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Portables Hardware

World First Review of Dell's 12.1in Netbook 133

An anonymous reader points to what's claimed to be "the world's first look at Dell's 12.1" netbook," running at Australian Personal Computer Magazine. There's a bit of gushing at the beginning, but this is followed by some informative pictures, informal battery-life tests, and interesting background about the machine's components. Upshot: it's a well-made, decent-performing small laptop with a better keyboard than smaller netbooks and more wireless options than most. However, it's shorter on battery life (bigger screen, smaller battery) than Dell's smaller Mini 9, and less easily upgraded.
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World First Review of Dell's 12.1in Netbook

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  • pricey (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Entropy98 ( 1340659 )

    At $1000 I'm not sure who this is targeted at.
      IP Address Finding [ipfinding.com]

    • Re:pricey (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:33AM (#25524587)
      Apple customers.
    • Re:pricey (Score:5, Interesting)

      by speeDDemon (nw) ( 643987 ) on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:34AM (#25524597) Homepage
      Whilst I understand its a limitation of the chipset, 1Gb of RAM and Vista.... ewww. Internal 3G card is a nice touch though.
      • Re:pricey (Score:5, Funny)

        by somersault ( 912633 ) on Monday October 27, 2008 @07:09AM (#25524995) Homepage Journal

        The chipset can only run Vista? Egads! What unholy portent is this? I cast thee OUT!

        *throws netbook into the dark Abyss of Tortured Souls and Recycled Cardboard*

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by cayenne8 ( 626475 )
          " The chipset can only run Vista? Egads! What unholy portent is this? I cast thee OUT!

          *throws netbook into the dark Abyss of Tortured Souls and Recycled Cardboard*

          LOL...that's pretty good.

          But it made me think...who is going to be buying any of these things? I know I'm a bit behind trends here of late, but, I'd not heard the term 'netbook' till a couple weeks or so ago. Why are they coming out with laptops with such small screens, and underpowered CPU-wise? It seems they are going backwards in terms of

          • Re:pricey (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Corporate Troll ( 537873 ) on Monday October 27, 2008 @07:46AM (#25525169) Homepage Journal

            Why are they coming out with laptops with such small screens, and underpowered CPU-wise?

            The answer is simple: people who value size and price more than performance. I don't want to fall in a 640K is enough for anybody stance here, but be honest with yourself: how often do you use the full power of your machine when not gaming or photo-editing (for which these machines are woefully inadequate)? My work laptop, is currently using 1% to 5% of it's power and it's over two years old (the time I've been working at this company, and I'm not sure if it was new). That's it.... At home, my wifes desktop is much older (bought autum 2003) and it rarely uses up more than 10% for our typical usage. I consider our usage to be rather typical.

            So, even 5 year old machines don't get to see much load. So, you're on the move want to surf a bit and read your email? Well, you don't need a Dual-Core Multi-Gigahertz machine for that anymore. So why spend more? So, that's for the performance part.

            Now the size part: typical laptops are 15.4" or larger. I don't know about you, but that's pretty huge and not exactly something a woman would put in her purse. Indeed, there are machines that were small, but they were also very expensive...

            Which brings us to price. The small portable machines from a few years ago were extremely expensive and also didn't have the oompha that their larger cousins have. I wouldn't ever spend 2500€ to have a small and slightly underpowered laptop. However, I have no qualms paying 300€ for a small-very-underpowered-but-adequate laptop.

            As a matter of fact, up until January 2007, my primary laptop was an old P-III 600MHz/512Meg RAM dual-booting XP and Linux... It ran absolutely fine for my light usage. Compare that to the underclocked Celeron 630MHz in the original Asus EEE PC... Well, the only differences? The Asus is much smaller and lighter: I do lack a bit screen estate. The Asus EEE 900, however has a 1024x600 screen, which is pretty close to what my old P-III laptop had, being 1024x768.

