Dell’s premium Chromebook 13 flaunts carbon-fibre chassis, 12-hour battery life

Dell's new laptop is driven by a Core i5 CPU nestling inside a high-quality chassis

Dell has launched an intriguing new Chromebook which isn't the normal budget affair that carries Google's cloud-reliant OS, but rather is a premium effort that should turn heads.

In actual fact, the Dell Chromebook 13 is pitched at the business market, but this quality notebook could well be a winner for anyone looking to dip their toe with Chrome OS, who would prefer a machine with a quality finish and plenty of power under the hood.

The new laptop boasts what Dell describes as a "stunning" 13.3-inch display with a full HD resolution, and this is powered by a Core i5 fifth-generation Intel CPU (there are also options for Core i3 and Celeron processors).

Pair that CPU with 8GB of RAM and you've got plenty of grunt in terms of basic performance, and also a pretty impressive claimed battery life, which stands at 12 hours, allowing you a full day away from the power socket.

There's also a 720p resolution webcam on board, along with dual array microphones to make your Google Hangouts chats a slicker affair on both the sonic and video fronts (you get stereo speakers with this notebook, too).

As for that premium finish, we're talking about a chassis with an impressive build quality that includes a carbon fibre weave cover, and aluminium is used in the base of the machine to keep it light – there's also a magnesium alloy palm rest.

The Chromebook 13 also sports a backlit keyboard and a "precision" touchpad which Dell claims offers a high level of accuracy – or if you'd prefer to navigate on the display itself, you can opt for a full touchscreen (fashioned from Gorilla Glass).

So what's the damage on this laptop? The Dell Chromebook 13 goes on sale starting from $399 (around £250) over in the US next month, and we'll hopefully see it across this side of the pond not long after.

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