Dell Rolls Out Value Notebooks

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Computer maker Dell has rolled out two new just-the-basics notebook models designed to appeal to home and small business buyers who need new systems for everyday productivity and entertainment, but aren’t interested in shelling out the big bucks for the latest and greatest in portable computing performance.

"Dell’s vision for mobile computing and breadth of offering is leading the industry," said Alex Gruzen, senior VP of Dell’s Product Group, in a statement. "As much as we deliver product innovation with our award winning XPS systems, we’re also committed to helping consumers and small-business customers get more out of their technology investment to meet their everyday entertainment and productivity needs."

First out the door is the Inspiron 1501, which sports a 15.4-inch, 1,280 by 800 pixel, LCD display driven by an ATI Xpress 1150 graphics controller with 256 MB of video memory and a choice of AMD Sempron or Turion 64 X2 CPUs. Also on board: integrated Wi-Fi, 4 USB 2.0 ports, a 3-in-1 media card reader, 512 MB of RAM (upgradable to 2 GB), a 60 GB hard drive (upgradable to 120 GB), plus VGA output, mic input, headphone jack, and built-in Ethernet and modem. Customers can choose from a CD/DVD combo drive or a dual-layer DVD writer; prices start at just $549 with an AMD Sempron; $649 for a Turion-powered model. The Inspiron 1501 will be available in silver and white, be available with Windows XP Home, Professional, or Media Center edition, and carry that coveted "Vista Capable" sticker.

Slightly higher up the scale and aimed at business customers, Dell’s Latitude 131L will be available via Dell’s Web site tomorrow. Full specs haven’t been published yet, but the system will also offer AMD Sempron and Turion 64 X2 CPUs, 15.4-inch widescreen LCD displays, integrated graphics, a Vista-capable sticker, and up to three years of Dell’s Next Business Day Onsite Service. Prices will begin at $629 for a Sempron-powered system, and $899 for a Turion-driven notebook.