Dell has apparently dressed up the Inspiron Mini 9 netbook with a coat of black paint and redubbed it the Dell Vostro A90. While the Inspiron Min is clearly aimed at consumers and perhaps educational markets, the Vostro line of laptop computers is typically targeted at business users. And the black paint certainly makes the Vostro A90 look a little bit more uptight businessy than its Inspiron cousins.

On the inside, the Vostro A90 appears to be identical to the Inspiron Mini 9 series. It has a 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU, an 8.9 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel display, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of flash memory, Bluetooth, and a 4 cell battery. It’s only available with Windows XP, not Ubuntu Linux.

So how much does that coat of black paint cost? Well, let’s put it this way. Dell is charging ¥92,830 or about $998 US for the Vostro A90 in Japan. The company charges ¥57,079 or about $614 US for the Inspiron Mini in Japan. I can only assume that the black paint is bullet proof.

We’re starting to see a disturbing trend of netbook makers giving machines a cosmetic facelift and charging a premium price for essentially the same machine. I can’t say I’m surprised. Netbooks are cheap laptops with low profit margins for computer manufacturers. The price wars that have brought down the prices even further over the last few months have been good for consumers, but companies like Dell are probably looking for ways to help bring the profits up while still continuing to pump out the low cost netboks that consumers appear to be clamoring for.

via The Register

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6 replies on “Dell Vostro A90: Business class Inspiron Mini”

  1. I was just reading about the HP minis, I know Acer has some EPC’s out there and now Dell? I wanted a smaller notebook but making my choice seems to be more difficult than I expected. Between these three, which do you recommend?

  2. The difference in price is attributed to the support that is offered with the A90, with it being classifed a business device. The Mini 9 only offers a basic mail-in warranty. The A90 has a ProBusiness warranty that provides next business day repairs when needed.

  3. Erm.

    The Vostro line of computers come decrappified. They don’t have all the preinstalled stuff that serves as advertising income to Dell to offset the cost (and so lower the purchase price) of their products. I’m not defending any of this. Personally, I don’t mind decrapifying a system (it is, after all, a simple Ubuntu install away).


  4. I think I’d rather pay extra to get a Hello Kitty decal on the lid instead of flat black paint (see related story below on Medion Akoya Mini). 🙂

  5. You would think for that premium they would at least fix the keyboard layout.

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