WE CAN’T HELP but to giggle a little bit when big companies like Dell manage to leak their own upcoming products ahead of the actual launch. It seems that Dell’s new Inspiron notebooks have tipped up on its website with just about all of the specs you’d need to make a purchasing decision, although with the slight caveat that the models aren’t actually on sale as yet.
What we’re looking at is the Inspiron R range of notebooks, which is comprised of 13.3-inch, a 14-inch, a 15.6-inch and 17.3-inch models and Dell has simplified the naming scheme by calling them the Inspiron 13R, 14R, 15R and 17R. The 13.3-inch model is new, in as much as it’s Dell’s first 13-inch notebook with an Intel Core processor, while the other models have been upgraded with discrete graphics, although as an optional extra. All four models can be upgraded with an ATI Mobility Radeon HD4570 graphics card with 512MB or 1GB of graphics memory, depending on the model.
All but the 17-inch model feature 1366×768 displays, or 720p as Dell seems to like to call it, while the 17-inch model has a 900p display – Dell’s definition again, not ours – or 1600×900. For the Inspiron R series, Dell has gone with the Intel HM57 chipset over the HM55 found in the older Inspiron models with Intel Core processors. The difference is two extra PCI Express lanes, two extra SATA ports and two extra USB ports, not exactly a massively worthwhile upgrade. The new models also seem to accept up to 8GB of DDR3 memory, compared to only 4GB of the older models.
The 13R doesn’t come with a built-in optical drive, but it doesn’t appear to share the same chassis as the Inspiron 13z which is a CULV notebook. The choice of CPU seems to include Intel’s Core i3 and Core i5 mobile processors, but not the Core i7 600-series. Dell has also added a wide range of wireless options including Intel’s latest WiFi options with WiMAX support. The 17R comes with hard drives up to 640GB, while the other models appear to be limited to 500GB drives. No word on pricing yet, but we’d expect the new models to be available shortly.
Dell did also add a fifth model the M501R, which is a 15.6-inch model and that’s the only uninteresting part, as not only does it feature a mobile AMD Phenom II X4 processor, but it also has the new M880G mobile chipset and it can be kitted out with an optional ATI Mobility Radeon HD 550v, which we have to admit that we have no clue what it is, but it features 1GB of dedicated graphics memory. As with the other models it can also be fitted with up to 8GB of DDR3 memory, a 640GB hard drive and some other goodies. It lacks most of the wireless options though, but it does at least appear to have a solid set of features, unlike many AMD powered notebooks we’ve seen in the past.S|A
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