Dell has put its mini 12 laptop onsale in the UK. The £425 laptop is a Vista machine that is larger than a netbook but seems to be pitched at consumers who prize portability over pure processing power.
It sports a 12.1in LCD screen, has 1GB of RAM and runs off an Intel Atom Z530 processor - the same one found in most netbooks. Its dimensions are closer to those of a Macbook Air, however. Described by Dell as "super-thin" and "ultra-portable", it weighs a scant 1.25kg and is 25.5mm thick.
Refreshingly, Dell doesn't expect customers to dig terribly deep into their pockets in return for the relatively light proportions of the mini 12: its £425 price tag seems eminently reasonable when judged against the £1,200 of the Macbook Air.
Needless to say, there are plenty of areas where cost-cutting is in evidence: it can be bought only as a Windows Vista Home Basic model; there is no option to add more RAM and upgrade to a 'proper' version of Vista Home Premium or Business.
The Dell mini 12's Wi-Fi capabilities are limited to 802.11b and g - the brand-new wireless g standard is not supported. Graphics are, naturally, of the integrated variety; in this case, duties are performed by an Intel GMA 500.
Available direct from the Dell website, the mini 12 has an 80GB hard disk and is sold only in black.