Dell's Mini 10 to become location aware
GPS kit inbound
GPS technology is coming to Dell’s Inspiron Mini 10 netbook family, the PC giant has announced.
A combination of hardware and software packaged as the Dell Wireless 700 kit will allow you to establish your position using Wi-Fi base-station information or GPS, Dell said.
The firm’s yet to say how the gadget will connect into the netbook - is it internal or external - or whether it’ll only be available as an add-on option for new customers.
But Dell has disclosed that the offering will rely on a Broadcom Assisted GPS chip.
ALK's CoPilot navigation software will be bundled with the kit to provide turn-by-turn directions, both 2D and 3D mapping and detour routes for when you hit traffic jam. Alas, directions spoken by Homer Simpson aren’t included.
Dell’s Wireless 700 Location solution will be available for Mini 10s running Windows XP, Vista and - once it’s available - Windows 7. A launch date and price haven't been located. ®
The chip is already there
The Broadcom Assisted GPS chip is part of the Broadcom 3G chipset already in the Dell Mini series (at least, the ones with built in 3G like the now-extinct Mini 9 from Vodafone).
I have a Mini 9 and have enabled the GPS timing receiving with some hacked drivers. It works, but not very well - it is slow to get a fix and needs a very clear view to the sky, as there is no antenna plugged in to the chip. I presume this is why Dell didn't make this a feature earlier.
My guess is the new Mini 10 will have a GPS antenna built into the body (alongside the existing 3G and Bluetooh antennae). There's probably more room for this in the Mini 10 than the Mini 9.
Still, a nice easy feature win for Dell without having to pay for any extra hardware.