Dell unveils Inspiron with changeable covers

Dell Computer Corp. on Monday launched its first notebook with snap-on covers, allowing users to change the look of both the cover of the notebook and the palm rest.

The Dell Inspiron 4100 features a 14.1-inch (35.8-centimeter) display, a Mobility Radeon graphics card from ATI Technologies Inc. with 16M bytes of memory and Intel Corp.'s Pentium III processor-M, the company said in a statement.

But the most interesting thing about the six-pound notebook is the 'QuickSnap' color inserts, which allow users to change the appearance of their PC in the same way some users can change the cover of their mobile phone. There are 18 different inserts, which cost US$49 each, including burl wood, snakeskin and spring palette, Dell said.

Beyond the cover, users can also customize what actually goes inside the PC as well. There are three different resolutions available for the display; three different sized hard drives, up to 30G bytes, available and four different optical drives, including an 8X DVD (digital versatile disk) and 4X CD-RW (CD-rewritable) combination drive to choose from, the company said.

Users can also choose the speed of the Pentium III processor-M, up to 1.2GHz and specify up to 1G byte of PC133 SDRAM (synchronous dynamic RAM), Dell said.

The Inspiron 4100 starts at $1,200 for a configuration including an 866MHz processor, 128M bytes of RAM, an XGA (Extended Graphics Array) display, a 10G-byte hard drive and a 24X CD-ROM drive, Dell said. A version with a 1.2GHz processor, 256M bytes of RAM, UXGA display (Ultra Extended Graphics Array), a DVD/CD-RW combo drive and a longer-life battery costs $2,249, Dell said.

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Douglas F. Gray

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