This is my first review so if it's not up to scratch my apologies.
We purchased this netbook as an alternative to having a desktop pc at home.
I have listed below in plain english my thoughts on the computer....
Battery - I believe the atom processor coupled with an aggressive profile in the windows power management means it will last at least four/five hours (never properly measured it )
Keyboard - You can touch type on this keyboard easily as the keys are almost as big as on a desktop pc and also there is a good gap between each key to stop you hitting them in error. Also it's worth pointing out that this model does come with all the function keys F1-F12. Something my Mini 9 didn't.
Processor / Graphics - This one is debatable, it really comes down to what you use it for... to be honest it's not going to handle a lot.. I mean it will handle chrome/facebook or BBC Iplayer but it's not going to play HD or Crysis any time soon.
Upgrade-ability - Hmmm, OK you can pop more ram in, up to 2gb I think, maybe change the drive for a SSD
if you wanted to..., funny enough my Dell Mini came with two empty slots for additional cards eg... WWan module or Broadcom HD etc.......... but as it goes I don't think you need to do a lot to it for it to handle day to day surfing / word processing which is where Dell is aiming this net book at, I get the feeling if I were a student then this is the kind of net book I would buy.
Lol the trackpad - Even my partner doesn't like the trackpad on this mini, you see Dell have made the entire trackpad touch sensitive and the buttons are on the same bit so when you go to press left button you end up moving the mouse as well. Honestly ?, buy a usb mouse..
( I cannot emphasize enough how naff the trackpad is ), I say again, buy a mouse.
While on the subject of USB - there are three usb 2 ports, a vga (15pin) port for plugging it into an external monitor(windows 7 starter does not support this apparently !!!) and a very nice card reader tucked under the left hand side.
Windows 7 Starter.
There are no advantages in using windows 7 starter, it is a hobbled version of windows 7 with several features taken out. Microsoft really want you to upgrade to Windows 7 Premium for another £80.00 !. That said, again, if all your doing is surfing and word processing then windows 7 starter is adequate I suppose.
Some Dell Mini 1012's are coming with a HD capable 1360x768 screen, mine came with a normal 1024x600 screen. It's bright and the colours seem bright and strong(strong is that the right way to describe colours ?, hey ho), you get the idea. Note, before getting excited about playing HD see previous section on processor / upgrades, the Atom cannot handle HD on it's own..so plum for one with a built in Broadcom HD decoder card if you want HD playback.
It's worth mentioning just to be clear this unit does not come with any optical drive. Mine came with a sizeable 250gb Sata Hard disk drive which is split into partitions so that you can restore the unit to factory condition should/when windows needs setting up again.
It's a moan but I really wish Dell offered an option where all the bloatware is not installed when you buy the unit. By bloatware I mean the trials of microsoft office and anti virus etc etc. So unless you want these options be prepared to spend a good hour uninstalling all the cr#p Dell have put on it.
One mention is their backup solution, worth keeping on there as you can set it up to back up onto an 8gb USB stick.. not a bad thing given the price of them is coming down all the time.. 16 GB at my local supplier for only £12.95 :-).
It does get hot on the bottom, so I would not recommend using it on a bed etc.... goes without saying I suppose but I have said it and there we are.
In the past I have always been impressed with how Dell put together their computers but this one does creak, to be specific the touch-pad right button croaks like an asthmatic hamster each time you press it.
So in summary, I like it, as long as you don't expect blazing performance then I think it's a good option. (trackpad / hamster withstanding).
I have never reviewed anything in my life so please don't shoot me down in flames for this one.