Dell has finally released a 13″ laptop for people looking to spend less than $900. The starting price on the new 13″ Inspiron is $699. The real trick here is what you’re giving up over the 1330. For that $200 you drop down to a slower processor and you lose the built in webcam. Now both of those are available as options and they’ll run you around $100. You also give up some options. The Inspiron 13 doesn’t give you an LED backlight option, it doesn’t give you a video card upgrade option and it’s not quite as sexy (or svelt) as the 1330. But this little bundle of joy is targeted straight at students.
But really I don’t care about that. I care about how this little laptop fits into my netbook considerations. It falls $200 outside of my budget, but it’s 13″ and has a full blown dual core processor. It’s res is the same as my 2133 (really the 2133 is pretty amazing mostly for its res, that’s a lot of pixels on a tiny little screen). That 13″ screen is so very tempting. But the weight is double, that battery life is going to be considerably less (it ships with a 4 cell battery, most netbooks ship with a 3 cell, my 2133 actually has a 6 cell). So how does this really stack up?
Well weight isn’t as much of a concern as size. The Inspiron 13 is 3 inches wider and 2 inches deeper than the S10. The height is almost exactly the same at 1″. The real kicker though is the Inspiron is only 1.5″ narrower and 1″ shallower than my VX2S and it’s not even a pound lighter. I really keep looking hard for a 13″ that can match the netbook, even with a bit of a price premium. At $250 more than the S10 it’s a great choice for a student, but it’s no competitor for someone who’s looking for something to compete with a netbook. Curses, foiled again.