Dell Inspiron 3891 i3 Compact Desktop (10th Gen Intel Core i3-10105 Processor, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD)
- Bargain price
- Perky Intel Core i3 CPU
- Runs quietly
- Built-in DVD burner and Wi-Fi 6
- Includes 12-month McAfee subscription
- Only one HDMI port
- Integrated graphics limit gaming potential
- Base model supports only one internal storage drive
- Nonstandard power supply
Budget desktops often skimp on processing power, but Dell’s Inspiron Desktop 3891 doesn’t. This family-friendly microtower delivers a reasonably powerful Intel Core i3 CPU, Wi-Fi 6, and Windows 11 for just $392 as tested. The price even includes a DVD burner and a 12-month McAfee LiveSafe subscription. The Inspiron’s integrated graphics mean it won’t play many games well, but for general use, it does just fine. Overall, the Inspiron Desktop 3891 is a convincing argument not to spend more for a basic PC and earns our budget desktop Editors’ Choice award alongside the Acer Aspire TC-895-UA91, a slightly more expensive tower with more storage.
Simple but respectable—that’s the Inspiron Desktop 3891. The Dell looks more upscale than its price would suggest; its black case is appropriate anywhere, and the cross-patterned front panel adds flair.
As a microtower, the Inspiron is appreciably smaller than a mid-tower desktop at 12.8 by 6.1 by 11.5 inches (HWD). Some mini-towers are even trimmer—the HP Slim Desktop (S01-aF0020) is 10.6 by 3.7 by 11.9 inches—but this Dell is more powerful and upgradable.
Front-panel ports include two USB 3.2 Gen 1 (one Type-A and one Type-C), two legacy USB 2.0 ports, and a headset jack. The power button is next to them. It’s a satisfactory selection.
Around back you’ll find two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, two more USB 2.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, a VGA video output for legacy monitors and projectors, and line-out audio. Modern video output is unfortunately limited to a single HDMI port, so forget about doing a dual-monitor setup. The HDMI port follows the older version 1.4b spec, limiting 4K resolution output to a slideshow-like 30Hz, so don’t bother hooking up a 4K monitor or TV.
If you want more video connectors, the Inspiron has a PCI Express x16 slot, so you could theoretically install a dedicated graphics card. But as its 260-watt power supply doesn’t have any GPU power connectors (and is itself limited in power, proprietary, and not easily changed), you’d be limited to cards that can be powered solely by the PCI Express slot. (Dell actually offers this tower with a discrete Nvidia GeForce GPU and a beefier power supply, but those models are far out of budget territory.)
Getting inside the Inspiron is easily done by loosening two thumbscrews on its left panel. The Intel B560-based MicroATX motherboard has two DDR4-2666 DIMM slots, which accept up to 64GB of memory (two 32GB DIMMs; our model has a lonely 8GB module).
There’s also an M.2 slot occupied by a 256GB PCI Express Gen 3 solid-state drive. It’s a tiny Type-2230 (30mm) model, but the slot accepts up to Type-2280 (80mm) drives. You’ll also find a PCI Express x1 slot for expansion cards.
Unfortunately, adding more internal storage isn’t practical. There are SATA power cables, but Dell only includes a drive cage if the desktop is ordered with a hard drive from the get-go.
The Inspiron’s only cooling fan is the one on the CPU cooler, which is smartly covered by a shroud that funnels its exhaust outside as opposed to venting it in the case. It’s practically silent even during intense use.
Performance on the Cheap: Testing the Inspiron Desktop 3891
As reviewed, the $392 Inspiron Desktop 3891 from Dell.com includes a quad-core, 3.7GHz (4.4GHz turbo) Core i3-10105 processor, Intel UHD 630 integrated graphics, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, Windows 11 Home, and a one-year warranty. It also bundles a 12-month McAfee LiveSafe anti-malware subscription and a USB keyboard and mouse.