Less than two weeks after the much-loved Inspiron Mini 9 went MIA from many Dell Web sites around the world it seems the Mini 12 has also hit its use-by date.
Earlier this evening the Mini 12 disappeared from Dell’s Australian Web site leaving just the Mini 9 and Mini 10 to fly the company’s netbook flag. (A note for our international readers â€“ yes we’ve still got the Mini 9 down here while the Mini 10v isn’t due for local release until the end of this month).
Dell’s Web sites in the UK Hong Kong and Singapore are also now Mini 12-free zones although at the time of writing the large-screen netbook is still listed at Dell’s US site.
With its 12.1 inch screen the Mini 12 was the first super-sized netbook to break away from the pack but its fate seemed sealed by Microsoft’s tighter restrictions on the netbook category in order for OEMs to qualify for a discounted Windows 7 licence.
The revised spec drops the maximum screen size from 12.1 inches to 10.2 inches â€“ a ceiling which both of Dell’s Mini 10 and 10v just scrape under but which would see the Mini 12 burdened with a full price edition of Windows 7 Home Basic or Windows 7 Home Premium rather than the cut-rate Windows 7 Starter.
It seems that Dell’s gameplan is to retire the Mini 12 and replace it with the rumoured Mini 11 codenamed Argos â€“ a low-cost ‘thin and light’ Windows 7 notebook with an 11.6 inch screen built around Intel’s new ULV platform and running either the Celeron M or Pentium M processor. The specs indicate upwards of 2GB of RAM with a hard drive offering between 160GB and 250GB.