Upgradeable and reasonably portable, the 110L could be an ideal first computer.
Direct order specialist Dell has announced a price breakthrough with its latest entry level notebook, the Latitude 110L. Starting a just £399 (excl VAT and delivery) the new model is the company’s cheapest notebook to date.
I have to say, I have seen laptops break the £400 price bracket before (also pre VAT and delivery, of course), but not from any of the more reputed manufacturers. One exception is Acer which has produced models for around £500 but, in general, it seems companies are worried that super bargain basement models could damage their reputations further up the grapevine
Consequently, though I was pleased to hear of the Latitude 110L, I thought it might be a bit of a dog. I was in for a pleasant surprise.
Now certainly the 110L is not the lap of luxury, but it does appear (at least on paper) to be more than capable of getting you up and running in and around Windows with the minimum of fuss. In my opinion, it also looks reasonably good as well (but, since its all black, that could just be a boy thing).
Analysing the specs, what immediately stands out is the weight which at just 2.8Kg is surprisingly portable. Around this are the baseline features which include a 1.3GHz Celeron M processor, 14.1in 1024 x 768 resolution display, 256MB of DDR 333MHz RAM, 30GB hard drive and 8-cell Li-Ion battery. You do not get a DVD writer on the basic model but it does have integrated 10/100 Ethernet and modem, three USB2.0 ports and comes with Windows XP Home, while £10 will get users an upgrade to Intel 2200 802.11b/g wireless which in my eyes is fantastic value.
Another notable option is a 15in display, and the upgradeable nature of the 110L means a DVD writer, hard drive up to 60GB and RAM up to a maximum of 1.28GB can all be added at a later date.
It has to be said, we all like covering the latest technological innovations and flagship products but it does no harm to have a reality check now and then. The 110L looks like a good opportunity to get people into the world of computing and that can only be a positive thing.