LAPTOP Magazine has a first look at the full-figured Dell Mini 12 netbook and promises a full review once they get some play time. They like the larger 12-inch display with 1280×800 resolution but already see some sluggishness in the system, quoting two minutes for a Vista bootup and a full four minutes before all startup programs were ready. Part of that issue could be the fact that the Mini 12 pairs Windows Vista with a slower 4200 RPM hard drive and the device maximum of 1GB of RAM, but that’s just my educated guess. And with the higher resolution display, I’m not sure Microsoft will allow the Mini 12 to be bundled with an XP license.
I’m a little stumped as to why Dell opted for the Intel Z530 Silverthorne processor; since that’s smaller than Diamondville, it’s really meant for smaller devices like MIDs. It offers the same 1.6 GHz clock cycle as the N270 we see in most other netbooks these days and does top out at 2 Watts of TDP instead of 2.5. But with more space in the device, there’s not much to be gained from the smaller CPU footprint and last I checked, the Z530 was nearly twice the price of the N270 in bulk.
Regardless of that decision, many folks are looking for a low-cost, large screened netbook and right now, this is the only game in town. I’ll be very curious to see how the review goes on this one.