Anyone interested in Dell's 8.9-inch Vostro A90 netbook had to hop on a plane (or make other travel arrangements) and cruise over to Japan, but that's no longer the case. The A90 is now being offered in the States, and for a fraction (one-third) of the price.
On the hardware front, the lightweight 2.36-pound netbook sports a pretty basic spec sheet, including Intel's Atom N270 processor (1.6GHz, 533MHz frontside bus, 512KB L2 cache), up to 1GB od DDR2-533 RAM, an 8GB or 16GB SSD, integrated Intel GMA950 graphics, WiFi, 0.3MP webcam, and Windows XP.
The Vostro A90 is available now starting at $350, with the slightly higher end configuration running $425. Tack on another $5 for the patriotic Rolling Stones sticker via Stickerville.com.
In what sounds like a simple formula for success, Dell plans to combine one good thing with another good thing for what it hopes will turn out to be a great thing. Or to be less vague, Dell, who offers both SSDs and encrypted drives, will start adding encrypted SSDs to its notebook lineup sometime this summer.
Samsung will manufacture the drives, which will come in 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB capacities to start. The self-encrypting drives will automatically encrypt data as it is being saved, "an industry first" for SSDs, according to Samsung and Wave Systems.
"Benefits of hardware encryption over today's software-only encryption approaches include faster performance, better security, and an 'always on' feature," Samsung and Wave Systems said in a statement. "Because encryption keys and access credentials are generated and stored within the drive hardware, they never leave its confines and are never held in the operating system or software."
No word yet on exactly when Dell will implement the new SSDs or at what price points.
Rumor has it you can hear chants of 'Le Roi est mort, vive le Roi!' emanating from HP's corporate headquarters in Palo Alto, California. That's because the former No. 2 OEM has dethroned Dell for the No. 1 spot for most PC shipments in both the U.S. and worldwide markets, according to Q1 data released by IDC. And it did so largely on the strength of netbook sales.
"Tight credit and economic concerns have certainly taken a toll on PC shipments in the last couple quarters, but the move to portables, fueled by mininotebooks and falling prices, has mitigated the impact," said Loren Loverde, an analyst with IDC.
Including netbooks and everything else, HP managed to ship 4.1 million units in the U.S., which was enough to edge out Dell, who shipped 3.9 million. Acer was a distant third with 1.5 million, followed by Apple with 1.1 million and Toshiba with just under 1 million.
On the global stage, HP put a bit more distance between itself and Dell, shipping 13 million units compared to Dell's 8.7 million. Acer, meanwhile, closed the gap by shipping 7.3 million.
Another leaked slide has made its way to the web, this one showing Dell talking up a Mini 11 netbook. What's most intriguing about the Mini 11 is that Dell plans to configure the netbook with Windows Vista, and not XP or Linux.
Not a whole lot of information is made available through the leaked slide. The Mini 11, with its 11.6-inch HD display, looks to come configured with a 250GB hard drive and 2GB of memory. Dell promises "laptop like performance and keyboard," and also claims the Mini 11 will be "very thin and light." Interestingly, Dell doesn't list an Atom processor -- or any processor -- for the Mini 11, perhaps suggesting a refreshed Atom might be on the way.
If the slide proves accurate, look for pricing to start at $500.
Dell’s business oriented notebook line of Vostros haven’t seen an update in quite some time, but the long awaited upgrades are admittedly worth the wait.
The new and improved notebooks include the 13.3-inch Vostro 1320, the 15.4-inch Vostro 1520 and the granddaddy of them all, the 17-inch Vostro 1720. These will all come with video conferencing software installed, if you include the built-in webcam and microphone, and feature the option of an SSD. And, those looking for extra security can take note of a fingerprint reader and an encrypted HDD option with Wave Systems software.
They’re available now for $619 (1520), $679 (1320), and $699 (1720) on Dell’s website.
In what Dell describes as "fashion meets function," the OEM has introduced an octuplet of color configurations for its refreshed Inspiron desktop line. That's more than what's found in some crayon boxes and includes Piano Black, Pure White, True Blue, Formula Red, Tangerine Orange, Spring Green, Plum Purple, and Promise Pink. The Promise Pink is a collaboration with Susan G. Komen for the Cure program to fight breast cancer - for every Promise Pink laptop or Mini Dell sells, it donates $5 to the cause.
