- Intel Core i3 3rd Gen 3227U (1.90 GHz)
- 6GB DDR3 Memory 500 GB HDD
- Intel HD Graphics 4000
- 1366 x 768
- Windows 8
Great for the money 06/26/2013
I was a little nervous because similar (older) models from Dell had bad reviews, mainly about the WiFi. However, I had no such trouble with this model, which replaces the other 13Zs, and is cheaper anyway.
Lightweight, compact, decent battery life (about 3 hours on max brightness, internal speakers set to loud, streaming 720p/1080p YouTube videos on full screen, or about 5 hours on light use at full brightness). The advertised 7 hours is possible on medium brightness, WiFi off, just doing Microsoft Word.
Given the cheap price (I've seen similar models from other brands at around $500+), this is a great deal at the current price.
Speakers can get pretty loud.
Not a lot of bloatware!
Microphone and Webcam are surprisingly decent.
Also, I picked it up using Will Call. Newegg's staff is very friendly and quick.
Stupidly enough, this thing doesn't have an optical drive, yet Dell gave all of the drivers on a CD... Really? To be fair, though, you'll probably reinstall drivers from the web anyway if you ever needed to.
The 3227U is a little slow, but if you remove the bloatware and disable unnecessary startup programs, this thing is more than fast enough for your basic tasks.
The trackpad honestly sucks. It is small and is high friction, requiring more effort than necessary to scroll around. In addition, the multitouch features seem to go to sleep if you don't use them for a few seconds. Basically, read a paragraph on a web page, then try and scroll with two fingers, and it takes about 1.5 seconds to move. Pretty annoying, and I couldn't find any feature to fix this, and I've installed all the latest drivers.
All of the ports (HDMI, ethernet, USB) have these really annoying flip-up plastic covers that you have to bend out of the way to actually fit a USB cable in there. They will almost certainly break off after a few weeks use (Possibly from me tearing them out from frustration). Did anybody at Dell bother testing this before actually mass producing? Sheesh.
It has this brushed aluminum look, but is actually plastic.
In case you care, the Windows 8 Experience Index scores are: Processor: 6.4, Memory: 7.3, Graphics: 5.2, Gaming graphics: 6.4, Hard Disk: 5.9.
Haswell laptops are going to come out soon (the first few already have, but are higher-end models), and those are supposed to have really good battery life. Unless you really need a computer, I recommend you wait a month or two!
Given the price, the cons are really just minor quibbles. I give this a solid 4.5 eggs.
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