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Dell Inspiron Mini
Pricing and exact launch date for Inspiron Mini is under debate

We can thank ASUS for ushering in the netbook era with its tiny Eee personal computer. Since the introduction the netbook segment has boomed and many different models of netbooks are being offered from virtually all notebook makers.

DailyTech has been following the Dell entry into the netbook market for a while now, which was called the Dell Inspiron Mini when it was first covered in June. According to Information Week, the system will now be called the Inspiron 910 or Inspiron Mini 9.

The launch date for the system is debatable; Information Week claims that the netbook will be released this Thursday, September 4. Gizmodo was the first publication to run leaked specs for the Dell netbook and according to Gizmodo, the launch date will be September 5.

If the leaked specifications Gizmodo is reporting are accurate, the system will run on an Intel Atom N270 CPU at 1.6GHz. The system will has 1GB of RAM and use an 8.9-inch WLED screen with a 1024 x 600 screen resolution. Video will be via Intel 945GMS UMA and audio will be ALC268.

The Inspiron 910 will also feature storage via SSD with 4/8/16GB capacity and feature WLAN and WWAN connectivity. Gizmodo also reports that the 910 will have a pair of full size minicard slots on the bottom and a 3-in-1 card reader. Operating system choices will include Ubuntu Linux or Windows XP. The system weight will be 2.20 pounds with the base 4-cell battery.

Pricing is still up in the air at this point. Gizmodo reports that the starting price could be as low as $299. Other sources report pricing would be in the $400 range.

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If anyone can do it...
By therealnickdanger on 9/3/2008 10:13:06 AM , Rating: 2
If anyone can bring us close to that $199 price that the EEEPC was supposed to be, Dell should be able to. $299 as a starting price for a 1GB, Atom-based netbook is a great step in the right direction...

RE: If anyone can do it...
By piroroadkill on 9/3/2008 10:21:30 AM , Rating: 1
But it'll probably come with a 4GB SSD which is worthless. 16GB should be base spec for $299, then we're talking

By therealnickdanger on 9/3/2008 11:05:23 AM , Rating: 5
Well, I guess I don't really care what it comes with as much as the entry price and if it is expandable. If $299 gets me 4GB SSD, 512MB RAM, but it has a 2.5" bay and memory slot available, I'll gladly buy it and install my own HDD/SSD and RAM at a savings much greater than buying a more expensive model from Dell.

The point is that I want to buy the platform as cheaply as possible. If I could buy just the shell, LCD, and CPU/mobo for $199 and then add the rest myself, I would.

RE: If anyone can do it...
By omnicronx on 9/3/2008 11:08:25 AM , Rating: 2
Yes because selling all close to zero-margin parts is the way to make money these days! There is a reason some of the big players have waited so long to enter the market, its not profitable! They have to skimp on at least one main components in order to make it worthwhile.

Yes a full fledged laptop for 299$ would be great, but right now its just not a way to make a profit. Give it 5 years, and a chance for SSD's to mature and maybe then we will see some quality mini laptops in the 200-300 range.

RE: If anyone can do it...
By therealnickdanger on 9/3/2008 11:25:16 AM , Rating: 2
Are you familiar with the practice of a "loss leader"? Dell makes thin to exhorbent margin on the rest of their lineup. The profit made there allows them to sell things like this at a loss. I'm not saying that's what they're going to do, but it is highly likely.

RE: If anyone can do it...
By omnicronx on 9/3/2008 11:46:42 AM , Rating: 2
Are you familiar with the practice of a "loss leader"?
Yes I have, but how exactly does Dell selling laptops at a loss or near loss help them long term? Will it convince someone to buy another low margin laptop from Dell 3 years down the road?

Companies usually take this approach when they can sell accessories or software with the hardware. But unlike cases like the Xbox360, which sells for a loss and makes it all back on software sales, PC manufacturers will have no such luck in a market where the whole point is to get a PC with everything ready to go for sub 400 dollars. not 350+100 in accessories and 200 dollars in software.

RE: If anyone can do it...
By WileCoyote on 9/3/2008 1:11:46 PM , Rating: 2
I would argue that there is a huge market for accessories. Dell will make a killing on additional or replacement batteries and ac adapters.

And there's the fact that the vast majority of laptop accessories on the market are geared towards 13" - 17" laptops. Instead of reusing stuff from old laptops, customers will want to downsize and buy the smallest possible accessories to keep their netbook portable - tiny cases, surge protectors, mice, etc. Expect a whole new accessories market to open up geared towards netbook owners.

If Apple could do it with the iPod, Dell should be able to do it with their netbook.

RE: If anyone can do it...
By Myg on 9/3/2008 12:06:26 PM , Rating: 2
The market is still unwary of the potential of the netbook. The Asus eeePC, althought it did well; is not a ground-breaking machine. So companies are not sure if they should go for zero to loss margin or keep a healthy margin.

It would only be worth zero to loss if the product market was worth carving your name into permenantly. I dont think the time has come for that yet.

RE: If anyone can do it...
By Spivonious on 9/3/2008 1:45:46 PM , Rating: 2
I think you're missing the point of this "netbook". It's to be used to browse the web and check email, and maybe type up some short documents. Why do you need more than 4GB of storage?

RE: If anyone can do it...
By ImSpartacus on 9/3/2008 3:49:51 PM , Rating: 2
Amen brother.

RE: If anyone can do it...
By ImSpartacus on 9/3/08, Rating: 0
RE: If anyone can do it...
By tacoburrito on 9/3/2008 4:11:51 PM , Rating: 1
Many people seem to forget that the $199 price for mini/netbooks is intended for the people in third world countries. Companies are willing to sell their netbooks for such a low price (or at a loss) because people in the third world will be exposed to computing and become future consumers. There was never any promise of the low price for people who are already mass consumers.

RE: If anyone can do it...
By amanojaku on 9/3/2008 6:10:38 PM , Rating: 2
Many people seem to forget that the $199 price for mini/netbooks is intended for the people in third world countries.

Not true at all. Asus initially planned for the Eee PC to be $199, and the third world OLPC was supposed to be $100, although the manufactures guessed it would debut at $150. Instead, the cheapest Eee PC is $250 (not too far off from the originally stated price) and the OLPC has a fair market value of $188. The recipients don't pay for it: instead, donations pay for the OLPCs.

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