Dell enters the small notebook market

The NY Times reports that Dell is entering the low cost, mini-notebook computer market.

It’s called the Mini 9. For $349 you get Ubuntu LINUX. For another $50, you can have XP. The base model has 512 Meg of RAM and a 4 Gig solid state flash “hard” drive.   You can get more RAM and and a bigger flash drive, but the price goes up.  The model with 1 Gig of RAM and 16 Gig flash drive will put you back $450, which puts close to standard laptop costs.

They come standard with 3 USB ports, a 3-1 media card reader, audio I/O jacks, WiFi and an Ethernet jack.

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Prices dropping on small notebook computers

The NY Times calls them “netbooks”, which is what probably what one of their reporters heard someone call one at a Starbucks while he was trying to think of what to write to meet his deadline.

Small systems, typically running UNIX, and in some cases XP, and have been selling for around $400.  Now, the prices are dropping to the mid $300 range and will probably be flirting with $300 or or even $250 soon.

About the price of a SmartPhone, and in some cases, less.

I’ve been on the road for the past week, and yes, I did bring a laptop with me.  I really didn’t need to.  I just wanted something to back my pictures up on and do a limited amount of editing of both photos and text.

My gen one iPhone has been able to handle most of my short term Internet needs. I don’t need to find an Internet connection for it, which I would need for my laptop.

An Acer EEE PC would have fit the bill as well as the larger laptop I’m lugging.  Being lighter and smaller is a big plus.  Even with an 80 or 120 gig mini harddrive for backups, it still would have been smaller and lighter than the larger laptop running XP.

The NetShare app that Apple pulled from the iTunes store would have been a perfect fit with a small WiFi enabled laptop as well.