Dell's catalogue flyer for the Inspiron Mini 9 has been leaked and it basically confirms this week's binary disgorgements of the blogosphere scuttlebutt: Dell's new netbook will be available for order tomorrow. It also finally confirms price and configurations.
The prices — ranging from $349 to $449 — are not as impressive as the sub-$300 rumor that Xanadunian techno-idealists have been insanely flinging around our comments for months now. Dell was never going to come in below the $300 mark.
But gee, now that I'm confronted with the Inspiron Mini's price sheet, I'm not sure I'm googly-eyed for her anymore. The Acer Aspire One looks to outspec the Inspiron Mini on the budget side in everything that matters for far less, and its 6-cell doupleplus megaluxe configuration is still cheaper than the Inspiron after Dell's managed in another stick of RAM, another 4GB of SSD, Windows XP and a 1.3 MP cam. That, and they even managed to retain function keys.
There's still a lot of burbling question marks, of course. What's battery life like? Will Dell offer a six-cell battery as an option, or only the 4 cell? Is a conventional hard drive not even an option? And, of course, Dell still has the advantage of customer service: their service line, though perhaps routed directly to the back of a nan bakery in Bombay, is still definitely more convenient to get ahold of than most other netbook manufacturers.
So I just don't know anymore. All I can say for certain is, hey Dell, what's with this "Either Black or White" crap? What happened to the whore red Inspiron Mini you showed in all of the earliest publicity shots? Don't you know we're all black with the lights out... or white, I guess, in the middle of a sun?
Dell Inspiron Mini 9 Flyer [UMPC Portal]
Update: BBG readerJGrassick points out you can already buy it on the Dell UK site. You can put it in the basket for £299 with fifteen day delivery... but with up to 16GB of SSD. The French Dell site says €369 for 16GB, which is a great deal.
Update Deuce: According to Dell's blog, buy a selected Dell system, get an Inspiron Mini 9 for $99. Not bad!
Update Trois: And now you can configure your own. I was able to max out the options for $494, except for keeping Ubuntu and the black default color (whore red was not available, only white). 16GB SSD is available, but only a 4-cell battery was offered. Shipping date is listed at September 16th.