Dell's Inspiron Mini 9 Netbooks running Windows XP and Ubuntu are on sale. But US newspaper advertisements from Dell and Best Buy show Dell's Windows XP netbooks to be a far better bargain than Dell netbooks with Ubuntu Linux. Here are the details.

Dell on February 15 ran newspaper inserts promoting a $299 Mini 9 netbook with Ubuntu 8.04, 512MB of memory, a 4GB solid state drive and 8.9 inch LCD.  Visit www.dell.com/presidentsale for details, and note the e-value code of 16462-DNPHXC1. The sale apparently ends February 18.

Here's a look:

Dell Ubuntu Netbooks On Sale — Or Are They?

Dell Mini 9 At Best Buy

It's great to see Dell advertising Ubuntu netbooks in newspaper inserts. However, here's the twist: Best Buy is promoting Dell's Mini 9 equipped with Windows XP for $299. Here's a look:

Best Buy

Windows XP: The Better Buy?

Yes, the Mini 9 netbooks are the same price, but Windows XP customers at Best Buy are getting a far better deal than Dell's online Ubuntu customers. At Best Buy, Dell's $299 Windows XP netbook comes with a Webcam and microphone plus twice the memory (1GB) and twice the storage (8GB) compared to the Ubuntu system that Dell is selling direct online.

So much for a level playing field between Windows XP and Ubuntu on Dell netbooks.

Additional Netbook Price Breaks

Meanwhile, former PC Week Editor John Dodge, a friend of mine, has been blogging a bit in recent days about netbook pricing and his own experiences with the devices. You can find Dodge's thoughts here -- in a blog called The Dodge Retort.

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