Many of you have been keeping track of the Mini 10 since we previewed some details at CES. Starting today, we’ll begin taking preorders from customers in the United States through QVC. U.S. online availability through Dell.com will follow soon after—it’s scheduled for February 26. We’ll begin shippping next month. The regional schedule will vary, but the Mini 10 will be available to Dell customers worldwide in the future.
It comes standard in Obsidian Black, but we offer Alpine White, Promise Pink, Cherry Red, Ice Blue and Jade Green as color options. Mini 10 pricing starts at $399. With the 3-cell battery, its starting weight is 2.86 lbs.
Update (2-26): The Mini 10 is now available for order at Dell.com.
The Mini 10 will be available with two Atom processor options: the Z520 and Z530. Standard features include:
- an integrated 1.3 megapixel webcam
- an HDMI out port
- integrated 802.11g Wi-Fi
- a 3-cell 24Whr battery
- 160GB 5400rpm hard drive
- a 4-in-1 memory card reader
Initially, all Mini 10s will come with 1GB fixed RAM (which means it will not be upgradable), the Windows XP operating system, and a 16:9 edge-to-edge display that supports a maximum resolution of 1024 x 768. The default screen resolution is 1024 x 576, which is a better fit for the widescreen display. As far as ports, the Mini 10 features HDMI out, 3 USB ports, an Ethernet jack, a 4-in-1 memory card reader, AC Power in and 1 line out + 1 Mic-in ports.
Update (3-31): The high resolution screen is now available as an option on the US website. For $35 more, you now can opt for a 1366 x 768 display).
Update (4-30): I tweeted this last week, but forgot to update this post: The 6-cell 56W/Hr battery is now available as a $30 option. Beyond that, we now offer some designs in addition to all the color options I’ve mentioned elsewhere in this post.
Update (8-15): Recently we just began offering a promotional Mini 10 configuration for customers in the United States with 2GB of RAM and Windows Vista Home Basic with SP1. For more details, check out my updated post on the 2GB topic here.
All Windows XP machines will ship with Windows Live Essentials and the Windows Live Toolbar. Microsoft Works will also be standard software. Microsoft Office Basic 2007 will be an option in the future.
If you prefer Linux, Ubuntu 8.04 will be an available option soon. The higher resolution 720P panel will be available as an option in the future and the integrated digital TV tuner will be available on a future model. While I’m on the subject of future options, Bluetooth, integrated GPS and mobile broadband, will all be options down the road.
I’ve been using the entry-level config for Mini 10 for the last few days. My verdict: I’m going to have a hard time giving it back. The keyboard is the first thing I noticed—at 92% the size of a standard keyboard, it’s a bit larger than the one on the Mini 9. I adjusted to it in no time. The other thing I noticed was that overall performance on Windows XP seemed really snappy. Just about all my work these days revolves around e-mail and web-based apps, and for those kinds of things, the Mini 10 was great. I installed Internet Explorer 8 and Firefox 3 and fired up several tabs to mimic what I do everyday. I used two of my favorite Twitter clients, Twhirl and Tweetdeck to have some conversations there. Beyond that, the Mini 10 performed well when I uploaded and viewed videos and images on YouTube (even HQ and HD-quality ones) and Flickr, checked Techmeme and wrote most of this blog post on both Live Writer and the Community Server back end. Doing these kinds of activities, I was able to get about 3 hours of battery life with the standard 3-cell battery.
I’ll update this blog post as new options become available. For a bit more background on the Mini 10 and where netbooks fit in the world of mobile devices, check out this StudioDell video. And if you want to see some photos of the Mini 10, take a look here on Dell’s Official Flickr page.