Dell Inspiron Mini 12 says hello to the Eee, Aspire One, Wind
Dell's Inspiron Mini 12 ups the ante in mini-notebooks, with a 12in screen from $999.
The Dell Inspiron Mini 12 is an attractive option for those who want something bigger than an Eee, but don't want to jump to the 15.4inch bricks being sold for under $1,000.
At less than 1.3Kg in weight, the Inspiron Mini 12 is a true-lightweight, unlike most mid-range value notebooks, and is close to our preferred ideal size of portables - the 13.3in.
Initial launch is in Japan, with the Mini 12 scheduled to go onsale in Australia by the end of November.
In our opinion, this is the why you should care. The 12.1in notebook is one of the last designs to fall below $1,000 (except for 17in). They're a great compromise between portability, and getting work done - but unlike mid-range 15.4in clunkers or 8.9in models, you don't usually find them this cheap. Resolution on the Mini 12 is 1280x800.
Small size, though not record breaking
As mentioned, the 1.27Kg starting weight is the big difference between this machine and many of the cheap mid-range portables you'll see under $1,000. It's also the same starting weight as HP's impressive 2133 Mini Note, an achievement considering the Mini Note's smaller screen size (8.9in).
At 2.3cm to 2.7cm high, the Inspiron Mini 12 is a tad bigger than Apple's revamped 1.3in Macbook (2.41cm high).
OS - yes, you guessed it
The initial announcement mentions Vista Home Basic only - a glaring difference between this and some of the cheaper 10in, and 8.9in notebooks on the market. We're not writing off Vista here - the Inspiron Mini 12 has 1GB RAM - but we wont' say we're not worried about performance - especially considering our Dell Inspiron Mini 9 review machine was laggy on XP.
Reports say XP and Ubuntu versions will appear by the end of the year - we recommend holding out for these.
Dell's weapon of choice here is the Intel Atom Z530 - which won't chew through your battery, but has us slightly worried about performance.
No great surprises in terms of storage, with 80GB HDD onboard. No mention of SSD in the initial announcement, but we'd be surprised if it's not an option.
|The Dell Inspiron Mini 12: Reports say XP and Ubuntu versions will appear by the end of the year - we recommend holding out for these.|