June 2, 2009 Dell has set out to strike a balance between portability and multimedia performance with its new Studio 14z laptop. The result is a 4.3 pound, 1.2-inches thick machine with a 14-inch 16:9 HD display, 4W audio output, dual headphone jacks, a choice of Intel processors (from Pentium Dual Core to Core 2 Duo T9550), integrated NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics, up to 5GB of RAM and an option of a 500GB HDD.

The 14-inch LED display is available in resolutions of 1366 x 768 and 1600 x 900, while the extra room provided by the optional 500GB HDD might come in handy since there’s no integrated optical drive. Standard specs include 3GB RAM, HDMI and DisplayPort connections, 1.3MP webcam, dual digital microphones, Wi-Fi b/g, eSATA connectivity, 6-cell battery and FastAccess facial recognition software.

You’ll need to shell out a little more for optional extras such as the 8-in-1 Media Card Reader, Bluetooth, 8-cell battery, external optical drive and Phoenix FailSafe theft protection package.

The Dell Studio 14z is available in a range of colors in the US and Canada with prices starting at USD$649.

Darren Quick