Dell Mini 10 Feature Refresh: Is it the Perfect Windows 7 Netbook?

Photo courtesy of Dell

I’ve been very happy with the way Windows 7 Beta and, more recently, Windows 7 Release Candidate has been running on my Asus Eee PC 1000HA netbook. So, I am 100% certain that I want my next netbook to be able to make use of Windows 7 fully. I’ve been considering the various Dell Mini models for a few months now. And, after reading this Dell blog item…

The Mini is Now Mighty

I think the refreshed Dell Mini 10 netbook might be my next netbook (though things can always change). The Mini 10 is available in a number of configurations. Dell’s current top-end config is the one that interests me. Here’s why:

– Intel Atom Z530 processor includes Intel VT-x hardware virtualization which should work with Windows 7’s XP Mode feature
– HD widescreen with 1366×768 resolution instead of the usual 1024×600 or 1024×576
– 6-cell battery
– 802.11g WiFi with $25 option for 802.11n support
– Optional TV tuner for $20
– Optional Bluetooth 2.1 radio
– 1.3 megapixel webcam

The current $449 sale price for the base configuration includes a 2-year warranty. If I add the three options mentioned above, the price bumps up to $519 (plus shipping).

The Intel Atom Z530 processor is one of my main considerations at this point. If Acer or Asus had models available in the U.S. with this Dell Mini’s configuration, I’d consider those models too. I contacted MSI about the MSI U115 earlier this month and was told it is sold out in the US. It might be available in June.