Businesses may not be buying, but that hasn't stopped Dell from trying. The company is rolling out three new additions to its small business line, the 14.1-inch Vostro 1014 and Vostro 1088, and a 15.6-inch model, the Vostro 1015.
These are entry-level laptops and the features are pretty standard. (The major difference between the Vostro 1088 and the other two is better graphics performance, courtesy of the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4330.) But the design, which comes in black, blue or cherry red, looks a lot nicer than your typical business box.
The Vostro 1014 and 1088 fill a hole in Dell's small-business line--the company has been offering the Latitude E5400 corporate notebook to small business buyers as a stopgap. The Vostro 1015 will replace the current 15.4-inch model, the Vostro 1520.
The market for these mainstream, small-business laptops is growing crowded. HP has several models including the 14.1-inch HP Compaq 6500 series and 15.4-inch HP Compaq 6700 series--both of which start at $699--and the 15.6-inch HP ProBook 4510s, which starts at $529 and has the same graphics upgrade as the Vostro 1088. Lenovo recently launched a very nice 14.1-inch laptop, the ThinkPad T400s, but it starts at $1,599. Lenovo's entry-level 14.1-inch ThinkPad R400 and 51.4-inch ThinkPad R500 are really the direct competitors here.
All three Vostro laptops are currently available in Europe, Asia-Pacific and Japan. Dell said they will be shipping in the U.S., as well as in Canada in Latin America, "over the next several months." Earlier this summer Dell released a Vostro all-in-one desktop and a 12.1-inch ultraportable, the Vostro 1220.
In related news, Dell announced a Nickelodeon Edition of its Inspiron Mini 10. This one is not for the suits.
- New Vostro laptops serve the needs of small businesses [Direct2Dell blog]
- Dell's new Inspiron Mini Nickelodeon Edition [release]