POST A COMMENT

55 Comments

Back to Article

  • jrinco11 - Thursday, September 25, 2008 - link

    for those interested in how it is w/XP, I wrote a bit about it here http://www.jrin.net/2008_09_25/dell-inspiron-mini-...">http://www.jrin.net/2008_09_25/dell-inspiron-mini-...

    in my opinion, it matches the acer aspire one except for it's better battery life and webcam (in low light), but the keyboard layout kinda sucks
    Reply
  • goobersnotch - Tuesday, September 23, 2008 - link

    I got my inspiron mini yesterday. 16 gig ssd version. it had 1 gig of ram but i swapped in a 1 gig ram stick (should've ordered 512 megs and saved $25). with webcam and bluetooth it came to $430 after an employee discount coupon.

    my thoughts? i love the system. it is a lot faster than the acer aspire one that i played around with at circuit city (but granted that was the low end 4 gig ssd linux version). it takes 20 seconds to boot up and comes out of sleep mode in 3-4 seconds. the acer takes 30 seconds to come out of sleep mode (and on linux no less).

    The keyboard? well due to the strange way i type, typing letters on my left hand is flawless, words that primarily rest on the left side i type fast and without typoes. right hand side on the other hand is a disaster. i have trouble getting used to anything that requires the right pinky other than the enter key. and i have trouble hitting the o and p keys. i hate where the ' key as well, as i have to pause and consciously find it in order to use it.

    however i feel like i can get used to it. after all, i'm not using this thing for anything other than web browsing, including working on docs in google docs. the hard drive space is a nonfactor, i still have 11 gigs out of 16 free and i don't see myself using much more since any local docs/images/music/etc that i download i am putting on a 16 gig sd card and most of my important docs are online on my box.net storage acct and in google docs. and my email is done in gmail because its way more convenient than using a local email client.

    no 3g? well I didn't want to pay $50 a month for slow internet anywhere, anyway. there's tons of wireless hotspots in austin.

    I would also recommend that anyone who gets a mini to put 2 gigs of ram in there, as it seems to considerably help in the # of apps you can run, or browser windows you can open.

    Overall, i love this system and dont regret paying extra for it when i could have gotten a cheaper, but inferior, acer aspire or asus eeepc.
    Reply
  • goobersnotch - Tuesday, September 23, 2008 - link

    whoops, in the first sentence, meant to say that i swapped a 2 gig ram stick in. it was only $46 from crucial.com

    Reply
  • DeadpanScience - Saturday, September 13, 2008 - link

    I't looks really nice. 8.9 inch screen, LED backlighting, convertible tablet mode, all for $699. Plus none of the reviews from laptop mag/umpcportal have really gone in-depth with their reviews. Give me some numbers please! Reply
  • J Beck - Sunday, September 07, 2008 - link

    Nice review, well done!! As others suggested, you ought to look at the Acer Aspire One. I have the Atom processor, XP, 120GB HDD, 1GB "150" model, for the same $349. It is killer. The only limitation is battery life as I have the 3 cell version and get only about 2 1/2 to 3 hours. But, I rarely use it "unplugged" anyway and a 6 cell battery is available. It lacks built-in Bluetooth, but a tiny Kensington Bluetooth usb dongle took care of that and with 3 usb ports, no worries.

    I can touch type very easily with no adjustment or learning curve and I am 6' with fairly large hands. The keys are all in the right places (it has regular punctuation and "F" keys and with great key sizes (especially the right hand "enter" and "shift" keys being larger as with full size keyboards). The touchpad has this amazing function. In addition to scrolling (along the right edge of the touchpad), you can zoom using touch strokes like the iPhone and Mac Air.

    The 120GB drive makes this really usable for the long run. I can't imagine 4GB, 8GB or even 16GB. My iTunes library alone would almost use any of those that. The screen is a backlit LED screen and it is super at the same resolution as the Dell. The build is as good as my newly acquired Dell XPS M1330.

    I thought this was going to be a toy or for really occasional use as this review sort of suggests the netbook category "must be". But, when I started using it, I found I can put everything I do on it and virtually carry my office anywhere around my house, my office or, for that matter around the world. The 120GB (with 2 memory card slots to boot!!) allows me to do that and not worry about a connection to the web or the security issues of "Cloud computing".

