We love how quick and easy it is to add RAM and storage to the Dell Inspiron 15 3511
It's no secret that PC makers have relatively wide margins when it comes to selling laptops with higher RAM or storage options. Configuring 16 GB of RAM instead of 8 GB or 1 TB of storage instead of 512 GB at checkout will almost always cost more than simply doing the upgrades yourself at home. Consequently, many laptop models have been designed to dissuade end-user upgrades via hidden screws, uncommon screwheads, or anti-tamper stickers. This is why we were surprised to see the Dell Inspiron 15 3511 take an about face turn when it comes to end-user servicing.
As detailed in our review here, the bottom panel on the Inspiron 15 3511 is much easier to remove than on most other laptops regardless of price range. Its edges and corners are rounded instead of sharp meaning that you don't even need a sharp edge or plastic card to safely detach the panel without damaging the chassis. Once inside, users will have direct access to both SODIMM slots and both storage bays (M.2 2280 + 2.5-inch SATA III). Competing models like the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15 or Asus VivoBook 15 tend to come with soldered RAM, just one SODIMM slot, or no secondary storage option at all.
Since the Inspiron 15 3511 is so easy to upgrade, it wouldn't actually be a terrible idea to configure with low RAM, low storage, and a high-performance Core i7 CPU. You will almost surely save some cash by performing the RAM and storage upgrades yourself instead of configuring it directly from Dell.