Dell Expands Its Ultramobile Lineup

The PC vendor's new laptop will use Intel's low-watt Core 2 Duo processors and boast a solid state drive option.

Dell is looking to move into one of the PC markets fastest growing areas—ultramobile laptops—with a new offering that takes advantage of Intels new low-watt Core 2 Duo processors.

The Round Rock, Texas, PC vendor is now adding the Latitude D430 to its ultramobile lineup as the company looks to keep up with some recent offerings from OEMs such as Fujitsu, Samsung and Gateway.

When Dell rolled out the new D430 on June 28, the company announced that it would also offer a 32GB SSD (solid state drive) option with the new PC. The company has been pushing the SSD as an expensive add-on with several of its notebooks, including its other ultraportable model, the Latitude D420, its new Precision M430, which began shipping this week, and its semi-rugged Latitude D620 ATG laptop.

Ultraportable devices are one of the fastest growing segments of the PC market. In a June 12 report, IDC found that notebooks and ultramobile shipments increased 28 percent in the second quarter of 2007 compared to the same period a year ago.

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At a meeting with financial analysts earlier this year in New York City, Intel executives told its audience that it was preparing to push more mobile products in the coming years, including chips designed for ultramobile and other portable devices. The chip maker will take a major step forward with that initiative later this year when its "Penryn" family of processors based on a 45-nanometer manufacturing process hit the market.

The D430 will come with a choice of Intels low-watt Core 2 Duo processors that debuted April 5. Dell is offering both the Core 2 Duo U7600 and U7500, which have been designed with a TDP (thermal design power) of 10 watts. TDP is an Intel term that refers to how much heat a chip has to dissipate.

The chips also offer a 533MHz FSB (front side bus) and 2MB of Level 2 cache. The U7600 runs at 1.2GHz; the U7500s clock speed is 1.06GHz. Customers also have the option of the Core Solo U1400, which runs at 1.2GHz.

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The D430 is also one of Dells lighter models, weighing three pounds. Along with a 12.1-inch display, the ultraportable notebook features a maximum of 2GB of RAM, a standard hard disk drive with up to an 80GB of capacity. The notebook supports either Microsoft Windows Vista or XP.

The D430 has support for draft 802.11n WLAN (wireless LAN) technology, and the ultraportable device also supports a number of security features, including TPM (Trusted Platform Module) 1.2, an integrated feature that allows users to create and store encryption keys.

Dell is offering the D430 immediately for a base price of $1,509.

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