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3/28/2008
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Dell Launches Sub-$1,000 Blu-ray Notebook

With consumers no longer having to choose between the two competing storage formats, Dell apparently wants to jump-start interest around the winner.

Dell this week introduced a notebook with a Blu-ray disc player for less than $1,000, and has dropped the price of some of its high-end XPS models by $699.

Dell is offering its Blu-ray Inspiron 1525 for $879 at a time when consumers are expected to embrace high-definition DVDs, now that Sony-backed Blu-ray has won the format battle with Toshiba-backed HD DVD. Movie studios and consumer electronics retailers recently dropped support for HD DVD.

With consumers no longer having to choose between the two competing formats, Dell apparently wants to jump-start interest around the winner with the Inspiron 1525, which has a 15.4-inch display and an HDMI port for connecting to high-definition displays and HDTVs.

The Inspiron player can burn files, such as digital photos and videos, to a Blu-ray disc, as well as play and burn traditional DVDs and CDs, Dell said. A Blu-ray disc can hold as much as 50 GB of data versus 8.5 GB on a standard DVD.

The top-of-the-line Inspiron includes a 1.83-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T5550 processor, Windows Vista Home Premium, 3 GB of memory, and a 320-GB hard drive.

Dell introduced the Blu-ray Inspiron on Thursday and cut prices by $699 on Friday on select XPS notebooks. Dell is offering the XPS M1330 and M1530 for a starting price of $1,029 and $999, respectively. The basic M1330 and M1530 come with a 1.66-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T5450 processor, Vista Home Premium, 1 GB of memory, and a 120-GB hard drive.

In addition, Dell said it's cutting by $400 the price of the XPS 420 multimedia desktop, which now starts at $999. The starting configuration includes a 2.4-GHz Intel Core 2 Q6600 quad-core processor, Vista Home Premium, 3 GB of memory, and a 320-GB hard drive.

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