Dell Launches Inspiron 11z

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Today Dell officially took the wraps off its first CULV System: the Inspiron 11z. We took a first look at this attractive thin and light notebook with an 11-inch screen designed to fill the gap between netbooks and larger budget notebooks. At a price of just $399, Dell might have a winner on its hands.

The Inspiron 11z is the first Dell ultraportable notebook to blend netbook portability with full-featured laptop capability. It weighs 3.05 lbs. and at roughly an inch thin it’s easy to carry, yet has the capability to deliver smooth HD video playback and snappier performance with your applications. The biggest differences between a netbook and the new Inspiron 11z are inside. Most netbooks feature the Intel Atom processor and GMA 950 graphics while the Inspiron 11z is based on the new Intel CULV processor family combined with more memory and improved graphics to deliver better performance.

Many consumers wondered what Dell had in store after Dell discontinued the Inspiron Mini 12 earlier this year … the Inspiron 11z is the answer. Consumers have been asking for a netbook-like device with a netbook price point that is capable of handling traditional laptop activities (like full HD video and multitasking). The Inspiron 11z does just that with a starting price of just $399 in the U.S. on and starting Aug. 25 will be available in Carphone Warehouse in the U.K. and the Phone House in France.

While the Inspiron Mini series of netbooks are designed as “companion PCs” (miniature laptops that are easy to slip into a bag or briefcase but can’t replace a full-featured notebook) the Inspiron 11z has all the power of a traditional budget notebook in a small, easy-to-carry design. Netbooks offer slower performance and certain types of HD video playback will stutter because of the limitations of the Intel Atom processor and Intel GMA 950 graphics. The Inspiron 11z doesn’t suffer from these limitations thanks to a new Intel CULV processor and Intel GS45 Integrated Graphics.

One potential issue we noticed with the pre-production Inspiron 11z is that users will have a hard time making their own upgrades. Dell sacrificed the typical RAM expansion and hard drive expansion doors on the bottom of the notebook in order to make the Inspiron 11z as thin (and as low cost) as possible. This means you will have to disassemble the entire bottom of the notebook if you want to perform your own upgrades.

Right side view of the Inspiron 11z: 3-in-1 card reader, audio jacks, two USB ports, power jack, and Kensington lock slot.

Left side view of the Inspiron 11z: Ethernet, HDMI out, and USB port.

A few more facts about the Inspiron 11z – as I mentioned, today you can purchase a pre-configured system for $399 including the following specifications:

  • Intel Celeron 723 processor (1.2GHz/800MHz FSB/1MB cache)
  • 2GB DDR2 memory
  • 250GB (5400 rpm) hard drive
  • Built in Wi-Fi, 1.3MP Webcam
  • 11.6-inch HD (1366×768) display (WLED)
  • 28WHr battery with approximately 3 hours of battery life
  • Windows Vista Home Premium WITH free upgrade kit to Windows 7
  • Dimensions:
    • Height: 0.92″ (235mm) front / 1.02″ (258mm) back (with 3 cell battery)

    • Depth: 8.43″ (214mm)

    • Width: 11.5″ (292mm)

At the time of lauch the Inspiron 11z will only be available in Obsidian Black, but more colors will likely become available later this year.

There will be more configuration options down the road. The Inspiron 11z is only the second member of Dell’s “Z family” of notebooks with thin and light with great battery life space – so stay tuned, we’ll have more coverage of the Z-series notebooks in the future.



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