Riding a PR wave that seems to almost inexplicably, coincidentally crest once a week, today Dell has announced the new 3000 series of their Vostro notebooks. Vostro is Dell's entry-level enterprise brand similar to HP's ProBook series, and our own Jarred had a chance to take a look at the 13.3" Vostro V131 back in October of last year. Latitude these aren't, but for users who don't want to skimp out on an Inspiron, they may be the way to go.

Available in 13.3" (3360), 14" (3460), and 15.6" (3560) form factors, the new Vostro lineup starts with Sandy Bridge-based Core i3 processors but can all be upgraded to Ivy Bridge-based i5 and i7 chips. Displays continue to be a skint 1366x768, although the 3560 can be upgraded to a 1080p display. More interestingly, though, the notebooks in the new Vostro line all include mSATA ports (initially configured with 32GB SSDs for Intel's Smart Response caching technology), but they don't include any USB 2.0 connectivity. All of the USB ports are 3.0.

Specific to the 3360, the shell is just 0.76" thick, making it thicker than most ultrabooks but still thin enough to be comfortably portable. Hopefully the extra z-height means a deeper, more comfortable keyboard than the thinner ultrabooks typically include. The 3360 also includes only a 4-cell battery, but given how frugal Ivy Bridge processors are with power, this shouldn't be a major issue. Moving up to the 14" 3460 gets you a 6-cell battery, four USB 3.0 ports instead of the three on the 3360, an ExpressCard/34 slot, and optional NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M dedicated graphics hardware. Finally, the 15.6" 3560 carries over all the same features of the 3460, but the GPU can be upgraded to an AMD Radeon HD 7670M instead. One point of contention, though: the 3360 and 3460 support integrated WAN while the 3560 does not.

The Vostro 3560 is available now starting at $599, while the 3360 and 3460 are both due on June 21st, starting at $649 and $599 respectively.

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  • PyroHoltz - Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - link

    If they had a matte 1080p on the 13.3" model that'd be sweet.
  • MrSpadge - Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - link

    ... except you couldn'T read anything. Or, I, that is ;)
  • retrospooty - Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - link

    We arent asking for miracles here, just put LCD upgrade options onto your laptops. It doesnt have to be retina quality, just a single step up from 1366x768 would be a huge improvement on 13 and 14 inch screens. Ack! So tired of this res.
  • ananduser - Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - link

    If Apple can get away with 1280x on a 1200$(13" MBP) machine then why cannot Dell with a budget machine at half the price ?
  • ImSpartacus - Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - link

    The resolution doesn't matter. Apple's 1440x900 MBA screen costs $100 for a replacement. The screen on the Vostro 3350 (last gen) cost $55 (+$10 for matte). I'd imagine the 3360's price is similar.


    It's a shame to think that less than $50 separates us from shitty TN to godly TN.

    And IPS? The only laptop IPS screen that came to mind is the X220's 12.5" 1366x768 mattescreen. It's only $110.


    If you're curious, the iPad 3's 9.7" screen is $80.

  • themossie - Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - link

    Thank you! I haven't seen a comparison of laptop LCD prices before.
    Wondering what the price premium is for the new Macbook Pro panel...
  • ananduser - Wednesday, June 13, 2012 - link

    I mentioned MBP 13"(which is a 1280x) not MBA 13"(1440x). I don't think there is such thing as a godly TN. If one berates all TN panels then there is no compromise. Some TN panels are better but not by much.

    The difference of 50$ in BOM price is 70$-100$ in final product price. Apple doesn't charge the extra 16GB on the iphone with 20$ or 30$ but with 100$.
  • Conficio - Wednesday, June 13, 2012 - link

    The difference of 50$ in BOM price is 70$-100$ in final product price. Apple doesn't charge the extra 16GB on the iphone with 20$ or 30$ but with 100$.

    I think you discovered the problem!

    The assembled package prices are mind boggling. If you consider that you can buy the spare part for a fraction (and that is all consumer prices, not volume price) and have not factored in that you don't need the original poor quality part.
  • LSB - Wednesday, June 13, 2012 - link

    Actually... there is:

  • Penti - Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - link

    They are not business notebooks until they support proper docking station-adaptors, comes with QM-series chipset for vPro/Intel AMT. These don't even come with DisplayPort for your high-res screen at your desk. Sorry but they are still the dirt cheap feature free versions.

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