updated 12:00 am EDT, Tue July 29, 2008
Dell Inspiron 13 and 518
Dell tonight is continuing a string of major PC updates with both a new Inspiron notebook as well as a desktop. The Inspiron 13 promises to challenge the MacBook and other 13-inch portables by pushing the cost well below others while also providing dimensions and features that aren't always carried over into budget notebooks. The system weighs a relatively light 4.5 pounds but still finds room for a slot-load DVD drive, touch-sensitive media controls, and a sturdier, one-piece "barrel" hinge versus the two-hinge design of larger Inspirons.
Full specifications aren't immediately available, though the system is known to add an 8-in-1 card reader; better Wi-Fi, a webcam, and Bluetooth are options. The system will be priced at as little as $699 with a unique model tailored for Wal-Mart that ships on August 3rd, while higher-priced specifications ship later the same month from Dell's online store.
A similar move upscale takes place with the Inspiron 518 mini tower. It has a more ornate appearance than the silver of the Inspiron 530 with a glossy black case and chrome trim, but also brings quad-core speed to a relatively low price level with the options of 2.4GHz or 2.5GHz Core 2 Quad processors. A top-mounted two-port USB hub is in place to help users attach peripherals when the tower sits on the floor instead of a desk. The system will hold up to a 500GB hard drive and should be ready as of Tuesday, starting at $349 with 1GB of memory, a 2GHz Intel chip, and a 160GB hard drive.