Dell has put its mini 12 laptop onsale in the UK. The £425 laptop is a Vista machine that is larger than a netbook but seems to be pitched at consumers who prize portability over pure processing power.

It sports a 12.1in LCD screen, has 1GB of RAM and runs off an Intel Atom Z530 processor - the same one found in most netbooks. Its dimensions are closer to those of a Macbook Air, however. Described by Dell as "super-thin" and "ultra-portable", it weighs a scant 1.25kg and is 25.5mm thick.

Refreshingly, Dell doesn't expect customers to dig terribly deep into their pockets in return for the relatively light proportions of the mini 12: its £425 price tag seems eminently reasonable when judged against the £1,200 of the Macbook Air.

Needless to say, there are plenty of areas where cost-cutting is in evidence: it can be bought only as a Windows Vista Home Basic model; there is no option to add more RAM and upgrade to a 'proper' version of Vista Home Premium or Business.

The Dell mini 12's Wi-Fi capabilities are limited to 802.11b and g - the brand-new wireless g standard is not supported. Graphics are, naturally, of the integrated variety; in this case, duties are performed by an Intel GMA 500.

Available direct from the Dell website, the mini 12 has an 80GB hard disk and is sold only in black.

Dell mini 12 laptop