Inspiron Mini 10 gets a Pine Trail makeover

— 3:23 PM on January 5, 2010

A couple of weeks on from the Pine Trail platform launch, Dell has introduced a new version of its Inspiron Mini 10 netbook featuring the new Atom platform as well as a "slimmer, trimmer design." The revamped netbook starts at $299 from Dell's online store.

Dell has given the Mini 10 a makeover both externally and internally. Viewed from the outside, the machine has a new look with the back of the body protruding behind the hinge, a 92% keyboard with "scallopped keys," and a textured, smudge-proof palm rest. Internally, the netbook carries a 1.66GHz Atom N450 processor, 1GB of RAM, a 160GB 5,400-RPM hard drive, 802.11g Wi-Fi, Windows XP, and a three-cell battery rated for about four hours.

That's the $299 model. For an extra $30, Dell offers a version with Windows 7 Starter and a six-cell, 56WHr battery rated for 8.5 hours. Upcoming variants of the new Mini 10 will bring options like a 1366x768 display resolution (up from the standard 1024x600), a Broadcom Crystal HD video decoder, a 60WHr six-cell battery rated for 9.5 hours, a GPS with turn-by-turn navigation capabilities, mobile broadband, and even a "built-in HDTV receiver so you can catch favorite shows real time via local over the air broadcasts."

In the meantime, Dell offers only the aforementioned $299 Windows XP and $329 Windows 7 versions of the Mini 10, and it quotes a preliminary ship date of January 26.

By the way, Dell says all three batteries on offer take up the same amount of space. Weight-wise, you're looking at 2.7 lbs for the three-cell system and exactly 3 lbs with a six-cell battery (Dell doesn't say which). The system is relatively thick, though—between 1" and 1.3".

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