Dell said it would join a growing market of thin-and-light Chrome OS laptops with the new Chromebook 11, but the system will initially be available only to educational institutions.
The company did not provide specifications for the laptop, but in an email said more Chromebooks will be announced for "budget-strapped" small-and-medium business and consumers in the coming months.
Dell said the Chromebook 11 4GB configuration will be available January 2014. The Dell Chromebook 11 2GB configuration will be available during the first quarter of 2014. The Dell Chromebook 11 is expected to sell from £159 for the 2GB system (exc. VAT)
PC makers and Google are promoting Chromebooks, which are low-cost laptops for those who do most of their computing on the Web.
A new wave of Chromebooks hit the market in October from Acer, Hewlett-Packard and Samsung. Laptops with 11.6-inch screens include Acer's Chromebook C720, Hewlett-Packard and Google's Chromebook 11, and the Samsung Chromebook. Hewlett-Packard also sells a Chromebook 14 with a 14-inch screen. Acer's Chromebook C720P, which started shipping a few days ago, has an 11.6-inch touchscreen.
Chromebooks have processor options of either ARM or Intel's Celeron, which is based on a Haswell microarchitecture. Depending on the screen size and processor, Chromebooks can offer more than six hours of battery life. Many Chromebooks have minimal storage of just 16GB, but come with two years of 100GB of free cloud storage on Google Drive.