Dell’s First CULV System: The Inspiron 11z

Inspiron 11z Laptop (open - angled view)

You may have seen some posts on the Inspiron 11z from sites like Gizmodo and Crave. Today, we're making it official. The Inspiron 11z blends netbook-like
portability with laptop-like capability. It weighs about 3 lbs. and is about an
inch thin so it's easy to carry and stay connected, yet has the capability to
deliver smooth HD video playback, and battery life of more than three hours. The
bigger difference is inside, or under the hood if you will. Whereas netbooks are
based on the Intel Atom
and feature minimal memory, the Inspiron 11z is based on the CULV processor
family combined with more memory which delivers better performance.

Note: Click on either of the images below to see a larger version. To see more images of the Inspiron 11z, click on this photo set in Flickr.

Some may see this as a validation of Michael Arrington's position on why
we discontinued
the Mini 12 – not true. The launch of the Inspiron 11z is
absolutely a validation of customer feedback asking us to
design a netbook-like device with a netbook-ish price point that is capable of
handling traditional laptop activities. Voila, the Inspiron 11z is now available
for $399 in the U.S. on and
starting Aug. 25 will be available in Carphone Warehouse in the U.K. and the
Phone House in France.

Dell has always positioned netbooks, a.k.a. Minis, as
companion devices – miniature laptops that are easy to slip into a bag or
briefcase and use while on the go. The Dell Minis are designed for typical
30-minute online session, sandwiched between smartphones (good for about 3
minutes because of tiny screens and keyboards) and full-featured laptops
(full-sized keyboards, expansive HD screens). The Dell Mini 10/10v are perfect for consuming
content, like checking email, posting updates on social media sites, Tweeting,
surfing, looking for the latest "crasher
" mashups, etc.

Since netbooks are easy to carry and go anywhere, some fell victim to user
"feature creep" – with people loading favorite applications so they could create
content documents, spreadsheets, or presentations, organizing and editing
photos, or even video etc. As Lionel
with Arrington, we saw this first hand with the Mini 12 – it was a
classic case of "it looks like a duck" or in this case a typical laptop. But
when customers loaded it up like a typical laptop, the user experience took a
hit: performance might seem slower, applications could at times balk, HD video
playback occasionally stuttered. Hence the Inspiron 11z – small, sleek, easy to
carry, strong battery life, better performance versus a netbook, all at a great
price. And, for those of you who need it now, the initial Inspiron 11z
configuration is part of our quick ship program, meaning we ship the system
within a day or two of receiving your order. I expect it to be featured on our
by the end of the week.

Inspiron 11z (right side view)

A few more facts about the Inspiron 11z – as I mentioned, today you can
purchase a pre-configured system for $399 including that features:

  • Intel Celeron 723 processor (1.2GHz)
  • 2GB memory
  • 250GB hard Drive
  • Built in Wi-Fi, 1.3MP Webcam
  • 11.6-inch HD (1366×768) display (up to 70 percent more screen content than a
    netbook with a standard 1024×600 display)
  • 28WHr battery with approximately 3 hours of battery life
  • Windows Vista Home Premium WITH free upgrade kit to Windows 7
  • And to paraphrase Henry
    : you can get in and any color you like …as long as it's Obsidian Black.

There will be more configuration options down the road. The Inspiron 11z is
our first
into the "thin
and light
with great battery life" space – so stay tuned, we'll also be
expanding the portfolio in the future.

About the Author: Anne Camden