This week in laptops

A mini Inspiron from Dell, 10-inch Eee PC, and other tiny laptop news. Plus, Intel delays Centrino 2, and we dissect an Alienware Area-51 m15x.

Dell mini-Inspiron
Dell

The Eee PC launch went so swimmingly, now everyone is jumping into the pool. Dell's looking ready to make a splash with a mini Inspiron netbook , seen in the hands of Michael Dell himself at this week's All Things D conference. (Dell offered virtually no details on the product, except to say it is the "perfect device for the next billion Internet users.") Acer seems to be dipping its toes into the shallow end, with the rumored Aspire One netbook. MSI's Wind mininotebook sat poolside for a photo shoot. And champion swimmer Asus confirmed to CNET UK that the company would release a 10-inch Eee PC at the Computex trade show in June.

Component makers seem ready to take a dip, as well: Chip designer Via Technologies launched a line of Nano processors for netbooks and released its OpenBook MiniNote reference design . Meanwhile, Intel is rumored to be developing a dual-core version of its small-form-factor Atom chip. On the OS side, Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth confirmed that his company will announce a version Ubuntu for ultramobile devices, called Netbook Remix, in the first week of June.

Outside of the pool, CNET Blog Network's Peter Glaskowsky says he's seen the shortcomings of the OLPC XO laptop and thinks the recently announced XO2 design is just all wet .

In other news, a company called DeviceVM announced that its Splashtop instant-on software would be available on five new laptops from Asus ; Intel pushed back its Centrino 2 launch until mid-July; Samsung developed a 256GB solid-state drive ; and the dissection-happy crew at TechRepublic found another victim in the Alienware Area-51 m15x .

And finally, one German user found an alternate use for his $1,799 MacBook Air: bread knife .

Have a great weekend!

About the author

    Tech expert Michelle Thatcher grew up surrounded by gadgets and sustained by Tex-Mex cuisine. Life in two major cities--first Chicago, then San Francisco--broadened her culinary horizons beyond meat and cheese, and she's since enjoyed nearly a decade of wining, dining, and cooking up and down the California coast. Though her gadget lust remains, the practicalities of her small kitchen dictate that single-function geegaws never stay around for long.

     

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