Dell's new ultraportable sports Core i5, semi-ruggedness

Well, the new Dells aren’t exactly going to shock anybody speechless, but they look practical and the assurances of ruggedness are heartening. It’s always struck me as strange that the so-called ultra-portables, which are meant to be taken everywhere, almost universally have cheap builds. Of course, most of them cost a lot less than the Dell E4310, too.

Here are the relevant stats for the E4310:

    Core i5-540M or 520M at 2.53GHz or 2.4GHz respectively
    Up to 4GB DDR3 1066MHz RAM
    Integrated graphics (come on now, Dell, HP has discrete graphics on notebooks a quarter the price)
    13.3″ LED-backlit 1366×768 LCD
    Up to 500GB HDD or 256GB SSD
    DVD-writer or Blu-ray player
    1xUSB 2.0, 1x eSATA/USB 2.0 (only two USB slots? aw)
    Multi-card reader
    Optional 3G modem

Overall… for $1,129 I think you should be expecting more. I get the feeling a lot of the value is in the solid build, but for over a grand you deserve discrete graphics, more than two USB slots, and maybe a HDMI out.

Of course, there are more configuration options and features to be perused, so head on over to Dell to give it a look.