updated 08:45 am EDT, Tue August 18, 2009
Dell Inspiron 11z
With little fanfare, Dell this morning has launched its first notebook based on Intel's CULV (Consumer Ultra Low Voltage) platform. The Inspiron 11z costs as much as a netbook but uses an ultra-low voltage 1.2GHz Celeron that Dell estimates is about 40 percent faster than a 1.6GHz Atom. It also has a larger 11.6-inch, 1366x768 screen and faster GS45 integrated graphics, but isn't tangibly bulkier at about 1 inch thick and just over 3 pounds in weight.
Moving to the faster platform pushes Dell to use Windows Vista Home Premium instead of the older, smoother-running XP, but in return the PC builder outfits a stock $399 system with 2GB of RAM and a 250GB hard drive. Costs are largely kept down by using a basic 3-cell battery and 802.11g Wi-Fi, though the system does have a 1.3-megapixel webcam and HDMI output as standard.
At present, few options exist for the 11z outside of an external DVD burner, though as a consequence the notebook is considered one of Dell's FastTrack systems and should ship almost immediately.