Print 25 comment(s) - last by Samus.. on Oct 28 at 9:10 PM

Dell Mini 12  (Source: Dell)
Dell Mini 12 will come to America in November

With the current state of the global economy, computer makers are throwing their marketing and development dollars where the consumers are currently shopping -- the netbook category. The wealth of new netbook systems coming to market as we build to the holiday season is impressive.

One of the most interesting new netbooks is the Dell Inspiron Mini 12. The Mini 12 is the big brother to the smaller Mini 9 that Dell introduced officially in September 2008. The main and obvious difference between the two Dell netbooks is the screen size.

The Mini 12 has a 12.1-inch 1280 x 800 WXGA display promising wider viewing angles and good brightness. Other features of the system include 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a built-in webcam, 1GB of RAM, 60GB or 80GB HDD (on the Japanese model) and Windows Vista for the OS. Dell says battery life is up to 3 hours and 32 minutes. Dell's Japanese site lists the CPU in the machine as the Intel Atom Z520.

Dell says that hard drive capacities will vary by country so odds are a higher capacity version will come to America when the late November launch date rolls around. The starting price for the rig in the U.S. will be under $600. Dell says that the Mini 12 weighs 2.27 pounds and is 0.92-inches thick. Some may eye those specifications and think about the MacBook Air.

According to Laptop Magazine, the Mini 12 is only slightly thicker than the Air. Laptop figures the slightly porkier profile is well offset by the additional USB ports it allows along with a few other features. The keyboard is said to feel like the one used on the Mini 9 with an added row of dedicated function keys at the top.

The Mini 12 may not be as thin as the Air and doesn't wear the hip Apple logo on its lid, but the savings of around $1,000 will tempt more than a few netbook shoppers that have lusted after a super thin machine. Just don’t expect to get the same level of performance the Air would offer with its full-fledged CPU and NVIDIA graphics.

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By DEredita on 10/27/2008 11:31:36 AM , Rating: 4
Windows Vista running with an Intel Atom, 1GB of ram, 60GB HDD, and probably integrated graphics. Can you imagine how painfully slow that machine is going to be. I wouldn't even take one for free. WTF was Dell thinking? They should rename it to the "Dell Misery 12."

By 325hhee on 10/27/2008 11:43:38 AM , Rating: 1
WTF was Dell thinking?

WTF are people thinking that would buy a net book. They're better off just buying a low end laptop, that costs half the price and more performance. 1k for net book vs $500 for an entry level laptop, I don't get it?

By Calin on 10/27/2008 12:00:06 PM , Rating: 4
With a netbook, you pay for the small size.
Previously, the small size (and merely ok performance) was available in the ultra mobile laptops, at prices from $1000+ to $3000 (for a Sony Vaio). Now, the netbooks at $600-$800 are squarely in that territory (almost there performance wise, almost there battery run time wise, fully there size and weight wise).
So, do you buy a 15.4", 6 pounds laptop or a 7-9 inch, 2 pound netbook? If you value mobility, you'll pay twice as much for a small machine, knowing full well that for the previous machine you've paid twice as much again.

By Brandon Hill on 10/27/2008 12:24:34 PM , Rating: 5
I bought an MSI Wind netbook for under $400. I use it as my only computer for everyday tasks (Office 2007, Photoshop CS3, Firefox, Thunderbird, iTunes, etc).

I don't see what the big deal is IMHO with people dogging on netbooks. They're perfectly fine for everyday tasks short of video editing and high-end gaming.

By othercents on 10/27/2008 1:29:15 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with you on the 8" 9" and 10" netbooks, but the 12" is coming real close to the size of a 14.1" standard laptop which will be significantly more powerful and should cost under $700. Based on "independent testing" a C2D 14.1" laptop is 3X more powerful than an Atom powered netbook.

There is a purpose for everything and these netbooks are filling a very specific need. However, I still wouldn't buy a netbook with Vista especially one running only 1 gig of ram.


By CrazyBernie on 10/27/2008 4:47:37 PM , Rating: 2
How many 14.1" notebooks for under $700 can you buy that weigh under 2.5lbs??? Plus the 1280x800 rez is a nice step up from the current crop of netbooks.