            • When I needed a "netbook" for my frequent hotel travels, I just bought a used 15 inch laptop off Ebay. It's about three years old, has 1/2 gig of memory, XP desktop, and only cost me $110. Certainly a lot cheaper than this $1000 Dell Netbook thing.

              It has the added benefit of being able to play movies off the C: drive, in case there's nothing on the TV worth watching.

              • I understand.... The P-III I talked about cost me 100€ back in the day. However, I cannot call it a netbook. Size is intrinsic to the "netbook" status. Anything beyond 12" (arguably 10", because I used to own a 12" iBook and I can hardly call it small).

                You do have to realise that my Asus EEE PC is half the size of a typical 15.4" laptop. You don't take a 15.4" laptop in your purse, I do take the Asus EEE PC in my "manpouch" (I have to admit to my greatest shame that I have one)

                So, yes, a second han

                • I see. Well I would be hard-pressed to find a 10 inch or smaller "laptop" on Ebay. I guess netbook truly is a new kind of form factor.

                  • Well, I used to own a Toshiba Satellite 210CT [ciao.co.uk]. That one had a whopping 11" TFT screen featuring 800x600, I kid you not. I guess one can find that on eBay. ;-) Of course weight would kill the "netbook" status here, I think. The Libretto would be pretty cool.

                    I also had (still have) a Atari Portfolio, but that's from a really long time ago.

                  • by smithmc ( 451373 ) *

                    Well, here's one [tinyurl.com], but only one...

              • by hattig ( 47930 )

                And how heavy is that 15" laptop? There are very few lightweight 15" laptops, they're all heavy, bulky, awkward to carry.

                This $600 (not $1000) 12" laptop is also too large, but at least it is light at under 3lbs. I don't think it is at the "throw it in the bag and forget about it" level though.

                The 8.9" netbooks are where the portability is. 2lbs. Tiny. Sling it in the bag everyday and forget about it, instead of having to make a conscious decision about whether to take it or not.

                • by maxume ( 22995 )

                  I'd rather have something like an iPod Touch as my throw it in the bag every day computer. I have no desire to pay for an iPod though, given that I don't need it for anything and flash prices are still plummeting (for me, ~100 GB is the stop worrying about capacity point, and they aren't there yet).

                  I do see room (again, for me, I'm not sure about generally) for such devices being separate from cell phones. I'd rather have a smaller, cheaper phone with its own battery, and then a second device for fiddling.


          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by dugjohnson ( 920519 )
            Real NETBOOKS (not this thing, too big and expensive) are useful for RIAs (Rich Internet Apps) that don't need a lot of screen real estate.  IF they have a lot of battery and IF they are small enough and IF they are cheap enough, you can put these netbooks into the hands of floor workers (retail, medical office) and have all of the access you need.  Most WIFI phones/PDAs are too small for real floor usage.

            • by Xanius ( 955737 )
              A tablet would be better for that but I don't think there's any tablets that cheap at this point. I do have a couple of really old prototype tablets with the serial number written in sharpie on masking tape though, and they're neat to play with.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by blackest_k ( 761565 )

            well this is being posted from a netbook.

            Screen size is 9 inch with 1024 by 600 resolution. This is quite a comfortable size and is sharper than my old hp 15inch with 1024x768 resolution. Smaller Screen with Smaller pixels. Admittedly the netbooks with smaller screens are a bit too cramped with 800x480.

            Keyboard size on 9inch versions seems adequate I can type at a reasonable rate without hitting the wrong keys.

            Processing power is good enough in ubuntu and Linux in general. 2000 in a Vm isn't super fast but

    • Australians (Score:5, Informative)

      by Kaseijin ( 766041 ) on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:44AM (#25524645)

      At $1000 I'm not sure who this is targeted at.

      1000 AUD is about 600 USD, which seems in line with the competition.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        In all fairness, the RRP costing might have been done before the recent dramatic devaluation of the $AU - A couple of months back it was around $US.95 - The Australian price could actually go UP in coming months to cushion Dell Australia's profits.

