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Dell Inspiron M101z Takes Aim at Students

Ardjuna Seghers


Dell Inspiron M101z Takes Aim at Students

If netbooks like the recently reviewed Samsung NB30 aren't powerful or flexible enough for you, Dell may have the answer to your prayers. Its brand-new Inspiron M101z is an 11.6in laptop using single or dual-core processors from the same AMD Athlon II Neo processor range as found in the award-winning HP Pavilion dm3-1020ea.

While there are a few relative disappointments, such as the lack of Gigabit Ethernet and a maximum hard drive capacity of 320GB, other specifications are impressive indeed for its size: Wireless-N Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0 and up to a whopping 8GB of RAM are some of the highlights.

Thanks to its integrated ATI RS880M graphics and the screen's 1,366 x 768 resolution you'll also be able to enjoy smooth HD video, and you can output Full HD (1080p) using the M101z's HDMI output. If you want to watch DVDs an external DVD Rewriter is available.

Weighing just 1.81kg with its standard six-cell battery, Dell reckons the M101z should last you for most of a day depending on use, and if that's not enough there'll be an optional nine-cell battery available before the end of the year.

Fashion aficionados should also be happy with the various patterned lid choices and colour-matching keyboard highlights, including Clear Black, Peacock Blue and Tomato Red, or the delectable Lotus Pink featuring an organic pattern on the palm-rest.

Prices start at £379, making it little more expensive than many high-end netbooks, and it's available now.


July 27, 2010, 5:27 pm

So no optical drive for the software on CD from 1996 the school provides? No mention of whether the keyboard is good or reliable for lots of writing on? Not a terribly low weight for it's size of something you'll be carrying around all day? No high quality IPS screen option for the arts students?

If they were aiming at students specifically they've gone a bit wide of the mark.


July 27, 2010, 5:56 pm

@Xiphias: I think all your points are invalid, of all the years I was a student I never once used a CD for anything other than installing games, as everything is done from the internet to get lectures and even submit work.

I have yet to come accross a modern day laptop that is not good for typing on and for essays it is useless to have a gaming acurate keyboard for that.

the weight is fine 1.8kg isnt that heavy less than 500g from an average netbook and this is far more functional.

as for the IPS display well there are other degrees other than useless art, and I wouldnt expect many art students to want to do their work on an 11 inch screen would you?

I think they have nailed the student laptop, it's cheep and cheerful thats all most students need or want, for an essay or for facebook.


July 27, 2010, 5:57 pm

@Xiphias - What? I'm sure they keyboard is fine, they usually are on most of the Dell laptops I've used, so I don't know why this one would be any different. The lack of a CD drive is a notable omission, of course, but external optical drives are hardly rare or expensive. The weight may not make it a featherweight, but have you seen the price of most ultraportables? As for an IPS screen in a laptop - you must be joking, right? AFAIK there isn't a single laptop which uses an IPS panel, and if there was I'm sure it would compromise battery life so considerably that you wouldn't be able to get any work done on it anyway. Besides, art students make up such a tiny proportion of all students they're hardly worth worrying about anyway :P

I think you've missed the biggest factor here, and that's the price. Students rarely care about much else (unless they have rich parents paying for it all, or a handsome grant). In fact, as a student myself, I'd have to disagree with you and say this comes pretty close to suiting my needs very well.


July 27, 2010, 6:43 pm

My sister set me the goal of finding her a laptop, I was trying to find a CULV device, somewhere 13" or less, but the problem was that the (apparently) crucial characteristic was that it must be pink. This might be just the ticket.


July 27, 2010, 6:43 pm

Does an arts student really want to pay for a high-quality 11.6 inch IPS screen?


July 27, 2010, 6:58 pm

I wonder if you can get it with Ubuntu?


July 27, 2010, 7:27 pm

I'm sure plenty of people would be prepared to pay a premium for an IPS panel, but not on a laptop like this. On an HP TM2, on the other hand...{http://h40059.www4.hp.com/u...}, if that had an IPS option I would already own one.


I'm an ex Art student, thank you very much :)

And while not IPS, there IS a high-end laptop screen option that's been available for years: Dell's LED-RGB backlit displays as found on the {http://www.trustedreviews.c...}


July 27, 2010, 10:40 pm

torn between this and the Acer Aspire One 521.


July 28, 2010, 3:46 am

Go on Ardjuna, give in... the TM2 is lovely and I've already convinced three colleagues to buy them. John Lewis were selling them for £600 a couple of weeks ago and I still feel OK about paying £700 for mine.

The viewing angle on the screen could be a bit better but the only downside I've really found to my TM2 is that you feel a bit of a spaz stabbing at the screen of a regular laptop when you forget it's not touch sensitive. Being able to use it as an electronic sketchpad in the middle of a client presentation is an absolute joy and it's still pokey enough to play Half Life 2 at lunchtime. Gwan. ;)


July 28, 2010, 1:24 pm


I know, I know - I'm a display snob, however. Still, once the TM2 Core i3/5 refresh finally makes its way across the Atlantic (damn lucky Americans :P) I may stop fighting :)

I know exactly what you mean. A while back I was ineffectually poking at my monitor after reviewing a touch-screen one :D

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