Dell has a new low-spec, but highly affordable little 11-inch laptop in its store today -- the Inspiron 11z.

At 26mm, Dell reckons it's the thinnest Inspiron ever. It costs £350, but for that you get just Windows Vista Home Basic, a sluggish 1.3GHz Intel Celeron CPU, 160GB of hard disk space, 2GB of DDR2 RAM and HDMI output. There's no internal optical drive.

So, as is always the case with Dell's budget gear, you might want to take advantage of some of the upgrade options. A swift spec-up would nab you Windows Vista Home Premium, 4GB of DDR2 RAM, a 1.3GHz dual-core Intel Pentium CPU, 250GB of hard disk space and twice the battery capacity.

But for that, you'll be doubling the price to a beefy £714. Part of the issue is that Dell wants £160 just to add an extra 2GB of memory. Frankly, this is atrocious. The base price already includes 2GB of RAM, so what you're paying for is an additional 2GB. In a shop, that would cost you no more than about £40.

It's a smart-looking laptop though, and if the base spec suits your needs it could be a solid choice for anyone after netbook -like specs, but with a larger screen. Check out some extra photos over the page. The 11z is on sale from Dell's Web site now.

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The total thickness of the 11z is a respectable 26mm. This right-hand side features audio sockets, a card reader and USB inputs.
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The 11z from above.
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Here's the left-hand side, though for some reason shown here in purple. Notice the inclusion of HDMI connectivity. Not bad, Dell. Not bad.
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