Dell's Inspiron 11z is attractively priced, but this laptop has a catch

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Dell's Inspiron 11z is attractively priced, but this laptop has a catch

Dell's Inspiron 11z is one of the cheapest Intel CULV-based machines on test this month and, as a result, looks aren't its forte. Open its plasticky lid, however, and you'll find one of the nicest screens this month.

The panel boasts a native resolution of 1366 x 768 and colours were bright and even, with good accuracy and balance.

The Dell's media credentials are further enhanced by its speakers, which are the best we've heard this month. A clear mid-range, a surprising amount of bass and plenty of volume put the Dell's audio output streets ahead of rivals.

Specifications are up there with the best too. Intel's 1.3GHz Pentium Dual Core SU4100 appears in a host of pricier rivals, here scoring 0.66 in our benchmarks, and it's backed up by 2GB of RAM and a 320GB hard disk.

Battery life is good, too. The 11z lasted for eight hours in our light use benchmark and just over three in our heavy use test.

Elsewhere, though, it's a different story altogether. Its chassis is well built, and the keyboard is well-laid out with responsive keys. But it's all ruined by the touchpad. Dell has scrapped the sensible idea of separate buttons and, instead, integrated them into the bottom corners of the pad itself.

This wouldn't be such a problem if the buttons were responsive, but that's far from the case here: they're stiff and awkward to click without making the cursor jump all over the screen, and mar what's an otherwise perfectly competent laptop.

It's all such a shame, because the Dell Inspiron 11z is attractively priced, but we wouldn't recommend anyone buy a laptop with such an atrocious touchpad.

Dell Inspiron 11z
4 6
Verdict
An affordable laptop whose appeal is ruined by its odious trackpad
Performance
Battery Life
Features & Design
Value for money
Overall
Specs
$799
• Price: 799 • CPU model/brand: Intel Pentium SU4100 • CPU speed: 1.3Ghz • Memory capacity: 2GB 800Mhz DDR2 RAM • Hard drive capacity: 320GB • Graphics type: Intel GMA 4500M • Screen size: 11.6in • Screen resolution: 1366 x 768 • Weight: 1.54kg • Dimensions WDH: 293 x 213 x 49mm • Operating system: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit • Manufacturer: Dell • Supplier: Dell
This review appeared in the June, 2010 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine
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