    Reply
  • kenbx84 - Friday, September 12, 2008 - link

    Sorry but this review is all wrong on prices. EEE PC 901 is now $499 with more bells and whistles and the EEE PC 1000H is $449 now with a lot better specs. Reply
  • ed21x - Sunday, September 07, 2008 - link

    With the Dell, you don't have a 1.3 mp camera, bluetooth, upgradeable SSD, or 6 cell battery that comes standard on the Asus. Once you upgrade all those options on the Dell, the prices come out to about the same. Add in $50, and you can step up to a 10'' screen and larger keyboard (Asus 1000H) which is a much better deal, and makes more sense, as that extra inch really makes the keyboard feel like a fullsize. I think comparing the prices of a low-spec'ed Dell to a full-spec'ed Asus is definitely biasing against the Asus. Reply
  • Igor37 - Wednesday, September 10, 2008 - link

    ed21x wrote: "With the Dell, you don't have a 1.3 mp camera, bluetooth, upgradeable SSD, or 6 cell battery that comes standard on the Asus. Once you upgrade all those options on the Dell, the prices come out to about the same."

    Personally, I like having the option, since I don't need Bluetooth or the camera, and could care less about upgrading the RAM or having a larger battery.
    Reply
  • Pixy - Friday, September 05, 2008 - link

    Despite the recent improvement I still like the design of the HP Mini-Note.

    I am still waiting for the Netbook market to mature before I casting aside my Sony SZ. Hopefully the internal hardware will improve enough for a fanless version which produces little heat to come out soon. Two things I hate most about laptops: heat and noise!

    I wonder whether Nvidia could have an advantage here because of their CUDA concept. Basically, it would create a Netbook with superb graphics capabilities and is able to run simple program, which is what the average consumer needs anyway.

    Intel and VIA, hurry up with the new chips. AMD... keep trying... and hopefully you can surprise me.
    Reply
  • weihlmus - Friday, September 05, 2008 - link

    dell already tried the fanless approach on the latitude X1 and for all the whole system was only using 10W or so (no battery) according to my power meter it still got feindishly hot after a few hours use - theres nothing worse than trying to type on a small format laptop with sweaty fingers!

    also when reviewing netbooks can you compare the power adapters? its one think having a 1 kilo netbook but then having the best part of a kilo of power adapter and leads to carry around is another... sureley the atom laptops can run from a wall wart not a standard 60W laptop power pack?!
    Reply
  • Woodchuck2000 - Friday, September 05, 2008 - link

    ...It's priced at £299...

    Would anyone pay $600 for one of these, and am I alone in feeling ripped-off?
    Reply
  • bigben - Friday, September 05, 2008 - link

    I, for one, thought that was brilliant.

    I would give that guy a job...
    Reply
  • Baked - Friday, September 05, 2008 - link

    Do a review on that too. Or better yet, get your hands on all the netbooks and do a round up comparison review! Reply
  • Gnyff - Friday, September 05, 2008 - link

    Nice one. Now we just need to break the cursed trend of glare screens... I like to see what's on the screen - not my self, windows, lights and other reflections. It might add a bit to the fun to be able to see the photographer on a picture like the shown - but that's the first positive thing I've found for "glare" screens :-P

    Cheers,
    Anders (Still looking for a 17" 1900*1200 notebook with good anti-reflex coating, seems only Apple and HP are sensible those days. Who would ever have guessed ;-)
    Reply
  • Sunrise089 - Friday, September 05, 2008 - link

    Dell has simply created two price points, one for the deal and for everyone else. For example:

    You can price a studio 15 for $699. So add a full-price mini 9 to that and you get $1048.

    With the e-value code and the $99 'promo', you get the exact same studio 15 for $999 and the mini 9 for $99 which is $1098!
    Reply
  • Pjotr - Friday, September 05, 2008 - link

    You do not mention Bluetooth anywhere in the article. The Asus 901 has Bluetooth and it's a show stopper for me if it's missing. I need to use Bluetooth to use my unlimited surfing via my 3G mobile phone subscription. Acer One doesn't come with it. Reply
  • piroroadkill - Friday, September 05, 2008 - link

    Bluetooth is an option on the Inspiron Mini Reply
  • piroroadkill - Friday, September 05, 2008 - link

    Is bullshit - we get one choice, and it has to be black, comes with XP. Fail, epic fail. Reply
  • psychobriggsy - Friday, September 05, 2008 - link

    However for that single specification, it is a good deal (taking VAT into account) compared with the US price. Reply
  • Jeff7181 - Friday, September 05, 2008 - link

    How much free disk space is there on the 4 GB version? Just curious how much room there is for additional applications, updates, etc. Reply
  • Klug - Friday, September 05, 2008 - link

    Thanks for the review.

