The dog days of summer may be upon us, but back to school season is right around the corner as well. We’ve found a sizzling sale on a near-ideal laptop for students, or anyone else who needs a solid notebook that won’t empty your wallet. Dell’s website is selling a Dell Inspiron 15 3000 laptop for just $352. That’s $77 off its usual price tag, and it comes with far better specs than you usually find in laptops costing $350 or less.
In this price range, your best options are usually Chromebooks, or heavily hobbled Windows laptops with lackluster power, meh memory, or a skimpy screen. Not the Dell Inspiron 15 3000. This notebook comes with an Intel Core i3 processor, an ample 8GB of RAM, and a small, but manageable 128GB SSD. That configuration offers plenty of punch for basic tasks, from basic productivity to email to web browsing. You know, the sort of stuff most folks do every day. (Don’t try triple-A gaming or rendering video on this laptop though.)
Better yet, Dell’s deal comes with a spacious 15.6-inch display at full 1080p resolution. Many low-cost laptops either offer smaller screens or cut the resolution down to unacceptable levels. You won’t run into that issue here, and since the big screen gives the laptop a bigger footprint, the keyboard won’t feel cramped either. It still weighs in under 4 pounds, though.
The notebook ships with Windows 11 Home in S Mode, which restricts you to apps found in Microsoft’s app store. But if you need to install standard desktop software for work, play, or school, switching from S Mode to full-fledged Windows 11 is fast and free.
Bottom line? The Dell Inspiron 15 3000 should be a reliable, yet very budget-friendly workhorse for everyday productivity. That’s exactly what you want for a back to school laptop, and you’d be hard-pressed to find more compelling options in this price range.
Editor’s note: This article was updated to reflect current (still awesome) pricing.