Dell undercuts Netbook competitors with the $299 Mini 10v

Starting at $299, the Mini 10v is a bold shot across the bow of the competition.

Dan Ackerman Editorial Director / Computers and Gaming
Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of computers and gaming hardware. A New York native and former radio DJ, he's also a regular TV talking head and the author of "The Tetris Effect" (Hachette/PublicAffairs), a non-fiction gaming and business history book that has earned rave reviews from the New York Times, Fortune, LA Review of Books, and many other publications. "Upends the standard Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs/Mark Zuckerberg technology-creation myth... the story shines." -- The New York Times
Expertise I've been testing and reviewing computer and gaming hardware for over 20 years, covering every console launch since the Dreamcast and every MacBook...ever. Credentials
  • Author of the award-winning, NY Times-reviewed nonfiction book The Tetris Effect; Longtime consumer technology expert for CBS Mornings
Dan Ackerman

Dell has released a revamp of its Mini 10 Netbook, that "delivers on value," says the company. Accordingly, the new product's name is the Dell Mini 10v. Starting at $299, the Mini 10v is a bold shot across the bow of the competition, notably Acer's $349 Aspire One. We've seen talk of $199 or cheaper Netbooks bundled with mobile phone company contracts, but nothing this inexpensive as a stand-alone product.

The $299 base price Mini 10v includes An Intel Atom N270 CPU, 1GB of RAM, a 120GB hard drive, a 3-cell battery, and Windows XP. That makes for a perfectly serviceable Netbook experience, and Dell's cost-cutting seems to revolve around replacing the Intel Atom Z520 and Z530 processors used it the previous Mini 10 systems with the more common N270 (which is found in virtually every other Netbook). Interestingly, you can swap in Ubuntu Linux instead of XP, but the cost is the same.

Trading up to a $350-399 system from HP, Acer, or others would get you a 160GB hard drive and a 6-cell battery, and Dell offers those as options as well (brining the total cost to $354). The base model is Obsidian Black, and other colors (Alpine White, Cherry Red, Promise Pink, Ice Blue, Jade Green,and Passion Purple) add $40.

According to Dell's online configurator, the preliminary ship date for the Mini 10v is June 2.