AT A GLANCE
If you only have little flexibility in your spending budget and need a basic PC for lightweight computing, the Dell Inspiron i3646-1000BLK will fit the bill. It is among Dell's Series 3000 desktops that are meant for places where space is limited thanks to the small chassis.
The Dell Inspiron i3646-1000BLK is one of the latest entrants into the 2014 model 3000 series of compact desktop PCs. If you’re looking for an inexpensive yet decent secondary PC that will handle basic daily tasks: preparing college assignment on word and excel, email and Web browsing tasks, then the Inspiron i3646 is worth a look.
This small-form-factor desktop is among the most inexpensive system around, with appealing specs such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi networking capabilities. That said, it runs on Celeron processor, comes with 4GB of RAM, and integrated graphics that don’t offer much real-estate for raw computing power, and the diminutive chassis doesn’t promise much upgrade potential.
If you are operating in an area with limited space, the Inspiron 3000’s 10.4 by 3.9 by 13.7-inch (HWD) chassis is ideal for you. On an office desk, the matte-black chassis with a glossy-black finish and a silver trim looks great. It is one of the cool designs we’ve seen so far for the price range, with side-by-side vertical panels that pop open when pressed.
The Inspiron i3646 has very little room for expansion. It doesn’t have PCI slots on the motherboard, nor does it have any open SATA ports for additional hard drive. The lone memory module is populated by a 4GB RAM, though it supports upto 8GB. Available connectivity options include 4 x USB 2.0 ports, 1 x USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port, a VGA port, Dell Wireless-N 1705 802.11bgn- 1×1 and 2.4GHz, Bluetooth 4.0 to hook up with Bluetooth enabled devices- printers, speakers etc. Wireless networking comes by way of an 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0 module installed on the motherboard.
Dell Inspiron is powered by a 2.41GHz Intel Celeron J1800 processor, 4GB of RAM, and integrated Intel HD Graphics solution, which is a good combination for ample power for home computing needs. However, the system is quite slow when it comes to loading RAM-intensive games and applications such as PhotoShop CS6 and Dreamweaver. This leaves it behind its close its bigger brother the Intel Core i5-powered Dell Inspiron i3647-4616BK and the popular Lenovo C260 Touch, which are real powerhorses but cost less.
The 4GB DDR3L memory at 1600MHz (upgradable to 8GB max) decent for multitasking, with the 500GB SATA hard drive at 5400rpm (rotations per minute) giving you adequate storage space for movies, alongside fast read and write times for most computer users. The Windows 8.1 operating system is a decent platform for daily use, but I find it odd on a non-touch screen, but it still remains the operating system of choice for many users.
Since the monitor isn’t bundled into the package, I suggest that you get a touch-feature monitor such as the Dell S2240T to enjoy the full functionality of Windows 8 comfortably. The Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail) on the Inspiron 3000 Series aren’t one of the best, as they suffice as the low-end built-in Bay Trail graphics card bundled with Waves MaxxAudio for sound.
If you only have little flexibility in your spending budget and need a basic PC for lightweight computing, the Dell Inspiron i3646-1000BLK will fit the bill. It is among Dell’s Series 3000 desktops that are meant for places where space is limited thanks to the small chassis. It will fit almost anywhere, dorm rooms, small apartments, office desk or any place with limited space. Its wireless capabilities let you connect to the Internet and other peripherals without necessarily cluttering your room with cables.
This system will handle most basic computing needs, but you’ll have to bear with its sluggish performance. Additionally, you’ll have to live with this level of performance as it doesn’t offer much upgrade potential. If your budget allows, the Dell Inspiron i3647-4616BK offers much better performance, thanks to a Core i5 processor, a larger hard drive and has some real estate for future expansion.