Dell Inspiron Mini 9 Reviewed: Refining the Netbook Marketby Anand Lal Shimpi on September 4, 2008 12:00 AM EST
- Posted in
Expansion: More than a MacBook Air
Even today, whenever I pull out my MacBook Air I still get people amazed at how small it is, but it's the thinness that gets them - the footprint of the notebook is no different than your standard MacBook. Hold a netbook up to it and the MacBook Air starts to look rather large:
Apple MacBook Air (on bottom) vs. Dell Inspiron Mini 9 (on top)
You give up the thin profile of the Air, but you get something that's more comfortable to carry around (despite being more of a pain to type on). A side effect of the thicker chassis is that there's actually room for some expansion on the Mini. You get three USB ports, a 4-in-1 card reader (SD/SDHC/MMC/MS), VGA out and built in 10/100 Ethernet.
Unfortunately there's no room for an optical drive, and while Dell offers an external one you're better off saving the money and using the network or USB drives to get data on/off the machine. The hardware is fast enough to watch DVDs, but there's no hardware H.264 acceleration so most high resolution/high bitrate HD content (720p/1080p) is out of the question.
Below is a quick spec comparison between the Eee PC 901 and the Inspiron Mini, as well as the MacBook Air just for kicks.
|ASUS Eee PC 901||Dell Inspiron Mini 9||MacBook Air|
|Dimensions||H: 1.5" |
|H: 1.07 - 1.25" |
|H: 0.16-0.76" |
|Weight||2.5 lbs||2.28 lbs||3.0 lbs|
|Screen Size/Resolution||8.9" / 1024 x 600||8.9" / 1024 x 600||13.3" / 1280 x 800|
|CPU||Intel Atom N270 - 1.6GHz (45nm Diamondville)||Intel Atom N270 - 1.6GHz (45nm Diamondville)||Intel Core 2 Duo 1.6 - 1.8GHz (65nm Merom)|
|GPU||Intel GMA 950||Intel GMA 950||Intel GMA X3100 (144MB UMA)|
|Memory||1GB or 2GB DDR2-533||512MB or 1GB DDR2-533||2GB DDR2-667 (fixed)|
|HDD||4GB on board SSD + 8GB (XP) or 16GB (Linux) removable SSD||4GB (Linux only), 8GB or 16GB SSD||80GB 1.8" HDD |
or 64GB 1.8" SSD
|Optical Drive||Optional External USB||Optional External USB||Optional External USB SuperDrive|
|Built in Camera||Yes||Optional||Yes|