updated 12:35 pm EDT, Thu July 9, 2009
Dell FastTrack and Artwork
Dell this morning kicked off its first-ever offerings of fast-ship PCs. Offered under the FastTrack banner, the systems can't be customized but ship by the next business day, eliminating the delay of two weeks or more that often accompanies ordering a system from Dell. The approach is based on the popularity of Dell's custom-order configurations and should be continuously refreshed to mirror what customers actually want.
On launch day, the FastTrack lineup includes four models. The Inspiron Mini 10v ships in its usual $299 base trim with a 1.6GHz Atom, 1GB of RAM and a 120GB hard drive. An Inspiron 537 tower ships for $499 (on sale) with a 2.5GHz Pentium dual-core, 3GB of RAM, a 320GB hard drive and a 17-inch LCD. Two Inspiron notebooks finish the series, with an Inspiron 13 discounted to $599 coming with a 2GHz Pentium dual-core, 3GB of memory and a 320GB disk; the Inspiron 15 at $579, again discounted, has virtually the same features but totes both its larger display as well as slightly faster integrated graphics and 802.11n Wi-Fi instead of 802.11g.
In addition to the sped-up shipping for these models, Dell says it has opened up its Design Studio section to let buyers customize the look of the Inspiron 15. The service was previously only available for Studio models and now gives the entry notebook a choice of the 200 artist-made lid designs already on tap. Choosing one of the special designs adds about $60 to the price of the portable.