updated 12:25 am EDT, Thu September 4, 2008
Dell Mini 9
Dell today is revealing the full details of the Inspiron Mini 9, its first netbook. The 8.9-inch portable once rumored as the Inspiron 910 shares a similar design to larger Inspirons but, apart from the smaller screen, uses a 1.6GHz Intel Atom chip and Ubuntu Linux to significantly shrink its size without significantly affecting its responsiveness or its feature set. The system weighs just under 2.3 pounds but has features that are often missing from some netbooks, including a near full-size and spill-proof keyboard (through eliminating a few non-essential keys) as well as built-in Wi-Fi and three USB ports.
The PC builder has rearranged its lineup for the Mini 9 since it was first leaked and will ship three core models. A basic Standard Edition at $349 carries just 512MB of RAM, a 4GB flash drive for storage and either black or white for the lid color. A Social Edition at $399 adds a VGA (0.3-megapixel) webcam and doubles the built-in storage to 8GB to handle Windows XP, while a high-end model at $494 doubles the RAM to 1GB, sharpens the webcam to 1.3 megapixels, and carries 16GB of storage.
Dell is expected to ship the Inspiron Mini 9 shortly and will give the device the options of 3G data access or Bluetooth; a 2GB Box.net online account comes free with the netbook and gives the device backup space or extra storage. The company is also running a promotional campaign until the 9th that lets buyers of certain XPS and Studio notebooks add a Mini 9 to their orders for $99.