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All posts tagged "dell"

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Dell Launches New XPS Notebook Line

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Dell Laptops & Netbooks" @ 09:51 AM

Available in three sizes - I'm really glad to see the 14" in there - the new Dell XPS laptops start at $899 for the 14" model, $849 for the 15" model, and $949 for the 17" model. They're Skype certified, feature JBL speakers, and can be configured with up to a Core i7 CPU. Unfortunately, the 14" model is stuck at a low-res 1280 x 720 screen with no option for a high-res screen. It's extremely frustrating to me trying to find a laptop that has a 14" screen at 1440 x 900 resolution. Dell doesn't seem to offer anything with that resolution any more...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Wave Hello to the Dell Inspiron 15R Alloy Edition

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Dell Laptops & Netbooks" @ 02:00 PM

"An "Alloy Edition" laptop sounds like something that should look pretty decent, right? Well, ideas and execution are two entirely different things, as evidenced by Dell's new Inspiron 15R Alloy Edition. While the alloy part of the equation isn't bad, it's unfortunately only available in a "waves" pattern that we can only hope looks better in person."

The Inspiron 15R "Alloy Edition," a new laptop from Dell with decent specs: Core i3/i5/i7 processor; 15.6-inch 1366x768 widescreen (WLED) HD display; up to 8GB RAM; up to 750GB hard drive; choice of Intel Integrated Graphics or an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650 1 GB; Blu-ray option; 6-cell 48 WHr Li-Ion Battery with a 9-cell 90 WHr Li-Ion Battery (optional); SRS Premium Sound; and, a WAVE design on the alloy cover and the palm rest. The first few pictures that I saw of the 15R really were ugly (to me), but, now, it's not looking quite so bad in this picture. There seems to be no option yet on Dell's web site to order it without the wave (if it's in the alloy itself), and customized configurations are not yet available for purchase.

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Attack of the 10 inch Netbooks!

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 01:00 PM,2751.html

"Mobile systems have long been on our to-do-list. These days, nearly everyone has a notebook. However, picking the right notebook isn't like choosing a CPU, graphic card, or memory kit, where you can just simply swap out one piece for better performance. While there are those rare few who upgrade, the options are still limited (hard drive and memory). For the braver few, a mobile processor might be on the menu."

According to the media, there may not be many of you left who want in on the netbook fad, but Tom's Hardware has put up a good review of a whole collection of current generation 10" notebooks. 10 inches seems to be the sweet spot for these mobile warriors with just enough screen real estate to get some light browsing done, but not too big or expensive to creep into notebook territory. The newest batch seems capable of some decent video playback, you still should not expect a seamless HD watching experience. The biggest problem may be that anyone who wants a netbook may already have one, and while the new models are shiny, they fail to compell customers to think that their old mobile companion is worth letting go.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Peek at the Dell Inspiron Duo Convertible

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 11:30 PM

"Dell Inspiron Duo touched for the very first time ... Yeah, you made me feel, shiny and new... We digress. That's jkkmobile's finger in the photo above, testing out Microsoft Surface Globe on the Dell Inspiron Duo convertible's swiveling 10-inch screen -- a rite of passage that you can watch after the break in all its low-res glory."

The video tells the story here, a convertible tablet prototype from Dell, with a 10-inch swivel screen, keyboard and touchpad, and weighing in at 1.4 kg (slightly over 3 pounds). Interesting how the screen swivels within the frame. Additional details were scarse, and the journalists were not allowed to handle the Duo, and of course had to be told several times to not touch. Dell (and Intel) may be onto something here!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Dell's New Mini 1018 Netbook: A Step Backward?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Dell Laptops & Netbooks" @ 03:41 PM

"Looking for a great netbook for surfing the net and staying connected when on-the-go? Look no further than the new Inspiron Mini 1018. Designed with everyday netbook computing in mind, the Mini 1018 offers long battery life, processing power ideal for web browsing, social networking, and standard definition entertainment - all in a very compact, portable (and affordable!) package. Launching today in Europe (and rolling out in other regions throughout the Fall), the new Mini 1018 is the latest addition to the Mini family - and the perfect addition to yours. Whether used to entertain the kids on long drives, do the weekly online grocery shop, or speak to family members across the miles, the Mini 1018 offers the netbook must-haves you need to get it done."