        But anyway, as I noted in another reply, I purchased an HP 'notebook' for a similar Australian price about a month ago. I mightn't be Dell's target user but, at the same price, I would still prefer to buy the 12" HP.

      • At $1000 I'm not sure who this is targeted at.

        1000 AUD is about 600 USD, which seems in line with the competition.

        Yes, but the competition has a larger HD, 15"+ screen, more RAM, and a BluRay player w/ HDMI out for around the same price. Hardly in line with the "average" netbook price.

        Just depends on how stylish and chic you think you need to be. Kills me that we actually think that 2 pounds and 1 more hour of battery life is going to physically break the average student or mobile exec. You're walking short distances around a campus or airport, not hiking K2.

      • by houghi ( 78078 )

        So it was calculated in Metric dollars?

    • Indeed.

      I'm happy enough with my 12" HP 2230s, though it doesn't come with a cheap webcam built in. It's fatter and heavier because it includes a DVDRW drive. But for around the same price as this Dell (it's an HP; flame away), mine came with 3GB of RAM (expandable to 8GB allegedly), pre-installed with XP (Vista upgrade disks included), with a Core 2 Duo and an HDMI port.

      I'd prefer better performance over a slightly thinner and lighter notebook.

    • by nmg196 ( 184961 )

      I think I read somewhere it will be 599 USD, so I think that's pretty cheap actually. What actually are you comparing it to which is significantly cheaper?

    • And at 12.1" I'm not sure it qualifies as a NetBook. This is the same size as the old iBooks and only slightly smaller than a MacBook. They're fairly small laptops, but I'd expect a NetBook to be a lot more portable.
      • by nawcom ( 941663 )

        And at 12.1" I'm not sure it qualifies as a NetBook. This is the same size as the old iBooks and only slightly smaller than a MacBook. They're fairly small laptops, but I'd expect a NetBook to be a lot more portable.

        I wonder if my 12.1" Dell Latitude D420 is a netbook as well. I has a 1.8" hard drive just live the Mini 12. It has the extra mini pci-e slot for 3G (it even refers to it as the slot for the 3G device in Dell's shitty BIOS). Really - other than the atom processor and the GMA500 (D420 has the 64 bit restricted intel core 1 duo and a shitty GMA950) its the same... wait... Oh yeah - I don't run Vista on it.

        But theres a significant drawback to Poulsbo, and its one that will certainly cruel the Inspiron Mini 1

    • I wouldn't even consider it a netbook at that size and price. Every other netbook is around 9-10" and costs $300-$500. This is more like a smallish notebook. Certainly not what I was hoping for as I'm searching for the best netbook to get.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I think I'm not alone when I ask "who really gives a shit?". This is a computer geek's equivalent of "f1rst post!" in a hardware review.

  • I think it's targeted at those who don't want to buy a netbook because of their size but don't want to pay for a full sized laptop.
  • by Big Nothing ( 229456 ) <big.nothing@bigger.com> on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:42AM (#25524633)

    Ultra-slim and lightweight - not even room for two speakers. Is there really a need to state that it isn't "upgrade-friendly"?

    Also, even though it's a sleek, lightweight laptop it certainly is not a high-end product (1,6 GHz Atom Z530, max 1 GB RAM and 60 GB HDD). So who's gonna pay the $1000 Dell want?

    • by compro01 ( 777531 ) on Monday October 27, 2008 @06:34AM (#25524831)

      I question too. $1000 (CDN) bought me my current laptop (an HP tx2512) in August, which has a 1.9ghz AMD X2 processor, 3GB ram, 250GB hard drive, half decent video (ATI 3200HD), same 12.1" screen size (same 1280x800 resolution too), and is a convertible tablet. About the only thing the Dell does better is that it is thinner, a little lighter (mine is only 2 and some pounds), and has a built-in 3G modem, though I can stick one of those in my expresscard slot (which the Dell lacks) if I had need.