    Maybe I misread but I could not find any info about the external PSU... How fat is it?

    I currently use a M1330 and the external PSU is a pain (big, heavy, thick cable, etc).

    Netbook is nice but when used "on the road" (ie: train, meetings, etc), it needs to be carried with its PSU. If the PSU is fat, that's bad.
    Reply
  • benlen - Friday, September 05, 2008 - link

    I missed this my self. An is a important information an a netbook.

    I found the answer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5M37j5BnERw">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5M37j5BnERw
    about one minute in.
    I am happy with the type.
    They say it is 2.6 lbs with the psu so the psu should be about 0.4 lbs.
    But I still havent found a picture on the UK psu. I hope it will be a travle type where you can change the plugs/connectors

    I am by the way selling my M1330 to only have a mini 9 and a stationary
    Reply
  • strafejumper - Friday, September 05, 2008 - link

    i've been researching lappys for a week trying to buy my first one.

    found one i love from lenovo 15.4" but the one problem is all 15.4" lappy's that i've been looking at seem to have the exact same florescent lcd and when i went to circuit city to look at some they all looked very dim because of the vertical viewing angle.

    Then i was in a local shop and they had a macbook air and it was totally different, many times brighter and still bright even at angles. Looking for a cheaper laptop than the macbook air now that has this good an led lcd. May have to wait a while.
    Reply
  • wvh - Thursday, September 04, 2008 - link


    Looks interesting, especially the passive cooling... But as someone who works in several countries, I think they made a mistake with their peculiar keyboard layout. It's not easy to get used to all the different international layouts, laptop- vs. full-sized keyboards, model-specific multimedia- and function-keys, and having manufacturers come up with their own proprietary layout on top of that makes their product much less appealing to me.
    Reply
  • JoshuaBuss - Thursday, September 04, 2008 - link

    nice carpet, anand! :) Reply
  • alpine18 - Thursday, September 04, 2008 - link

    The dell sounds interesting, but I'll keep my eeepc 901 for now. I love this thing.
    It is great to see so many new netbooks in the market place. When they come out with a new netbook with the dual-core Atom, I'll probably buy one.

    I differ with the article author's view on battery life and use. My eee 901 has effectively replaced my full size Gateway laptop. The thing sits at home since I got my 901, little more than a glorified portable desktop. I use my 901 all day without having to recharge, take it to meetings so I can act like I am taking notes when I am actually catching up on other work.

    For me, the deal breaker for the Dell would be the battery life and 1GB memory. I have 2GB of memory in my 901 and need the 5-8 hours of battery life. If the Dell had the same battery life as the 901 and was upgradeable to 2GB, I'd seriously be thinking about getting one.


    Reply
  • MamiyaOtaru - Thursday, September 04, 2008 - link

    Glossy Screen? Why? So I can see what's behind me better than what I'm working on? Especially for a portable computer that just might be used outside, a reflective screen is dumb.

    I know glossy screens sell better in brick and mortar stores, but people are dumb (ooh, shiny!)

    Nice to have a choice I suppose, so those who like it can get the Dell and I can get something else. But that's my point really, I'd get something else.
    Reply
  • abakshi - Thursday, September 04, 2008 - link

    Dell seems to have done better than I expected, but I'd be curious to see how you'd compare with the HP 2133 Mini-Note in terms of build quality, keyboard, screen, etc.

    I have a Mini-Note (C7 1.6 / 2GB / 120GB 7200rpm / Vista Business), and while granted, most configs are priced higher than the average netbook, the design is awesome and it's built better than any HP/Dell/etc. laptop I've ever seen. More importantly, the keyboard's light-years ahead of the EeePC and all other netbooks I've encountered thus far, and with a nice bright 1280x768 screen, it's a pleasure to work with on the go.
    Reply
  • Roy2001 - Thursday, September 04, 2008 - link

    1. Dual core Atom.
    2. Power saveing Poulsbo chipset + HD decoding feature.
    3. Smooth HD/BD movie play back.
    4. Has at least 8GB SSD built in and a SDHC slot so I can insert a cheap 32GB SD card (some day) as 2nd HD.
    5. Has mini-HDMI output.
    5. Built-in camera should be standard.
    6. 1GB RAM should be standard.
    7. 10" LCD with 1280x800 resolution.
    8. Bluetooth built in so I can use a wireless mouse/keyboard without a dongle.

