A Glimpse of the Dell Inspiron Mini 9

Dell's First Netbook

Dell's First Netbook

As they say, the sincerest form of flattery is imitation and after ASUS took the world by storm with its budget Eee PC notebook last year, many notebook vendors have jumped onboard the sub-notebook segment. Intel's debut of the low-powered Atom processor has only served to accelerate the developments in this field. Dell is the latest to enter this segment with its Inspiron Mini 9 and obviously expectations are high.

The Dell Inspiron Mini 9 has a shiny glossy looking exterior that's quite likely to acquire smudges. There are metallic flecks adoring the exterior which we really liked. Dell has plans to launch it in multiple colors, besides the obsidian black that is shown here.

We managed to get a glimpse of the Inspiron Mini 9 running a 'Mini OS' powered by the popular Linux distribution, Ubuntu. Some of the notable specifications that we spotted are as follows:-

  • Intel Atom Processor N270 (1.6GHz)
  • 1GB DDR2 RAM (533MHz)
  • Ubuntu based Mini OS
  • 8.9 inch LED display with native resolution of 1024X600
  • 8GB solid state drive
  • Intel GMA 950
  • 4-cell battery
  • Wireless LAN 802.11g
  • Price ~ S$599


Besides the specifications listed here, Dell will offer various configurations in various colors and a 10-inch model likely to be available in the future at a higher probable price of S$799. There will also be a Windows XP Home Edition version for those who are wary of straying from the beaten path. From our limited hands-on experience, the Mini 9 seemed to run quite cool despite its slim housing. Dell has also included quite a number of ports and connectors for a netbook. Hopefully, the solid keyboard and its overall build quality should distinguish it from other brands, some of which felt more like toys rather than an actual notebook.

The Dell Inspiron Mini 9 has a shiny glossy looking exterior that's quite likely to acquire smudges. There are metallic flecks adoring the exterior which we really liked. Dell has plans to launch it in multiple colors, besides the obsidian black that is shown here.

The build quality of the Mini 9 is quite good, with a solid feeling keyboard that has a decent tactile feel.

Some of the connectors at the side of the Mini 9 include the standard USB and LAN ports. There's also an analog video output.

More USB ports together with a useful card reader.

We didn't get any details about the battery life from Dell but so far, tests done by others online have pegged it at more than three hours.

The unit we saw surprisingly came with a SIM card slot at the battery but the upcoming model will not have this feature. Instead, expect a HSPDA version to be available in conjunction with telco plans.

It's the latest Hardy Heron version of Ubuntu. The model we saw used a 8GB solid state drive, though Dell's website has options for 4GB, 8GB and 16GB.

As a latecomer to the scene, Dell will need something special to have any impact in this segment. We're looking forward to testing an actual review unit soon so watch out for any updates here on www.hardwarezone.com and in HWM.