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Dell Announces Inspiron Mini 12 Pricing

By - Source: Tom's Guide | B 4 comments

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.

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  • 0 Hide
    Marcus Yam , November 13, 2008 11:28 PM
    While I must say that a 12-inch notebook definitely puts this out of an sort of netbook range, and perhaps one that is confusingly called "Mini," it's still an attractive solution for students looking for a note-taking machine.

    The only thing really holding it back from achieving greatness is its 1GB memory ceiling.
  • 0 Hide
    dtm4trix , November 13, 2008 11:49 PM
    SO what!! If they plan on shipping on December 8th I say good luck to them but customers buying one shouldn't hold their breath. I purchased the previous mini back in September and I am still waiting for it (Nov 13th). Go figure!! I have spent a lot of money with Dell and I can never get any kind of answer out of them. Basically cause their call centers are out of India and they basically don't know squat. /end rant
  • 0 Hide
    zodiacfml , November 14, 2008 2:33 AM
    i did not there is a 1.3 Ghz atom. can't imagine how slow would that be. i'm already complaining on the 1.73 Ghz Celeron M in my laptop.
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  • 0 Hide
    radguy , November 14, 2008 9:14 PM
    I think the 1.3 ghz atom is probably right on par with a your celeron m in speed wise the 1.6 a little faster.
    I think its the perfect size and screen but the price is too high. The aspire 1 can readily be found for 350 with xp/atom1.6/1gbram/80gbhd/gma950/1024x600/camera but its 8.9inch screen and small keyboard(larger for netbooks though) turns me off. The 10 inch is nicer but still really small and keyboards are the same. This is the perfect size but costs 200 bucks more. 450 and would have bought it sorry maybe next time dell.
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