    • And pretty decent sound, too.

      AN Eee PC has the aame RAM, same CPU, can take a hard disk...which part of "no room" am I failing to comprehend?

    • My thoughts, exactly. It's not a high-end product, and I see little to distinguish it from competitors almost half the price. The only interesting thing about it is the 3G modem; not that that means much to anyone in Australia. If you want to watch a few videos on Youtube with a 3G modem here, be prepared to mortgage your house.

      • Whilst Australia's Telstra 3G network is not cheap, it has gotten cheaper just recently (for those not up to date).

        You are now looking at

        $30 per month for 200mb
        $60 per month for 1Gb
        $90 per month for 3gb
        $130 per month for 10Gb

        and for the record, yes I am a Telstra dealer.
    • Eh, ultra-slim and lightweight doesn't have to mean upgrade-unfriendly. TFA points out that the Mini 12's smaller cousin, the Mini 9, IS upgrade-friendly. So are a lot of other small netbooks and notebooks.

      And I'm not sure where this article got the $999 price from. Notebookreview.com puts the price at "less than $600" [notebookreview.com], which seems much more reasonable.

    • by jabithew ( 1340853 ) on Monday October 27, 2008 @11:12AM (#25527607)


  • Working mobile (Score:5, Informative)

    by Bender_ ( 179208 ) on Monday October 27, 2008 @05:49AM (#25524673) Journal

    I think it is quite useful of you want to work while travelling in an airplane on a train. The 9" netbooks are not really good for anything that involves a lot of typing.

    A bought a DELL latitude x200 off ebay a couple of years ago for exactly that reason and I have never regretted it. Back then this was still a business notebook and costed $3000+ (I paid $250, years later). The $999 price point is not too bad.

    The main drawback seems to be the battery. But did you know they had outlets in many european trains?

    • The only outstanding feature is the 1280x800 graphics (which is worth having, don't get me wrong...)

      It basically fills in the gap between mini/maxi and more choice = good.

      One thing it really does is pull the rug out from under those vastly overpriced $2500 SONY mini-laptops. The only reason to buy those was small size, and that reason just vanished.

      Bummer it comes with Vista and not XP.

    • The 9" netbooks are not really good for anything that involves a lot of typing.

      That may be true, but it's entirely the fault of the designers. 9 inches (diagonal) is entirely enough room for a full-sized keyboard. The keyboard I'm typing on right now is just slightly larger than that. (http://www.vpi.us/keyboard-mini.html)

      But somehow, when it's for a laptop, designers go stupid on us, making brain-dead design decisions. I have a MUCH easier time touch-typing accurately on my tiny (7") Psion 5's keyboard

      • IMHO, manufacturers could EASILY choose better-designed keyboards for laptops, at nominal extra cost. But since they've proven unwilling to do so, they should at least standardize keyboard sizes, connectors, etc., and make it trivially easy to swap them out with 3rd party units.

        Save your pain and just go with IBM/Lenovo. They are still the standard bearer when it comes to keyboards (despite what they have done).

        That, and you don't have to have a cut-rate quality netbook attached to it. An older X series can do just fine and still fit the bill.

        • Save your pain and just go with IBM/Lenovo. They are still the standard bearer when it comes to keyboards (despite what they have done).

          I've owned two Thinkpads over the years. Their keyboards aren't the worst, but they aren't all that great, either.

          That, and you don't have to have a cut-rate quality netbook attached to it. An older X series can do just fine and still fit the bill.

          The world is moving on... Power consumption, weight, etc. The EEE PC is the one everyone latched on to, but some others are e

    • But did you know they had outlets in many european trains?

      Yup. Come to Europe, our intercity trains have power sockets, wireless internet access and move at a reasonable speed.

      Also, tasty cheese.

      • Also, tasty cheese.


