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Dell's hybrid netbook-notebook, the Inspiron Mini 12 — just released in Japan — is set to reach the UK in November, offering buyers a halfway house between mini-laptops and larger portables.
Like the Inspiron Mini 9, the Mini 12 is powered by Intel's Atom, a CPU choice that helps justify Dell's designation of the machine as a netbook.
However, the Mini 12's 12.1-inch, WXGA 1,280-by-800-pixel screen is significantly larger than 10.2-inch or smaller displays usually found on netbooks, giving the new Inspiron the look of a full notebook.
Rather than using the solid-state flash drives common to many netbooks, the Mini 12 is available with a 60GB or 80GB hard drive.
This use of a platter drive is a characteristic that the Mini 12 shares with HP's 2133 Mini-Note PC. Also like the HP netbook, the Mini 12 runs Windows Vista Home Basic.
According to Dell, the Mini 12 will also be available with the popular Ubuntu Linux distribution and Microsoft XP later this year.