Dell Expands Consumer Portfolio with Touch-Screen Laptops + Cloud Stick

Dell is freshening up its lower end notebook line-up with new Inspirons that are thinner, more powerful, and more tablet-like than ever before.

The next generation 14, 15, and 17-inch Dell Inspiron laptops come equipped with new processors and beefier graphic cards – either an Nvidia GeForce GT 640M or an AMD Radeon HD 8730M GPU.  The 17-inch model features 1,600-by-900 resolution, wireless content streaming and better cam quality.

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These are the standard models. For a premium option, users will be able to get their hands on touch screen configurations of all three laptops, as well as the R series and other upcoming Inspiron notebooks.

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“The budget Inspiron line is also getting a different sort of upgrade with optional touchscreen-equipped configurations available,” writes PCMag.  “By adding touch capability with 10-finger tracking and enhanced gesture support, the new Inspirons let you experience Windows 8 as it was meant to be used, letting you swipe, tap, and zoom intuitively by simply reaching to the screen.”

The touch screen laptops will likely prove to be just as appealing to Windows users who may not be particularly enthusiastic about using trackpad for extended periods of time.

Dell’s engineers have been working away on all sorts of consumer tech for CES. The company revealed the existence of Project Ophelia this week, a USB ‘cloud stick’ that can be plugged into any monitor or TV.  The thin client relies on software from Wyse to tap into a personal cloud service that may store documents, files and multimedia, but unfortunately it doesn’t come with a keyboard and mouse.

In other Dell news, the company said goodbye to David Johnson, former senior vice president for corporate strategy. The Economic Times reports that he got a better offer from Blackstone Group.