The colorful Inspiron desktop line also includes a wide range of processor selections, such as Intel's Celeron, Core 2 Duo, and Core 2 Quad, and AMD's Sempron, Athlon, and Phenom X4 CPUs. Other configuration options include integrated Intel graphics or discrete ATI Radeon graphics, up to 8GB of memory, up to 750GB of storage on the slim tower and up to 1TB on the mini-tower, optional 19-in-1 media card reader, optional HDMI port, 6 USB 2.0 ports, and dual optical drive options.
Dell says its new slim and mini-tower Inspiron desktops debut today in China, with U.S. availability expected this spring starting at $299.
A well-informed tipster just leaked Dell’s brand new Latitude 2100 “Welch” laptops to Gizmodo, where they’re now spreading the news about the school-oriented netbooks.
These new little beasts will be based off of Intel’s Atom processor (up to 1.6GHz), can support an optional SSD, pack up to 2GB of RAM, and weigh just under 3lbs. There’s also three USB ports, a SD/MMC slot, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 a/g/n, Bluetooth, 3 and 6-cell battery options, a 10-inch screen, and the possibility of a touchscreen.
As for pricing and availability, it should be out around May 2009, just in time for the back to school shopping season, and cost under $600.
While giving a speech in Tokyo this week, Dell CEO Michael Dell admitted the OEM is "exploring smaller screen devices," leading to speculation that the company really is developing a smartphone. Of course, smaller screen devices could also refer to netbooks or any number of non-smartphone items, but where's the fun in that?
"For the last three years we have integrated 3G radios into our notebooks," Dell said. "We already have agreements with many mobile carriers around notebook devices so it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect that we would have smaller mobile internet devices or smartphones in the future."
Based on those comments, it's almost as if Dell wants to give notice that the rumors are true, but stop just shy of making a formal announcement. And citing Taiwan-based Commercial Times, news site TGDaily reports a Dell-developed smarthphone almost entered the manufacturing phase before ultimately being rejected from lack of carrier interest.
Should Dell jump into the smartphone market? Hit the jump and give us your opinion.
Hoping to upend Apple’s Mac Pro cart, Dell said its new Precision 7500 dual Nehalem Xeon workstations will pack up to six times the amount of RAM and at higher speeds than are available with today’s hottest Apple machines.
Users can get to the 192GB mark by stuffing 12 16GB DIMMs into the Precision T7500’s chassis. Dell said the RAM speeds are also increased thanks to support for DDR3/1333. The Precision will use registered ECC RAM for high density configurations. The new chips will also mark the end of FB-DIMM in the dual processor Xeon lineup.
FB-DIMM’s, which use a small and wickedly hot memory controller on each DIMM to buffer the signals, have long been dinged for massive thermal issues and latency penalties. Dell officials said people’s feelings on FB-DIMM aside, it did get the previous generation of CPUs to the RAM densities people needed. One of the primary justifications for FB-DIMM was the density issue on DDR2 but Dell officials said the 192GB mark for DDR3 was not a major technical hurdle in itself. Keeping it cool and keeping acoustics acceptable was a problem, but Dell said it has it under control.
Bandwidth and compute performance of the dual Nehalems leave the previous design in the dust, Dell said. Like the Core i7, the top-end Nehalem Xeons will feature 8MB of L3 cache, 6.4GT/s QPIs, and support Turbo Mode and Hyper-Threading. The Xeon’s will also support something called Direct Cache Access which lets single-threaded applications subsume all of the available shared L3 cache when it’s not being used by other threads.
Dell’s Adamo is one sexy notebook, featuring an impressively thin form factor that allows its users to bring it with them just about where they want. But, along with all that good news we’ve got some bad to report – the battery isn’t replaceable by the user.
Following in the footsteps left by Apple’s 17-inch MacBook Pro, the un-removable battery can only be replaced if sent to Dell. There’s no word yet on just how much this procedure will cost as of yet.
Unfortunate news, to be true, but we can’t say that it completely surprises us. You don’t get a notebook this thin without losing some of the usual advantages.