Dell gets thin: Inspiron 11z debuts for only $399

For $399, the Dell Inspiron 11z is instantly one of the cheaper thin-and-lights out there.

The Inspiron 11z: Dell's affordable thin-and-light (or, Netbook Plus?) Dell

While much was made of Dell killing off its Mini 12 Netbook recently, one question raised was: what might fill that 11-to-12-inch void in the future? That question is answered, in part, with today's announcement of the Dell Inspiron 11z, an 11.6-inch thin-and-light weighing only 3 pounds. How thin? At its thickest point: 1.02 inches, according to Dell's specs. This is Dell's first real entry into thin-and-light, a category that's been gaining momentum recently (the Acer Aspire Timeline 3810T, MSI X340, and Lenovo IdeaPad U350 to name a few).

Inside, there's no Atom processor, but instead a single-core 1.2 GHz Intel ULV Celeron 723. Equipped with a three-cell battery, Dell promises long battery life in a chassis that's "24 percent smaller than 14-inch laptops" (but this is an 11.6-inch laptop, so how is that fair?). Unfortunately, that "long battery life" equates to 3 hours in the press release, but we'll remain optimistic. The keyboard is 92 percent standard-size, close to a regular laptop experience (although sometimes we've found that small differences in ergonomics can be disorienting ). Like a Netbook and most thin-and-lights, the 11z has no optical drive.

One of the best features is the price: Dell's Web site lists the Inspiron 11z as $399, the same cost as a Netbook.

So, you might ask, why get this over a Netbook? For one, it runs Windows Vista SP1 Home Premium--while Windows 7 is just around the corner, this OS qualifies for a free upgrade. And the 11z also breaks through the XP Netbook barrier of RAM/hard drive space, with 2GB and 250GB respectively. Other notable features include HDMI-out and a 1.3-megapixel Webcam. The Inspiron 11z comes in Obsidian black with silver tones.

Full specs below, as well as more product shots after the break.

  • Intel Celeron 723 processor (1.2 GHz)
  • Intel GS45 integrated graphics
  • 11.6-inch 1366 x 768 HD TLF WLED screen
  • Three USB 2.0, SD card reader, headphone jack, mic-in jack, HDMI-out
  • Three-cell lithium ion battery
  • 250GB 5400rpm hard drive
  • 2GB DDR2 RAM, 800 MHz
  • 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi
  • 1.3 megapixel Webcam
  • 11.5 x 8.43 inches, 0.92-1.02 inches thick
  • 3.05 pounds with 3-cell battery

Now, is this a more appealing purchase than a Netbook to you?

About the author

Scott Stein is a senior editor covering iOS and laptop reviews, mobile computing, video games, and tech culture. He has previously written for both mainstream and technology enthusiast publications including Wired,, Men's Journal, and Maxim, and regularly appears on TV and radio talking tech trends.


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