Dell officially launches XPS 15z -- world's thinnest (non-Apple) 15-inch laptop, starting at $999.99

[Update: I apologize for taking Dell's spin at its word about the "world's thinnest" moniker. I've adjusted the headline accordingly]It may not be as sexy as we were led to believe via various online teasers, but Dell's new XPS 15z is finally here, mixing style, performance, and value in a 15-inch laptop.

[Update: I apologize for taking Dell's spin at its word about the "world's thinnest" moniker. I've adjusted the headline accordingly]

It may not be as sexy as we were led to believe via various online teasers, but Dell's new XPS 15z is finally here, mixing style, performance, and value in a 15-inch laptop.

Starting at $999.99, the 15z is 0.97 inches thin, making it the skinniest 15-inch notebook on the planet, if not as svelte as the MacBook Air or Samsung Series 9 ultra-portables. It offers standard mobile Intel Sandy Bridge processors: the base configuration comes with the Core i5-2410M, while a $1,499.99 model sports the Core i7-2620M. The base model also comes with 6GB of RAM, 500GB hard drive, and Nvidia GeForce GT 525M graphics with 1GB of video memory. Pricier versions come with a 2GB version of the 525M. On the $1,299.99 and $1,499.99 configs, you get bumped up to a 300-nit 15.6-inch 1080p display.

Dell claims 8-hour battery life for the 15z using an eight-cell battery. You also get a chiclet-style backlit keyboard, and anodized aluminum styling that is reminiscent of the dearly departed Adamo line.

On its blog, Dell claims that the 15z is "the first in a series of Dell devices that will mix performance with slick form factors designed for mobility" and promises something in a smaller size soon. So this may be an appetizer for a new look to the company's laptop lineup. Will the main course be enough to steal attention from those tablet PCs hogging all the headlines?