Dell expected to enter netbook arena imminently

Dell's long awaited entry into the netbook market could be around the corner with details surfacing on the products and a launch date set for Friday.

Dell's long awaited entry into the netbook market could be around the corner with details surfacing on the products and a launch date set for Friday.

According to gadget site Gizmondo, the Inspiron 910 mini note will ship with a 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU, 512MB of memory that can be upgraded to 1GB, an 8.p" screen and either XP SP2 or Ubuntu.

Disk capacity will be catered for by a 4GB, 8GB or 16GB SSD, while a 0.3 megapixel webcam will be integrated. WiFi is included and Bluetooth can be optionally added.

According to Gizmondo, the device will be unveiled on Friday for $299 but Dell would only confirm to Microscope that it plans to release an ultra mobile PC with no further launch details.

A number of players including Acer, Hewlett-Packard, MSI and most recently Lenovo have launched competing mobile Internet devices, a market pioneered by ASUS in October 2007.

Gartner last week forecast global netbook shipments to reach 5.2 million this year, 8 million next year and 50 million by 2012.

It said the device would become more applicable to business users from 2011 when the performance gap with notebooks is expected to narrow.

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