Finding a small tower is not easy, Dell describe this as a ‘Small Form Factor Workstation’. I was asked to find a sub £600 small Tower. This however does not actually fill the request but it is a very powerful system that would do everything you need. On the face of it the price is only just over that figure but as it’s sold as a business unit VAT has to be added.
It is 29cm tall 8cm wide and when cables are inserted in the back 30cm deep, so it is very small. However it is very powerful with Intel i3, i5 and i7 processor options. The front has a vertically mounted optical drive and the on/off button to the right of this should be a multi card socket (not on the unit sent to me), below this a 3.5mm headphone socket two USB ports side by side and below these a USB3 port and a USB ‘C’ port.
This flat panel from Dell ticks a lot of boxes it can be viewed Landscape or Portrait, you can connect to it via Display Port, HDMI or USB ‘C’ and it also has USB ports, and for good measure a screen that does take up unnecessary space.
These days a lot of people run their life from a SmartPhone however writing a long email or viewing a large spreadsheet on a phone – however large the screen – is still a strain on the eyes even for those with 20:20 vision. So when in the home or office just connect via USB ‘C’ and life should become easier.
Last year Dell showed their new rugged range in London and as spring dawns one of their offerings arrives for me to give it the once over. Of course it will be in my office and the around surroundings and not as the early sample was in far flung places with very inhospitable conditions when things like battery life were truly life challenging.
It is 34.5x28x5cm and weighs 2694 grams as supplied to me. Unlike most normal notebooks the figures here need some explanation. The width is to the edge of the padding, the depth is to the extent of the non-retractable handle and the width includes the fairly substantial feet. The viewable screen is 30.5x17.5cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 13.8inches. The default screen resolution is 1920x1080 at 150%. It has an Intel Core i5 running at 1.
Like a number of Dell offerings it comes with a choice of hard disk, memory and processor options all under the same name of G5 15. So you can choose exactly what options you want at least until next year and then who knows what.
Not a light machine and while it does have good battery life and worked fine on my Wi-Fi those into gaming will probably use it on mains power in a single place and even plug in the Ethernet. It is 38.5x26.5x2.5cm and weights 2.82kilos. The unit as supplied to me had an Intel i5 8300H CPU running at 2.3GHz with 8GB of RAM a small 128GB SSD drive ‘C’ with around 38GB free and a 1TB hard drive ‘D’. The viewable screen is 34.5x19.
This is neither large nor heavy so ideal to use when out and about. A black sandwich with silver grey slices, it is a Notebook and a Tablet running the latest version of Windows 10 V1803. Three sides of the screen have tiny edges the forth the bass is the less than usual place to find the webcam. There are other surprises like only USB ‘C’ ports.
The Dell XPS 13 "2-in-1" convertible laptop measures 30x19.5x1cm at the front and 1.5cm at the back it weighs 1212 grams. The diagonal imperial measurement is 13inches As this folds back on itself the rear is clear of any ports. The left side has USB ‘C’ and headset 3.5mm socket along with a button to show the current battery state in 20% increments. The front is also clear apart from an LED to show when the unit is on.
While this can be used as a notebook the keyboard is not fixed and the screen would need propping so this Latitude device is really a Tablet with a keyboard attached so probably best described as a Tablet/Notebook to be accurate.
The Dell Latitude 5285 measures 29x21.5x1.3cm and it weighs 1251grams. It has an 82 keyboard with the alpha keys being full size. There is a hinge behind the keyboard that can have the screen upright and no space between the function keys and the screen or the other way and over 1cm gap between the two. Around 1.3cm is the gap between the edges and almost 8cm clear in front of the keyboard with the 10x5.5cm trackpad mounted 8.5cm from the left and 10.5cm from the right side.
For me anyway the extra sound - quality and amount – that Dell can give you from a panel is a big plus if only from the point of desk space and the fact that you no longer need a pair of speakers on your limited amount of desk space.
This 22 inch monitor from Dell measures 49x29x1.5cm and its stand lifts it 10cm from your desk. The notional diagonal imperial measurement is 21½ inches. The area above and to the sides has virtually no border with only 1cm border at the bottom. It is of course a full HD offering (1920x1080) and allows you to connect via HDMI or VGA. The stand is ‘D’ shaped at 24x15cm; this connects to the arm from the panel by a twist screw.
Normally when I hear ‘All In One’ it refers to a printer and scanner unit. This however is a PC everything is built into the touch screen with the only external bits the wireless keyboard and mouse so much less desk space is required.
The overall size is 53.5x33.5x3cm, the stand is 23.5x23.5cm and raises the screen by 6cm. The only other parts are the keyboard and mouse both are wireless controlled by a single tiny USB controller. Apart from one USB 3.1 port, a headphone socket and an SD Card port on the left side bottom edge of the screen everything else is on the rear of the unit. On the right side of the connecting arm are an HDMI, two USB 3.1 and a USB 2 port as well as a small Kensington Lock Port.
This is part of the Dell back to school/university range. A Chromebook is able to do a lot of things that a Windows or Apple computer can do, it can browse the Internet, collect and send emails and you can these days even store word processing and spreadsheets on it. What it cannot do is run Apple or Microsoft programs.
This Dell Chromebook measures 30x20.4x1.5cm and weighs 1290grams. The viewable screen is 25.5x14.5cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 11.6inches. The screen opens to 180 degrees. The base has four enlarged rubber bumps to keep the unit off your desk and allow the speakers to function, these are placed either side at the front of the base and give better sound – and more of it – than a lot of other notebooks.
