If you were impressed by LG being able to squeeze an optical drive into its super-thin Blade P430 notebook, then you may need to sit down for Dell's upcoming XPS 14z. The slot-loading DVD burner on the right of Dell's new thin and powerful mobile business solution sits in a frame that's just 0.9-inch (23 mm) thin - allowing Michael Dell's company to claim the title of world's thinnest, fully-featured 14-inch laptop that includes an optical drive.
Like LG, Dell has also sacrificed some space around the edge of the XPS 14z's 14-inch, 1366 x 768 resolution display so that it fits into a notebook frame generally reserved for 13.3-inch screens. A high definition 1.3 megapixel webcam and dual microphones top the screen, and a backlit, spill-resistant chiclet-style keyboard sits underneath.
Aimed at business users and given a stylish anodized aluminum finish, the 13.19 x 9.21 x 0.9-inch (335 x 234 x 23 mm) XPS 14z will be available in a choice of 2nd Gen Intel Core i5 or i7 dual-core processors supported by up to 8GB of DDR3 1333Mhz memory. There's also an option to choose NVIDIA GeForce GT 520M graphics with 1GB of dedicated video memory and up to 750GB of 7200 RPM hard drive or 256GB SSD storage.
The Windows 7 laptop features built-in Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6230 Wireless-N and Bluetooth 3.0 technology, one USB 3.0, one USB 2.0 and a HDMI 1.4 port, and Mini Display-Port and microphone/audio connectors. Dell says that users can expect over six hours battery life from the 8-cell battery.
The XPS 14z will be available in the U.S. and Canada from Nov. 1, and worldwide from Nov. 15 - prices start from US$999.