Dell plans to launch several Inspiron laptops featuring Intel's new 45-nanometre (nm) Penryn processors in the next few weeks, according to a spokesperson for the company.

Dell spokeswoman Anne Camden said that consumers will be able to order Penryn-based Inspiron 1420, 1525 and 1720 systems in the next few weeks, at least in the US. Details of UK availability were not available at the time of writing.

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She also noted that Dell also is adding Penryn to its XPS M1330 and plans to offer Penryn processors to more XPS laptop models this spring.

"People want it because it's Intel's newest processor technology," Camden said. "The 45nm technology delivers better performance, and it also brings in better battery performance."

Last November, Dell was the first PC vendor out of the gate to ship workstations with Intel's then brand-new 45nm Penryn chips.

When the Penryn chips were released earlier in November, analysts were quick to note that they expected that the new microprocessors would give desktops and laptops a significant performance boost.

News of Dell adding Penryn chips to its Inspiron and XPS laptops comes just as Dell confirmed to PC Advisor's sister title Computerworld US that it's cutting back on online sales of consumer systems based on AMD chips.

David Lord, a spokesman for Dell, said that while the company has cut back on the number of AMD-based systems sold online, many are still available at US retail outlets such as Wal-Mart and Best Buy. "Any stories about us backing off AMD altogether are completely false," he added. "It's a merchandising position."

AMD got some much-needed good news late last month when Gateway announced that it would be going with AMD Phenom quad-core processors instead of Intel chips in two new high-end desktop machines. Gateway, which has sold mostly Intel-only systems for many years, unveiled AMD-based GM and GT series desktop systems. And for AMD, a microprocessor company that has been struggling with missed shipment dates, financial woes and a slide in mindshare, this was welcome news, according to industry analysts.