Yesterday, CEO Michael Dell confirmed that his company would be releasing a low-cost mini-notebook to compete with HP’s 2133 and Asus’s Eee PC in the near future. Similar to Dell’s competitors, the laptop would be geared towards the education market and will probably cost around $500. And like other mini notebooks, it would likely have a lot of cross-over appeal for everyone from busy moms on the go to road warriors. “We do see opportunities for very interesting products that are smaller and lighter and address the more mobile users in a very cost-effective way,” Dell said. Dell’s comments were in response to a Dow Jones story quoting an unnamed official at Compal, who said that the company would begin delivering 200,000 to 300,000 low-cost notebooks a month to Dell as early as June. So now that the cat’s out of the bag, what do you imagine Dell’s new laptop will look like? We trolled Dell’s Ideastorm, and after looking through a number of posts on what users would like to see, created a “consensus” machine: REALISTIC OPTIONS: Price: $399 to $429 Screen size: 9 inches Processor: Intel Atom or VIA Isaiah Memory: 2GB Operating System: Windows Vista or Linux Hard Drive: 80GB/7,200 rpm or SSD Wireless: 802.11n, Bluetooth Card Slots: ExpressCard/54 Battery life: At least 6 hours PROPOSED BELLS AND WHISTLES: Integrated WiMax Tablet functionality DVD-CDR/RW combo drive Of course, Dell already has a sub-$500 notebook: the 15.4-inch Vostro 1000 is $399. But can the company shrink everything down, and still keep it cheap? Cramming WiMax, a digitzer, or an optical drive into a sub-$500 system seems pretty unlikely. Perhaps Dell is taking into account its users’ opinions. One thread, where users suggest using an ultra low voltage chip such as the U7600 ULV CPU in the Gateway E-100M, is marked as “Under Review.” Still Dell’s got its work cut out if it wants to include all these options. What would you like to see in a Dell mini-notebook?