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Report: Dell to release a low-cost minilaptop

Dell will reportedly launch its own low-cost minilaptop this summer.

Why is this man smiling? Because everyone loves cheap and tiny laptops.

You didn't expect Dell to sit idly by while Asus, Intel, and Hewlett-Packard went flitting about town with their trendy low-cost, low-power minilaptops, did you? Paris Hilton isn't the only celebrity to tote a Chihuahua, after all. According to Taiwanese manufacturer Compal Electronics, Dell will soon enter the minilaptop fray. The company is lining up 200,000 to 300,000 units per month for Dell, according to Compal, which it says could start shipping as early as June.

Dell CEO and namesake Michael Dell lent credence to Compal's statement yesterday when he said, in response to HP's 2133 Mini-Note PC, "We will introduce a similar laptop." Don't hold him to a June release, however. "Stay tuned," he said. "We will have some interesting products coming in that space over the next two quarters."

Product details aren't known at this point, but a summer release might mean Dell's minilaptop will pack an Intel Atom processor, which is expected to start appearing in products this summer. (Our biggest complaint with the otherwise excellent HP Mini-Note is its poky Via C7-M processor.) Engadget reports that Dell's minilaptop will feature an 8.9-inch screen and will go for less than $499.