PC vendors rarely opt to send us budget laptops for review, instead opting for decked-out review units that have the best chances of acing our benchmarks. At the end of 2020, we went shopping for economy laptops to see what kind of deals cash-strapped consumers can find here in the early days of 2021. The Dell Inspiron 17 3000 (starts at $502; $710 as tested) will appeal to budget buyers who want to watch DVD movies on a big screen, or otherwise luxuriate in a large panel at a low price. It lacks frills like a backlit keyboard or biometric login, but it offers an optical drive and a 17.3-inch display with full HD resolution, along with tolerable performance for everyday apps. You’ll never mistake it for a high- or even middling-priced notebook, but it’ll get the job done as a plus-size desktop replacement.
Equipped with a quad-core Intel Core i5-1035G1 processor, 8GB of memory, and a 512GB solid-state drive, the Inspiron 17 3000 is half the price of the HP Envy 17 we tested in May 2020 (though that system was tricked out with a high-resolution 4K display). You can buy one from Dell.com for $629.99 with a 1TB hard drive replacing the 512GB SSD; I couldn’t find our exact configuration there, but looking at the business rather than home section of the site turned up a $710 model that matched except for having Windows 10 Pro instead of Home. Other versions ranged from $502 (Core i3) to $829 (Core i7, SSD, 16GB of RAM).
See more about how we test laptops.)
Tears of Steel—with screen brightness set at 50 percent and volume at 100 percent until the system quits.
January 29, 2021