Hybrid Hype: Should You Buy a Dell Inspiron 2-in-1?
If you're looking for a machine that does double duty as a laptop or tablet, it makes sense to consider a 2-in-1. After all, hybrids often have a hinge feature that lets you use them as a laptop or flip them to a tablet — or even stand them up like a TV screen.
Those who want an affordable 2-in-1 can look to the Dell Inspiron lineup for a variety of options. Check out our guide below for a rundown of the 2-in-1 PCs in the Inspiron family, and see if they're right for you.
A Look at the Dell Inspiron Range 2-in-1s
Inspiron models are divided into three groups: the 3000 Series, 5000 Series, and 7000 Series, with prices that range from $249.99 to $1,349.99.
Inspiron 3000 Series: $249.99 to $449.99
Best for: Lightweight, portable performance with fun color options; ample storage (except for the base model).
The 3000 Series mostly features laptops (which we've written about as well). However, if you upgrade to the 11" 2-in-1 model from the 3000 Series' base model laptop, you can get more memory packed into the slim frame, along with a quad-core Intel Pentium processor or a 6th Generation Intel Core m3 processor. (The laptop only comes with a dual core). Plus, the 2-in-1 model also includes a touchscreen display.
- Affordable; most budget-friendly 2-in-1 offered by Dell
- Each configuration features a touchscreen
- USB, HDMI, and microSD card ports; built-in WiFi
- Some users have complained about slow performance
- Power button placement makes it "too easy to accidentally turn off the computer," according to Laptop Mag
Inspiron 5000 Series: $449.99 to $849.99
Best for: Consumers who want 2-in-1 functionality with premium processing speeds, high-resolution displays, and software upgrades at midrange prices.
The middle group of the Inspiron lineup offers a bit more diversity than the 3000 Series, with an emphasis on larger display size and more 2-in-1 options.
While the 2-in-1 offerings in the 5000 Series aren't quite as jam-packed or advanced as those offered in the 7000 Series, they provide a savings middle ground if you're looking to upgrade but want the same affordability in the Inspiron line — a bit like car shopping across a model's line, actually.
The 5000 2-in-1 comes in both 13" and 15" versions, with lots of memory and hard drive choices. The base 13" 2-in-1 at $549.99 will give you an i3 processor, with 4GB of memory and a 500GB hard drive; at $849.99, you get an i7 processor, 8GB of memory, and a 1TB hard drive. Is the extra capacity worth the extra cost?
- Wide range of 2-in-1 laptop/tablets with "flex" modes to adapt to different needs
- Touchscreen models with choice of various processing speeds, hard drive sizes, and other options
- Reviewers have positive things to say about the keyboard and trackpad
- Some users bemoan a sometimes lackluster battery life
Inspiron 7000 Series: $749.99 to $1,349.99
Best for: Users who want premium storage capacity, a bump in memory, and an attractive design at Inspiron-tier pricing.
The Inspiron 7000 2-in-1s may leave Dell enthusiasts looking to trade up for a new laptop in a bit of a bind. Go for the base-level XPS (a Dell line that is more expensive and high-end than Inspiron), and $799.99 affords buyers Dell's proprietary InfinityEdge display that's second to none for the brand. But that comes with minimal processing speeds, memory, and hard drive storage.
Counter that with the similarly priced Inspiron 15" 2-in-1, and you get better memory and a larger, solid state hard drive at the sacrifice of battery life. It's like trying to decide whether to buy the best compact car when you can get the entry-level midsized vehicle one step up for just a few dollars extra.
The 7000 Series contains some luxurious features that the budget-minded consumer may not prioritize, like Windows Hello with infrared facial recognition software, or a brushed aluminum casing.
- Best of the Inspirons shows near crossover quality with Dell's higher-end XPS series; graphics, memory, and storage make expensive price tags worth the investment
- Reviewers praise the responsive touchscreen display
- Super connectivity allows for USB, HDMI, headphones, mics, media cards, etc.
- Tablet end of the 2-in-1 can be bulky compared to its sleek laptop alter ego
Are Dell Inspiron 2-in-1s a Good Value?
Your answer depends on your needs. If basic internet surfing takes up most of your computer time, the 3000 Series gives the most value for the money, considering some of the sub-$250 sale prices. Users may find better variety, features, and quality with the 5000 Series.
The 7000 series is essentially a premium model of a beginner's computer. It might be too expensive for those seeking a basic 2-in-1, and yet not high-performing enough for those who could pay a little extra and get a high-end Samsung notebook.
Readers, what do you think of the Dell Inspiron 2-in-1s? If you've purchased one, would you buy it again? Let us know in the comments below!