The Inspiron Mini 12 goes on sale at Dell’s Web site

If you’ve always thought buying a netbook would be a great idea if only there was a bit more screen real estate, you’ll be excited to see that the only netbook with a 12-inch display, the Inspiron Mini 12, is up for configurable grabs at Dell’s Web site. A basic config of the Mini 12 (which we discuss exhaustively in our full review) can be yours for $549 and will include a 1.3-GHz Intel Atom processor, 1GB of RAM, a 40GB mechanical hard drive, a 3-cell battery, and Windows Vista Home Basic. For $599 you can upgrade to a 60GB HDD, an Atom processor with a faster 1.6-GHz clock speed, and the 6-cell battery. And $649 greenbacks will get you all the latter with a bigger 80GB HDD. The system also comes in your choice of “Alpine White” or “Obsidian” black. Both colors are the same price. Two words of caution if you’re considering purchasing the Mini 12: 1. Right now, Windows Vista Basic is the only OS choice offered. Based on our review, we definitely recommend holding out for an XP or Linux version. 2. For a spare $30 bucks, the 6-cell battery is definitely worth the dough. It lasted 5 hours and 20 minutes during our battery test, showing endurance that walloped other netbooks (with smaller 10-inch displays) excluding of the 6 hours-plus Samsung NC10 (which also has a smaller 10-inch display). That said, go check out the Mini 12 for yourself here. Happy shopping.

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  1. Fanfoot Says:

    We’ll see if there’s room in the netbook space for something this big/expensive. Personally I don’t quite understand the point, but others may think of it more as a very cheap ultraportable and not mind the limitations as much.

    One of the interesting bits of tech on this platform though is Poulsbo, which is PRESUMABLY the reason behind the Vista switch given all the rumors of XP drivers not available, or not handling the power draw very well or something. It would be very helpful if you could clear this up. I assume we’re going to see other Poulsbo-based netbooks in the near future.

    Also, if you could clarify other things. Apparently this laptop has the memory soldered down, and not upgradable. Apparently the initial Poulsbo designs were/are limited to a max of 1GB of RAM. But I’ve also seen rumors that later versions, perhaps even the one in this device, were updated to raise this limit to 2GB.

    Can you clarify any of this? I would love to see an article on the website or in the magazine about the future in netbooks that gets into some of this nitty gritty… the power draw of Atom vs. the chipsets, future options, dedicated graphics, Poulsbo’s ability to accelerate video decode (and therefore 1080i video), standards for mini-flash drives/slots, support for IDE vs. SATA, etc etc

  2. Fanfoot Says:

    jkkmobile has been quite critical of the Poulsbo chipset, saying that in particular it can’t play 720p video on any of the MIDs he has seen it on, and that it doesn’t achieve the power savings it claims, at least so far.

    Have you tried playing 720p video on the Dell Mini 12? We know the existing N-series computers can handle this, even if they can’t handle 1080i. Supposedly Poulsbo was going to enable 1080i video playback, but it doesn’t sound like that has worked out too well so far.

    Also, still no XP drivers anywhere in site, either on Dell’s website or Intel’s.

  3. john laptop Says:

    good news, i want to look it.

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