I’ve been using a Mac for more than 5 years and never thought I would go back to using a Windows laptop or desktop. When Intel offered me the opportunity to become part of the #Intel2in1 program, I couldn’t say no. I’m impressed by the device, and think it might be ideal for someone heading off to college. Here’s why.In my first post about Life With the Dell Venue 11 Pro (read it), I shared my absolute surprise at how impressed I was with the system. It is very much a system in which the sum of the parts is the winning aspect. And while speaking to a friend whose eldest child is headed to college, I realized there were numerous reasons it makes a compelling option.
It is Both Laptop and a Tablet
When I first encountered the Intel2in1 laptop, I was skeptical about its ability to function as both a laptop and a tablet. I expected that it would be a case of “OK at both, but not great at either”. I’ve been happily surprised.
On the laptop side of things, my 11” Dell works beautifully. The keyboard dock has a phenomenal feel, is comfortable to use, holds the screen at a decent angle and, because it has a battery, it doubles the run time of the device. That means that a fully charged tablet and keyboard battery dock can get any student you an entire day of classes and well into the night. In other words, it is truly impressive.
On the tablet front, while I’m still getting used to the device, the more I use it the more comfortable and impressed I am. It is speedy, almost all the apps I need are available, and it is nicely responsive to touch. I purchased a stylus, and while I am not overwhelmed with this aspect of it, I can live with that as a small issue.
Travel Light when Need Be
One of the great features of this device is the fact that you can usually use the tablet on its own, and you can leave the keyboard/battery dock at home. If you want to be traveling light, this is a phenomenal option. Better still, if you are in a location with a separate Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, you can connect them to the tablet and have your laptop without actually having to bring the laptop portion (that is the keyboard) with you.
Because this is a fully Windows laptop you can use pretty much any peripheral you want. It has a USB port on either side of the screen, so connecting multiple devices isn’t an issue.
The price of my Dell laptop was a bit of a shock to me. Because this is one of the higher-end models – it has a Core i5 processor, 128GB of storage and it shipped with the keyboard/battery dock, this machine comes in at about the $1100. That eliminates any notion of a Windows-based computer having a price advantage over a similarly equipped MacBook. In fact, an 11″ MacBook Air with 4GB RAM and a 128GB of storage is $200 LESS! The difference here is that the screen on this system blows the MacBook Air out of the water. In addition the Dell Venue’s flexibility to serve as both a laptop and a tablet is something Apple cannot match. In addition, if a student wants a Mac laptop and a tablet, then they still need to go to the expense of purchasing the MacBook Air for $900 AND the tablet. If they go for an iPad Air, it is a minimum of $500. That brings the price to about 1,400 dollars, which is significantly more than this system.
It Feels Robust
One of my issues with the MacBook Air is that it doesn’t feel like a robust machine. It is thin and light, and it has a beautiful design, but it always felt a bit delicate to me. The Dell Venue Pro 11 laptop/tablet combination is anything but delicate. The soft-touch material gives it a great sense of feel, and the build-quality is sure to impress.
My system doesn’t have integrated 4G mobile data, but that is an option for those who need it. That kind of connectivity is nice, and it is something that Apple still doesn’t seem to be interested in offering.
#Intel2in1 Is Actually a #3in1 Device
Dell offers a desktop docking station for this system. And while it is surprisingly pricey, it does offer an added level of flexibility that is bound to impress. It means you can get to your office or your dorm room, put the computer into the dock, and immediately have it connected to a large screen, full keyboard and separate mouse.
You truly can get the best of all computing worlds in a single machine.
When you purchase a Mac, whatever amount of internal storage is there on day one is the amount of internal storage you get. Yes, with the 13 inch MacBook Air and MacBook Pro you can put something in to the SD slot, but it will be sticking out, and that memory doesn’t become part of the computer itself. If you purchase an iPad, then you are stuck with whatever storage is there, and there is no option for expandability. My system ships with 128 gigabytes of storage, but there is also a micro SD slot that can be used to add even more storage. It is integrated into the device itself, so once something is in the micro SD slot you won’t know it’s there but will enjoy be added storage capacity.
In short, if you have a child who is headed off to college and is in need of a new computer, it is worth taking a look at the Intel2in1 laptop tablet combinations.
Intel 2 in 1
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