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dstrauss dstrauss is offline
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Default Why Did Dell Stray From the Mini 9 Design? - 10-29-2009, 02:55 PM

All they had to do was upsize the screen and keyboard a bit, and instead they blew the perfect design. This thread is not intended as a "wish list" but more a direction on what hardware changes you feel are "STANDARD MUSTS" for Dell's netbooks (ignoring Michael Dell's general dissing of netbooks):

FLUSH MOUNT SD
This is aimed at ALL vendors, not just Dell: no more sticking out SD cards! The Dell Mini 9 got it right - the SD card sets flush with the computer case. There is almost nothing more frustrating than the SD accidentally popping out, or even just catching on the sides of your bag, etc...

DECENT SIZE SSD
Forget spinning platters in the netbook space. Reliability and responsiveness are key, and instant on/off performance is a godsend. A decent size SSD (minimum 32gb, with up to 128gb options) is the only way to go. If we can buy them for under $100 on ebay, with Dell and HP's market clout, they can get the 32gb SSD far cheaper.

2GB RAM
This is an absolute minimum. Yes, I know that Microsoft's edict forbids more than 1GB but forget that...Windows 7 is so much better a performer that WinXP should be abolished in this space.

USER REPLACEABLE PARTS
Dell absolutely got it right with the Mini 9 - a single cover to replace ram, SSD, wireless and WWAN...anything else is an unacceptable step backwards!

In essence - put a 10" screen and keyboard together with the Mini 9 slots and upgrade-ability, and THAT is the bottom line hardware requirement!

They don't call me curmudgeon for nothing...

UPDATE:

THREE USB PORTS
My how I keep gravitating back to the Mini 9 design...
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holmes4 holmes4 is offline
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Default 10-29-2009, 03:03 PM

Netbooks are all about low cost. Large SSDs can cost as much as the rest of the netbook. For larger capacities, regular hard drives are available and cheap.

The restriction on RAM was for Windows XP only. I expect to see 2GB become more prevalent in the future, but 1GB is fine as an entry level.

I don't understand the non-flush SD card design.

If you look at other manufacturers, they're all moving away from easy user replaceable parts. I don't understand the logic of this, except that sometimes higher integration means lower manufacturing costs and allows for a slimmer design.


Steve
Mini 9|2GB RAM|64GB RunCore|Intel 5300|Windows 10
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dstrauss dstrauss is offline
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Default 10-29-2009, 03:15 PM

I agree about the low cost comment, but those 32GB SSD's, especially at Dell, HP, Acer, or even Asus volumes, would drive down the SSD cost substantially. In any event, the easy replaceable parts would alleviate that by leaving it to my hands and pocketbook to decide.

BUT - I'm afraid the reality is that it is self-preservation more than poor design at work here...a $400 Dell Mini 9 (with 2gb ram and 64gb SSD) runs circles around the low end full size notebooks they foist on the unsuspecting consumers (a notebook with 1gb ram is not ridiculous, its a travesty).
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dstrauss dstrauss is offline
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Default 11-18-2009, 09:44 PM

Well, I guess it's time for a little crow eating. I've seen the advance Black Friday adds for Best Buy, Walmart, and Office Depot, and I have to admit that $400 WILL get you a very full featured, albeit large (6+ lbs) notebook with a 15" screen (3-4gb ram, 250-320gb hd, multi-core processor) at least that Friday. I'd still take the robust Mini 9 just for compactness, but I have to say the economics of my argument have sure been "shot to you know where."


Dell Mini 9/2gb/128gb ST/Win7 Speed Demon
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danmanx danmanx is offline
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Default 11-19-2009, 03:46 PM

Here here! I love all your points. You really hit some major marks. I can definitely tell you as well I am not enjoying the future of netbooks from Dell.

I agree with you that XP really does need to go. It is an extremely old, now increasingly unsupported OS.

