The match has been light on the powder keg that is Windows 365 punctuated at Igel Disrupt 2023 as seen by Cowboy Brinkhoff. With a slew of flagship features like Boot to Cloud PC (which we hope its in the next major Windows release and the upcoming Windows 365 Offline Mode), we know Windows 365 is going to really take off. Something that doesn’t get a ton of attention is the physical endpoint that gets you there. Today, we’re going to cover a new great Dell offering with their ARM64-powered Inspiron 3420 that I think will be the perfect gateway to Windows 365. We’ll cover its specs, first impressions, and a demo of unbox to Windows 365 in less than 15 minutes:
With a slew of flagship features like Boot to Cloud PC (which we hope its in the next major Windows release and the upcoming Windows 365 Offline Mode), we know Windows 365 is going to really take off. Something that doesn’t get a ton of attention is the physical endpoint that gets you there. Today, we’re going to cover a new great Dell offering with their ARM64-powered Inspiron 3420 that I think will be the perfect gateway to Windows 365. We’ll cover its specs, first impressions, and a demo of unbox to Windows 365 in less than 15 minutes.
What is this new Dell Laptop About?
The new Dell Laptop has finally hit that we’ve been waiting for. Dell’s first machine with the Snapdragon processor has finally arrived. The specs are pretty simple:
- Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 Compute Platform
- Adreno 690 Graphics Card
- 14.0-inch FHD (1920 x1080) Anti-Glare LED Backlight Non-Touch Narrow Border WVA Display
- 8 GB 2133MHz LPDDR4x Memory
- 256 GB, M.2, PCIe NVMe, SSD Hard Drive
- USB 3.2 Gen2 Type C x2
- USB 2.0 Type A
- Headset Jack
- Qualcomm QCA6390, 2×2, 802.11ax, MU-MIMO, Bluetooth wireless card
- 2 Cell, 40 Wh Battery
The most important part for me is that it’s recognized as an EPEAT Silver-registered product meeting criteria for environmental issues. Additionally, it uses recycled plastic (up to 13.3% post-consumer recycled content) and ships with packaging made with up to 98.2% recycled or renewable content.
What’s the Big Deal with the Processor?
The Snapdragon processor has some major benefits. Let’s start with performance and battery life.
The processor combined with the Adreno GPU is designed to provide superior performance and battery life. The machine can provide up to 25+ continuous hours of work, which is twice of a normal laptop. Along with that, you get superior performance running on this machine.
Additionally, it provides enterprise-grade security with full Windows 10 support (up to Windows 11 Enterprise if needed), Windows Hello support, and platform support for Hypervisor and Secured-core PCs.
The reality is having a processor that can deliver you 14+ hours (Dell touts 14 hours of HDD video) coupled with a powerful Cloud PC potentially up to 32 GB of RAM is a lethal combination of compute efficiency. Couple that with its boot times, and mobile-esque user experience and it’s a no-brainer.
First Impressions with the Dell Inspiron 3420
The big change for me was figuring out exactly what Windows 11 S Mode is.
Basically, Windows 11 S Mode is a streamlined version of Windows that enhances security and performance by locking it down to the app store. That was a non-starter for me as I needed Okta Verify for my password-less authentication into Azure/Windows 365.
Luckily, switching out of S-mode is easy. The major key is knowing that you cannot go back. I recommend creating a restore point in the event you want to move back.
As you will see in the demo, all I’m doing for these machines is installing Windows 365, Okta Verify, and registering Verify. Otherwise, I’m keeping it simple and app-free. This helps keep my machine lightweight, prolong battery life, and achieve it’s true goal.
Overall, I’ve been very impressed in my first week with this new Dell machine. Its fast and I’m never waiting for boot or anything along those lines. The essential idea is that a PC built on ARM64 focuses like a mobile device, including wait times, response times, etc. and is a great travel companion.
One other thing I realized after messing around with the OS quite a bit is to just keep it on Home. I don’t want it on Pro, or enroll it. Let’s use it like it’s intended. I have no interest in connecting it to work or school. I just want to keep it simple and let it work its magic.
Dell Inspiron 3420 to Windows 365 in Under 15 Minutes Demo
As you saw in the demo, (I’m glad I finally had a good reason to use time acceleration and timers on a video) that it is a pretty easy onboarding procedure. Sure, I had to log in a few times as I was getting Okta Verify setup, but no huge deal. On subsequent login, it’s just a PIN (because the laptop doesn’t have a camera that supports Face ID), and I am cooking with gas! I love the experience and once new capabilities hit this year it is a great option for just $550 to deliver a green option that gives me access to all of my work content without any MDM enrollment and putting my experience as its priority.