The Dell Mini 1018 is an interesting product - Dell seems to have stripped out more than a few things to, presumably, target a lower price point. My hunch is that the Dell Mini 1012 (also known as the "New Dell Mini 10") will get a refresh later this year. What do you get with the 1018? The CPU is an Intel N455 single core Atom, RAM is limited to 1 GB, screen resolution is limited to 1024 x 600, there's no option for a Broadcomm video accelerator, and the hard drive is either 160 GB or 250 GB. It comes in black - and only black - and features the same integrated six-cell battery as the Mini 1012, which should give you six hours of use in almost every circumstance. What's slightly baffling is that the Mini 1018 starts at 279 British pounds (it's launching in the UK right now, and North America later this year)...but the Mini 1012 also starts at 279 pounds - but the 1012 can be upgrade with colours, the high-res 1366 x 768 screen, etc. So why would someone buy the Dell Mini 1018? I have no idea.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

An Early Review of the Dell Streak

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Dell Streak" @ 09:30 PM

"The Dell Streak is born into a hardware environment that desperately needs an Android-based tablet-or any kick-ass tablet that doesn't run Apple's "stop it now before it borgs the free world" iOS. Our current tally shows no fewer than 30 touch-operated tablets that could be launching in the next six months, and the majority of this freshman class of iPad killers will probably be running Google's mobile operating system."

This review rates the Streak as an average tablet, but as a pretty darned good (if huge) Smartphone. Simply holding the Streak up to an ear takes the author (and me) back to the early days of mobile phone bricks - it's really big. Using it as a tablet, some of the oft-described software quirkiness makes for a less than stellar experience, for example, web browsing on this 5-inch screen using the smallish on-screen keyboard. On the plus side, comparing the Streak to some typical Smartphones, its feature-set scores well.

I thought about getting a Streak, but rumors of upcoming models with larger screens (also from Dell) have convinced me to wait. That, and the fact that I need a tablet computer that runs Excel and Word ... meaning Windows in some flavor.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Dell Streak Arrives ...

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Dell Streak" @ 08:00 AM

"We fit the whole world into a 5-inch screen. Introducing the Dell Streak. The perfectly-sized, go-anywhere entertainment, social connection and navigation device."

The ordering process is open today for "pre-registered" users, and begins tomorrow (14-Aug-2010) for everyone else. Prices start at $299.99 USD with AT&T two-year contract activation, or $549.99 USD without a contract and without accessories. The Streak can be purchased without a contract. The voice plans start at $39.99 USD monthly for 450 "w/Rollover" minutes, the data plans start at $15.00 USD monthly for 200MB of data, and the 2GB plan will cost $25.00 USD monthly. No unlimited data plans are available on new contracts.

Reviews on Dell's site are mostly from UK users, but are generally positive. Plusses include Web browsing, the high quantity and quality of Android apps and screen size and clarity; minuses mostly surround battery life, the old Android version (1.6), and speaker quality. There are also lots of comments about this device being perfect in size between an iPhone and an iPad, and lots of comments from "switchers." Can't wait for some more local reviews to start appearing!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Dell Streak Priority Pre-Sale Ordering Begins August 12, 2010

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Dell Streak" @ 02:00 PM

"Orders for the Dell Streak Tablet open up for U.S. priority pre-sale registrants at this Thursday, August 12. General availability follows a day later at The Dell Streak is available for $299.99 with new two-year AT&T contract†, and $549.99 without. Customers who purchase the Streak, and signed up during the pre-sale program, will receive a free second-day shipping upgrade. Customers who redeem their pre-sale coupon can purchase a Plantronics Bluetooth earpiece for 99 cents while supplies last."

image credit:

Delayed a couple weeks in the USA, ordering for the Dell Streak opens on August 12, 2010 for priority pre-sale registrants (click here to pre-register), giving you a 24-hour head-start on the general public. Lots of buzz about this 5-inch tablet -- shipping with Android 1.6 but expected to be upgradeable to Android 2.1 -- coming in the near future. Let the competition begin!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Engadget and Laptop Magazine Review the Dell Inspiron M101z

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Dell Laptops & Netbooks" @ 03:30 PM

Laptop: "And the award for most improved ultraportable goes to...Seriously, Dell has done a really nice job revamping the 11-inch member of its Inspiron family, banishing the lackluster touchpad with integrated buttons and slightly cramped keyboard in favor of a design that's much easier to use. And the Inspiron M101z (starting at $449; $579 as configured) is easier on the eyes, too, featuring bold color options and a sleek forward hinge design. When you add in powerful speakers and a dual-core AMD processor with ATI graphics, this 3.4-pound machine runs circles around your typical netbook. But is it the best value in its class?"

Enadget: "...we can't help but think Dell's new Inspiron M101z could be our favorite yet. Yes, unfortunately, our review unit was adorned in that bright pink color above that's most likely causing your eyes to tear, but don't let its sissy exterior fool you -- it's powered by AMD's new dual-core Athlon Neo II processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 320GB 7,200rpm hard drive. Yep, she's a heartbreaker on paper, but hit the break to find out if the $579 M101z is in fact a worthy companion."

