Dell Computer is releasing the Inspiron 5100 notebook with 2.4GHz, 2.53GHz, 2.66GHz and 2.8GHz processors from Intel to its US customers. The Inspiron is already available to customers in the UK.
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A base configuration with the 2.4GHz Pentium 4 will cost about $1,200 (£759), but information about the rest of the base features of the US model will not be available until the product is launched.
Dell will replace the Inspiron 2650 with the notebook, and allow customers to configure the latest system as they choose. Dell's SmartStep brand, comprising of notebooks with desktop processors in fixed configurations, was discontinued earlier this year as more customers wanted to configure their own systems.
The Inspiron 5100 will target consumers and small businesses. Customers will be able to add optional dual-band 802.11 wireless connectivity to the notebook.
Notebook sales have propped up a flat PC market in the last few months, as consumers replace ageing desktops with notebooks that offer comparable performance to exisiting desktops with just enough mobility to use around the home.
Notebooks with desktop processors are attractive to this group because of the performance and the lower cost of desktop components compared with mobile processors.
The added weight caused by heat shields and fans needed for desktop processors makes these notebooks unsuitable for corporate travellers, but Dell will soon unveil a thin and light notebook range around Intel's Centrino technology.
Centrino launches on 12 March and combines the Pentium-M processor with a chipset and support for 802.11b wireless internet access.