By othercents on 10/27/2008 6:22:02 PM , Rating: 2
There isn't one, but there isn't a 12" netbook that weights under 2.5lbs either. Based on Dell's JP website the netbook weights 1.24kg which equals 2.73lbs. Granted I'm guessing that a 14.1" laptop weights about twice as much.

However you should decide for yourself. The 14.1" laptop is at least $100 more and weights twice as much however it has a larger screen, faster processor, more memory, larger hard drive, will run about three times as fast, and a DVD burner built in. If I was making a decision on a netbook I would be looking closer at the cheaper netbooks that are closer to the $400 mark. $600 for a netbook really moves this computer outside of the intended target which is small, lightweight, and inexpensive computers.

I guess 1 out of 3 isn't bad.


By b534202 on 10/27/2008 6:58:29 PM , Rating: 3
I would rather buy a 12 inch Latitude on Dell Outlet for low $700s. These netbooks are priced way too high in comparison.

By DEredita on 10/27/2008 2:16:48 PM , Rating: 4
Picture loading Windows Vista on your MSI Wind, 1GB ram, and trying to use photoshop. That's what this Dell Mini 12 will be like.

By Samus on 10/28/2008 9:10:30 PM , Rating: 3
I wasn't even aware the Atom was certified to run Vista let alone actually capable.

By aegisofrime on 10/27/2008 11:44:19 AM , Rating: 2
With Dell being a major Microsoft customer and thus having some corporate clout, do you think its possible they could have gotten a stripped down, customized version of Vista for this?

By Johnmcl7 on 10/27/2008 4:19:56 PM , Rating: 2
I think the safe answer is no - I am actually a big fan of Dell but their default OS builds have horrible performance. If they're able to significantly slow down a high performance PC I doubt they are going to do much to speed up low performance hardware.


By piroroadkill on 10/27/2008 12:03:04 PM , Rating: 2
You are right, though.

A CPU that is essentially the same speed as a 1GHz P3, and 1GB of RAM - that shit is going to be painful in Vista.

By Stacey Melissa on 10/27/2008 12:33:38 PM , Rating: 2
It's running XP in the picture.

By deeznuts on 10/27/2008 1:39:23 PM , Rating: 2
It is but the spec says Vista.

By psychobriggsy on 10/27/2008 1:40:04 PM , Rating: 2
As far as I have read, this is the first Atom + Paulsbo netbook.

Sadly, Paulsbo was designed for MIDs. The GMA500 is even slower (if better featured) than the graphics in the i945! However it does have hardware video decode.

Comparing this to an Air is just silly, they're completely different classes of machine, the Air has at least 4x the CPU power, 2x the RAM (this 12" netbook is limited to 1GB, max, because of Paulsbo), vastly lower volume overall (as it too tapers off), around 20x the GPU power with the 9400M ...

By bety on 10/28/2008 12:05:08 AM , Rating: 2
It is only worth comparing to Mac Air because the copy of the cool, thin, look is the ONLY reason anybody could think of buying this dud!

While the Mac air sacrifices a bit for the cool look, this thing...well without a comparison to the Air, this would be a new genre-defining product. That genre being: the most ill-conceived product of the year?

By Mgz on 10/27/2008 3:20:26 PM , Rating: 3
review is here

2 minutes to boot
1.0 Vista index experience, LOL

but I am sure this PC is a beast on Ubuntu/Windows XP, at least its graphic card support AVC/H.264 hardware acceleration( unlike the LOL GMA 950.

also at 1280x800 it supports 720p video definition :). Other netbooks only support 1024x600

By KorruptioN on 10/27/2008 7:06:26 PM , Rating: 2
1.0 Vista index experience, LOL

Kinda surprised nobody else noticed - the 1.0 is because they haven't even rated the machine yet.

By taisingera on 10/27/2008 10:11:25 PM , Rating: 2
If they were going to put Vista on it, they should have introduced it with the Atom 330. I mean for that much money, you could buy a 12" laptop with better performance and an optical drive, like this one,

By Miggle on 10/27/2008 11:08:34 PM , Rating: 2
They're giving more options since there's going to be somebody who'll prefer a 12" atom netbook over 14" notebook and expensive 12" notebooks.

"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?... So why the f*** doesn't it do that?" -- Steve Jobs
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