BERLIN—Google’s expensive, sleek Pixelbook makes the statement that chromebooks are useful to grownups too, not just elementary school students and college kids. Dell is buying into that argument with the new Inspiron Chromebook 14 2-in-1.
Dell unveiled its first premium chromebook at the IFA tech trade show on Wednesday. The Inspiron Chromebook 14 2-in-1 sports features like an aluminum chassis, a 360-degree display hinge, and a built-in stylus you’d normally expect to find on premium Windows ultraportables. Perhaps best of all, the Inspiron Chromebook 14 2-in-1 is priced at $599, far more affordable than the Pixelbook.
Dell’s premium chromebook goes on sale Oct. 23. Inside, you’ll find an eighth generation Intel Core i3 processor instead of the less-powerful Pentium and Celeron processors that usually power sub-$500 chromebooks. There’s a 14-inch full HD touch-enabled display with in-plane switching (IPS) for wide viewing angles and vivid colors, as well as a bright 300-nit backlight.
The included active digital pen uses electromagnetic resonance (EMR) technology to enable more precise handwriting than you can expect from a capacitive stylus. Best of all, it slides into a “garage” port on the chromebook’s base so you won’t lose it.
Perhaps the only downside is the Inspiron Chromebook 14 2-in-1’s weight. At four pounds, it’s noticeably heavier than many premium 13-inch ultraportables and convertible laptops, which tend to weigh three pounds or less.
Dell also brought back its line of Vostro business laptops at IFA. The surprising re-emergence marks the first time Dell portable PCs have been sold under the Vostro name for many years.
The Vostro 15 5000 (5581) will go on sale in November for a starting price of $579. It’s aimed at small and medium businesses, so it includes some but not all of the security and IT-friendly features you’d expect from a corporate laptop, such as Trusted Platform Module (TPM) encryption.
A smaller 14-inch sibling, the Vostro 14 5000 (5581) will follow in January for $669.
Finally, Dell is also updating its venerable laptops XPS and Inspiron laptop lineups. The XPS refresh is minor, amounting to a refreshed XP3 13 2-in-1 with new eighth generation Intel Core CPUs, and an XPS 13 with a new, cheaper Core i3 CPU option.
The Inspiron 2-in-1 convertible lineup, meanwhile, is getting a total makeover. For more on the transformation, check out our preview of the Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1.