Dell Inc. will soon introduce a mininotebook computer, people familiar with the matter said, entering into a fast-growing market for inexpensive, no-frills portables that offer Internet capabilities at low prices.
One person familiar with the matter said the new device will likely sell for less than $400. That price range would put the Dell device into competition with products such as the Eee PC from Asustek Computer Inc., which helped define a breed of systems that are sometimes called netbooks.
Dell's product release was described in an email from Box.net, a company that says it will provide online services like photo and document storage that will 'come preinstalled on the Dell Mini,' which Box.net said would be announced Thursday.
Anne Camden, a Dell spokeswoman, confirmed that her company works with Box.net on Web access to online storage.
The people familiar with the new device said it will have a screen size of slightly less than nine inches and will be available with either Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating system or a Linux operating system.
Market-research firm Gartner Inc. expects rising sales of low-end mininotebooks and estimated last month that companies would ship 5.2 million of the machines this year, eight million next year and as many as 50 million in 2012.
一位知情者表示，新电脑的售价可能低于400美元。这个价位将使其得以同华硕电脑(Asustek Computer Inc.)的Eee PC等产品一较高下。Eee PC的出现从某种意义上说定义了一种新的产品体系，后者有时被称为“上网本”。