Dell Mini Inspiron 12: More Netbook Inches

Unleash The 12-inch Netbook!

Unleash The 12-inch Netbook!

Taipei's autumn heat wave didn't dampen any spirits as we trooped our way over to Dell's Taiwan Design Center (TDC) for a tour of the place and its facilities. Now, we're reliably told that the TDC is the place where Dell designs the look and feel for its range of notebooks, so we got our eyes all bugged out ready for any 'specials' like the Dell Mini Inspiron 12 netbook:-

 The 12.1-inch Dell Mini Inspiron 12 netbook shares the same hardware as the Mini Inspiron 9, but it comes in a larger size and of course, a higher resolution screen.

 A close up of the 1280 x 800 screen of the Mini Inspiron 12, a definite improvement over the cramped 1024 x 600 resolution that we're used to with the current netbooks with their smaller screens. Unfortunately, Vista on a netbook doesn't really excite us since the platform isn't exactly powerful enough. Other OS variants will be available later though.

 A close up of the keyboard - does more space mean better layout? Somewhat so, but being the purists that we are, we would have preferred a better placed right shift key.

 The Mini Inspiron 12 is pretty thin - and going by the specs, it's 0.2-inch thicker than the MacBook Air. We only had a iPhone 2G on hand for comparison, but as you can see, it's really thin.

Dell says that the unit will be available in the Asia Pacific region soon, and by soon we mean sometime this month, so those with eager wallets will only need to wait just that much longer.

While the specifications of the Mini Inspiron 12 aren't anything great, after all, it's still the same Intel Atom based hardware found on the Mini Inspiron 9, we're still happy that they are taking the netbook into notebook-sized territory but we really hope it doesn't create consumer confusion.

While understandably it still doesn't deliver the performance of a proper notebook, it does offer a cheaper alternative for those that just need the basics and nothing more. We're not so sure about having Windows Vista on the netbook, given our experience with the Gigabyte M912, but Dell has indicated that Linux and XP variants will be available soon by the end of the year. 


Dell Mini Inspiron 12 Specifications
  • Intel Atom Z530 (1.6GHz)
Operating System
  • Windows Vista Home Basic
  • 12.1-inch WXGA Display
  • Native resolution 1280 x 800
  • 60 or 80GB HDD
  • 4200RPM
  • 3-cell Lithium Ion
  • 11.1V, 2660mAH (24Wh)
Dimension & Weight
  • 229mm (L) x 299mm (W) x 23.4-27.7mm (H)
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