Dell is releasing new models in its Vostro 3000 and Inspiron R product lines. The Vostro 3000 series, targeted at the small and midsize business market, features 13-, 14-, 15- and 17-inch laptops with Intel i3, i5, and i7 Sandy Bridge processors. The Inspiron R laptops have a redesigned, raised keyboard, choices of the four Sandy Bridge processors, removable lids, and new multimedia features.
The computer maker said the Vostro laptops offer up to 12 hours of battery life on select models, as well as what it described as "cutting-edge collaboration solutions." These include voice-enhancing SRS Premium Voice Pro software , offered for the first time on a small-business laptop and designed to enhance audio quality for communications and entertainment.
Sam Burd, vice president of Dell's consumer and SMB product group, said the Vostro 3000 lineup "is designed to keep you collaborating with colleagues, partners and clients," whether the user is "pitching, analyzing or managing."
In addition, the laptops have Skype preinstalled, and any VoIP or video-conferencing application can be launched by a customizable dashboard button. There's also high-speed USB 3.0, a fingerprint reader built in as part of the standard setup, and Trend Micro security software, in addition to optional 24x7 support from Dell ProSupport.
The new Vostro laptops, which will be available later this month, range in price from $499 to $599.
The updated Inspiron R series laptops, targeted at style-conscious consumers, sport removable SWITCH lids by Dell Design Studio that come in 25 different styles. The design studio is a collection of contemporary art commissioned by Dell.
Cougar Point Design Flaw
But, as Dell aptly notes, the 14-, 15- and 17-inch models "shouldn't be judged" only by their covers. Burd said the Inspiron R's second-generation Intel Core processors, along with the switchable lids, "deliver the ultimate in entertainment and mobility."
In their role as entertainment vehicles, the new Inspirons offer SRS Premium Audio, high-definition video, Intel Wireless Display technology for wireless projection of full 1080p video and 5.1 surround sound to a home theater, and an optional Blu-ray drive. Integrated Dell Stage software provides one-click access to photos, music, videos, social-networking sites, and e-books. Windows 7 Home Premium is standard, with Professional as an option.
The Inspiron R models will be available at prices that start at $529.
The Intel Sandy Bridge processors first appeared in January in a Dell computer, the Vostro 460 desktop. However, in February Dell and Intel announced that a design flaw in Intel's Cougar Point support chipset had caused issues with SATA III ports, and Dell offered refunds or an exchange for a comparable product. Dell and Intel have since said the flaw has been fixed.