Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 07:35 AM
"Dell doesn't take its site down when it introduces product unlike some laptop peddlers. The result, however, is shots like this of early pre-release gear like the Inspiron Mini 9 netbook as Dell spins the product up for retail. $449 fully spec'd just like we heard with 8GB SSD, 1GB memory, Bluetooth 2.1, Windows XP, and a 1.3 megapixel webcam. We still expect to see a lesser spec'd $349 model running Ubuntu. Shipping on the 16th of September in your choice of white or black though white will cost you a $25 premium. Dell hasn't officially announced the product yet but we're sure they'll get that sorted out in a few hours. For now, happy URL hacking as we dig for more details."
Dell sure knows how to limply launch a product launch that could have been really exciting! Instead of having a simultaneous, multi-site launch, the launch of the Inspiron first had a leaked flyer, then the product went live in the UK and Germany (but only certain configurations), and then Gizmodo broke press release embargo and published the press release. Meanwhile, all my emails to Dell over the past four months about this product have been ignored. Sometimes I find dealing with Dell so incredibly frustrating.
At any rate, here's the breakdown, and if you were hoping for something new and exciting in the netbook space with a giant like Dell entering it, you're in for a disappointment. The $449 version will come with an Intel Atom N270 CPU, an 8 GB solid-state drive for storge, 1 GB of RAM, Bluetooth 2.1, 802.11g WiFi, a 1.3 MP Web cam, and Windows XP SP3. 8 GB of storage and Windows XP? That seems highly dubious to me - how much storage space is going to be left for applications and user data? There's going to be a 16 GB SSD option, but no word on pricing. Looking at the spec sheet, there are really only two things that stand out to me as being interesting: first, that Dell managed to fit a 4-cell battery in there, but apparently still only manage three hours of battery life, even with an SSD. The MSI Wind, and other netbooks, can get three hours of battery life with a 3-cell battery - and the MSI Wind has both a ten inch screen and an 80 GB hard drive. That makes me wonder why the Dell is so power-hungry.
Keep an eye on your local Dell Web site for the official launch - I'll very likely be ordering one, if only to check it out for a couple of weeks. Pictures, and the full press release, are after the break. Read more...