Dell refreshes Inspiron laptops with Intel Ivy Bridge CPUs, Ultrabook model

With back-to-school shopping just ahead of us, Dell has announced that it has updated its core consumer laptop line with new components and fresh designs. including its first Inspiron Ultrabook.

With back-to-school shopping just ahead of us, Dell has announced that it has updated its core consumer laptop line with new components and fresh designs. including its first Inspiron Ultrabook.

The updated Inspiron 14z is that Ultrabook, weighing in at a not-super-svelte 4.12 pounds, but that's because it packs a DVD burner. It also comes with an 1.4GHz Intel Core i3 ULV processor (Sandy Bridge, but you can upgrade to an Ivy Bridge CPU), 6GB of RAM, 500GB hard drive, 32GB SSD, and optional AMD Radeon HD 7570M graphics. The $599 Inspiron 13z, due June 19, is not technically an Ultrabook, but is about 0.3 pounds lighter thanks to it not having an optical drive. Its specs are otherwise similar to the 14z.

If you are looking for a slightly larger screen, Dell has upgraded a pair of 15-inch laptops and two 17-inch machines. The base model of the Inspiron 15R starts at $549 and features a 2.4GHz Core i3-2470M Ivy Bridge chip, while the base 17R includes an 1.4GHz Core i3-2367M. You also get 6GB of RAM, 500GB hard drive, Wireless Display (WiDi) support, and Intel's integrated graphics.

Want something beefier? The Inspiron 15R Special Edition costs $350 more than the base model, but you get a bigger hard drive (750GB), a Core i5 processor, full HD display, and AMD Radeon HD 7730M discrete graphics. The 17R Special Edition runs $1,099 and includes 8GB of RAM, 1TB hard drive, full HD display, and Nvidia GeForce GT 650M graphics. You can even get a 3D version of the 17R Special Edition for an additional $200.

As usual, you get some color choices beyond the usual gray with the new Inspiron. The 14z, for instance, also comes in a red option. Other models include Dell's Switch lids, which can be swapped out for a different hue. You can check out a full image gallery of the new models here.

How do these new Dells look to you? Let us know in the Comments section below.

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