Friday, April 1, 2011

Dell Inspiron Mini 9 Notebook Review

Dell Inspiron Mini 9 Notebook Review
Dell Mini 9: was actually quite slow in catching up with the netbook craze, and it took until late last year for the Irish manufacturer to release this model.

The Dell Mini 9 sums up everything you expect from an average netbook; it comes with the standard 1.6GHz Atom N270 processor, Intel GMA950 graphics and a choice of a small solid state drive or more roomy hard drive. Moreover you get to choose from either Linux (Ubuntu) or Windows XP Home as the primary operating system.

So, why should you buy the Dell Mini instead of one of the other myriad netbooks out there with the exact same specs? For one thing the starting price is very low, just $249, but that gets you a mere 4GB SSD, so most potential buyers will probably add a few bucks for more storage space. Nonetheless, it is still very affordable.

Another great thing about the Mini 9 is that you can get it in a variety of colors and decorations, although this will also cost you extra as per Dell's business model. The 'standard' color is glossy black (and it is very glossy I might add). The screen on the Mini is good, and doesn't have that large frame that many other netbooks have. On the downside, the keyboard feels more cramped than average, but that comes as no surprise on a 9-inch netbook.
Performance and Conclusion

The battery lasted just over 3 hours, which is completely acceptable. For some reason we couldn't get WorldBench to run on the Dell Mini, but the WPrime 32M test finished in 124 seconds.

If you feel like buying a low-end version and upgrade it later (with cheaper parts) you will be happy to learn that it's very easy to access the internal components, as they are grouped together beneath a panel next to the battery.

If you're looking for a netbook, the Mini 9 should definitely be taken into consideration - it's a solid, highly customizable little laptop available at a very attractive price point.

Edit: Although it would be amazing if the Mini indeed came with a 2.6GHz Atom, it was of course supposed to read 1.6GHz. Thanks Usman for the bump.
Dell Mini 9 Technical Specifications

* Processor Atom N270 1.6GHz
* Memory 512MB-1GB
* Harddrive 4GB-64GB
* OS Linux (Ubuntu)/Windows XP Home
* Weight 2.3lbs
* Screen 9
* Screen resolution 1024x600
* Graphic Card Intel GMA950
* Battery Life 3:07

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