Dell Mini 9 Discussion Discussion on the Dell Inspiron Mini 9.

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george23 george23 is offline
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Default WHAT TO BUY - THE NETBOOK PROBLEM - 10-07-2008, 06:04 PM


I am trying to make a decision.

I decided earlier this year to buy a netbook, but first wait and see how the market develops with price/choice. Here are a few thoughts:-

The Wind is too expensive and poor (3 cell) battery life. The Advent and Medion versions of it cheaper but still poor battery.

A good Asus model I feel is too expensive.

Acer has decent keyboard and seems well built for good price, unless you start going XP way, then value not so good. Linx interface, although can be messed around with, not pretty and (poor 3 cell battery life) - also noisy fan.

Samsung look to be coming out with a pretty good 10.2 screen netbook in a month of so (6 cell battery) that will place in in the UK with the current top end Acer One price and the Dell Mini 9 (XP Spec). This seems good value. Samsung think its great (suprise) but until someone gets their hands on one, who knows! If it is good I think it may drive prices down throughout the market (or maybe not).

I know pretty much all mentioned above (with exception of Dell) 6 Cell upgrades available. At a price!

I do fancy the Dell. Good 8.9 Screen. The battery life worrys me a little - but at least 4 cell better than 3. Ubuntu looks good as well. It is in someways questionable about the focus currently about in on turning netbooks into smaller laptops. They are a stand alone product (I think?)! The UK price is not wonderful, but it looks pretty well built.

However, when one is spending ones hard earned, etc, obviously the best value is required. My needs are really a word processor and a bit of internet use.

I like the smaller form factor of the Dell, but I wonder if the keyboard will annoy?

What space is there left on an 8 gig drive with Ubuntu?

How annoying is the glossy lid?

Also, I have read pieces on the screen not being too clear unless read dead on.

It is tempting in someways to splash out on the Acer basic 8 gig model and live with it for a year and then look at the market later - but the fan...

Anyway, if anyone has any thoughts they would like to share on purchase choice, then please speak!

I have driven the family mad!
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mostlyharmless22 mostlyharmless22 is offline
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Default Re: WHAT TO BUY - THE NETBOOK PROBLEM - 10-07-2008, 06:09 PM

Asus has horrible customer/technical support so I'd stay away from them. Dell may be having issues getting these out but their support after the purchase can't be beat and you can extend the warranty, unlike others. Those are the only two I have an opinion on. Good luck choosing!
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PM5K PM5K is offline
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Default Re: WHAT TO BUY - THE NETBOOK PROBLEM - 10-07-2008, 06:18 PM

I bet you drove your family mad.

The keyboard itself is about as annoying as most others, the key things to consider with the MINI are:

It's missing F11 and F12 and the other F keys are FN+F Key. Also some of the punctuation keys aren't where you'd expect them to be. The sizes of the keys are good.

I can't say how much space is left with the 8GB and Ubuntu but an nLited Xp uses less than 1GB. I'd strongly consider the 16GB since it gives you more room to play around, especially when you have your choice of different flavors or Linux, Windows, and OS X.

The glossy lid is only annoying if you actually care about fingerprints, it's something I've gotten used to just ignoring since there is no way around it, it's the same on my iPod, iPhone, and my Logitech Harmony One.

The viewing angles on the screen are fine, but the screen doesn't tilt back as much as some others I've seen.

You mentioned something about the fan on the ACER, the MINI is passively cooled so it's totally silent.

Also upgrading the MINI is very easy since everything is accessible from the bottom (except bluetooth).

Just some thoughts, hope that helps...
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jej.514 jej.514 is offline
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Default Re: WHAT TO BUY - THE NETBOOK PROBLEM - 10-07-2008, 06:26 PM

george23 - are you in the UK?

I don't know about availability there, but here in the US, has the 6-cell Acer (with XP and 160GB drive) for $399.99. I was this close to scrapping the Dell order and going with that (given how difficult Dell has been with getting my order right.) In the end, the complete silence of the Dell (and the difficulty of upgrading RAM on the Acer) made up my mind.

I'm coming from an ASUS 4G eeePC (7" screen, 4GB SSD). I've actually always had enough room on 4GB (for what I use this thing for - including XP and Office and documents), so will consider 16GB rather luxurious.

To commiserate with you, it is a crowded market. And there will always be something better just over the horizon. I say go for the one that most meets your expectations at this point. It is, after all, only a computer, and can be sold and replaced. What is most important: screen, storage space, over-all size/weight, battery life? Find what excels in the areas that most matter for you and go for it.

(And after using the eee, traveling with my 14" laptop seems so laborious. Ridiculous, I know. But the small size is so comfortable.)

Mini 9 | Black | 32GB RunCore SSD | 2GB RAM | .3MP cam
Windows 7 Home Premium
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PM5K PM5K is offline
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Default Re: WHAT TO BUY - THE NETBOOK PROBLEM - 10-07-2008, 06:36 PM

Yeah, at the end of the day you have to make your own decisions.

My biggest reason for buying the Dell was build quality, the Eee PC had horrible build quality and I needed something more durable.

I also like the ease of upgrading, and probably a few other things I can't think of at the moment.
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george23 george23 is offline
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Default Re: WHAT TO BUY - THE NETBOOK PROBLEM - 10-08-2008, 06:34 PM

Thanks to all!

What a great bunch of guys on this site. The answer can only be a Dell Mini!

I was looking at the manual online. I must say I like the way it can be stripped down. I will see what Dell UK can deliver as soon as possible.

Will report more later.

Still think I will probably go Ubuntu, but they only seem to be offering the 8 gig drive here. So I might go the Windows route to get the 16 gig drive.

Though 8 gig should be enough... but..

There I go again! But it will be a Dell.

Thanks again to all.
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desgnr desgnr is offline
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Default Re: WHAT TO BUY - THE NETBOOK PROBLEM - 10-08-2008, 08:23 PM

I really wanted to buy the Acer Aspire One with windows.
Because of the 120 gh. hd. & $100.00 less cost.

I also herd the SSD is slower than a regular HD

But looking at there forum i see sooo many posts about a Black screen after only having it a few days or weeks.
Also i read alot about the Noisy fan.

Any suggestions appreciated.
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george23 george23 is offline
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Default Re: WHAT TO BUY - THE NETBOOK PROBLEM - 10-08-2008, 08:50 PM

Having looked at the Acer (and heard it) - as I have said above, the fan is noisy.

Also the SSD drive (the Acer) can be (so I have read) either an Intel of Samsung one - the Intel one is slower. Also it appears that the computer can be delivered with one of 2 different 3 cell battey types, one being a lower capacity.

It appears there is no way of knowing what you get until you get it home and open the box!

The advantage of the SSD drive is that it will be more robust - i.e sling in bag and not worry too much.

The Dell of course with the 16 gig drive option gives more capacity. I can't speak for the Dell SSD speed, which I am sure will be covered elsewhere.

The other thing I have considered is that too much space - 120 -160gig probably takes you away from the concept of a netbook and may suggest that a normal laptop is more the requirement - depending of course what you are going to be using it for. If you are looking at films. carrying all your music and using it for work, college, etc, then maybe a bigger drive is required.

A smaller drive is more of a shuttle computer and the mother computer is at base (sounding like Star Trek here).

In away, it is maybe like your wallet, you don't want to carry everything you own out with you. Carry too much data on a machine that will hold it may encourage you not to back it up and by not backing it the situation of losing it or breaking it would be a real problem!

Hope this is useful.

All the best.
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