Dell has offered further proof - as if it were needed - of the ever-blurring line between so-called netbooks and your garden variety ultraportable notebook with the launch of the Vostro 1220. The 12.1in system not only has specs to beat many rival, similarly sized, low-power systems but has a price that puts within hailing distance, too.
Across the Vostro 1220 line-up that 12.1in display has a 1,280 x 800 pixel resolution, graphics come in the form of Intel's GMA 4500MHD integrated chip and a DVD-RW drive is present. Other components increase the price by varying degrees; as do a few less crucial upgrade options - £10 for the red chassis, for instance.
The entry level Vostro 1220 starts at a temptingly low £369 and for that money offers a 2.2GHz Celeron 900 processor - still more powerful than Atom! - 2GB of RAM and a 160GB hard drive. A more middling 1220 provides a Core 2 Duo 2.2GHz T6670 4GB of RAM, and a 250GB hard drive for £479. The really extravagant could upgrade to a 2.66GHz Core 2 Duo T9550 but at £220 over the T6670, it's probably not going to prove a popular sell-in.
Hard drive options include £30 to add free fall sensor (read: shock protection), £290 to up that 250GB drive to a 128GB SSD or £50 to upgrade it to 320GB of capacity. The usual array of connectivity options are present, with three USB ports, a VGA output and an ExpressCard slot in addition to Ethernet, Bluetooth and Draft-N Wi-Fi.
Dell claims battery life at up to nine hours, with the optional 6-cell, 48WHr unit, suggesting the standard 4-cell, 37WHr power pack should offer in the region of seven - which is pretty noteworthy in itself.
Anyone still honestly considering a 12in not-a-netbook?