Saturday, October 25, 2008
Dell Vostro A90
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.