Dell Mini 12 Forum for discussion on the discontinued Dell Inspiron Mini 12.
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Northern Virginia
08-13-2009, 04:11 PM
You should still be able to get replacement batteries for the Mini 12 from Dell for quite some time, but I'm not sure about third party sources. Based on this thread, options appear to be somewhat limited:
FWIW, I much prefer my Mini 10v to my Mini 12. The slow PATA HDD pretty much kills this model IMO, especially when combined with the 1GB RAM limitation. Options for replacing the HDD are limited, and those that do exist are not cheap. Even after upgrading to the Windows 7 RC (my unit shipped with Vista Home Basic), it can still be PAINFULLY slow if I try to run more than one or two programs at once, watch video, etc. Also, despite its smaller size, the edge-to-edge keyboard on the 10v is much nicer than the 12's keyboard. I think the screen on the 10v is a bit sharper as well.
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Northern Virginia
08-13-2009, 04:14 PM
I use UNetBootin to create bootable thumb drives for installing Ubuntu and other Linux distros:
UNetbootin - Homepage and Downloads
Join Date: Jul 2009
08-14-2009, 09:34 PM
I can only speak of linux, but I've yet to have a painful experience running any apps. Even wine usability is acceptable for some CAD programs. I suppose windows programs are considerably more hard drive taxing?
As far as USB boot, this is possible.
No USB boot
I like the concept on the last post of that thread with a multi-boot USB drive. I may have to try that, minus the XP of course. DOS does look tempting...
I have both 6-cell and 3-cell. 3-cell is enough to last all day suspending the unit and using it only when needed. 6-cell is much better for being in a place where there is no possibility of recharging. The unit is much easier to carry with the 3-cell battery as far as gripping the actual unit. I barely notice half-pound weight difference. I also notice that setting the clock speed explictly to 800Mhz and turning the brightness down improves battery life versus the automatic speedstep adjustments.
People have complained about the glare on the screen with the brightness down, but adhesive screen protector solves this. I think Dell should have had a little radio button marked "add anti-glare screen protector" instead of customers having to get it themselves. I happened to have an extra one for a Vostro 1200. It's only a ten dollar product though.
Edit: found a better one, thinking mine is inferior
and choice Dell Inspiron 1210. $25.50, am hoping this "5" glare protection is better than the generic one I have.
Join Date: Jun 2009
08-17-2009, 04:25 PM
Mini 12 with xp is the best ultraportable I've owned. The 1280 x 800 resolution is far more usable than the 1024 x 600 on the mini 10. More importantly, the mini 10 looks like fat chubby kid where the 12 is slender and sleek bikini model, side by side the frame is almost half the thickness of the mini 10!
That paired with 5hrs of battery life makes for a killer netbook that can hold its own in the ultraportable market despite its slower cpu. I run firefox, live messenger, winamp, and office 2003, and Java ME SDK at the same time with no lag and memory tops at 750mb. The CPU will max out before you utilize all of the ram.
The main drawback of the 12 right now is video performance which will inevitably improve just as the GMA 950 gradually picked up pace as the drivers were tweaked.
The other two drawbacks for me are the CFL backlight - not really a major feature loss since there's no visible difference between the two - and the size limited 1.8" pata hdd.
I guess its all personal preference .... if you're a chubby chaser
Join Date: Aug 2009
08-29-2009, 06:13 PM
I picked up a 1.33ghz model with a 40gig hard drive running Ubuntu for $285, including tax. I figured for that price, even if it's ridiculously slow, I could put up with it as a note taking machine in class.
Ubuntu sucks, straight out. I've never seen a linux distro run so poorly, especially one that's supported out of the box. So I wiped it and installed Vista. Yes, Vista. I couldn't get my hands on a Windows 7 ISO, and my copy is at home, about 5 hours away. Vista actually runs surprisingly well if you turn off aero, and Office 2007, while it starts up slowly, runs like a champ once it's running.
So what I'm telling you is that, once you've booted up Vista/Office 2007, it'll work great. I use live mesh to keep all my files synchronized and think this machine is probably the best $285 investment I could have made.
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