Dell Inspiron 11 3000 Series

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Sat, 13 Dec 2014 10:03:10 GMT  <== Computers ==> 

I received yesterday a Dell Inspiron i3147-3750sLV 11.6-Inch 2 in 1 Convertible Touchscreen Laptop from Amazon. Cost me $380 plus New York state sales tax. I'm typing this post on it. It's a cute little thing. I named it "Midget". The keyboard is a little smaller than full-size, but due to shorter-stroke keys, makes my typing less error-prone than my 15" Asus laptop. I bought it to have a machine that will work on an airplane. The 15" laptop doesn't fit in the tiny space between the seat in front of me and me, causing my to curl up my arms in a way that downright hurts after an hour or less of typing.

I chose this model because I read that it runs Ubuntu well. And so it does. I installed Ubuntu 14.10 from a USB flash drive I created on Thursday. It can also dual-boot to the supplied Windows 8.1, but I doubt I'll do that very often.

The "2 in 1 Convertible Touchscreen" means that you can fold the keyboard back behind the monitor, like the Lenova Yoga, but $130 cheaper. Ubuntu doesn't offer an on-screen keyboard, so it's only useful in that mode in Windows, but it makes an OK tablet, except that you must touch the screen very softly to get touches to register, something my daughter is good at but me not so much.

It's got a 4-core Pentium N3430 CPU, running at 2.16GHz. Plenty fast enough for the coding and web surfing I plan to do with it. For $140 more you can get the same machine with an Intel Core I3 processor, which I guess is faster.

The built-in speakers are tinny-sounding, but louder than most builtin laptop speakers, and it has Bluetooth, so I can use my Sharkk boombox for good-enough portable sound.

It weighs only 3 pounds and is purported to have a 7-hour battery life, likely a little less with my typical as-bright-as-I-can-get-it use.

Nowhere near as nice a computing environment as my 27" iMac with Apple's wonderful keyboard, but not bad for occasional travel.

Dell Inspiron 11 3000

Click on image for hi-res version

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Comments (2):

How did you install Ubuntu?

Submitted by NT on Sun, 18 Jan 2015 01:56:22 GMT

Hi, I bought this same Dell i3147. I created the install usb thumbdrive. How do you install this so that it doesn't erase windows 8.1? I can't find the option to install Ubuntu alongside of windows? Can you explain how you did this? Thanks

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1) Boot from USB key.

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Sun, 18 Jan 2015 22:11:08 GMT

1) Boot from USB key. I used Ubuntu 14.10.
2) Choose "Install Ubuntu"
3) Choose language
4) Connect to wifi network (or not)
5) Choose options (Download updates, Install third-party software)
6) Choose to install Ubuntu 14.10 with Windows

I don't know how the option in step 6 is spelled, since I no longer have a bare system to try it on, but one option will be "Erase disk and install Ubuntu", warning that "This will delete all your programs, documents, photos, music, and any other files in all operating system." Do NOT choose that option.

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