The Dell Inspiron 8500 series has been a popular seller, but the one knock against the model is its hunger for power due to the large screen size. Dell introduces the new Inspiron 8600 series this week that features a Pentium 4-M chip giving the notebook a 30% power advantage over the older 8500 models.
The full story on the Inspiron 8600 is reported by CNet.com
The Round Rock, Texas, PC maker began taking orders Thursday for the Inspiron 8600, which has the same chassis and 15.4-inch wide-angle display as the Inspiron 8500 but switches out that model's Pentium 4-M chip for a more energy-efficient Pentium M. The updated model also comes with expanded graphics options.
Moving to the newer Intel processor gives the Inspiron 8600 a 30 percent improvement in battery life over the previous model, according to Dell, boosting its duration to about 4.5 hours. The Pentium M also allowed the PC maker to add a higher-performance graphics card option, the Nvidia GeForce FX Go5650 with 128MB of memory, the company said.
The Inspiron 8600's opening price will be $1,699, Dell said. Its most basic configuration includes a 1.3GHz Pentium M, a 15.4-inch WXGA (1,280-by-800-pixel) screen, 512MB of RAM, a 40GB hard drive and a combination CD-burner/DVD-ROM drive.
However, the price to the consumer could be reduced or the configuration of the 8600 notebook augmented if special incentives offered by Dell are taken up. A $250 instant rebate is available for purchases of the machine made online through Dell's Web site, for example.
The wide-screen, or wide-aspect-ratio, notebook display the Inspiron notebook uses allows a person to easily view two documents or Web pages that are arranged side by side or watch a DVD movie formatted for a wide screen, Dell has said.
The Inspiron 8500 and Inspiron 8600 models are among only a handful of 15.4-inch wide-screen notebooks available from brand-name manufacturers. HP's Presario x1000 offers similar choices of feature, starting at $1,399. For its part, eMachines pairs a similar screen with an AMD Athlon XP-M processor in its M5310 notebook, which sells for $1,199.
Dell will continue taking orders on the Intel Pentium 4-M based Inspiron 8500 for about two more months, the company said, but will eventually phase it out in favor of the 8600 model.
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