Dell launches XP Mini 10 netbook on QVC first, its own site later
Dell's new Inspiron Mini 10 netbook is pre-orderable from the QVC consumer shopping site about a week before Dell starts taking advance orders on its own Web site.
Initially sold preloaded with Windows XP, with Vista and Ubuntu Linux editions to follow, the 2.86-pound Mini 10 features a 10.1-inch widescreen display with a 16:9 aspect ratio; a multi-touch gestures touchpad; a 160 GB hard drive; 1 GB of RAM standard; internal Wi-Fi; and a built-in webcam.
Other features include HDMI output; Dell Remote Access, for linking home-based digital materials with Web-connected devices; and online cloud-based file storage, ranging from a free basic plan with 2 GB of storage space to 100 GB.
The Mini 10's keyboard will be about 92% the size of a typical notebook keyboard, according to Jay Pinkert, a Dell spokesperson.
In addition to Vista and Ubuntu, options to be added later this year will include Bluetooth; WWAN; a 250 GB hard drive; solid state drives; an internal digital TV tuner; HD resolution; and an external USB DVD player.
The Inspiron Mini 10 can be pre-ordered beginning February 19 from QVC's site.
QVC will sell its own bundle, Pinkert told Betanews.
Priced at $559, QVC's Mini 10 bundle will include a 4 GB SD memory card, productivity software, and free shipping. Shipments through QVC will start on March 13.
Although a preview of the Mini 10 is already posted on Dell's Web site, direct orders from Dell's site won't begin until February 26. Prices for Dell's own configurations will start at $399. The availability date from Dell direct hasn't yet been set, according to Pinkert.
Dell has previously marketed products such as PCs and printers through QVC's home shopping TV channel. Beyond sales of the Mini 10 on QVC's Web site, Dell is marketing the netbook on QVC's TV channel, too.
"QVC is a long-time Dell partner, but the Inspiron Mini 10 launch is the first time that QVC shoppers cn order systems before they are available on Dell.com," Pinkert said, in an e-mail to Betanews.
"Because netbooks are a new PC category, particularly with non-technical, mainstream consumers, a conversational, demonstration-centered experience like a QVC [TV] spotlight segment is an ideal venue to inform, engage, and excite."
In addition to the new Mini 10, others in the series include the Mini 9, launched in September, and the ultra large Mini 12, introduced in October.
Dell first outlined plans for the netbook series at a press event in New York City last summer. In a briefing for Betanews at that event, John New, Dell's senior product line manager, said that Dell has been putting in a lot of work on engineering issues such as building roomy enough keyboards for netbooks.
Also with the Mini 10, the third in a series of netbooks from Dell, Twitter will continue to be used as a marketing tool. Twitter users can discuss the Mini 10 on Twitter by following www.twitter.com/hashtags, typing in a comment, and ending the tweet with #mini10.