Now we know why Dell canned the Inspiron Mini 12—and it was pretty much what we expected. To replace it, the company has introduced the Inspiron 11z, an 11.6" consumer ultraportable laptop with a 1.2GHz Celeron 723 processor, an Intel GS45 chipset, and Windows Vista Home Premium (with a free Windows 7 upgrade).
Surprisingly, the new machine is quite a bit cheaper than the Mini 12: $399, down from $549 for what used to be the cheapest Windows-powered Mini 12 variant. The lone, $399 Inspiron 11z configuration includes 2GB of RAM, a 250GB 5,400-RPM hard drive, 802.11g Wi-Fi, HDMI output, a 1.3-megapixel camera, and a three-cell battery. As you'd expect, the 11.6" display has a 1366x768 resolution and LED backlighting, as well.
Physically speaking, the Inspiron 11z measures 11.5" x 8.43" x 0.92-1.02" and weighs in at 3.05 lbs. with the three-cell battery. Its keyboard looks a tad more spacious than the Mini 12's, with more, slightly wider keys. Dell doesn't quote a run time for the three-cell battery, but it says the six-cell model (which isn't available yet) will last up to six hours and 39 minutes.
Also coming soon: Bluetooth, mobile broadband, and 500GB hard drive options.
You can order the Inspiron 11z right now from Dell's product page. As far as we can tell, the system is in stock and ready to ship. This should definitely be an interesting alternative to 11.6" notebooks like Acer's Aspire One 751 and Gateway's LT3103, especially once Dell starts offering that bigger battery.