it’s evident how Dell has made an inexpensive Chromebook that’s built to last several long years.
However, since the Chromebook 11 is reinforced with a highly secure all-plastic chassis, there is a price to pay here: weight. This device weighs almost 3 pounds, and this can seem a bit heavy for little ones running around the house or in classrooms. It does not make the device highly portable as well.
On a more positive note, the display is good-looking and above average. It definitely does not come off as cheap which was quite what we were expecting to be honest. The colors aren’t washed out, the viewing angles are all right as well, but make no mistake in acknowledging the fact that the display is limited to 1,366 by 768 resolution. For a sub $250 device, this can be overlooked any day of the week.
Coming down to the keyboard deck, the ruggedness continues throughout. Typing on it feels a bit tacky at first, but the experience generally improves over time. The deck is made firm and rigid though and high-quality is visibly apparent. The touchpad, however, isn’t received appreciably by the broad consensus. Customers complain that the touchpad of the Dell Chromebook 11 feels exceptionally stiff and can get problematic at times. In conclusion, it feels cheap and inferior to the rest of the device’s standard.
Shedding some light back on the plus side of this device, the I/O is fairly awesome. Save for a microSD card reader slot that this device could’ve really used, there’s an ample number of ports for all your data transferring and charging requirements. There’s a single USB-C port, two USB-A ports for legacy compatibility, and a 3.5 mm headphone jack. The front-facing 720p webcam snaps photos and videos in a bang-average manner – nothing too poor, but nothing too marvelous either. At the end of the day when you begin to factor in this laptop’s price for the features it has, you cannot restrict yourself to not buying it if you’re on a budget.
The design looks good, the build quality is great, but what about the performance? On paper, the Dell Chromebook 11 (3100) has 4 GB of RAM to rely on, a 16 GB hard drive size, and an Intel Celeron N4020 dual-core processor to power itself up. It turns out that this device dishes out enough horsepower for kids and school-goers to easily accomplish their tasks and get work done on time. As far as Chrome tabs and Google Play Store applications are concerned, this Chromebook can comfortably handle all that sort of stuff day in day out. However, given its price range, it’s a no-brainer not to expect anything extra from this middling Chrome OS.
The Chromebook 11 has multiple models to its name that you can get for paying a bit more than the original $249 mark. You can check out all its variants here. By getting the upgraded version, you’ll be having more hard drive storage. However, the internal storage or RAM stays the same no matter which model you get of the Chromebook 11. There’s also a 2-in-1 version of this Chromebook that has a touchscreen as well. The convertible version allows you to rotate the screen 360° and offer full-fledged flexibility to students.
The Chromebook 11’s most noteworthy downside in terms of performance is its lack of a strong Wi-Fi signal reception. The dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi struggles to connect if it’s not in the same room as the internet router. For devices whose bread and butter is internet connectivity, this could become a serious inconvenience. To tackle this problem, there’s an LTE-enabled version of the Chromebook 11 that you can buy. It does, however, make this device go out of budget, so you’ll have to decide accordingly.
Another factor that makes this Chromebook purchase-worthy is its stellar battery life that only a handful of competitors can dare stand up to. On a full charge, this device is bound to last you more than 10 hours, and this is, apparently, a handsome figure. Since it accommodates USB-C charging, you can expect the Chromebook 11 to fill up pretty fast, and get you going again momentarily.
Dell does claim that this device can reach up to 14 hours of battery life, but these numbers are difficult to achieve, especially if you’re streaming shows in HD quality with near-full brightness. It may be possible to hit somewhere around 12 hours with this device, but that would mean having to use it quite scarcely. Either way, the battery life of the Chromebook 11 has earned our nod of approval.
The Dell Chromebook 11 (3100) is an inexpensive yet remarkable option for teen students and kids alike. By blending in affordability and top-class build quality, there is a lot to love and very little to hate about this laptop. If you’re on a budget and are looking for something that will get the job done save for a few hiccups here and there, look no more than this little spark-maker.
Get yourself the Dell Chromebook 11 (3100) directly from the official Dell store today.