Verdict? Engadget gave it a 7/10, and liked it because of the build quality, great keyboard, fast performance, and solid graphics performance. They knocked it for the thicker-than-normal size, and weak battery life (3 hours 35 minutes in their video run-down test). The results from Laptop Magazine were about the same; the less-punishing Web surfing test had the M101z lasting 4 hours 54 minutes, but the category average is 5 hours 33 minutes. Still, it offers decent bang for the buck and is worth considering.

Dell Officially Announces the Inspiron M101z

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Dell Laptops & Netbooks" @ 12:05 PM

"Dell today announced the latest in compact computing - the ultra-portable and ultra-stylish Inspiron M101z laptop. The perfect combination of size, weight, performance and contemporary lux looks, the Inspiron M101z is the ideal on-the-go, easy-to-use laptop PC for today's mobile population. Whether a student running between classes or a mom trying to keep the kids entertained, carrying this ultrathin sub-4-pound[i] laptop that fits easily in a handbag or backpack helps lighten the load. Despite its diminutive size, the Inspiron M101z laptop packs performance punch, nimbly stepping through everyday tasks quickly and delivering impressive playback of streaming movies and HD videos."

I already posted about this last month, but it looks like it's now official: Dell has released the Inspiron M101z. Anything different from the post from last month? Not really - the 6-cell battery is standard, but there's a 9-cell battery coming this fall that should offer a decent boost to the battery life. Pricing in Canada starts at $449 CAD.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Dell Comparing Studio Series Laptops to MacBook Pros

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Dell Laptops & Netbooks" @ 12:00 PM

"It's no secret to those who follow tech that Macs tend to offer lesser specs than its competitors, and for more money. That hasn't slowed Apple's momentum in the laptop market, though, especially among college students. As the back to school season kicks off, Dell has posted a direct comparison between its Studio 15 and 17 laptops and the 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pro."

While the Studio series laptops perform well, and are priced significantly below comparably sized and configured MacBookPros, the intangibles make the big price difference somewhat less of a factor. Dell perhaps should have focused on their strengths in addition to re-hashing the "Apple tax." Stressing some simple things, like a one-year warranty standard vs. Apple's 90 days would perhaps have helped, but then, on the other hand, Dell's support has become somewhat of a liability recently. I personally like the Studio laptops, but would I choose one over a MBP? Probably not, despite the price difference.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Dell Streak User Interface Caught on Video

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Dell Streak" @ 01:30 PM

This is a nice video demonstrating some of the customizations Dell has done to optimize the Streak to make better use of Android on a larger screen. For the most part it looks pretty good. From the video, they imply that the Streak is landscape-only, which is not something I'd heard before, but maybe I'm just inferring too much from what he said. If true, I think this is a bit limiting, as I'd want to use a lot of apps, like an ebook reader, in portrait mode.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Winning Streak for Dell?

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Dell Laptops & Netbooks" @ 07:00 PM

"How does a PC maker entering the smart phone space for the first time make a splash? Make a device so large other people can't help but ask "What the heck is that?" To be fair, Dell positions its new 5-inch Streak as a tablet that happens to make calls. But that hasn't stopped people from comparing it to a waffle or a Pop Tart (it's bigger than the latter) while holding it up to their head. The good news is that the Streak is a well-designed slate, complete with a front-facing camera for video calls, and it's the first Android tablet that can access the Android Market."

This tablet is definitely an enigma. It's getting lots of press, despite the fact that it's coming to market being powered by an old version of Android, and has hardware that is not yet being fully utilized or exploited. As an integral part of Dell's future mobile strategy, one can only hope that updates will be fast and furious, and that content will be available for the 5-inch screen. If not, it may unfortunately end up as more of a blur than a streak.

Yet Another Dell Streak Review

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Dell Streak" @ 04:30 AM

"Ultimately, the Streak is a niche device that does some things well. We especially like it as a navigator, and it's a good web surfing companion. It has also has the potential to be a great video player--if Dell makes it easier to transfer content or gets a premium content parter in place. We like the Streak, but we wouldn't pay much more for this hybrid than a high-end Android phone until Dell works out some of the bugs and upgrades to a newer version of the OS."

I'm surprised a lot of the reviewers are not finding issue with the relatively low resolution (800 x 480) for the large screen. From what I've read, a lot of the OS components are scaled down to a lower resolution so that you get more stuff on the screen, but I kind of think that is cheating. Something everyone seems to agree on though is that it is an awful shame to have Cupcake rather than a more recent build of Android on such a unique device.

Tags: dell, slate, streak

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Dell's Giant Streak TabletPhone ...

