The Dell Chromebook 11 (Review)
The Dell Chromebook 11 is an educational Chromebook, although, in my opinion, the Dell Chromebook 11 (11) is a Chromebook suitable for general use as well. At three pounds, its weight is in line with other Chromebooks. The 11 feels solid and good in my hands. It doesn’t feel cheap like some Chromebooks do. It feels more like a regular laptop than an inexpensive Ultraportable computer.
The 11 sports the new 1.4GHz Intel 2995U Celeron Haswell processor (CPU) with 2MB of cache. For you less technical types, that’s all good stuff. Just think speed and low power usage. The memory is 4GB DDR3, which means you have plenty of memory (RAM) to handle a large number of Chrome browser tabs with ease.
The Dell Chromebook 11 Technical Specifications:
- Processor – Intel Haswell 2955U processor 1.4GHz
- Operating System - Chrome OS
- Memory - DDR3 Memory 4GB (internal) Advanced
- Chipset - Intel Integrated
- Video Card – Intel Integrated
- Display - 11.6″ LCD Min 1366×768 HDMI 1080p
- 720p Front-facing Camera
- Audio and Speakers - 4W Internal Stereo Speaker (Min 2W x 2)
- Hard Drive - 16GB SSD storage (SATA)
- Power - Internal 220 Watt Power Supply (PFC. nPFC. EPA)
- Primary Battery - Greater than 8 hrs.
- Warranty - 1 year depot repair/service; 1-4 years warranty extension options
- Security - Browser based security with hardware TPM: Phishing and malware. SSL certificates content settings Kensington Security Lock
- Wireless - Dell DW1901 (Atheros). A/B/G/N 802.11
- Two USB 3.0 ports
- Bluetooth 4.0 support
The two things that the 11 doesn’t have as features are a standard 15 pin video out interface and a standard wired Ethernet interface. They aren’t essential features, but they are nice-to-haves. In their place, the 11 has an HDMI interface and, of course, wireless networking. You could use a USB Ethernet connector in one of the 11′s two USB slots.
Why it’s frugal: For $299, you get a fast, solid computer that will easily last you three to four years and possibly longer. The Dell Chromebook 11 is well-built and features a lot of RAM for a Chromebook at 4GB, a 16GB disk, and a fast CPU. Unless the Chrome OS bloats drastically (not likely at all) within the next 4 years, you’ll have made a very wise computing investment.
Because this model is targeted toward students and education, I should note that the 11 feels sturdy enough to withstand being carried to and from school in a backpack without damage. And the battery has enough life in it to last an entire school day, if plugged in to charge overnight before the school day begins. It’s small enough and lightweight enough to fit into all but the smallest purse, messenger bag, or backpack. Students will love the “instant on” feature that places them at a login prompt upon opening the computer.
Unless you really love trackpads, buy a wireless mouse for your Chromebook. You can buy small ones that are roughly half the size of a regular desktop mouse. The reason for the external mouse is that Chromebooks, including the 11, leave out essential mouse buttons from the trackpad. To right click, you have to press the ALT key while tapping the trackpad. A minor annoyance, but still an annoyance.
The only major drawback to the Chromebook 11 is that it only has two USB slots and they’re both located on the left side of the computer. They’re both next to the HDMI slot, which makes using external HDMI video and two USB devices somewhat cumbersome or impossible, depending on the USB connector widths.
I like the Dell Chromebook 11. What’s not to like? It’s a fast and furious Chromebook with a bright, clear screen that would be perfect for students and just about anyone else regardless of learning status. It’s a good value and you won’t be disappointed with its performance, styling, or durability.
Recommendation: Buy it for a student, for yourself, or for anyone.