I was just taking a look at the specs for the Dell Mini 12 netbook and noticed it uses the newer Atom Z530 processor instead of the N270 used in most of the popular netbooks that preceded it. While looking at its specs on Intel’s site…
Intel® Atom™ Processor Z530 (512K Cache, 1.60 GHz, 533 MHz FSB)
…I noticed that the box for the Intel® Virtualization Technology was checked for this processor. The N270 does not support hardware virtualization assist. This might mean that virtualization hypervisors, like Microsoft Virtual PC and VirtualBox, that support hardware virtualization assist may get a performance boost when run on Z530 based netbooks.
If you only have 1GB of RAM, you will need to choose Guest OS platforms carefully. But, you should be able to run lightweight OSes like Puppy Linux, Xubuntu, Windows 98SE, and Windows 2000 easily in Guest OS with 256MB RAM allocated to it.
I’m planning to buy a new netbook for Windows 7 Beta testing. So, I’m definitely going to look for netbooks with the Z530 processor now.