Dell Refreshes Inspiron, Vostro Laptops

dll vostro laptop notebook ultralight
Dell Vostro V131
Dell on Thursday rolled out two new laptops for its Inspiron and Vostro lineups with prices that start at less than $600. The company says the new PCs are designed for users who want "ultramobile" and "ultrathin" laptops.

The 14z features modern specs such as a Sandy Bridge Core i3 or i5 processor and several USB 3.0 ports, but the device tips the scales at 5 pounds. The Vostro V131, meanwhile, may impress with its thin profile that measures 0.83 inches at its thickest point (the $1000 MacBook Air is a little thinner at 0.68 inch), but you'll have to deal with a much slower 1.1 GHz Celeron processor.

Dell Inspiron 14z

dell laptop inspiron 14z
Inspiron 14z
The best of the two new laptops, the 14z has a 14-inch display with 1366-by-768 resolution, your choice of a Sandy Bridge 2.2 GHz Intel Core i3-2330M or 2.3 GHz Core i5-2410M, and 4 or 8 GB RAM. Ports include two USB 3.0, one USB 2.0, mini DisplayPort, HDMI, and an SD card reader (also supports MS and MMC).

You also get a DVD player, 1-megapixel Webcam, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0. Storage options are a 500GB, 640GB, 750GB hard drive or a 128GB solid-state drive. The Inspiron 14z comes standard with Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) and pricing starts at $600.

Dell on Thursday also launched a 13.3-inch version of the 14z called the 13z, currently available only in Asia.

Vostro V131

The small business-focused Vostro V131 includes a 13.3-inch display with 1366-by-768 resolution, 1.1 GHz dual-core Intel Celeron 847 processor, up to 2GB RAM, a maximum 320GB hard drive, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, and 3G and 4G mobile broadband options. Similar to the 14z, you get two USB 3.0 ports and one USB 2.0, as well as an 8-in-1 card reader and 1-megapixel Webcam. The Vostro V131 starts at $500 and runs Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit).

dell laptop inspiron 14z
Dell Inspiron 14z
If you're looking for a bargain-priced smaller laptop, the new 14z or V131 may fit the bill; but if you're willing to trade off the 14z's Sandy Bridge processor and USB 3.0 ports or the Vostro's thin profile, you can probably find a better value. A quick search on Best Buy, for example, shows the big box retailer is selling a 15.6-inch Dell Inspiron laptop with a non-Sandy Bridge 2.53 GHz Core i3, 4GB RAM and a 500GB hard drive for $400. There was also a similar Toshiba Satellite laptop with a Sandy Bridge chip for $380. The downside is both laptops tip the scales past 5 pounds and neither had a USB 3.0 port.

The Vostro V131 and the 14z are available online now from Dell.com.

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