updated 08:25 am EDT, Tue October 19, 2010
Sprint gets first 3G, 4G combo notebooks from Dell
Sprint claimed a minor first on Tuesday by getting the two first notebooks to have both built-in 3G and 4G in the US. Its version of the Dell Mini 10 and the Dell Inspiron 11z can access either regular EVDO or WiMAX to have the up to 6Mbps speeds with a fallback for when 4G coverage isn't available.
Apart from the enhanced wireless, both are a match for their regular counterparts. The Mini 10 netbook occupies the lower 1012 spec with a 1.66GHz Atom N450, 1GB of RAM and a 250GB hard drive; it gets a Broadcom Crystal HD accelerator that can help play 1080p video and can be a key to streaming on 4G.
The Inspiron 11z is more unique: the crossover notebook has specs that weren't available when the system was regularly on sale at Dell, with a ULV Core i3 processor versus the Pentiums and Celerons of the regular version. Most other details aren't available, but it's likely to have at least 2GB of RAM.
The earliest orders will be available on Hallowe'en, when business buyers will have the option of the Mini 10. Both its wider sales and the Inspiron 11z will be available on November 14. Sprint plans to virtually give away the Mini 10, making it free on contract and after a $100 rebate. Inspiron 11z buyers will still get a subsidized system at $150 with a similar contract and rebate.