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Dell's New $199 Notebook Takes On Chromebooks

LAS VEGAS—Aimed at students and those who need a no-frills but functional notebook, Dell announced the Inspiron 11 3000 Series, an 11-inch system tailored for those who need to get their homework assignments done, browse the Web, and chat with their friends online. Available now for $199, this Intel Celeron-powered notebook will run Windows 10, and come in three bright colors (red, blue, and white), which will help set it apart from its budget peers.

Inside its glossy—and fingerprint-prone—shell, the Inspiron 11 3000 will have a standard 11.6-inch 1366 x 768 non-touch display. It will be configurable with either an Intel Celeron N3050 or N3700 processor, 2GB or 4GB of RAM, and either 32GB eMMC flash storage, a 128GB SSD, or a 500GB, 5,400-rpm hard drive. Ports include HDMI, one USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0 port, as well as an SD card reader. In a sign of the times, the Inspiron will also come with 802.11ac Wi-Fi as an option.

MORE: Best Laptops Under $500

Despite a relatively meager 32-watt hour 2-cell battery, the Inspiron 11's endurance is currently targeted at between 7 to 9 hours, which is strong for a laptop of any price. However, it'll have to measure up to the Lenovo IdeaPad 100s, our current top budget laptop, which lasted more than 9 hours on a charge.

Measuring 11.5 x 7.7 x 0.78 inches and weighing 2.6 pounds (depending on the configuration), the Inspiron will easily slide into any backpack. 

Compared to all the other high-end notebooks and 2-in-1's announced at CES, a budget 11-inch notebook wouldn't seem to be that big of a deal, but come back-to-school time, chances are a lot more students will be looking at the Inspiron 11 3000 than its much pricier brethren. Stay tuned for our full review of this bargain notebook.

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