updated 09:00 am EDT, Thu August 11, 2011
Dell unveils new Inspiron 13z, 14z notebooks
Dell chose Thursday to remake its most important small notebooks. The 14-inch Inspiron 14z and 13.3-inch Inspiron 13z together slim down compared to Dell's usual and measure just slightly under an inch thick. Some of the size reduction comes from a move to higher-quality parts: they now use aluminum lids and palm rests instead of the plastic common to many notebooks in their class.
Both still manage to fit DVD burners and have home theater extras, such as HDMI out, SRS Premium Sound HD processing, and WiDi (Wireless Display) with an optional adapter on the other end. Bluetooth 3 joins USB 3 among the more modern expansion additions.
The systems run on full-speed Core i3 or i5 processors and can take up to 8GB of RAM. Storage options depend on the system. The 13z is capped at 320GB or 500GB hard drives but has the option of a 128GB SSD for added speed. An SSD isn't an option on the 14z, but it has choices of larger 500GB, 640GB, and 750GB hard drives.
The 14z is available now and starts off at $600 with a 2.2GHz Core i3, 4GB of RAM, and a 500GB disk. So far, the 13z is only available in certain Asian countries and isn't known to have any immediate plans.