While a lot of the different Windows laptops that you can find in the marketplace are pricey, you don’t need to spend too much to get one that meets your needs. A lot of people assume they need an ultra-powerful laptop to handle day-to-day tasks. The truth is, the majority of people don’t need something with top-tier performance. Because of this, you can find a lot of budget-friendly options that can satisfy your needs. While a lot of times, dipping below £415 / €500 will leave you with a lot of compromises, that’s not the case with the Dell Inspiron 15 3000. This laptop is an excellent budget performer for various reasons.
The truth is, reviewing a basic laptop like this can be difficult due to it being so predictable. Just about every Inspiron device will feel the same. Dell has done a good job of creating a laptop line and brand that exemplifies quality but not in an overdone way. You get a laptop that is built well and one that works. That’s exactly how this laptop feels.
The Inspiron 15 3000 is an increasingly affordable laptop that is purposefully designed to get work accomplished. Dell typically lists this device in the business section of their website despite it being a consumer laptop. The laptop comes with an entry-level price of €400 / £330. While you can’t expect the build quality you get with their more expensive XPS series, you do get a lot of value for your money. This laptop is not only budget-friendly, but it offers excellent performance and quality specs to deliver it.
Price, Availability, and Specifications
The Inspiron 15 3000 is a very budget-friendly laptop that is specifically built for excellent on-the-go work performance. The entry model starts at as little as €408 / £339. This model comes with base-level specifications with an 11th generation Intel Core i3-1115G4 CPU and 4GM of RAM. It also comes with 128GB of solid-state drive storage. Therefore, you are getting a laptop that can deliver good performance for the money. However, you can always add to it by upgrading the 4GB RAM to 8GB and it would be sufficient and affordable for a lot of users. While 4GB can be sufficient for a lot of people, 8GB certainly gives much more headroom for those that multi-task using their laptops.
Like all Dell models, there is a multitude of configurations that you could use when selecting a laptop. You will find variously available that will add to the base price. It maxes out with an Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor and 12GB of RAM. It also comes with a whopping 512GB of onboard SSD storage. While you cannot get the i5 variant from Dell’s website, it is being sold on the Amazon marketplace for £814 / €679.
The Inspiron 15 3000 is exactly what you will see on the box. It’s a consumer-grade and affordable laptop that delivers excellent value for the money. It features a large enough display rounding out at 15.6 inches. It also comes with a complete number pad for easy data entry. It also delivers all of the legacy ports you would want from a laptop. What is surprising is how much performance it delivers despite fairly underwhelming specifications.
The model that we reviewed was the i3 model. While we thought it would underperform, it handled basic web browsing, Office use, and all kinds of productivity tasks with ease. We typically use Core i5 models as an entry-level point for most because the i3 series tends to be underpowered. However, the i3 packed into this model is lightyears ahead of where it used to be. The i3 series has certainly become much more functional for productivity and it saves you a lot of money over the more powerful i5 or i7 models.
Regardless of whether you are purchasing it for individual use or your business, it’s a very easy laptop to recommend.
Dell managed to pack a lot of value into the 14-inch body of this model. Not only that, but it’s stylish too. The bezels surrounding the screen are rather thin. While they don’t match the same ultra-thin bezels you’ll find on the more expensive XPS series, they are thin enough for modern design. Because of the thin bezels, you don’t have a smaller screen despite having such a compact and portable body. When you open the laptop, you have a raised screen as the laptop features an ErgoLift hinge. This makes the laptop easier and more comfortable to use as it tilts the keyboard for better ergonomics.
The battery life for the Inspiron 15 3000 is good enough. While it could be better, the battery should deliver a good 6 hours of streaming and use.
The Not So Good
While the Inspiron 15 3000 offers a lot of value in key areas, not everything is good. The unit itself has plenty of ports, but it doesn’t have the newest and perhaps most sought-after USB-C port. Because of this, you don’t get the convenience of carrying one cable with you. It does offer an SD card slot, a headphone jack, and an HDMI port. It even offers three USB Type-A ports on it. However, it’s disappointing that it doesn’t feature a single USB-C port. Maintaining support for legacy ports is crucial for any laptop including budget laptops. However, it would be excellent if Dell could manage to include a USB-C port in future models.
A lot of the best webcams for Windows PC’s tend to use USB-A. As a result, you certainly need support for legacy ports. However, a lot of the newer PC accessories being released are converting to USB-C. This can make it a pain to have to carry around adapters and such.
The laptop lacks Windows Hello support. While you can add a fingerprint reader or even a webcam that has Windows Hello support, it’s not built-in.
Likewise, the trackpad isn’t the best. The trackpad feels a little too loose and it suffers from being too shallow. While the trackpad performs well enough, it’s certainly not as good as the one’s you would find on more expensive models.
This laptop is certainly impressive for its budget-friendly price. It happens to be one of the best laptops available between $300 and $500. However, you will find some competing solutions delivering USB-C and better battery life.
The ASUS Vivobook 15 is one of the top options available. Much like the Inspiron 15 3000, it comes with an excellent 15.6 FHD display and a lot of support for legacy ports. However, it also comes with a built-in fingerprint reader and USB-C support.
The Surface Laptop Go by Microsoft is another excellent budget-friendly option. While it’s pricier than the Inspiron 15 3000, it delivers excellent value for the money. It comes in at $550 and it features a better display, Windows Hello support, and better performance.
Whether you are looking to purchase a laptop for yourself or your business, the Inspiron 15 3000 is an easy solution to recommend. It’s not only budget-friendly, but it doesn’t force you to compromise too much. It would be excellent to get a USB-C port with it, but it doesn’t completely diminish the value proposition the laptop delivers. As long as you don’t view that and built-in Windows Hello support as dealbreakers, it’s a great option for many.