Dell launches XPS 15z notebook

Macbook Pro competitor has a 1080p 15.6in screen, Intel Sandy Bridge processor

The Dell XPS 15z notebook.

The Dell XPS 15z notebook.

Dell Australia has officially launched the XPS 15z, a 15.6in notebook that competes — however much the company denies it — with the Apple MacBook Pro. The XPS 15z has similar specifications to the recently-upgraded Pro — like its second-generation 'Sandy Bridge' Intel Core i5 or i7 processor — but beats Apple's premier laptop in screen size and resolution, weight and price.

Like the MacBook Pro, the Dell XPS 15z has an anodised aluminium casing — although Dell isn't likely to offer the same colour customisations that are available on its other Inspiron and XPS models — and a largely similar layout in its side-mounted ports and slot-loading DVD-RW drive. The screen on the 15z is a stand-out feature, though — its 1920x1080pixel resolution is far ahead of the 1440x900pixel or optional 1680x1050pixel screen offered in the 15in MacBook Pro, and Dell also claims its screen brightness is superior to the MacBook Pro and other competitors.

Deborah Harrigan, general manager of Dell's consumer and small business division, was evasive on the question of a follow-up 13in model that would compete with the Apple Macbook Air and Samsung Series 9 ultraportables, telling the assembled media that "We can't say no, and we can't say yes." Harrigan did say that the XPS 15z was the first model in a series of laptops from Dell, hinting at future releases in different sizes and configurations.

Dell's XPS 15z will be available from Dell's online store and JB Hi-Fi in the coming weeks, with the base Core i5 model priced at $1399. The top-spec configuration, which runs on a Sandy Bridge Intel Core i7 CPU, is $1699.

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