Dell should also stray away from GMA 950/500 architecture. [Ahem, it sucks]

Here's the kind of stuff Dell should be putting out:

Asus EEE PC 1201N is a 12 inch $499 Atom 330 Dual Core 1.6ghz, 1366x768 display, 2GB [or 3GB] DDR2 RAM, ION Chipset, Windows 7 Premium, 250GB [or 350GB] HDD, VGA/HDMI out. For $499. Wow.

Think about how much money you've spent on your netbook. For me, I've spent about $300 -+. So even a stripped down "Dell" version would be nice out of this most likely, "hit" netbook. Hint. Dell. Hint.

And ION means you'll be able to HD videos and even some 3D gaming with ease.

ASUS' Ion-packing Eee PC 1201N gets official, gets handled (video) -- Engadget


Dell Inspiron Mini 9 / Custom XP Pro SP3 / 2GB Mushkin RAM / 4GB Stock SSD / Mini BT USB Dongle / 16GB Class 6 SDHC
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holmes4 holmes4 is offline
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Default 11-19-2009, 04:52 PM

Keep in mind that the Mini 9 design is now a year and a half old. I'm sure Dell will be offering new models with newer designs. Intel is said to be releasing new Atom processors and chipsets early in 2010.


Steve
Mini 9|2GB RAM|64GB RunCore|Intel 5300|Windows 10
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Heraclitus Heraclitus is offline
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Default 11-19-2009, 09:18 PM

Let the Moore's law do its job...


Obsidian Black Dell Inspiron Mini 9 - 1GB RAM - 8GB SSD - Ubuntu 8.04
Website: http://sites.google.com/site/dggatetocyberspace/Home
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Mad Mux Mad Mux is offline
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Default 11-21-2009, 04:15 PM

Not sure if this is the best place for one of my favourite rants, but here it is anyway: Why the current obsession with 16:9 aspect ratio displays? The mini 9 could easily have had a 16:10 screen, and we all know that an extra inch makes all the difference.
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Default 11-21-2009, 04:29 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Mux View Post
Not sure if this is the best place for one of my favourite rants, but here it is anyway: Why the current obsession with 16:9 aspect ratio displays? The mini 9 could easily have had a 16:10 screen, and we all know that an extra inch makes all the difference.
That's what she said ....


OK come on, someone was bound to do it!


The fact is, I love the Mini 10 with the larger HDD and such. I know HDDs are so passé, but I'd much prefer to get more space and not be charged $300 for 80 GB of space on top of the price of the netbook itself. I think at best they like to give you around 16GB, maybe even 32GB. Looking at the iPod Touch lineup they should be able to get you 64GB for about $400, charge another $100 for the netbook and maybe I'd buy that. I can't run on 16GB of space though, not even on a couch surfing netbook.

The rest is spot on. I don't get this fascination with c-blocking (that's computer blocking you dirty minded people) users with upgrades. So you don't want to give us 2GB ram. OK, but really who doesn't do 2GB standard now? Well Dell of course. But still, if you don't want to give it to us then at least don't force us to do open heart surgery just to upgrade the ram. The same holds true for the HDD no doubt. They're not gaining much by preventing this from being easy. People do it and they're very successful. Not giving us an easy upgrade/replace option is like asking us not to run OS X on a Mini 9/10v. The second Apple moved to Intel it was only a matter of time anyway.

That said, my biggest gripe is making it darn near impossible to upgrade a machine. I am ok with 16:9 aspect ratios. That is what these supposed high def videophiles think they need. I'd like 16:10 when the screen is < 13" though. Like the above poster said, every inch counts. I don't think you'll find it to be much heavier either.
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T-Keith T-Keith is offline
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Default 11-22-2009, 07:16 AM

Two reasons really. 10" screens are now the netbook norm, so a change was needed. The mini 9 doesn't accept a HDD. People see a 160GB drive and a 16GB drive and they think the larger one is better. They don't know the difference between a SSD drive and a HDD, and they aren't properly educated that a netbook is not a small general computer and doesn't need the room.
I'm glad I got the mini 9 while the true netbooks were out, none of the new ones do it for me. It looks like Google may reboot the netbook trend so you may see a good design again soon, hang tight.
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