A leaked copy of Dell’s netbook roadmap reveals a low-cost version of the Mini 10 due next month, with an 11.6 inch netbook codenamed ‘Argos’ slated for mid-year.
Dell looks set to continue its assault on the netbook market in the coming months, if the slides allegedly leaked to German Web site netbooknews.de
from an internal company presentation are to be believed.
A new netbook with an 11.6 inch screen, codenamed Argos but likely to be christened the Inspiron Mini 11, will hit the ground in July or August with a starting price of US$499.
The document describes the Argos as being “very thin and light” and specify it as packing Windows Vista preloaded onto a 160GB hard drive and possibly 2GB of RAM factory-fitted. There are also indications that customers could option up both the memory and hard drive capacity.
Before then we’ll see a ‘budget’ version of the Mini 10
, a product for which the first-gen model has still to hit Australian shores. Dell originally told us to expect the Mini 10 in mid-March, so it looks to be running almost a month late.
With a launch date of mid-May, that cut-price Mini 10 might arrive hot on its heels. Codenamed Bear, it’s referred to in the documents by several model numbers as well as the Mini 10v, with the ‘v’ obviously signifying ‘value’.
A slide from the allegedly leaked Dell deck reveals details of the Mini 10v (pic courtesy of netbooknews.de)
While in the US the Mini 10 currently starts at US$399, the slides indicate the Mini 10v will target a ‘starting price’ of US$329, although that’s likely to be for a base config with Ubuntu and 512MB of RAM.
The marketing material describes the 10v as a ‘best value second laptop and companion device’ with the customers being “youth, social networking/entertainment”, while the netbook itself will primarily be seen as a “vaction/coffee shop companion”.
How Dell's two 10 inch netbook siblings stack up against each other (pic courtesy of netbooknews.de)
The Mini 10v is to sport the same 1024 x 576 (16:9) WSVGA screen as the Mini 10, but will run on the popular and peppy Atom N720 ‘Diamondville’ processor instead of the Atom Z520 and Z530 ‘SIlverthorne’ chip of the Mini 10.
The specs list both hard drives and solid state drives for storage, to be offered respectively with choices of 120GB and 160GB for the spinning platter and 8GB or 16GB for the SSD.
(However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be able to choose from those same tick-a-box options when the Mini 10v touches down locally. These types of internal documents can also indicate the options available to Dell’s product managers in each country or region, so they can decide what pre-configured variation best suits the local market.)
The standard three cell 24 watt-hour battery is cited for 3.5 hours between recharges, with an optional six cell 56 watt-hour battery rated for eight hours. Also on the ‘maybe’ menu is an embedded 3G HSDPA modem with GPS receiver, high-definition 1366 x 768 pixel (720HD) display and USB digital TV tuner.
Another slide from Dell’s roadmap reveals how the PC maker intends to segment its netbooks into three categories: value, mobile and ultramobile.
The Mini 9
and ‘Bear’ Mini 10v occupy the ‘value’ space, which is code for cheapest. The Mini 10 slots into the ‘mobile’ space while the thin and light ‘Argos’ Mini 11 and Mini 12
sit on the ultramobile shelf.