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Dell's new D420 ultraportable

Ryan Block, @ryan

Dell's got a bit of a hit and miss history with ultraportables -- especially in the last couple of years, with the sleeper X1 (a rebadged Samsung Q30), and the 700m, a successful machine by all accounts, but one we just never really bought into. Their latest foray into the form factor comes as the D420, a three pound widescreen that appears to fall some place in between the D410 and the X1; expect a 12.1-inch display with Cingular or Verizon support (as expected) in the US and Vodafone overseas, as well as "802.11n ready" status (whatever that means), the Wi-Fi Catcher switch (that turns your shut-down computer into a hotspot finder), SD slot, three USB ports, one FireWire port, a Core Solo ULV processor, seven hour battery, and $1,379 base price tag. Not too shabby, but is it enough to take on Gateway's NX100X?

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