It’s certain by now that the netbook, or mini-notebook, segment is now wide open. Brought to the forefront first by the Asus Eee PC, now it seems that every PC maker is having its hand at capturing a piece of the market.
Dell, never one to leave any segment of the PC market unattended, will launch its netbook Thursday, according to various reports.
Both Wall Street Journal and InformationWeek cite a source with Box.net, a company that will provide services that provide online services like photo and document storage that will "come preinstalled on the Dell Mini," expected to launch Thursday. A Dell spokeswoman confirmed the company’s involvement with Box.net.
Exact specifications of the Dell netbook, currently expected to be the Inspiron 910, are mostly unknown, though it should match up with most other products in the same segment – which according to Gizmodo, points to a 8.9-inch display with Windows XP or Linux pre-installed on a solid-state drive. Prices are expected to come in at below $400.
The WSJ reported that Dell had originally scheduled its netbook for a June or July launch, but chose to delay to finalize manufacturing processes.
Research firm Gartner Inc. expects sales of netbooks to amount to 5.2 million this year, with that number growing nearly ten-fold by 2012.
The netbook segment is here to stay, and the competition is burning hotter with each new entrant. Look for more information with the official announcement tomorrow from Dell.