    The more I can dream is touch screen, wireless USB hub, and more...
    Reply
  • Matt Campbell - Thursday, September 04, 2008 - link

    I'm really impressed with what Dell has done with the Mini, they struck a great balance with price/features and it looks fantastic. Thanks for the suggestions - the Wind, Aspire and Lenovo S10 are on my review wish list as well. Keep your eyes peeled for an upcoming HP 2133 Mini-Note review. Hopefully between Anand, Jarred and I we'll cover everything eventually :) Reply
  • rowcroft - Thursday, September 04, 2008 - link

    I have an Acer Aspire 1 - $349 for the 120GB HDD, XP (need it for WWAN card), 1GB RAM, but no bluetooth.
    Still, I think it's a much more compelling offer than either this or the Asus and suggest you get one to evaluate.
    Reply
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, September 04, 2008 - link

    I think that picture at the bottom of the first page shows why I hate glossy screens.

    What I am waiting for is someone to come out with a device that falls somewhere between an Epson P5000 and an Archos 5" internet tablet. Run a real OS, have a decent sized hard drive for music and photo downloads, multiple card readers, touchscreen, and the ability to go on the internet occasionally if it is around. Closest netbook is the Wind or possibly the Lenovo it would seem, but I wouldn't plan on typing enough to need a real keyboard.
    Reply
  • prophet001 - Thursday, September 04, 2008 - link

    seriously, 118 wpm? how in the world did you get that fast? i've been typing everyday for 6 years and I can't type that fast. Any tips? Reply
  • preslove - Thursday, September 04, 2008 - link

    I'm torn now between betting the Dell Mini 9 or the EEE pc 1000H. There really isn't any reason to buy EEE 901, since it is more expensive than the 1000H, which is $549.99, and is only .8 pounds lighter. The 1000H has a much roomier keyboard that is supposedly closer to a "real" notebook's keyboard than a netbook.

    Two major advantages of the 1000H over the Dell, though, are that it comes with an 80 gig hd and a 6 cell battery. Also it comes with 1 gig of Ram standard.

    Adding all the options to the Dell, Win XP, ram upgrade, camera upgrade, and bluetooh and it adds up to $494. That's $65 less than the 1000H, which has a better keyboard and a good sized hard drive, but is about a pound heavier.

    I wish these two were in stores so I could compare the weight and keyboards, as that would probably help be choose.

    One question: Can the Mini accept a 2 gig stick of Ram?
    Reply
  • tayhimself - Thursday, September 04, 2008 - link

    Yes 2 GB RAM interest here too. The Acer Aspire looks good to me as well. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, September 04, 2008 - link

    10" netbooks actually start to become viable as a full-time laptop... almost. I'm not Ben, but I'm right with him in terms of typing on these things. I draw the line of comfort at 13.3" notebooks. Predictive typing would help some, but with the width of my shoulders I still end up feeling cramped on anything smaller. (Why can't I get a natural keyboard on a laptop? LOL)

    However, the above said, 10" is still small and I think too many people are looking at these as a full notebook/desktop replacement rather than a mobile device that supplements regular computer use. 2GB RAM and 80GB HDDs... and then next we'll need faster CPUs and discrete GPUs, and an optical drive, and.... It's a slippery slope, and I think you should either get a real notebook (13.3" or larger - or 12.1" if you don't mind the smaller keyboards) or understand that the netbook is not supposed to be a full notebook and use it as intended. For $350, the Dell Mini looks extremely promising.
    Reply
  • n0nsense - Thursday, September 04, 2008 - link

    I think the perfect one should be:
    1. Little bit more powerful processor (Atom dual core or AMD X2)
    2. More advanced chipset (less heat more graphics performance and output options) which will allow playback of 1080p on TV.
    3. Normal 2.5" HDD/SDD options for upgrade.

    4. I would like touchscreen (multi touch is even better)

    The rest i think is very close to be perfect.

    The reason is for all this more performance is:
    Try to listen to some last.fm radio on the web + some fullscreen flash web page or game.

    And yes, i know, all this "more" will kill more expensive notebooks.
    Reply
  • psychobriggsy - Friday, September 05, 2008 - link

    1) Yes, a dual-core Atom would be nice, but it is already multi-threaded (whoa, what's up with this text box, it's gone all funky!)

    1b) AMD (soon will) have a 22W 1.5GHz X2. I don't know how much power it uses when PowerNow! is enabled, but AMD need to get a standard Athlon 64 out first that has PowerNow! ranges starting from 400MHz at very low voltage first. They do have a 15W Athlon 64 coming out soon as well.

