updated 04:10 pm EST, Tue December 16, 2008
Dell Mini 12 Linux
Dell on Tuesday quietly expanded its options for the Inspiron Mini 12 with Linux and XP options. The new trim levels let the PC maker provide both an open-source alternative as well as offer a significantly better-performing alternative to the original, which was previously forced to use Windows Vista. The Linux version also lasts longer and runs for up to six hours despite using the same three-cell battery as the XP system.
Nearly all options are available on either configuration, including custom artwork. Only Windows XP models currently have access to 3G broadband.
Moving to the free Ubuntu install lowers the price of a Mini 12 $50 to $499 and gives it 1GB of memory, a 1.33GHz Atom processor and a 40GB hard drive. The XP option costs the standard $549 without changing features. Adding a six-cell battery and stepping up to a 1.6GHz Atom normally boosts the price by about $100 for each model but has been dropped to a $50 hike for each model.
Orders placed today for either system should ship by the end of December.