updated 08:35 am EST, Thu January 3, 2008
Dell Crystal and Inspiron
(Updated with DisplayPort info) Dell on Thursday jumpstarted its CES efforts with one of its most unique displays to date as well as a reworked version of its most popular notebook. The Crystal is Dell's first designer LCD and is designed to be as unintrusive as possible while offering a full media setup: built with a glass frame about 4mm (0.15 inches) thick, the touch controls, wiring, and speakers are all built into the frame surface and allow Dell to create the illusion of a "bare" LCD without the associated clutter. Only one cable typically needs to leave the back of the screen, Dell says. Quality is also evident in the panel itself; though most 22-inch LCDs offer poor color reproduction, the Crystal supplies about 98 percent of the NTSC color gamut and produces a 2,000:1 contrast ratio without sacrificing a 2ms gray-to-gray pixel response time.
The screen also boasts the DisplayPort technology featured on a concept display last year and will support future video cards that allow just a single cable to supply audio and video; it additionally finds room for HDMI input with audio as well as a standard DVI connector. A subtle, embedded 2-megapixel webcam is included along with a USB hub for attaching peripherals. The Texas PC company sees the Crystal as a premium design and is pricing it at $1,199. A release date is not yet available.
Dell has also formally launched the 15.4-inch Inspiron 1525: though already launched early in Australia, the system is more than just a speed upgrade, according to the PC maker. The new model is roughly 25 percent smaller and half a pound lighter than the 1520 it replaces, making it a better fit for travelers. It also extends Dell's personalized display lids to include four special art patterns.
The system upgrade is more than just cosmetic and includes options such as internal Wireless USB for the newest peripherals as well as a slight performance upgrade across the board; gone, however, are options for Blu-ray or dedicated video, which are now limited to the thicker Inspiron models and the XPS line. Price is the selling point with a base system launching at $499 with a 1.86GHZ Celeron M, 512MB of memory, an 80GB hard disk, and a DVD/CD-RW drive; options boost it as far as a 2GHz Core 2 Duo with 4GB of memory, a 250GB hard disk, and a DVD burner. The 1525 should ship in the last week of January.