Packard Bell has introduced its "dot" netbook to the UK market, but will not launch the device in time for Christmas.

We've brought you news of this new 8.9-inch offering before, but can now confirm that the small scale laptop will go on sale in the UK from January 2009, starting at £299.

The dot is said to be designed for "when a full-size notebook is too cumbersome and a smartphone is too small", the device has been designed as a response to other netbooks that PB says are too "austere" or "business oriented".

Despite these sentiments, the family-aimed gadget does not seem to offer much different from its many competitors. It gets a 1024 x 600-resolution display, the Intel Atom processor and 1GB of RAM.

With a 160GB hard drive, three USB ports and 5-in-1 card reader, the new netbook also offers built-in Wi-Fi (b/g), an optional 3G module and integrated webcam. A high-capacity battery will also be available.

The dot will be sold in PC World in the New Year, with more spec info presumably revealed nearer the time.