Inspiron 11z review disses touchpad, battery

Dell's new Inspiron 11z is a strange animal: a little laptop that costs the same as many netbooks ($449) but delivers an 11.6" display, honest-to-goodness Intel CULV guts, and Vista Home Premium. Does Dell have a low-cost wonder on its hands, or did it skimp to reach the low price tag? The folks at NotebookReview have, er, reviewed this notebook, and their conclusion seems to point to the latter.

Dell got a few things right, of course. The reviewer praises the ease of access to the internals, which should facilitate upgrading, as well as the decent display and comfortable keyboard. However, other attributes didn't score the system any points, and NotebookReview complains that the touchpad was nigh unusable.

Supposedly, Dell emulated Apple's touchpads by merging the button and tracking areas, but it didn't get the software quite right. With one finger over the button area and another finger tracking, NotebookReview says, the touchpad sometimes moved the cursor into a corner or triggered the zooming behavior.

Meanwhile, the low-voltage Celeron processor lagged "severely" when trying to render high-def Flash video, the build quality on the review sample left much to be desired, and the battery only lasted a little over three and a half hours. The review doesn't reveal much about that last test, but it sounds like the system was just sitting at the Windows desktop. Good thing Dell has that six-cell battery option in the works. (Thanks to Engadget for the link.)

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