Dell Inspiron Mini 9

I’ve mentioned once or twice in the last several weeks, in the context of traveling light, my interest in a mini-laptop, specifically mentioning the Asus units.

Complicating the picture a bit is Dell’s release of their entry – the Inspiron Mini 9 – into this growing segment. LIke the Asus units, the Mini 9 features a solid state hard drive and is available at very similar price points.  Differentiating it a bit from the Asus units, however, the Dell Mini has a larger display (8.9 inches) and larger keyboard – two of the knocks against the Asus units.

Weighing in at 2.28 lbs., the Mini 9 comes standard with an OS powered by Ubuntu, but can be upgraded to XP Home Edition. Extra online storage space via Box.Net is standard. The opening price point is $349.

You can see the full details at Dell by clicking here.

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4 Comments on Dell releases Inspiron mini laptop

  1. Michael W. says:

    I was excited about this mini until I ran some trial “builds” on-line at Dell. First of all, the Ubuntu version doesn’t have a webcam, which is included on the XP version, so actually you aren’t saving anything by getting Ubuntu. I have experimented with Linux a couple of times and it drove me nuts – first time 5 years ago, second time last year. Although it is slightly more user friendly than 5 years ago (the distros the most recent time around could actually drive my display card and monitor!), it isn’t ready for prime time. Simple things like updates and upgrades and installing new programs had me pulling my hair – with XP (or Mac) all you have to do is click for system or browser updates and it’s a piece of cake.

    Of course there may be a convergence between Ubuntu’s increasing user-friendliness (which pushes towards the Ubuntu distro of Linux) and MS’s disastrous “push” to adopt Vista (which pushes towards the use of Linux, which has less demanding hardware requirements than Vista). Apple is always nice but let’s face it just a little too expensive for most of us. What we need is a cheap mini that we can afford to lose and that has enough intrinsic security built into it so that none of our private information can “leak out” to a thief. If MS were smart, they’d keep XP around as it’s lesser hardware demanding Linux alternative. And beef up default security and encryption to take into account all of us knuckleheads who, like government workers, lose laptops.

    BTW if you price the Vostro “regular” budget laptop against this Mini, it makes you wonder if it’s not worth the extra size and weight to skip the Mini…the Vostro is about the same cost, with much faster processor (dual core) and much larger hard drive. And the same battery life – the Dell battery life in the Mini is pathetic.

    Now an “instant on” Ubuntu based mini running Chrome might be interesting – all I need on the road is browser capability. Mainly for online banking and bill paying. And news reading and user groups.

    Finally, Apple is coming out today with the revise Ipod Touch. Will it satisfy my hopes for a truely lightweight, truly portable “online banking/browsing” machine? Yeah the screen is small, but I don’t need large for bill paying, and online cafes abound for NY Times reading….

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  2. Petro says:

    The ASUS eee PC 900 has a 8.9 inch screen, and the 1000 has a 10 inch screen.

    Linux isn’t any harder to use or more unfriendly than Windows, it’s just got different idiosyncrasies. I’ve been using all three OSs (and a couple others off and on) for 15 years now (Mac and DOS a little longer).

    It is going to be a little harder to get Linux to play back the variety of media files that Windows can. Then again it’s a PITA to get windows to do some file types. 6 of 1, 1/2 dozen of the other.

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  3. Kevin says:

    The Dell has an 8.9″ display – at least according to the specs I saw at dell.com – and the Asus has a 7″ display.

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