Back in early April, DailyTech brought you news that Dell would enter the low-cost notebook market with a product to compete with the ASUS Eee PC and HP Mini-Note PC. Since that time, the low-cost field has gotten pretty exciting with the $399 Wind from MSI and the announcement of new Eee PC updates from ASUS.
Gizmodo’s Brian Lam managed to catch Michael Dell at the All Things D conference and he just so happened to be carrying around a "Mini Inspiron". According to Lam, the notebook features three USB 2.0 ports, a VGA port, Ethernet, and a media-reader.
Once Gizmodo spilled the beans on the tiny notebook, the Direct2Dell blog site went ahead and released two more images of the sub-$500 Mini Inspiron and all of its Candy Red glory. It's hard to get an idea of how large the screen is, but we're guessing that it's likely 8.9" running at a resolution of 1024x600. The keyboard also looks to be a bit on the small side and lacks function keys on the top row. And although official specifications for the device haven't been announced, it's almost a given that the Mini Inspiron will feature a 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor and a 945G chipset. The Mini Inspiron will be available with Windows XP or Ubuntu Linux.
For real world shots of the Mini Inspiron, head over to Gizmodo.
In other news, Acer seems to be stepping into the market as well with an 8.9" notebook of its own. The Acer Aspire One was recently spied by readers of UMPC Portal. Not much is known about the device other than the fact that it features an 8.9" display and what looks to be a full-featured keyboard.
With all of these new entries popping up at competitive price points, ASUS will have to get extremely competitive with pricing to stay relevant with the Eee PC. The Eee PC has ballooned from $399 with the Eee PC 701 4G to $549 with the Eee PC 900. The better-spec'd Eee PC 901 is rumored to be in the $649 price range.
quote: I invariably screw up my work by acidentally triggering that mouse trying to reach the keys, and it feels awkward as hell -- always bridging over than dam mouse thing.
quote: I could see this being useful for students with their limited desktop space when we eventually eliminate text books.