Saturday, May 30, 2009

Dell Mini 9 - Review Final

I figure I'd finalize my review of my Dell Inspiron 910.

Since the last part of this review, Dell has released variations of the Mini 9 such as the Mini 10 and Mini 12. Those are pretty much the same thing though they have more options such as a SATA HDD or different processor. Why they are offering the 1.3Ghz Atom on the Mini 12 I have no idea. But the backs of the screens have cool design options which is pretty bad ass. Dell seems to be pulling an Apple on us going all hip and trendy (I'd love to see Dell offer OSX on this thing or any model - just to say screw you Apple! Take it in the ASS!). BTW, I was surfing around looking for information about putting OSX on this netbook. As it turns out there are quite a few people who have been successful. There is even a full tutorial and a list of different systems that support it. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Mini 9 is the only one who's entire hardware setup is compatible with OSX. Most of the other netbooks have something that doesn't work like the card reader or the webcam.


Now that I've had quite a while to get acquainted with it I've come to really love it! Since my last part of the review I've upgraded the 1 GB RAM module with a 2 GB RAM module, for 20 bucks from Dell's website too; that has seemed to help a little. I've also tried using Ubuntu Netbook Remix (Linux) on it which was OK. I ended up getting frustrated with it (I missed smooth internet surfing, video compatibility and my alarm clock...) so I switched back to XP. I have tried to install OSX on it but I wasn't successful. I'll try again later.

One thing I don't like is that Dell didn't install the bracket for the WAN mini pci-e slot so I can't order a 3G card for it without dropping the wifi. I called to see if I could send it in and have them do it but they said no... Oh well. Also, I think the wifi card doesn't have linux drivers for injection but kismet seemed to work OK (but that's monitor mode).

Speaking of OS's, it looks like Google's Android is making its way to netbooks. In addition to Andriod there are other Linux distros like Linpus's Moblin V2 and HP's Mi.

I have to say that this thing has been AWESOME! I have used it basically everyday since I got it. Every now and then it throws me something new that I find sweet. While I don't see this thing playing Half Life 2 (Edit: I tried and it didn't work so well) I know Counter Strike 1.6 works pretty well. Also, whats really great is that if I take the external USB DVD drive I can play my Chuck Season 1 DVD on my LCD TV and have smooth playback in 1366x768 resolution. As well, I can play Plants Vs. Zombies which is freaking great! I have to use my Microsoft Bluetooth Notebook Mouse 5000 to play games but eh, mouse vs trackpad... no contest. The jumping trackpad issue is just that I keep touching the thing with another part of my huge hands. And lastly, the sound quality isn't the best but most people won't notice and the highest the volume will go isn't very loud which is annoying.

I will tell anyone thats asking that I love this computer. It will remain in my arsenal for years to come. While Dell doesn't sell the Mini 9 anymore they have rebadged it as a Vostro A90. It's pretty much the same thing. As for the Mini series they still have the Mini 10 and Mini 12 though and those come with some cool options like a TV tuner!

Seriously, if anyone is in need or looking for a cheap, super mobile computer then you really need to be looking at the Dell Mini series. Starting at $299 they are cheap, fasionable and reliable. Go for it!

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