The $349 touch-based Inspiron 11 3000 launches next month.
This week Dell introduced the Inspiron 11 3000 Series notebook sporting an 11.6 inch edge-to-edge touch screen and an impressive starting price tag of $349 for the AMD model and $379 for the Intel "Haswell" Celeron model. The laptop will supposedly feature Windows 8.1 right out of the box, and a battery promising up to eight hours on a single charge (Haswell version).
"From locker rooms to locked cars, we test Inspiron laptops for survival in harsh short-term heat conditions of up to 65°C/149°F," the company claims. "We test hinges to ensure they still feel tight, even after opening and closing the lid 20,000 times. We [also] test commonly used keys for 5 million keystrokes and touch pad buttons 1 million times with no failure."
According to the company, the budget touch-based laptop will measure around 0.83 inches thin and weigh a mere 3.15 pounds with the battery included. Gorilla Glass will protect the touch screen, and the laptop itself will provide an SD card reader, an Ethernet port, three USB 3.0 ports, HDMI output, noise-cancelling dual digital array microphones, a webcam, and headphone jack. A strong composite frame housing will support a sturdy keyboard, large palm rests and a large, comfortable touchpad...
Unfortunately, the actual specs are unknown at this point. Various hands-on reports claim that the laptop will have a unique, silver "soft touch" coating providing a rubbery feel for a better grip. The device will also reportedly come without excessive bloatware and superfluous popups like McAfee's popular antivirus renewal notifications. So far, it's unknown what garbage has been trimmed from Dell's install of Windows 8.1.
The Dell Inspiron 11 3000 will supposedly be available on October 3, but if it's sporting Windows 8.1 out of the box, then expect that date to be for pre-purchases only, with the product shipping after October 18. We'll provide more hardware details when Dell dishes them out.