Dell's Upcoming 11-Inch Netbooks Run Android, Moblin or MeeGo

Sparta and Athens netbooks to debut by August and October, respectively

The past week seems to have been a genuine leak spring as far as Dell's upcoming plans are concerned. After its plans to launch the Streak and the 7-inch Looking Glass tablets were uncovered, the company is now devising a pair of new additions to the netbook market, which move away from the Pine Trail platform and lay special emphasis on mobility. The so-called Athens and Sparta will reportedly be powered by the ARM architecture and will weigh as little as under one kilogram.

ARM has been trying to get hold of at least part of the netbook market for quite a while, but it has, so far, been unsuccessful because most such PCs run Windows, which does not support this architecture. Now that Android is becoming widespread, however, Dell sees no reason why it shouldn't at least experiment with such a device, especially considering the significant power efficiency of ARM CPUs.

Unfortunately, rather little is known about the specs of the two netbooks. The exact ARM chip that will be used is still unknown, as is the amount of memory and the graphics solution that will be implemented. What was disclosed by the leak was that the PCs themselves would be very slim and light (Athens will weigh 900 grams) and will have an 11-inch, 1,024 x 768 screen. Sparta's display will even be rotatable, which practically makes it a convertible tablet instead of a netbook. As for connectivity, the two will boast optional WiFi, Bluetooth and 3G.

According to the report, the devices will run either the Android or the Moblin OS, although it is quite possible that the latter will be replaced by the MeeGo. Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing exactly how the products will turn out, or how much they will cost, considering that they won't debut for months. Specifically, the Sparta will arrive in August, whereas the Athens will only show up in October.

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