Dell's Inspiron Mini 12 is coming, according to Laptop Mag, and it looks surprisingly similar (if less swanky) to Apple's MacBook Air. Joanna Stern writes:
I couldn’t put the Mini 12 through the usual hands-on paces, but I was able to form some early impressions of the unique “netbook.”At less than an inch thick (according to Dell its .92-inches at its thinnest point) and weighing 2.7 pounds, I couldn’t help but look at the Mini 12 and think of $1,500+ ultraportables like the MacBook Air and Voodoo Envy 133.
The Inspiron Mini 12 was just about the same thickness as the Lenovo ThinkPad x200 I had brought to the meeting, and only a bit thicker than the .76-inch MacBook Air that one of the meeting attendees had on the table (see the photos in the gallery below). But that extra girth buys the Dell more ports - 3 USB, full-size VGA out, a 3-in-1 card reader, along with a mic and headphone jack.
The keyboard's larger than the Mini 9's, and it comes with a 12" screen.
The only problem is calling it a netbook. Stern puts the word in scare quotes once or twice in her piece, but otherwise plays it straight. So here's a little reminder: computers of this size, even at just $600, are named "laptops".
I fear we fall victim to marketing, here. Watch as those who established "netbook" as a fashionable category follow Asus in applying that branding to cheap, nasty notebooks, little different to the bog-standard Inspirons and Averatecs that have been available for under $500 for years.
Source [Laptop Mag]