        But seriously - two things to remember about the new netbook : the price at $600 (which someone else calculated above) assumes that the Australian price is the same price it will have in the USA (which is generally not the case - Aussies pay a pretty serious markup on cool toys, enough that it's worth buying them here when they come visit), and this one finally delivers a screen resolution is finally high enough to get some real work done. The 320x240 (or even the high dollar 640x480) resolution iP

    • One thing it really does is pull the rug out from under those vastly overpriced $2500 SONY mini-laptops. The only reason to buy those was small size, and that reason just vanished.

      Not really. Those Sony mini-laptops still have a bit better construction and hardware than your cut-rate netbook. Asus can try again when they stop cutting corners by using Realtek, using sub-standard(never mind them taking forever to get close to XGA) displays and all over construction. Not a Toughbook, but something that at least tries to make a stab at quality.

  • by Rog7 ( 182880 ) on Monday October 27, 2008 @06:17AM (#25524779)

    I'm not sure when the reviewers and manufacturers will get the popularity of netbooks. There are a minimum set of features (which almost all of them have) but after that there are only three important points: price, size / weight and battery life.

    The review sites seem to spend so much time worrying about the bells and whistles that they're accustomed to with bigger laptops, but these come at a compromise of the most important aspects.

    • Sure, they're blurring the lines between netbooks and notebooks, but what's wrong with that?

      I've tried everything from a 15.4" Dell widescreen to a 13.3" to a 12" to a 7" Eee 4G, before finally setting on a 10" Eee 1000. Though its $460 price exceeded the first netbook's (the Eee 4G) by $60, its keyboard, battery life, screen, CPU, RAM, HD, and wireless options make it a far better value and far more usable ergonomically -- meaning I can touch-type and not have to squint -- while still being cheaper and sm

      • by Sancho ( 17056 ) *

        What's wrong with that is that they're marketing based upon the new netbook moniker without providing a netbook. It's just the same as if they came out with an 12" notebook with 512MB RAM and a 1.6Ghz Atom processor, and marketed it as a desktop replacement.

        Technically, there's no specification for either of these two terms, so they can call it whatever they want. But they're going against de facto terminology within the industry.

        • In your honest opinion - how's it fare as a sub $600 12" laptop that's 1" thick and about 1 kilo in weight?

          Someone else said it better than I : Netbooks are brand new used laptops.
          This is basically priced about the same as a nice high-end used 12" ultra-light laptop, but is new in the box.

          I paid $400 for a nice used Dell e1505 about a year ago, paid another $100 to upgrade the memory to 2G - current specs are 1.66GHz Core2Duo, 120G drive, 2G of RAM, Wifi, and a 15.4" 1280x800 screen. Battery lasts about 3

          • by Sancho ( 17056 ) *

            I don't have a problem with the product specs themselves. For the price, they're fine. I have a problem with Dell absconding with the term in order to cash in on a hot item now. Then again, I think that size is probably the single most important aspect of the netbook. Because up until now, everyone's associated netbooks with the original EeePC and its clones, and this is a pretty big departure in the size department.

  • Dell Fails again (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The reason to purchase a small notebook is portability. what good is it if it has worse battery life than the big 17" laptops.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 27, 2008 @06:26AM (#25524809)

    This almost seems like it is a full blown laptop again. The EEE had me hopefull we would see really affordable laptops. But then it was a big hit. Prices went up specs went up. What do we have now. Normal laptops only they are called mini.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      The EEE had me hopefull we would see really affordable laptops. But then it was a big hit. Prices went up specs went up.

      The eee 1000 with 40 GB SSD is less than $500 now. I call that a real bargain. I'm just waiting a respectable interval before I pick one up to round out my eee collection, currently consisting of a 9" model. I justify this by being able to hack more comfortably on the road. Admittedly I'm stretching but the only reason I contemplate this extravagance is the low price. Two of them and barely half the price of the Thinkpad I just got rid of. Admittedly the Thinkpad is much more powerful, but in my exper

    • The EEE 701 has fallen from £249 to £160 in six months the Acer AspireOne which is better in most respects is £170

      This Dell isn't competing with Netbooks its a small laptop which a year ago we passed over for 15 and 17 inch competitors. Once your toting a full size laptop around you may as well go for something big fast.

