The Dell Chromebook 11 is neither a bold new move for Chrome OS nor does it add any revolutionary quirks to the Chromebook hardware. This is simply a solid laptop that's well built and attractive. The Chromebook design has finally settled into a groove, allowing manufacturers like Dell, and more recently Samsung, craft more appealing aesthetics.
However, it's clear that Chrome OS has not matured yet. The platform is almost three years old, and still Google needs to clean up the Chrome Web Store – not to mention attract more third-party applications – if it has any hope of appealing its operating system appeal to a wider audience than students and professionals for light office work.
While there's nothing amazing or unique about the Dell Chromebook 11 on paper, it packs unparalleled battery life for Chrome OS machines. When I first unplugged the laptop and clicked over to the battery meter, I was taken aback. Half a day seemed preposterous, but no matter what sort of tasks I gave the machine, it just chewed them up and bounced back ready for more.
There's also a lot to like about the design of the Chromebook. Although it isn't breaking any new ground, the attractive charcoal gray shell with the soft rubbery finish on the laptop's palm rests and edges blend together well to create a suave package. Taking everything into account, Dell did not make many offensive missteps with its first Chromebook; it's exactly the well-crafted laptop you'd expect from the company.
Unless you like looking at the world through blue-colored glasses, the Dell Chromebook 11 could definitely use some work on the display front. It's a noticeable tint that makes every photo look cooler than it actually is, and it's even noticeable on most white backgrounds. And though it's no fault on the laptop itself, Chrome OS still isn't a fully featured operating system, and I can only hope more apps will continue to fill out the platform in the future.
The Dell Chromebook 11 is an affordable machine that does not feel or look like it was made on a budget. Compared to its competitors, this Dell falls in line with the specs already set by other Chrome laptops on the market. At the same time, it also has two USB 3.0 ports, matching the same record the Toshiba Chromebook set recently in our review. What sets it apart, though, is its impressive longevity, which makes it perfect for anyone who wants to get away from the outlet with a mobile hotspot in tow.
I'd highly recommend checking out what Dell has on offer before the Acer C720P Chromebook or HP Chromebook 11. The Toshiba is also a fine choice for anyone who wants a larger screen, and they won't have to worry much about lugging around a larger and heavier machine. For school and/or leisure, the Dell Chromebook 11 is a no brainer. For now, Dell leads the Chromebook class with the best-looking and longest-lasting Chrome laptop yet.