Dell 10v Fills Entry Netbook Gap.

Dell today introduced the Mini 10v netbook line this morning on its Direct2Dell blog as an entry level netbook to its Mini 10.

I watched the eight minute video on the 10v and jotted down some notes. The star of the video was Brian Pitstick, who leads Dell’s Mini product development (stay tuned for a Q&A with him when I get back from Europe around May 21). Nothing jumped out at me as extraordinary, but the machine emphasizes the notion of a companion computer that you use in bed or in front of the TV (which is exactly how I use my netbooks, one at bedside, one in the family room). The only difference is I see my netbook as my primary laptop. Sorry notebook makers, but you keep adding features, models and improving performance, keyboards and battery life.

The 10v also comes with some unique entertainment features. Dell positions this as entry level netbook with the standard Mini 10 and $430-$480 Mini 12 holding up the higher end. The 10v, which is highly customizeable, starts at $299.

The most disappointing omission in my opinion is the lack of a built-in mobile broadband option, which is about to be the ground zero  hotspot of the netbook market. The always-connected netbook will be as transforming as the always-on wired cable broadband options that appeared in the mid-nineties and largely did away with dial-up modems. All netbooks should come with the built-in mobile broadband option, IMO…at least in the parts of the world where broadband is dominant. Lordy, Wifi is about to invade airplane cabins.

Expect more mobile broadband news soon,” says Dell spokesman John Pope.

Here’s the features:

— 92% full keyboard with more traditional layout than other Minis. As he flashed it on the screen, it looked similar to the 92% keyboard HP has had in its Mini line all along. Same keyboard is in the Mini 10 already and is slightly larger than the Mini 12’s, says spokesman Pope.

— Novel touchpad design with buttons below the pad to create more touch real estate.

— 10″ WSVGA display with 1024 x 576 maximum display (the standard Mini 10 goes up to 1366 x 768) hence the 10v’s lower price point.

— Ubuntu 8.04 and Windows XP operating system (sorry, no Android…yet!)

— three or six -cell batteries

— N270 or N280 Intel Atom processors

— 120 or 160GB hard drive and 8 and 16 Flash memory storage options.

— More entertainment features found than in most netbooks including an HD mode, TV tuner, HDMI port

— Last but certainly not least in this fashion conscious world,  Seven colors and five designer lids options (sorry no photo of the latter, but you can see it on the video.

The color purple is included
The color purple is included
The 10v's 92% keyboard
The 10v’s 92% keyboard

2 comments On Dell 10v Fills Entry Netbook Gap.

  • Hey John,

    Actually I have been playing around with the Dell Mini and can’t stand it. The wonky way they’ve laid out the keyboard is just strange and the battery life is mediocre. Personally I’m more fond of the Acer netbook … and played around with one of those recently as well (it was WiMax enabled) and *loved* it.

  • Cathy,

    I have a Lenovo Ideapad S10 and it’s ok. The good news is netbooks are improving to the point where they will become the primary laptop, not the notebook companion as PC makers are saying.


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