    • To be fair, the 7" screens were too small. They're ok in theory but hardly any apps will work well at 800 pixels.

      To me the sweet spot seems to be 9" Eee PC with 20Gb drive. A little bit bigger drive would be nice but I can live without it.

  • by trawg ( 308495 ) on Monday October 27, 2008 @06:29AM (#25524815) Homepage

    Just me or is it hard to get a sense of scale in those photos when there's barely any other objects in there? There's a pen, half a hand, and another laptop that I don't know how big it is.

    I always struggle with photos like this because it's obviously difficult to find a reference object /everyone/ is familiar with, but even a few little things might've been helpful in some of the photos.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This review, from 2007, is of a Dell XPS M1210 laptop (12.1 in screen), which I've owned for over a year.

    http://www.pcworld.com/reviews/product/29878/review/xps_m1210.html [pcworld.com]

  • The mini 12 reminds me of an updated version of the x200 I bought off eBay for $200 ( http://reviews.zdnet.co.uk/hardware/notebooks/0,1000000333,10000587,00.htm [zdnet.co.uk] )

    Granted the x200 is a little bigger, and not 3G ready... but out of the box it's pretty good. I got the 933 version and upgraded it to 640Mb of memory and Win2k. It runs snappy, Firefox and Thunderbird run good, and if I want the extra features, I just snap it into the dock with the DVD/CDR, floppy drive and more.

    So if you want a pretty good alter

  • by fph il quozientatore ( 971015 ) on Monday October 27, 2008 @06:37AM (#25524847)
    Wow, a netbook with a large screen! If the trend keeps on going this way, next year we'll see an innovative netbook with a 15.4 screen! First in the world!
  • by NoNeeeed ( 157503 ) <slash AT paulleader DOT co DOT uk> on Monday October 27, 2008 @06:38AM (#25524851)

    The "netbook" market has moved so fast over the last year, I'm glad I didn't stump up for an early Eee PC. This looks like it may hit my sweet spot of price/performance/size.

    I'm at least a year from buying a new laptop and I can't see me replacing my current MacBook with another mac. As much as I like MacOS, I can't justify the cost of a full spec laptop. Currently, little of what I do stretches my MacBook's performance, no games, no video editing. A cheap, portable and rugged netbook running linux is just up my street. Another MacBook would be a nice to have, but at a price-tag that I just cant justify.

    I think this is something some manufacturers are missing, fewer and fewer people are pushing the limits of their existing hardware. There just doesn't seem to be the pressure from software as there used to be. I know there are applications that need more power than a cheap latop can deliver (games, high-end graphics work, video editing), but this is becoming an increasingly small segment of the whole market.


    • by borizz ( 1023175 )
      If you don't use the Mac's performance, then why get a new laptop? You can save even more money that way.
      • Err, that's exactly what I said in my post. Netbooks are considerably cheaper than a replacement MacBook.

        I'm not using the full power of the mac, so will not be getting a full laptop next-time round. I would however like a smaller, more rugged, and more portable laptop for carrying around.


    • I'm glad as hell I stumped for the early EEE PC. It's a real netbook, not a laptop with a smaller screen. Only SSD, no HD. Small, lightweight, sleek OS with clear big buttons, good battery life. Netbooks with SSD and without Vista are among the minority already.

      My next one would have to be a 9 or 10 inch, with touchscreen, SSD, and > 6 hour battery life, preferably linux. If the dual core Atom is efficient enough, that would be nice. However, the way things are going, I wonder if it will ever come.

  • Vista rating of 1.0? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Just FYI, the article says that the system has a rating of 1.0 in the Windows Experience Index, but if you look closely at the screenshot it actually says that the system is unrated, and Vista just shows 1.0 by default if it hasn't been rated.

