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Dell’s Inspiron Z Is Another Nail In The Premium Ultraportable Coffin…Netbooks Under Pressure

Inspiron 11zThe premium ultraportable sector has become even less viable recently with the announcement of Dell’s Inspiron Z range. This not-netbook-not-premium-but-some-ideal-product-in-between sports Intel’s increasingly admired CULV processor range with crayzeee battery life.

Starting from 11.6 inches the range mimics Acer’s recent and well received Timeline series. This growing new sector of cheap and HD-capable ultraportables are rapidly turning premium ultraportables into a hard sell. I recently saw MacBook Airs selling for $899 at a well known Internet retailer. I still haven’t met any Adamo owners.

Will the netbook also perish at the hands of these seemingly perfectly balanced product offerings? Whilst $400 buys a solid netbook, $450 buys an Acer 1410T with a 1.4GHz CULV Core Solo, onboard HD-capable graphics and mega battery life. So, can the netbook really continue in its current form?

We know the sector will survive due to the development of Intel’s Pineview platform, which will lead to Atom 2.0. But sheesh, the margins in Netbooks are starting to look ever thinner as the CULV-powered ultraportables force netbooks towards the $300 mark.

At long last cheap, powerful and all-day-capable ultraportables are available to the mass-market. If we lose some netbook and premium models as a result, I won’t shed too many tears. They are making space in the market for well-balanced products.

Neil Berman


Aug 17, 2009 - Posted by | Analysis, Hardware, Mobile, News

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