Dell plans to fight for the attention and dollars of on-the-go consumers who may be considering a low-cost tablet or even phablet. The company's new 11-inch Inspiron 11 laptop takes prices back to the Netbook era, starting at $349 for touch screen and AMD processor, in a body that's 21mm thick and weighs 3.15 pounds.

Intel-powered versions of the Inspiron 11 start at $379, and CPU options include Intel's latest Haswell fourth-generation chips, although it'll be interesting to see how different CPU choices affect the price.

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In our brief hands-on time with the system, it was definitely a classic plastic clamshell, but I'd certainly call it upscale for a sub-$400 computer.

The interior is matte black, with a very large clickpad-style touch pad that looked like it could work on any of Dell's more expensive systems. The back of the lid, a dull matte gray in the version we saw, was inoffensive enough to work in an office or coffee shop.

Dan Ackerman/CNET

Dell claims more than 8 hours of battery life, thanks to a 50Whr battery, and you can get up to 4GB RAM and a 500GB HDD, neither of which is on the high end of the scale, but should be fine for whatever you would plan to do with a $400 11-inch laptop.

The aggressive price is certainly interesting, especially with so many PC makers, from Sony to Apple to HP, emphasizing 11-inch laptops this year.