A flat panel that has speakers is the norm these days, they are normally tiny and do not have much volume, here something different as the speakers fit into the stand of the panel, so they can be larger and also give a far better sound.
The Dell S2418H full HD monitor measures 54x30.5x1.5cm; its stand will raise it from your desk by 10cm. The stand is a frame in the shape of a landscaped ‘D’ and the supplied speaker fits in it .5cm at the front (flat edge) and 3cm at the rear, it has two buttons + and – to control the volume. There is a short grey lead that emerges from the rear of the speaker which connects to the panel; the audio signal is transferred via the HDMI connection from the panel to the speaker.
Having recently told you about a Dell small Tower system with Windows 10 v1703 the next item to cross my desk again from Dell is a notebook in the same Vostro series that also comes with the latest incarnation of Windows 10 v1703.
While it is described as a ‘business’ unit I see no reason while it should not also be a ‘home’ unit. It is 33x23.5x2cm and weighs 1605grams. Apart from the hinge and the rubber strips that form the feet – which are black – it is totally grey, silver grey for the top and bottom and dark grey for the screen surround and keyboard area. This means finger marks tend not to show.
It’s a very long time since I have reviewed anything from Dell and even longer since I have reviewed a Tower system from anyone, in fact if my memory is correct after my last Tower review I actually purchased it and that was running Windows 7. Here this system is running Windows 10 and version 1703 at that.
The Dell Vostro 3650 Desktop Mini Tower is 28cm deep (34cm with leads attached), 15cm wide and 34cm tall. The face has the on/off button, optical drive, two USB3 ports and an SD Card slot. The back has three audio sockets, video connections for VGA and HDMI, two pairs of USB ports and an Ethernet. Four internal external bays and near the base a kettle style mains lead socket. Dell describe the Vostro as a ‘Business System’.
This next offering from the Dell family of products sets out to reduce the amount of office space required for its presence.
I suppose, at a pinch, you could describe this next product, which is the Dell OptiPlex 3050 All-in-One, as a laptop for the desktop. This particular product, which Dell claims to have been “crafted for functionality and flexibility”, consists of a combined screen and system unit partnered with a bog standard tethered keyboard and mouse. An optional extra of a wireless keyboard and mouse is available at an additional cost.
Adding a keyboard to a tablet is becoming a popular trend.
As it title of Latitude 12 Series 7000 2-in-1 might indicate, this Dell product is one of the new breed of hybrid portable offerings which goes by the model number of Latitude 7275. This product has been designed to attempt to give the user the best of both worlds when it comes to working with a tablet and a laptop within a single product. Central to this product is the Tablet with dimensions of 290 x 195 x 9mm (W x H x D) and weighing 638g. This 12.
The Latitude 3470 is a Dell laptop forming part of the 3000 series. This model has been designed for those users looking for a work machine that is reasonable priced.
This Dell 14-inch laptop has an understated appearance. Black in colour, the only real embellished seen on the unit’s casing is the appearance of a Dell logo on the top cover of the unit. Supplied with a two-piece power cord and battery pack, my review sample comes with an Intel Core i3 6100u CPU processor working in conjunction with an Intel HD Graphics 520 GPU. There is 4GB of DDR3 RAM.
A laser printer is often the best and nearly always the quickest for those requiring monochrome textural printout. This offering from Dell can be a USB or network printer.
Image Courtesy of Dell Inc. Should this come with a PC from Dell then they may well have already installed the required software. However it is one of the simplest software installs I have done. First however the packaging in the printer needs to be removed. It is supplied with the toner cartridge already inserted, however you need to remove it to remove the various bits of packing around it.
Dell All In Ones tend to look amazingly bland a cream box, but then this could well get access to the lounge that grey units may be banned from.
Image courtesy Dell Inc.
Unlike most modern units the connection of the USB cable is almost at the beginning of the installation process. Ten minutes later it is completed and I am 606MB of hard disc space down. As soon as it prints the on screen indication reminds me of the software used by Lexmark - this is not derogatory - as their indicators are one of the best around.
This is a very powerful notebook with a reasonable sized screen, put the two together and the weight is not gigantic. Add the ability to work in Media Centre mode and it should suit most.
The biggest task with machines is to match the sent configuration with what is available on their site. I was sent a Intel 2GHz processor with 1GB of RAM and Windows Media Centre Edition of the laptop. The hard disc was shown as 93GB and I assume that was the 100GB option. Dell 640m Sorry to be so vague but I all I get sent is a total insurance value, it would be so nice to have a sheet detailing the parts that make the whole. This is a 14.
If the idea of a desktop replacement machine that truly has five hours of battery life watching DVDs interests you then this could well be for you. Yes 3 DVDs in a row.
While watching three DVD's in a row may not be what everyone wants - or needs - running a DVD tends to put a fair amount of stress on a laptop battery and often it's a struggle to get one DVD watched but I managed to watch three on this laptop one Sunday afternoon, I had only intended two as that would surely drain the battery but it still had 38% left after the second and while it was down to single digits by the time the third was finished it did it and the total ru
This is both a small and light notebook, however it has a more than acceptable 1280x768 screen resolution and it is probably small enough to fit in a poachers pocket
Sometimes it is hard to equate the product advertised with the one looked at. This is certainly the case here and while the differences are often small, working out 'what or why' is somewhat harder. After several requests something I saw last year arrived securely packed and well presented. All the extras in a box within a box and the notebook well protected in the bottom of the outer box.