Dell to complete Inspiron refresh with high-end 8500

Dell's new Inspiron 8500 notebook completes its revamp of its consumer notebook line prior to the launch of Intel's Centrino...

Dell's new Inspiron 8500 notebook completes its revamp of its consumer notebook line prior to the launch of Intel's Centrino technology for thin-and-light corporate notebooks.

The Inspiron 8500 comes loaded with high-performance multimedia features such as graphics cards from either Nvidia or ATI Technologies  and a 15.4-inch wide-aspect display that can show wide-screen movies. It is designed for gaming and digital entertainment, Dell said.

Unlike the Inspiron notebooks unveiled earlier this week, the 8500 uses mobile processors from Intel Corp. at clock speeds up to 2.4GHz. The Mobile Intel Pentium 4-M processor is configured for a mobile environment, and allows vendors to build smaller and lighter laptops, but Dell still considers the new 8500 part of its desktop-replacement series of notebooks.

Dell and other PC vendors will release a parade of notebooks based on Intel's Centrino technology when it is announced next week. Centrino is a package that contains the newly designed Pentium-M processor, a chipset, and an integrated 802.11b wireless chip. Intel has said it will be used in the thin-and-light notebook category, but Centrino was mostly found in heavier notebooks at a sneak preview at the recent Intel Developer Forum.

The 8500 will be available in a limited configuration at launch. Initially, a base configuration with a 2.0GHz Mobile Intel Pentium 4-M processor, 512M bytes of DDR (double data rate) SDRAM (synchronous dynamic RAM), a 30G-byte hard drive, and a CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive will be available for US$2,299. Wireless technologies such as 802.11b/802.11g and Bluetooth are optional.

By the end of the month, the notebook will be available in a wider range of configurations, according to Dell.

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