Usually it’s Europe and Asia that get most of the more intersting/better ultraportables options, at least at first. With the 12″ Dell Inspiron Mini 12, it would appear that for once, this isn’t the case.
The Inspiron Mini 12 fits into a peculiar category – it’s not exactly a netbook in the traditional sense, at least not like it’s smaller sibling, the 8.9″ Dell Inspiron Mini 9 (which has quite a bit in common with the Mini 12, at least chipset and CPU wise). Its size is larger than most others, however it’s still running Intel’s Atom CPU (along with GMA 500 graphics – one of the few netbooks to do so at this time) and that and the price keeps it in the netbook camp. Surprisingly it’s close to the 10″ Samsung NC10 in weight and barely heavier than the Mini 9.
PC Pro has reviewed the Mini 12, and liked a few things about it, such as the display: Where other netbooks make do with native resolutions of just 1,024 x 600, the Mini 12 stretches a comparatively generous 1,280 x 800 pixels across a bright, 12.1 inch display.
They didn’t like the keyboard, asking why Dell didn’t maximize the size of the keyboard. They also mention that apparently in the UK, the configurations for the Mini 12 don’t include Windows XP Home and more importantly, a 6-cell battery (unlike the US) – instead you get to choose from Ubuntu 8.04 and Vista Home Basic, along with a 3-cell battery, which was not good for battery life. The GMA 500 graphics also came under fire, although that could be improved over time, as they point out, with better drivers. The GMA 500 is relatively new in the graphics arena.
Read: PC Pro