Ok, this trend is really growing some legs. Dell has just announced and made available their Studio 14z, a $US649 optical-driveless budget
ultrathin kindathin with a 16:9 HD display, Nvidia 9400m graphics and a 14-inch footprint.
Like Lenovo's recently announced (but not available until July) u350, the 14z sacrifices something in the way of size and weight as compared to something like the Adamo, but still measures in at a respectable 2-3cm. And performance-wise, it barely sacrifices anything: a wide range Core 2 Duo processors are available (though notably, no ULV versions), as is a full complement of RAM (up to 5GB DDR3), HDD (up to 500GB) and display (either 1366x768 or 1600x900) options.
The $US649 configuration will be a bit bare, obviously, but it'll outpace Lenovo's offering out of the gate, mainly due to its vastly less-shitty graphics hardware. And it's not just other manufacturers' products that the 14z's Nvidia 9400m will put to shame—Dell's own Adamo, basically a much, much more expensive version of the same concept, except with inexplicably lame video hardware, will be handily outperformed by any version of this laptop, which can be had for less than a third its cost. Weird. As you can see in our above hands-on gallery, though, it's not quite as pretty, although as with all the Studio products, you'll have plenty of colour choices.
The 14z's most interesting feature is its availability date: Intel tipped off May and June as months that we'd hear about major manufacturers moving into this new niche, which proved true, but Dell is the first one of them to bring a product to market. It's available now, from Dell's website. Full specs and press release below. [Dell]
UPDATE: The product page is now live.
NEW DELL STUDIO 14z LAPTOP PERFECT POWERHOUSE FOR ONLINE GENERATION
· Thin, cool design for those who download media from online
· Powerful, mobile entertainment system combines HD resolution screen with great audio and 500GB1 hard drive option
ROUND ROCK, Texas, May 28, 2009 - For the generation that has grown up with the Internet and can find just about anything online, the new Dell Studio 14z laptop makes it easy to carry their digital world with them. Designed for students and others on the go who demand the perfect balance of mobility and performance, the Studio 14z is a homework-busting system by day and an entertainment powerhouse by night.
It features a svelte design and a huge 500GB1 hard drive option that can store up to 125,000 songs, 142,000 photos or 133 DVD quality movies2. The Studio 14z allows people to watch their favourite movies and TV shows, listen to streaming music with friends, store a vast MP3 collection and socially network from just about anywhere3.
The Studio 14z is the industry's first consumer laptop available with FailSafe™ theft prevention. This option helps protect personal data should the laptop go missing or be stolen. With Failsafe engaged, owners can track network information and the ISP location of the laptop when it connects to the Internet, and get help to remotely erase selected files and render the laptop unusable until the rightful owner unlocks it.
"Young people have grown up with the Internet and can find almost everything they need online." said Michael Tatelman, vice president of Dell's global consumer sales and marketing. "They want a slim, easy-to-carry laptop and like the choice of a larger hard drive over an optical drive. The Studio 14z has the storage and speed that most people need, and it comes with colour options that let them truly express who they are."
The Studio 14z comes in six colors: Black Chain Link, Midnight Blue, Spring Green, Plum Purple, Ruby Red and Promise Pink (U.S. only). Dell will donate $5 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure® from the purchase of each Promise Pink laptop.
The new laptop also comes with Dell Remote Access4; the optional premium version allows people to access content via their home network of personal computing devices including desktops, laptops, ultra-mobile devices, smart phones and web cameras.
Priced from $649 U.S., the Studio 14z is available now online and over the phone in the U.S. and Canada.
· New Dell Studio 14z laptop sports a stylish, thin (0.79-1.2-inches) design for students and digital downloaders who want a combination of power and exceptional mobility
· Energy-efficient, mercury-free, 14-inch 16:9 LED display with HD resolution (720p/ 900p)
· Intel® Pentium® Dual Core, and Intel Core™ 2 Duo standard voltage processors up to T9550 (2.66GHz, 1066Mhz FSB, 6MB Cache)
· Integrated NVIDIA® GeForce® 9400M graphics5
· Digital Video/Audio via HDMI and DisplayPort
· Standard 1.3MP webcam with dual digital array mics
· Starting weight of 4.3 pounds6
· Standard FastAccess™ Facial Recognition Software to help prevent unauthorized access to your computer
· Optional Phoenix Failsafe™ Theft Protection to help protect laptop and data in event of theft
· Advanced touchpad control to help improve productivity
· 4W, SRS®, 2.0 Audio w/ discrete tweeters and dual headphone jacks
· Up to 500GB1 HDD capacity
· Optional 8:1 Media Card Reader via 34mm Express Card slot
· Six-cell battery standard, optional slim design 8-cell battery for up to 6:46 hours of battery life with WLED display option7
· Standard Wi-Fi, optional Bluetooth® and mobile broadband to connect anywhere3
· eSATA connectivity for high speed data transfer rate (up to 6X USB 2.0)
· PowerShare - Charge your USB-connected cell phone and other mobile devices via the USB 2.0/eSATA combo port even when you're unplugged from a power outlet
· Optional external optical drive options (DVD+/-RW, Blu-ray Disc™ read-only and read-write drives)