Dell Inspiron Mini 10 Continues Low-Cost Laptop Push

In order to further compete in the low-cost laptop space against HP, Lenovo and Asus, Dell officially launches the Inspiron Mini 10, its follow-up to the Inspiron Mini 9 and Mini 12. In a nod to Dell's desire for a strong retail presence, the PC will also be sold via QVC, the popular home shopping television channel. The Mini 10 will employ Intel's Atom processor, the chip currently in vogue for netbooks and other types of low-cost laptops.

While all the talk of the week of Feb. 9 focused on Dell and smartphones, the PC maker quietly rolled out the latest edition to its Inspiron Mini line-the Mini 10-to add to Dell's portfolio of low-cost laptops.

Smaller, less expensive "netbooks," laptops, and mininotebooks have developed into a growing trend for both consumers and the enterprise, as people look to fulfill their portable-computing needs on the relative cheap.

For businesses, smaller laptops offer a more inexpensive way to keep employees connected and productive, especially when they're on the road.

The 2.86-pound Dell Mini 10 features a 10.1-inch screen and a keyboard that is 92 percent of full size. Also included in the Mini 10 is an integrated 1.33-megapixel Webcam, 802.11g wireless technology and a 160GB hard disk drive. The new Dell laptop has 1GB of RAM.

Click here to see photos of the Dell Mini 10.

The Mini 10 has been priced starting at $399, and will be available through the company's Web site beginning Feb. 26. In a move that also shows Dell's growing desire to move beyond direct sales and expand its influence with retailers, the company announced that QVC-the popular home shopping television channel-also has a deal to sell the Dell Mini 10 to consumers.

In September 2008, Dell launched the Inspiron Mini 9, its first low-cost laptop, as a way of competing against the HP Mini-Note PC, Lenovo IdeaPad S10 and Asus Eee PC.

And in October 2008, Dell followed that release with the Mini 12, designed to bridge the gap between smaller and full-size laptops with a slightly larger 12.1-inch screen.

As with the Mini 12, the Mini 10 will offer a choice of two Intel processors: the Intel Atom Z520, with a clock speed of 1.33GHz, and the Intel Atom Z530, which ticks along at 1.6GHz.

Intel's Atom processor is already included in a number of low-cost laptops and desktops, such as the Panasonic Toughbook and the Lenovo H200 desktop. This week at the Mobile World Congress held this Feb. 16 to 19, Intel and LG Electronics announced plans to move a new generation of Atom processors into the smartphone market for the first time.

In 2010, Intel and LG plan to bring a mobile Internet device to market that is capable of making phone calls.