Dell Inspiron R notebooks get Sandy Bridge, switchable covers

Computer maker Dell has taken the wraps off a its new Inspiron R line of notebook computers, featuring second-generation Intel Core processors, 14-, 15-, and 17-inch screen sizes, and new “Switch” covers from Dell’s Design Studio that enable customers to swap around the notebook’s lids to change the look of their systems.

Dell Inspiron R notebooks (March 2011)

“Our Inspiron R models equipped with 2nd generation Intel Core processors deliver the ultimate in entertainment and mobility and because customers value both performance and style, the eye-catching lids are designed to suit your mood or style at any given moment,” said Dell’s VP for consumer and SMB product group Sam Burd, in a statement. “With the Inspiron-R series, we’re living up to our heritage of delivering the performance you need to do more, and with Switch by Design Studio, you can look good while doing it.”

The new Inspiron R series will be available with second-generation “Sandy Bridge” Intel Core i3, i5, and i7 processors and 14-, 15-, and 17-inch screen sizes. All three sizes will feature Intel 3000 HD integrated graphics, while the 15-inch and 17-inch models will also sport discrete graphics: the Inspiron 17R will bring an Nvidia GeForce GT525M graphics controller with 1 GB of dedicated video memory, while the Inspiron 15R will sport AMD Radeon HD6470M graphics with 512 MB of dedicated video RAM. Stock configurations will vary between 3 and 6 GB of RAM, and up to 500 GB of hard drive storage will be available. The systems will sport either an internal tray-load DVD±RW drive or an optional internal Blu-ray player/DVD burner; the systems will also offer Intel Wireless Display technology so users can push 1080p video and 5.1 surround sound to a home theater without cables. The systems will all sport 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless networking options, HD webcams, two USB 3.0 ports (along with a USB 2 port and a USB 2.0/eSATA combo port), an 8-in-1 media card reader, and Windows 7 Home Premium (with an option for Windows 7 Professional).

The new Inspiron R systems are available now to U.S. customers on Dell’s Web site, and should be available in retail channels in the coming months. The Inspiron 15R starts at $529.99, with both the 14R and 17R starting at $579.99. The systems all come with a black lid; the Switch lids start at $39.99, and include options from “outstanding independent artists” as well as lids benefitting Susan G. Komen for the Cure and (Product) Red.