As they say, the sincerest form of flattery is imitation and after ASUS took the world by storm with its budget Eee PC notebook last year, many notebook vendors have jumped onboard the sub-notebook segment. Intel's debut of the low-powered Atom processor has only served to accelerate the developments in this field. Dell is the latest to enter this segment with its Inspiron Mini 9 and obviously expectations are high.
We managed to get a glimpse of the Inspiron Mini 9 running a 'Mini OS' powered by the popular Linux distribution, Ubuntu. Some of the notable specifications that we spotted are as follows:-
Besides the specifications listed here, Dell will offer various configurations in various colors and a 10-inch model likely to be available in the future at a higher probable price of S$799. There will also be a Windows XP Home Edition version for those who are wary of straying from the beaten path. From our limited hands-on experience, the Mini 9 seemed to run quite cool despite its slim housing. Dell has also included quite a number of ports and connectors for a netbook. Hopefully, the solid keyboard and its overall build quality should distinguish it from other brands, some of which felt more like toys rather than an actual notebook.
As a latecomer to the scene, Dell will need something special to have any impact in this segment. We're looking forward to testing an actual review unit soon so watch out for any updates here on www.hardwarezone.com and in HWM.