Dell has announced pricing for its new Inspiron Mini 12 netbook; starts at $549.
The new Dell Inspiron Mini 12 netbook that has been teasing so many of us over the last month has finally gotten a price and a shipping date. According to the Dell Online store, three pre-configured systems are now available, with prices ranging from $549 to $649. Although customizing is available, it would seem that the $649 system is already pretty much maxed out in terms of performance. The preliminary ship date is stated to be 8 December and at the moment Dell is asking customers call in for the latest prices.
As for system specifications, the $549 system features a 1.33 GHz Intel Atom Z520 processor, 1 GB of memory, a 40 GB PATA 4200 RPM HDD and a 3-cell battery, capable of over 3-hours of battery life. The next pre-configured system is priced at $599, after a $55 instant savings. It features the more powerful 1.6 GHz Intel Atom Z530 processor, 1 GB of memory, a larger 60 GB HDD and a larger 6-cell battery, for over 6-hours of battery life. The last pre-configured system sells for $649, after an $80 instant savings, and it seems to be maxed out in terms of specifications. The configuration has the hard drive size bumped up to 80 GB and the Limited Warranty bumped up to 2-years, from 1-year.
All the systems can be customized to be white or black in color at no extra charge and they all include Windows Vista Basic, 802.11g WiFi, a standard 1.3-megapixel webcam, Bluetooth 2.1 and 1 GB of DDR2 533 MHz memory. The memory is the on-board type, meaning it cannot be upgraded, and although 1 GB is enough for basic needs, Windows Vista can be a bit of a memory hog at times. The type of Intel Atom processor used in the Dell Inspiron Mini 12 is more energy efficient than the typical netbook Intel Atom processor, but it is still a rather weak processor that may struggle with running Windows Vista.
The graphics solution used in the Dell Inspiron Mini 12 is not the commonly used Intel GMA 950, but rather the relatively rare Intel GMA 500. Supposedly it is capable of high-definition hardware acceleration, so watching movies on the thing should not be a problem. The Dell Inspiron Mini 12 also comes with a 12.1-inch widescreen 1280 by 800 resolution display, which is quite a bit larger than what other netbooks offer. For watching movies and surfing the web, this added screen size will surely be appreciated, but it does add to the overall cost of the system. The Dell Inspiron Mini 12 has a weight starting at 2.72-pounds and is about 1-inch thick.