Dell goes wide with new laptop

Dell has delivered a notebook that's less likely to be crushed on a long airline flight. The Round Rock, Texas, PC maker had been known for producing somewhat boxy laptops in the past. But many of its newest models have slimmed down, culminating with Wednesday's launch of the 2.5-pound Latitude X1, its smallest portable PC yet.

Latitude X1

The laptop, which Dell says is designed for corporate road warriors, is built around a 12.1-inch, wide-aspect ratio display. Dell points out that because the wide screen is shorter than a traditional display, the X1 fits better into tight spaces, such as airline tray tables. Thus, it's in a safer position if the person in the seat in front of you decides to abruptly take a snooze.

The X1 will also come with Intel's 1.1GHz Ultra-Low Voltage Pentium M 733, wireless networking, 256MB of RAM and a 30GB hard drive for a base price of about $1,700. Customers can add more memory and a larger hard drive if they choose, as well as select options ranging from an external CD burner to higher capacity, six-cell battery that will allow it to run for as much as six hours between charges.

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