Dell refreshes Inspiron R series laptops with Sandy Bridge CPUs, interchangeable designer lids

Dell killed off its 13-inch Adamo laptop recently, but it's apparently decided to freshen up its Inspiron R notebook family for the spring. In addition to sporting the latest Intel Sandy Bridge processors, the new Inspiron R portables offer interchangeable lids that can be easily popped on and off.

Dell killed off its 13-inch Adamo laptop recently, but it's apparently decided to freshen up its Inspiron R notebook family for the spring. In addition to sporting the latest Intel Sandy Bridge processors, the new Inspiron R portables offer interchangeable lids that can be easily popped on and off.

The Inspiron R comes in 14-inch, 15-inch, and 17-inch flavors. The 14R starts at $599 and features either new Core i3 or i5 processors, up to 6GB of RAM, and up to a 640GB hard drive. The 15R has similar specs, but a slightly lower starting price of $549. Stepping up to the 17.3-inch 17R supposedly gives you the option of a Core i7 CPU, but Dell's site doesn't appear to offer that option yet. You can get a discrete Nvidia GeForce GT 525M graphics card, however, instead of relying on integrated graphics.

There's a virtual rainbow of optional designer lids you can add on (25 in total), running from standard $39.99 colors like blue, pink, and red to $49.99 selections from designers like Deanne Cheuk and Mike Ming. Whether many people will actually pony up money for laptop fashion accessories, as Dell's promotional copy suggests -- "Start the day with a Peacock Blue lid, and switch it out for a design-inspired look at night" -- is debatable, but give the company a few props for continuing to promote its conspicuous customization options.