Dell Launches Inspiron Mini 10

By Melissa J. Perenson, PC World |  Hardware, Dell, netbook

Dell strives to improve on its earlier netbook offering, the Inspiron Mini 9, with the new Dell Inspiron Mini 10. In an interesting gambit by Dell, the Inspiron Mini 10 will debut on the QVC shopping network; the unit will be available for sale at Dell.com starting on February 26.

The Mini 10 packs a slew of features. Most notably, the 2.9-pound unit packs a keyboard that is 92 percent of full size; its roomy design and comfortable keys rectify one of the biggest drawbacks of the Inspiron Mini 9 (which still managed to capture fifth place in last month's Top 5 Netbooks chart). The Mini 10 also has a 10.1-inch display with a 16:9 aspect ratio, and a touchpad that supports multitouch gestures.

Most intriguingly, the unit has an HDMI port onboard--a curious inclusion whose benefits are limited unless you plan on getting high-definition video onto the Mini 10's 160GB hard disk drive. Dell says that optional features due later this year will include an internal ATSC digital TV tuner and what it vaguely calls "high-def resolution"--both of which could make the availability of HDMI much more interesting.

Another interesting note: Dell has chosen to offer the Mini 10 in an array of six colors: black, white, red, pink, blue, and green.

Dell's initial press release doesn't list all of the core specs and pricing; I imagine that more information about them will become available after the unit's QVC unveiling tonight. The press release does note some basics: The Mini 10 comes with 1GB of RAM standard (Dell says that 2GB will be an option later this year), Windows XP, Wi-Fi, and a Webcam. Other expected options are Ubuntu Linux and Windows Vista operating systems, 120GB and 250GB hard-disk drives, solid-state drives, Bluetooth, wireless WAN, and an internal GPS.

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