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Dell Bows Sub-$1,000 Blu-ray Laptops

Dell has begun shipping its Inspiron 1525 laptop with an optional Blu-ray Disc drive at suggested retails starting at $879.

The laptop features 15.4-inch high-definition wide-aspect display with 720p resolution. It includes an HDMI port for connectivity to high resolution displays and HDTVs.

According to Dell, the Blu-ray drive is fully backward compatible and will play and/or burn traditional DVDs and CDs. A Blu-ray burner option is also available for data backup. The company said a Blu-ray disc will hold up to 50GB of data while a typical DVD disc will hold 8.5GB.

Dell said the computer can play high-definition video due to the incorporation of Broadcom Media Technology. According to Dell, “The high-definition video playback is enabled through a built-in dedicated accelerator located in a mini-card slot.”

Dell’s Media Direct technology, which is included in all Dell consumer laptops, is said to allow users access to media files with the touch of a single button.

On the cosmetic end, customers can select a model featuring the design or color of their choice.

Accessories like a slim travel power adapter ($80), a Dell travel remote control IR that slips into the ExpressCard slot ($22) and Creative noise-isolation earphones ($25) are also available.