Reviews  

Dell Inspiron M101z

Jayesh Shinde 2011-02-21
70 Good
Price: Rs 29,900
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Page 1: Intro, Design, Usability

The Dell Inspiron M101z is Dell's budget ultraportable or thin and light laptop, measuring 11-inch, slightly bigger than a 10-inch netbook. The easy-to-carry Inspiron M101z ultraportable sports a dual-core AMD processor and better graphics than any netbook we've tested, offering customers an option between a basic netbook and a full-fledged 13- or 14-inch laptop, without burning a hole through their pocket.

Although the Dell Inspiron M101z is a promising 11-inch thin ultraportable laptop under Rs. 30,000, it still comes across as expensive.

Design And Looks
This isn’t the first 11-inch thin and light laptop we’ve tested. The Dell Inspiron M101z budget ultraportable’s form factor is similar to 11.6-inch netbooks we’ve reviewed -- it’s similar to the likes of Lenovo ThinkPad X100e, Acer Aspire 1410 and HP Pavilion dm1. A design highlight of the Inspiron M101z laptop is its forward hinge or prominent spine, much like the Dell Inspiron 14R and Dell Vostro V130 -- lets you grip the laptop nicely while it’s propped open. It isn't exactly sleek, the Inspiron M101z, but it isn't uncomfortably bulky either -- actually, you don't notice its thickness all that much.

Dell Inspiron M101z

Overall, the Inspiron M101z is built well and weighs 1.6-kg with a standard six-cell battery. Our review sample came with a glossy black screen lid -- a fingerprint magnet; luckily Dell offers three more screen lid color options on the Inspiron M101z thin and light laptop. We recommend choosing a lighter shade to mask the smudges on the glossy surface.

The thin and light laptop, though, is beautiful with a plastic-coated-in-metallic-paint palmrest surface contrasting nicely with a lighter shade screen lid. And even though beauty is quite subjective, rest assured the Dell Inspiron M101z isn't an ugly looking laptop.

Usability

The Dell Inspiron M101z comes with a 11.6-inch glossy LED-backlit screen with a 1366x768 pixel resolution -- larger than a 10-inch netbook. Unfortunately, the Inspiron M101z’s display’s brightness was a bit below par. But reading text and watching movies went relatively well on the Inspiron M101z’s widescreen display, especially indoors. The 1.3MP webcam on the Inspiron M101z comes with Dell’s Webcam Central software which adds a bit of fun to videochats.

Dell Inspiron M101z -- screen brightness

For a 11.6-inch thin and light laptop, the Dell Inspiron M101z definitely packs in a bigger, better keyboard than a regular 10-inch netbook. Typing on the Inspiron M101z’s keyboard which sports isolated, chiclet-styled keys is comfortable and akin to typing on a full-fledged keyboard of a 13 or 14-inch laptop. Keyboard deck doesn’t flex either, so a very good keyboard on the Inspiron M101z.

Dell Inspiron M101z laptop keyboard
Dell Inspiron M101z keyboard (left) compared next to the Dell Inspiron Mini 10 netbook

The touchpad of the Inspiron M101z is also pretty good, although we think it could’ve been a tad more wider. But no problems with the touchpad’s surface or feel, or even its clicky mouse buttons.

Dell Inspiron M101z -- touchpad

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