Busted by blogger, Dell offers peek at low-cost laptop

Dell has released pictures of an upcoming laptop after a blogger caught Michael Dell carrying it around at a conference.

Dell released pictures of an ultraportable laptop that appears designed to compete against Hewlett-Packard's Mini-Note 2133 laptop, after Michael Dell was spotted carrying it around.

The pictures show a small laptop with a glossy red lid. The rest of the laptop is black and silver, with what appears to be a 9-inch screen and a built-in camera. The names of the image files posted on Dell's site hint the laptop is called "Mini Inspiron."

The unidentified laptop was seen being carried by Dell, the company's CEO, at the D: All Things Digital (D6) conference organized by the Wall Street Journal. But it wasn't an alert Journal reporter who uncovered the machine, which confirms long-standing rumors that Dell plans to enter the market for small, low-cost laptops. Instead, the laptop was first spied by a blogger.

"Hats off to Brian Lam of Gizmodo as he seems to have caught Michael roaming the halls between sessions and saw he was carrying something our Ideastorm contributors will recognize," wrote Dell spokeswoman Anne Camden on the company blog where the pictures were released.

A blog post that detailed the on-stage conversation between Journal columnist Walt Mossberg and Dell shows the little laptop was not discussed at the D6 conference.

Camden didn't release technical specifications of the laptop, saying more information would be released soon. That suggests the laptop is based on the Diamondville version of Intel's Atom processor, a chip that is intended for small, low-cost laptops. Diamondville is scheduled to be introduced at the Computex exhibition next week.

However, there are other processor possibilities, including other Intel chips and processors made by Via Technologies.

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Sumner Lemon

IDG News Service

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