Yesterday, Dell announced a new lineup of desktops and laptops geared towards small businesses (1-25 customers) – the Dell Vostro line (Vostro = Latin for “your” or “your’s”). It’s designed to fall in between the Consumer/Inspiron line, and the Enterprise/Latitude line (and Optiplex for desktops).
In the announcement, the only laptop close to an ultraportable form factor was the Dell Vostro 1400, with a 14-inch widescreen and an Intel Core 2 Duo CPU. At 14-inches and weighing over five pounds, it’s definitely not ultraportable, however there maybe a simple reason why they didn’t include an ultraportable: price. The Vostro 1400 starts at around $600 USD or so. The XPS M1210 starts at around $1000, and the XPS M1330 starts at around $1300 or so, with the Latitude D430 weighing in at around $1600 or so. The market they are targeting this for is small business and perhaps the margins/profits were not there for offering a new ultraportable.
Dell customers are left with three choices for ultraportable laptops:
1) Dell XPS M1330 – Even though it has a 13.3-inch widescreen display, it does weigh in at a respectable four pounds or so, a weight that many 12.1-inch laptops are just now hitting. Of course, this is geared towards consumers/home users (falling into the Inspiron category, or rather close to it) and not necessarily business/professional users. It’s available now.
2) Dell Latitude D430 – It’s Dell’s Business ultraportable, with a 12.1-inch display and weighing in at around three pounds. Available now as well, and recently released, some were surprised when Dell didn’t release it with Intel’s Santa Rosa chipset, given the competition.
3) Dell Latitude XT – Available later this year, it’ll be Dell’s entry into the current Tablet PC/convertible market (switching back and forth between a Tablet PC and a laptop form factor). It would seem logical that it would be based on Intel’s Santa Rosa chipset (although it’s been hinted that it’s based on the Latitude D430).
You could also throw in:
4) Dell XPS M1210. It’s a 12-inch widescreen laptop, and is still available for sale. It appeared that the M1330 was replacing it (which makes sense given the weight/size/performance differences), but it is still available.
You can read more about the Dell Vostro lineup here at Dell.com