After Sandy Bridge delay, Dell refreshes Vostro SMB laptops

After a delay in the release of Intel’s Sandy Bridge chips due to a design flaw, Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL) has announced the latest generation of its Vostro 3000 series laptops which feature the next-generation processors and go on sale next Tuesday in Canada.

Last month, Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) halted shipments of its six-series chips, code-named Cougar Point, which was used with its new Core processors after a flaw was found which could have lead to degradation over time. Working quickly to get its new chipset out to market, Intel began shipping its next-generation Core I series processors earlier this month.

Alison Gardner, marketing director, for Dell’s consumer and small to mid-size business product group, said the Vostro 3000 series, with Intel Core I, offers users “major performance improvements and really good battery life.”

The Vostro 3000 series of notebooks are available in 13, 14, 15 and 17-inch form factors.

Gardner said with a nine-cell battery, the 15-inch Vostro 3550 notebook, can achieve more than 13 hours of battery life, provided that the screen is set to medium brightness and wireless is off.

New to the series this year are enhanced collaboration capabilities that allow small business customers to more effectively communicate and get work done wherever they are, Gardner said. The laptops feature a high definition Webcam, a digital array microphone and SRS Premium Voice Pro software, which minimizes ambient noise.

Dell has also added three click-launch buttons on the top right hand side of the keyboard; one that launches Dell’s support centre, another that launches Microsoft’s mobility centre and the other button can be customized by the user, Gardner said.

The laptops come with an aluminum finish and are available in three colours: silver, red and bronze. They go on sale in Canada March 22nd and have an MSRP as follows: 3350 at $649, 3450 at $589, 3550 at $611 and 3750 at $661.

In other product news, Dell also refreshed its Inspiron R series of laptops which target families and home users. The laptops are available in 14, 15 and 17-inch sizes and also feature Intel Core I series processors.

What’s new is the introduction of 25 different Switch by Design Studio interchangeable lids which can change the look of the notebooks.

“Customers love personalization and colour,” Gardner said. “We wanted to provide an option so customers could buy new colours or fun patterns to change the lids according to their mood. This is also great for channel partners since it’s a lot easier to stock lids and it’s easy for our retail partners to merchandise.”

Canadian pricing for the Inspiron R laptops start at $579.99 and the Switch by Design Studio lids start at $39.99. All Inspiron R series models and lids are now available through Dell and its channel partners.

Follow Maxine Cheung on Twitter: @MaxineCheungCDN.

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Maxine Cheung
Maxine Cheung
Staff Writer, Computer Dealer News

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