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Dell Mini 12 Hits UK


Dell Mini 12 Hits UK

Dell already announced the Mini 12 but only now is the 12.1in system available to buy.

Specs sit as such then:

  • 12.1in 1,280 x 800 screen

  • 1.6GHz Intel Atom Z530 CPU

  • 1GB DDR2 RAM

  • 80GB hard drive

  • Windows Vista Home Basic Edition

  • 25.5mm thick, 1.25Kg

  • 3-cell 24WHr battery

The use of an Atom CPU with a mere 1GB of RAM to play with means I can't help but think Vista is going to struggle slightly. A Linux system is expected to come later, so it's not all bad news though.

The Mini 12 costs £429 which is a bit steep for a netbook especially with this spec. However, I'm inclined to agree with Asus President and CEO Jerry Shen and limit the netbook classification to sub-10.2in systems.

If considered as a small, low-powered and above all portable notebook, then, the Mini 12 could be a lot more attractive. I wouldn't want one myself, but I can definitely see the appeal and I don't doubt Dell will shift a fair few systems.


Dell Mini 12.


November 14, 2008, 8:49 pm

Strangely, with the Dell link you supply, it only offers Vista, no XP home or other flavour offered at all!

So the offer is, an underperforming, low end Vista laptop, for the price of a decent laptop? no thank you Dell


November 14, 2008, 8:50 pm

On the dell website (from the link at the end of the story) the OS is specified as "Vista Home Basic" rather than XP Home. Which is a pity, as I would have probably gone for one with XP on - but Vista in 1GB of memory? No thanks.

Brian ONeill

November 14, 2008, 8:53 pm

Well a macbook air will cost you &#1631300. I know the mac has a bigger screen and is a lot more powerful, but its does bear some similarites.

Personally i prefer my xps 1330 laptop for its power, but i can see this new one being popular with sales people etc who have basic requirements but need a good screen.


November 14, 2008, 8:54 pm

My fault, I don't know why I said XP. I'm suffering from caffeine withdrawal currently.


November 14, 2008, 9:00 pm

I'm still waiting for a 10" netbook with a 1280x800 screen. Then I'll buy one. I'm not sure the 12" is pocketable enough for me but would consider it if a cheaper XP variant was available.


November 14, 2008, 9:08 pm

My sister's just bought a Samsung Q210 which has a Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB Ram, 160GB HD - basically double the ram and HD specs of the Dell Mini 12, along with a more powerful CPU. It also doesn't cost that much more (&#16370). Is the Dell Mini 12 that much more portable to make up for the disappointing specs? I also agree that the netbook tag seems ill-fitting for something that's over 10" in size and costing around &#163430.

Luan Bach

November 14, 2008, 10:05 pm

Awfully poor value, you can go down to Currys/PC World and get a 12" dual core laptop for less money and not much more weight. I'm sure the 3 cells battery will give it an abysmal run time too.

Andy Vandervell

November 14, 2008, 10:13 pm

Yes, I'm not sure what Dell is getting at this one really. I imagine it might be able to dupe some unwitting supermarket shoppers and scoop up the margin, but as a genuine netbook/notebook it's a bit of joke really. The Samsung NC10, on the other hand, is rather good and a review will going live on, oh, early next week...on Monday...in the morning...be there or be square. ;)

Luan Bach

November 14, 2008, 10:43 pm

I imagine that in Dell there are some strategists thinking that they can get to Apple's margin level. The problem is, Dell isn't Apple.


November 15, 2008, 12:05 am

@ Andy

Hope the review for the NC10 turns out well :) It's the first netbook I'm seriously considering, due to the good looking keyboard and relatively good value compared to the EEE and Wind.

Andy Vandervell

November 15, 2008, 12:08 am

Heh, I couldn't possibly comment... ;)


November 15, 2008, 6:32 pm

Pbryanw: The samsung is significantly heavier at 2kg vs 1.25kg and it also very probably has a fan making noise wheras the mini 12 may not have one (the 9" version doesn't) and will be completely silent when they release the SSD version.

The dell also draws less power and uses less materials so it's better for the environment and it is still &#16370 cheaper.


November 16, 2008, 3:13 am

@Xiphias - Yes, I suppose it's the Macbook Air factor - the reason why some people buy the Air instead of a Macbook or heavier laptops, and why it's doing so well. Still, I think the Mini 12 does seem a bit underpowered for its size.


November 17, 2008, 7:35 am

It's a bit of an old fashioned idea to equate size with capability isn't it? ;)

The air is just popular because of it's looks as it doesn't offer any material advantages (quite the opposite) over it's competition while the mini 12 is significantly lighter (and more portable) than a similarly priced Core 2 duo laptop - I had a quick check and the lightest sub-&#163500 12" I could find was 1.81kg, and that was with a very poor battery that'd probably only give you half of the three hours the mini 12 is supposed to do.

While some people are going to prefer heavier Core 2 duo laptops, at this price there's going to be a lot of people buying it as a second machine or for only occasional use in which case the processing power doesn't matter as much and the much lighter weight is going to be very attractive.


November 18, 2008, 2:42 pm

Xiphias is right on the money. In weight/price/screen size terms Dell are the only game in town. Unfortunately this laptop isn't worth anything until they sell a version with Linux or XP.


June 1, 2009, 8:15 pm

One thing that people miss with the device - even now, months later, is that it fanless and therefore completely silent. In fact it boasts one of the biggest screen size in fanless laptops out there, if not the biggest.

That for some people is a valuable attribute and generally not somethign one can find in 12" screen, unless you are willing to pay up $1800 dollars for a japanese spec import. Many of those devices have ultra low voltage CPUs that are about the same power or less than what is in this one. Which also begs the question why Intel and Microsoft suddely decide that low power laptops must only have 10" screens. I mean has anyone here tried a Panasonic W2 or W5 from the old days? Same poky CPU, but it worked great for many people. This artifical distinction is about margin protection, not practicality.

This device is a great acheivement by Dell for consumers. And the nature of that achivement shouldnt be glossed over, in the rush to make rather less relevant comparisons with 10" screen devices.

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