Dell Mini 10v is Official

Inspiron Mini 10v Notebook (front view)

Speculation from Engadget recently kicked off some activity in the blogosphere regarding Dell’s netbook plans. Here’s what I can make official: today, we’re introducing the Mini 10v for customers in United States, Canada, and EMEA. APJ and Latin America will be following soon. The Mini 10v starts at $299 and weighs 2.5 lbs with the standard 3-cell battery.

The Inspiron Mini 10v is based on the Diamondville N270  or N280 versions of Intel’s Atom processor. Like Anne mentioned last week, I’ll write a post that discusses the differences between the Diamondville processors that we use in the Mini 10v and Silverthorne processors we use in the standard Mini 10. Besides the processor options, the Mini 10v supports 1GB RAM, several embedded connectivity options, a 6-cell 56WHr optional battery, optional Bluetooth, 3 USB 2.0 ports (one of those powered), an integrated webcam and an internal 3-in-1 Flash memory card reader in a compact design that’s barely over an inch thick.

Mini 10v customers can also order it with either Windows XP or Ubuntu 8.04. Ubuntu systems can be ordered with an 8GB solid state drive (SSD), and both Ubuntu and Windows XP-based systems can be ordered with a 16GB SSD, or 120 and 160GB hard drive options.

As in the past, personalization is also important. The Mini 10v comes in the following colors. To see more pictures of it, go here on Dell’s Official Flickr page.

  • Obsidian Black
  • Alpine White
  • Cherry Red
  • Ice Blue
  • Promise Pink (Pretty Pink outside the United States)
  • Jade Green
  • Passion Purple

For more on the Mini 10v, check out this vlog which features Brian Pitstick from Dell’s Mini development team:

The Mini 10v shares much in common with the Mini 10 we’ve been shipping—it is very similar in overall size and the size of its 10-inch screen. It also features the larger keyboard (compared to the Mini 9) that’s 92% the size of a standard keyboard. There are two things different on the 10” display 1) the Mini 10v is not an edge-to-edge display and 2) the maximum resolution on the Mini 10v display is 1024×576. In comparison, the standard Mini 10 has an optional 720P display that supports a maximum resolution of 1366×768. And though they are not here yet, Dell will offer an  over-the-air HD tuner and a 2GB RAM feature for the Mini 10 as well.

What it really boils down to is this. The Mini 10v represents entry-level 10" netbook. It’s great for a user who wants a portable machine with good battery life and performance for running web applications and e-mail. Because the regular Mini 10 uses the more power-efficient Z520 an Z530 processors and features HD decode capability, the regular Mini 10 is the way to go for improved battery life and for HD multimedia performance. The standard Mini 10 also features an HDMI port to send high-def content or photos to an external display. In comparison, the Mini 10v has a VGA out port.

Like I mentioned yesterday, we are in listening mode as far as netbooks are concerned. In case you missed it, yesterday we launched a Lightning Rod in IdeaStorm asking what you’d like to see in future netbooks. Beyond that, we recently also kicked off a new Dell Mini-focused area on Twitter at Feel free to weigh in with ideas or questions here in the comments section of this blog or on IdeaStorm orTwitter.

Now today we’re launching more than just a new netbook. We’re also making the recently-introduced Inspiron 15 available to customers in the US with new color options. To see what those new Inspiron 15 colors look like, check out this set on our Flickr page. These Inspiron 15 laptops start at $399. And lastly, the new Inspiron desktops I blogged about a while ago are now available to customers in the United States. They will be in retail stores in time for back-to-school as well. Go here to see more photos of these colorful machines that start at $299.

About the Author: Lionel Menchaca