Anyone who’s ever used an English-language laptop to type in Spanish knows it can be a big drag. Clicking the ALT key for accents, hunting down punctuation, figuring out how to regain your ‘at’ symbol—it can be enough to make you ignore grammatical niceties altogether. (Sorry, Abuelita!) But until recently, those in the U.S. had little choice; it was either awkwardly make do with a U.S.-bought laptop reset to Spanish or import a Spanish-language one from abroad.
But now, budding Cervantes may be getting another option. BrandsMart USA, a big box retailer with locations in Florida and Georgia, has begun offering a Spanish-equipped laptop at stores and through its website. According to Dell, this is the first time a core-Spanish laptop has been sold in the United States.
The $499 Dell Inspiron M5030 comes with Spanish-language Windows 7, an ñ key and special language punctuation keys (see slideshow). Instructional booklets come in Spanish, as does tech support. The keyboard isn’t without its challenges—ours still needed a double-key combo to create an @, and it took a bit of fumbling to get accents tilting the right way—but overall, testers thought it would be much easier than other options.
“Dell understood the need to offer its Spanish speaking consumers a laptop that was 100 percent designed for them. Our research shows that there are over 17 million individuals in the U.S. who communicate exclusively in Spanish and for whom connectivity with family is essential,” wrote Dell account executive Gerald Zapata in an email. “This was a clear opportunity for us.”
Though it offered no numbers, the company says it’s seeing good results.
“It’s starting to sell as well as the English product,” Zapata told The Miami Herald.
Zapata says Dell plans to expand to stores in other areas of the country.