    • by hattig ( 47930 )

      Yeah, I saw that too, and wondered why they hadn't rated it. They also declined to give actual measurements for the device apart from thickness (24mm down to 21mm).

      I strongly suspect my three year old 12" iBook is roughly the same size (maybe a little thicker). Sure, it's heavier, but it's vastly more powerful and expandable (and its battery life is 5 hours).

      This 12" netbook uses Intel's new Atom chipset, Paulsbo. In order to conserve power, Intel used a leading-edge 130nm process. Yes, you read that right

  • Less people will be working, leading less over all income and thus less business purposed traveling, leading to the $1000 price tag being just well, silly.

    Grow up and get a real Notebook.

  • In what way could this be described as a netbook? Surely the defining feature of a netbook is its diminutive size. One could possibly argue that a low price factors into the equation too. This laptop seems to have neither.
  • Whats up with the obscure keyboards lately (those Dell laptops being an example)? Recently I find it difficult to find a laptop or keyboard with the keys placed on it the way i've used to. Often keys like the ones for <|> or underscore (estonian layout) might be absent or misplaced in some weird location (e.g. on top of or right of the return key). I once even had to buy a new keyboard, because my shell uses <, | and > for redirection.

    Can anybody shed some light on this issue? Thanks.

  • The S101 is much lighter, thinner, cheaper ($899) and has a longer battery life.

    There is not one single characteristic where the Mini would beat the S101.

    Disclaimer: I own both Asus and Dell notebooks, and am very satisfied with both.

    • by Briareos ( 21163 ) *

      The S101 is [...] cheaper ($899)[...]

      Not if you take into account that TFA was posted on an Australian site (though they were quite good at hiding that fact) and the current USD/AUD exchange rate [xe.com]...

      • Thanks - point taken. I did not know it was an oz site. Adjusted for exchange rates though, the S101 seems the more compelling device still, though it did lose some luster after your correction.

    • by rbanffy ( 584143 )

      Well... I prefer the Acer Aspire One. And, before we enter a religious war, I prefer it because I find it slightly prettier than the Eee.

  • by RiffRafff ( 234408 ) on Monday October 27, 2008 @07:29AM (#25525077) Homepage

    From the article:
    "Happily, the Inspiron Mini 12 adopts a more standard sub-note layout with near full-size keys (a quick measure of a prised-off letter key came in at 1.8mm x 1.7mm, but we could be out by a few mils)."

    That's like 0.071 X 0.067 inches. Does it come with a stylus for those keys?

  • It's cheap relative to the existing small Dell laptops. The E4200 is the latest in the line - 12" screen, intel processors, battery life exceeding 6 hours (much more with the add-on battery), and thinner (.8" vs .9"), lighter (2.2lb vs 2.7), and with more options generally, including a full-up docking station option.

    Sure, the newest series will set you back 2 grand (though sales do come up quite frequently), but the older versions which are the D4xxx series can be found on ebay for about $400-$600. They are

  • Just wondering where these price speculations came out of as I purchased my mini 9 for $486 shipped, and that was the upgraded model with 16GB SSD, and 1GB RAM. I got Ubuntu on it (saves you $50 too btw) and I use it for school. I don't bother taking the power cord with me as the battery lasts for 5 hours.
  • 1GB RAM paired with Vista is just disgusting. It's ridiculous that Intel limited the installed RAM to 1GB.
  • Two minutes to boot up? That's ludicrous!

  • It's all ON ONE PAGE! Even the photos! Not spread out across 12, 11, or 10 ad-filled pop-up strewn pages!

    Go check it out! This is a sure sign, The world is coming to an end in 30 minutes!


  • Who will buy these? Rappers? I want and CAN GET a 17" laptop for that price. You still can't shove a 12" laptop in your pocket.

