Targeted largely at students, Dell's new Studio 14z laptop was quietly announced this morning. Part of the upscale but affordable Studio line, which brings in design elements from Dell's high-end XPS laptops, the Studio 14z is thin and light for a 14-inch system, starting at 4.5 pounds and from .76-1.2-inches thick (the body is slightly tapered). Helping it shave away the extra millimeters is an LED display and the lack of an internal optical drive. Dell calls it, "a homework-busting system by day and an entertainment powerhouse by night."
In a press release, Dell says the 14z is good for consumers who, "want a slim, easy-to-carry laptop and like the choice of a larger hard drive over an optical drive," making an obvious distinction between this model, with drives up to 500GB, and smaller Netbook, CULV, and super-slim 13-inch models that usually have relatively small hard drives.
Also new is a LoJack-like service called Failsafe Theft Protection, where victims of a laptop snatching can track their machine when it goes online, and even order files to be deleted remotely. Facial recognition login software is also included.
We're more excited about Nvidia's GeForce 9400 GPU, the same as found in current 13-inch MacBooks, and our favorite low-cost way to get decent gaming performance and smooth 1080p HD video playback in a laptop.
Available colors are Black Chain Link, Midnight Blue, Spring Green, Plum Purple, Ruby Red and Promise Pink, and the system is available now, starting at $649.