updated 10:35 pm EDT, Sun October 26, 2008
Dell Inspiron Mini 12
Dell tonight revealed a comparatively new class of portable in the form of the Inspiron Mini 12. The system has the Atom processor, 1GB of RAM and 80GB storage of a higher-end netbook but has the profile of an ultraportable: it carries a higher resolution 12-inch display, is under one inch thick for most of its depth and weighs a light 2.7 pounds. The system is designed for young users or those who want a system with more traditional notebook dimensions but only need the performance of a netbook.
The larger screen size pushes the system outside of Microsoft's official netbook category and so currently pushes Dell to outfit the system with Windows Vista Home Basic rather than the less demanding XP Home. Bluetooth and a webcam are also standard on this system rather than optional, as they are with the Mini 9.
In an unusual move for Dell, the Mini 12 ships first in Japan and only as a retail item for Bic Camera, Kojima and Sofmap stores. An international launch including the US is slated for late November at a sub-$600 price tag and should also incorporate options for Windows XP on certain configurations as well as Ubuntu Linux.