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Dell Laptops & Netbooks" @ 03:30 PM

"If you've been following the ongoing saga of Dell's Streak, you've probably already read our review of O2 UK's version -- thing is, the British perspective can be very different from the Yankee one (we didn't see eye-to-eye during the War of 1812, for instance). To that end, we wanted to circle back now that the gargantuan Android beast is finally coming close to a US release and get another quick take."

Thinking back to the days when I had a Nokia N810 Tablet, I really wished that it had phone capabilities. Dell's Streak is an Android 1.6 TabletPhone with an 800x480 5-inch screen, and is only 10mm thick. It supports quad-band EDGE, and 3G for AT&T, Rogers, Bell and Telus. T-Mobile 3G? Sorry. EDGE only. This giant has 2GB internal storage, comes bundled with a 16GB MicroSDHC card, and is powered by a Snapdragon 1GHz processor.

Is this perhaps "The One" that we've been awaiting? Unfortunately, early reviews point to No. Android is three versions behind, and Dell's customizations and tweaks don't make up the difference. Some annoyances? The home screen is landscape only. No dedicated hardware search button. Notifications no longer via down-swipe. No Android multitouch, although Dell has added some customizations to the UI. Unimpressive virtual keyboard. No trashcan on the home screen. The screen ripples when pressed moderately hard, indicating some stress on the glass. Camera and video mediocre, sound quality also mediocre. And, a proprietary connector/charger rather than microUSB.

Great potential, but the target market (power users and road warriors) probably won't like Dell's design decisions. Here's hoping that the hacker community makes a nice, clean Android 2.2 build available for this monster - the sooner the better.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Desktop Replacement Powerhouse: Dell Studio 17 Model 1747

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Dell Laptops & Netbooks" @ 09:11 AM

"The new Dell Studio 17 - model 1747 - is about to hit the virtual shelves, and offers users with yet another option in the desktop replacement market. This 17.3 inch laptop comes with the usual variety of configurations offered by Dell, and apart from a few issues, it seems to be a pretty solid machine."

A new model from Dell in the "desktop replacement" class, the Studio 17 Model 1747 offers a wide range of configuration options, a screen resolution of 1920x1080 with Radeon HD 4650 graphics, a keyboard "almost" full size with numeric keypad, and a battery that lasted for three and one half hours in real use. At just over 7.0-pounds, it's not light, and some heat issues may make using it on your lap an ordeal, but again, this is a desktop replacement, and probably not meant to be used regularly on a lap. Entry-level configurations start at about $700, with the cost increasing as upgrades are added. No information was provided on availability in North America.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Dell Launches Inspiron R Series Laptops

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Dell Laptops & Netbooks" @ 12:10 PM

"Today, more than ever, families are looking to technology as an extra set of hands - one that helps them stay connected, quickly cross items off daily ‘to-do' lists, and keep them entertained. The new Inspiron R laptops were designed with this in mind - making it easier than ever to access personal files and securely share photos and videos wirelessly, as well to enjoy the ideal mobile personal entertainment hub, offering smooth video playback, surround sound and a built-in Webcam. Wrapped in curvy edges, smooth lines and available in four unique colorful finishes with chrome accents, the Inspiron R laptops are as beautifully designed as they are useful. With several display sizes ranging from 14-inch models that fit perfectly in a messenger bag, to home and dorm room-friendly 15- and 17-inch versions, the Inspiron R boasts a contemporary and sleek appearance that will make anyone feel good about bringing it out in the classroom or the local coffee shop."

Dell's new series of Inspiron R laptops are your typical budget affairs, albeit with a fit of extra flair - the design looks pretty nice, and with the rounded edges, gives the laptops a less brick-like appearance. Prices start at $549 USD and go up to $979 USD. Curiously, as I look at the product page for the Inspiron R series, I can't help but notice that there are virtually no hardware customization options. The one and only choice for hardware customization is the colour - red, black, blue, or pink. Read more...

Dell Streak Reviewed

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Dell Streak" @ 03:00 AM

"Dell have worked hard to produce something rather unique, that is a small form factor tablet device (or a large form factor phone device) that has a decent balance of size against functionality. Their customisation of the Android operating system onto the machine has been carried out with aplomb and the interface is a pleasure to interact with. Final thought would I buy a Streak? That is difficult, if it felt a little more robust, and had the software glitches fixed, then yes. Otherwise if I bought one now I'd be handling it very carefully and complaining to Dell over the few bugs that are in there!"

Whenever this hits the US, I'll seriously consider upgrading IF..... It is available on Verizon for a reasonable cost. It has a more current version of Android and looks to be on a faster upgrade schedule. It has a better screen resolution. Until then, just a bunch of wait and see.

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