Dell announced Dec. 21 that it's updating its Inspiron Mini 10 netbook with a new look, longer battery life, tech enhancements, connectivity capabilities and lots of options. The updated Mini 10 will arrive in stores the first half of January 2010.
The original Mini 10, which started at $399 - though in November Sprint began offering it at a deep discount, with the purchase of its monthly mobile broadband plan - came with a choice of the 1.6GHz Intel Atom Z530 processor or the 1.33GHBz Intel Atom Z520. The new Mini 10, however, comes with the Intel Atom N450 processor at 1.66 GHz and will start at $299.
The new version of the Mini 10 is also slightly lighter, slimming down from 2.86 pounds to 2.7 pounds with the 3-cell battery option. It offers 1GB of DDR2 (double-data rate 2) memory at 800MHz, 160GB or 250GB of hard drive storage and Windows 7 Starter, Windows XP Home or the Ubuntu operating system. (Though the Ubuntu option will arrive a few weeks after the others.)
An optional entertainment bundle supports streaming HD video with a Broadcom Crystal HD accelerator and battery life up to 9.6 hours. In a statement, Dell describes other bundles as additionally offering "surround sound capability, a built-in HDTV tuner for over-the-air local HD broadcasts [and] location-enabled GPS that provides people with real-time information to nearby restaurants, landmarks, maps and entertainment."
Wireless connectivity, through 802.11 b/g, is built in, and there's an option of Bluetooth and Mobile Broadband. The 10-inch display can come with standard resolution of 1,024 by 600 pixels or be upgraded to 1,366 by 768 pixels. All models, however, come with a textured, smudge-resistant palm rest and what Dell scribes as "sculptured keys."
Customers can also choose from exterior shades of green, red, blue or white, or personalize the new Mini 10 with hundreds of artwork choices available from Dell.
"The Inspiron Mini 10 continues to offer some of the best mobile entertainment options available in a great-looking, compact and lightweight design," said Dell's Brian Pitstick, in the statement. "With an even better look and great battery life, we think Mini 10 is the perfect companion PC for anyone who wants to be entertained and connected wherever they go."
Earlier this month Dell also introduced the Vostro V13, positioned - with lots of service and hardware options - for small and cost-conscious businesses.