  • It can't be upgraded to 2GB RAM, unlike the mini 9, yet at the same time runs the more demanding Windows Vista OS rather than XP or Linux. It also comes with by default a 1.3GHz processor rather than 1.6GHz, though this is supposed to help with battery life, which is shortened by the bigger screen. The only real advantage I see is that it has a real keyboard.
    • The 1280x800 screen is also pretty nifty. I envision a bunch of these getting back-fitted with XP, and once done I am guessing they will run pretty nicely. Vista on this thing - well I've heard stupider things, but not today.
      • The 1280x800 screen is also pretty nifty. I envision a bunch of these getting back-fitted with XP, and once done I am guessing they will run pretty nicely. Vista on this thing - well I've heard stupider things, but not today.

        Another comment says the chipset can only run Vista. Dell must really have a sweetheart deal with Microsoft on this thing. :-)

  • I fail to see much difference between this and my Dell Latitude C400. Its got a 12.1 inch screen, a Pentium III M 1 GHz CPU, 768 MB RAM (after my upgrades), wieghs less than 3 pounds and gets 2-3 hours of battery life. It's missing 3G support (but who can afford the data plans....)

    This puppy isn't a netbook, its a 7 year old ultra portable.

  • The best thing about this is they're finally put something with a decent resolution in a laptop. Dell has done this before (eg. my 15" Dell C840 has an excellent 1600x1200 LCD) and I'm glad to finally see a 12" screen with decent resolution. 1280x800, most laptops do 1024 max at 12" which is totally stupid with the giant pixels. ~85 DPI? LOL, what is this the 90's?

    Is a 12" laptop really a netbook though? I don't think so. Now stuff a 1280x800 screen into a $500 (max) 10" netbook and get back to me (th

  • FTFA:

    Also making an appearance is the Dell Dock, which despite the Mac-like connotations of the name is no more than a prettied-up program launcher which slides in and out from the top of the screen as needed. I can see this appealing to average users who may even take the time to customise it with their own groups and program shortcuts, but it says something about the Windows OS that Dell feels the need to add another launcher to the desktop.[...]
    Dell Dock: it looks a little Mac OS-ish but is really just a shortcut bar for launch your most-used apps

    Is it just me, or does this thing look exactly like the Mac OSX dock, and perform a very similar function?

    Given the recent patent [slashdot.org], which Apple received for the dock, I wonder if this represents a patent infringement (or if Dell has licensed it)?

  • The first "generation" of Netbooks - if you can call it a generation, were inexpensive.

    They served a single purpose - very basic internet access for cheap. The EEE PCs were roughly $349/$399 (CDN) for the first batch and were cheaper than any other notebook/netbook available.

    Now the EEE PCs start at $400 and top out at close to $1000. The Lenovo, MSI, Acer and Dells all come in around $400 - $650 for the same feature set that last year was $399. There has certainly been a price premium put on these for the

  • Has wireless - but still less space than a Nomad. Lame.
  • A 12" machine is not a netbook, no matter what CPU it has, it is a subnotebook. Netbooks are small, below 10". Even at exactly 10" a machine is more close to subnotebooks rather than to netbooks. If the machine is up to 5-6" then it is a UMPC, if it is up to 9-9.5" it is a netbook, if it is up to 12" it is a subnotebook, if it is up to 13-14" it is a small laptop, if it is up to 15-16" it is a laptop, if it is up to 17-18" it is a large laptop, and if it is bigger it is a portable for the home or office
    • Well, I for one am glad that somebody cleared that up. Because it's all about the name, not what you do with it.

      My first laptop, a 486, had a screen of slightly over 10" diagonal. It was just a smallish laptop. I used it as my first web server, which is kind of weird, since we all know that a server is a big, ugly box sitting in a dedicated server room. But there's no way that something can be a laptop^Wsubnotebook and a server at the same time.

  • Exactly what I had been holding out for...I am really glad. $999 isn't US dollars it is going to be price below $600 [laptopmag.com]. Going to wait for the one that is going to be coming with Ubuntu. :)

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