In bid for entrepreneurs, Dell introduces new Vostro 3000 laptops: Core i3, i5, i7; start $768

In a bid for small business entrepreneurs, Dell on Tuesday unveiled its Vostro 3000 series laptops with standard voltage Intel Core i3, i5 and i7 processors and discrete graphics for less than $800.

In a bid for small business entrepreneurs, Dell on Tuesday unveiled its Vostro 3000 series laptops with standard voltage Intel Core i3, i5 and i7 processors and discrete graphics for less than $800.

The laptops come on the heels of the Vostro V13 ultra-low-voltage thin-and-light, a $450 laptop which we at ZDNet particularly admired for its value.

The difference is that the new 3000 series exchanges the V13's ULV processor for a more robust standard voltage chip, stronger graphics and, as a result, less battery life.

[Image Gallery: Dell Vostro 3000 series]

The Vostro 3000 series is made up of four models: the 13.3-inch 3300, the 14.0-inch 3400, the 15.6-inch 3500 and the 17.3-inch 3700.

They're intended for road warriors, practical users and power users, respectively, with hardware to match.

Here's a full rundown of the systems' specs:

  • 2010 Intel Core i3 and i5 dual-core processor (all models); Core i7 quad-core processor (3700 only)
  • Intel HM57 chipset
  • Thickness (front): 0.79 in. (3300); 0.86 in. (3400); 0.90 in. (3500); 1.06 in. (3700)
  • Weight: 4.01 lbs. (3300); 4.76 lbs. (3400); 5.30 lbs. (3500); 5.95 lbs. (3700)
  • Display: HD wide LED anti-glare display (multitouch available on 3500 in April)
  • Colors: Aberdeen Silver (std); Lucerne Red, Brisbane Bronze (add $40)
  • OS: Windows 7 Professional, Home Premium, Home Basic; Windows Vista Home Basic; Windows XP Professional; Linux Ubuntu
  • Memory: up to 6GB offered, up to 8GB supported: 1066MHz DDR3, 2 DIMM slots
  • Graphics: Intel Integrated GMA HD or NVIDIA Geforce 310M (512MB); NVIDIA Geforce GT 330M (1GB) on 3700 only
  • Battery: 4-cell standard (3 hours 27 mins for 3300; about 3 hours for the rest), 6-cell standard (approx. 4 hours 30 mins for all but the 3300); 8-cell optional (7 hours for 3300), 9-cell optional (7.5 to 8 hours for all but the 3300)
  • Storage: up to 500GB 7200RPM SATA hard drive; 250GB 7200RPM encrypted HDD; standard free fall sensor
  • Optical drive: 8X DVD+/-RW with double-layer DVD+/-R write capability (tray load)
  • Input: standard full size, spill-resistant keyboard (with numeric keypad for 3700); optional backlit keyboard; standard gesture multi-touchpad
  • Connectivity: Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1, wireless WAN (EVDO-HSPA)
  • Integrated 2.0-megapixel camera with digital array microphones
  • Ports: VGA, RJ-45, power, headphone/microphone out, 1394, HDMI, USB 2.0 (2X for 3300; 3X for 3400 and 3500; 4X for 3700), 1 USB 2.0/eSATA combo, card reader (5-in-1 for 3300; 8-in-1 for the rest), 34mm Express Card
  • Security: Fingerprint reader with DigitalPersona software; DataSafe Online; Dell Backup and Recovery Manager
  • Green credentials: Energy Star 5.0, EPEAT bronze

The systems are effectively recession-busters made to help new entrepreneurs use proper systems for their business.

The new 3000 series comes with webcams and microphones for videoconferencing, HDMI ports for presentations and serious processing power at the high end of the spectrum.

Accordingly, the new Vostro notebooks also come with small-business (read: if you have no IT department) sales and support. They're also rather durable, and sport aluminum shells and reinforced hinges for bumps 'n' bruises on the road.

The Dell Vostro 3300 will start at $788, the 3400 and 3500 will start at $768, and the 3700 will start at $798. All prices include a year of Dell ProSupport and CompleteCare.

The laptops are available in the U.S. and parts of Asia starting today. They'll be available in Europe, Latin America and elsewhere on March 16.