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Old 08-10-2009, 11:55 AM   #1
Rob Williams
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Default Dell Retires Mini 12 Netbook, But Why?

From our front-page news:
A couple of days ago, a Dell employee posted on the Direct2Dell blog that the company was retiring the Mini 12, a "netbook" that it released way back in February. This understandably caused many to question the reason, as I've met no one that has thought bigger netbooks were a bad idea (unless we're talking about the confusion for their placement in the market). So what's the deal?

Michael Arrington, of Tech Crunch, has a lot to say on the matter, and has had a lot to say ever since the Mini 12 was released. In a post made in January, he mentions that with Dell's latest (at the time) release, Intel wasn't happy, and it's easy to understand why. Intel makes more money off of the beefier machines (thanks to their better processors, chipsets and other components). No problem would exist if consumers purchased netbooks to complement their notebooks, but that's rarely the case.

So with Intel obviously more concerned with selling notebooks over netbooks, this announcement from Dell, coupled with the fact that, again, I've met few who haven't liked 12" netbooks (I also own one), the decision to pull out seems a bit odd. From a consumer standpoint, 12" notebooks are great. They're affordable, and the perfect size, depending on who you ask. The 1280x800 resolution is far, far better than the netbook standard of 1024x600, and the larger keyboard helps also.

As someone who loves 12" notebooks/netbooks, I really hope this isn't going to become a trend. Dell made it clear that when people use 12" notebooks, they expect to do more with them, so in a sense, they are disappointed. 10" netbooks, however, are limiting in many different ways, making the slower processor a non-issue. Either way, though, with Intel's CULV ramping up production and AMD also targeting the 12" market, hopefully Dell will become the only company with this mindset.


Probably a couple of reasons. First, Intel doesn’t like 12-inch netbooks because they are deep into dual core territory, where Intel has much healthier profit margins. For casual users a 12-inch netbook with an Atom chip works just fine, and they are buying these devices instead of more expensive dual core machines. Intel has put pressure on OEMs to build netbooks that have 10 inch or smaller screens.


Source: Tech Crunch
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