    2) This is the most important aspect, and where all the Atom netbooks are failing right now. It's almost criminal.

    3) Really unimportant, these are mobile companions. Bet Palm feels stupid in cancelling the Foleo, when it turns out that form factor is what people want.

    4) That Dell Linux interface would be perfect for touchscreen.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, September 05, 2008 - link

    You do know that Atom N270 is like 1.5W TDP, right? http://download.intel.com/design/processor/datasht...">Reference A 22W 1.5GHz X2 would use over 10X as much power as the N270. The problem right now is the chipset; we need Poulsbo. Reply
  • psychobriggsy - Friday, September 05, 2008 - link

    And the multi-threaded Atom is 2.5W, and the 64-bit Atom is 4W, and the dual-core Atom will be 8W.

    Also Paulsbo will suck, it's designed for MIDs, maybe the netbooks will be okay with it, but barely. It's a 130nm chip so however cool running the process they are using, it's limiting the clock speed of the GPU, and the number of features it can have.

    AMD have an 8W Athlon 64 already, and in reviews the platform consumes less power and outperforms Atom - in a desktop scenario.
    Reply
  • mmntech - Thursday, September 04, 2008 - link

    #3 is the most important IMO. While SD drives deliver great speed and load times, 8gb or even 16gb really isn't a lot. Once you get your music and videos on it, that space is going to get eaten up quickly. Carrying around portable HDDs or SD cards defeats the purpose of these systems. I don't understand why they aren't offering a HDD as an option as MSI, Asus, and Acer did.

    Other than that, this definitely looks like a solid system. Any chance on getting some Cinebench 10 benchmarks? I'd like to be able to compare the Atoms to my current laptop, which is a PowerPC Mac.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, September 04, 2008 - link

    A 2.5" HDD is absolutely huge compared to the form factor of these netbooks. At best, 1.8" HDDs are what you should look at, and honestly I think 4-16GB (and future 32 and 64GB probably) SSDs make a ton of sense. No moving parts, less heat, and lower power requirements are all things you want in such a small computer. Reply
  • advillain - Thursday, September 04, 2008 - link

    Nice detailed comparisson. Why wasnt the Acer Aspire One included? maybe i missed an explanation in the article. For the price, the Aspire Ones are very nice. I have one with a 6 cell, and am able to web browse, msn, watch a vid or two, and have the battery last 5.5-6.5 hours (with lcd brighness turned down of course) Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, September 04, 2008 - link

    Thanks for the comments :)

    Unfortunately I didn't have the Aspire, although the Eee PC 1000 is on its way to me. I'll definitely do a followup with the 1000, although it is clearly a larger netbook.

    I'll see about getting my hands on the Acer model...

    -A
    Reply
  • rvikul - Thursday, September 04, 2008 - link

    A netbook round-up would be perfect (pushing my luck?). Thanks for this review.

    (btw, Chrome is doing funky things with this comment box).
    Reply
  • Lonearchon - Thursday, September 04, 2008 - link

    I agree the Acer Aspire One is closer in design to the Dell Mini. They both have glossy screens with LED back light. But the keyboard on the Acer is larger making it easier to type on. It does sacrifice the touch pad to accomplish this. Reply
  • Chadder007 - Thursday, September 04, 2008 - link

    I thought the ASUS had an LED backlight also, I'd like to see the Lenovo thrown in for comparison too though. Reply
  • rvikul - Thursday, September 04, 2008 - link

    Yes, why wasn't it compared with Aspire One which is more comparable to dell mini?

    I was really looking forward to that.
    Reply
  • dsity - Thursday, September 04, 2008 - link

    6 cell is 50% more than 4 cell? Reply
  • piroroadkill - Friday, September 05, 2008 - link

    dear god Reply
  • strikeback03 - Friday, September 05, 2008 - link

    Well, that is assuming they use the same capacity cells. Which given that the 6-cell battery in my T43 was originally rated at 54Whr and not the 48 of the Eee, might not be a perfect assumption. Reply
  • srue - Thursday, September 04, 2008 - link

    Yes. Stay in school, kids. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, September 04, 2008 - link

    Next thing you know people are going to try to claim that 48 Whr is 50% more than 32 Whr.... ;-) Reply
  • bohhad - Thursday, September 04, 2008 - link

    this thread almost brings a tear to my eye Reply
  • pervisanathema - Thursday, September 04, 2008 - link

    Do want. This is what I have been waiting for. Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now