Dell Inspiron Mini 10 ReviewBy soumitra, Gaea News Network
Sunday, August 30, 2009
At last Dell has understood that the 10 inch netbook market is really lucrative and to take a good position in the market you have to be different from the crowd by introducing some new features and maintaining the quality standard at the same time. Dell is just trying to do this with options for upgrade such as integrated mobile broadband, GPS, built-in TV Tuner etc. At the same time they are delivering a roomy keyboard in a thin and light format. But does this notebook has any glitches that can make it a deal breaker? We have made a review to find the answer. Have a go.
PerformanceARTICLE CONTINUED BELOW
As with other netbooks it is not a speed demon by any means. It uses a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom Z530 Silverthrone Processor which is designed for small sized laptops. The standard system is configured with a 1 GB RAM to run Windows XP. It has no problem with multitasking like downloading some content from internet while playing some music in the Windows Media Player and writing on Microsoft Word at the same time.
The graphics is weak as usual and don’t expect to play any 3D game on it. While it played DVD Video very well but it seemed to be some problem when playing HD videos. The effect is more pronounced when we output the video to HDTV via its HDMI output. I think HDMI without dedicated is a bad choice.
It looks quite the same as the Mini 9 and the Mini 12 but only has a different size. The lid is coated with glossy coating and there are six color options you can choose from, namely black, white, green, pink, blue or red. The glossy back looks good though they are prone to fingerprints. They keyboard is black with a silver palm rest. It measures only 10.3 X 7.2 X 1.3 inches making it the most compact laptop of its class. The weight is also a minimal 2.6 pounds to be carried around the whole day.
The system houses a 10.1 inch 1024 X 576 pixels glossy display. Though we normally see the 1024 X 600 displays in the netbooks, the shortage of those 24 pixels are hardly noticeable in real life. If you compare the screen side by side with a 1024 X 600 netbook, you’ll find the difference that the Mini 10’s screen showed a 2 or 3 lesser lines of text. The screen glare was there as normal with the glossy displays but the horizontal and vertical viewing angles were good.
We are really impressed with the size of the keyboard Dell provided with this netbook. It seems to be even bigger than the keyboard of Mini 12. The key sizes are full sized (even the right shift key) and there are all the function keys present. The key feedback is very good and typing at high speeds was no problem. The only better keyboard than this in the netbook category is the HP Mini 2140’s.
We are equally disappointed with the touchpad as we were impressed with the keyboard. The touchpad seemes to be undersized and to save more space the left and right mouse buttons are put on the touchpad itself which makes it more awkward and uncomfortable to use. The touchpad also supports multitouch gestures but using those gestures right out of the box is not possible and it takes some time to be apt at making those gestures. In fact after trying it more than a few days I was not comfortable with it and turned the gesture settings off.
The device has a nice set of ports on its sides. There is a Kensington lock slot, a USB Port, a 3 in 1 Memory Card Reader on the left side and an Ethernet jack, two more USB Port, an HDMI Port, a mic and headphone jack on the right side. We only miss the VGA Port here. Though they are providing an HDMI Port which is a nice thing to see in a netbook but that is only supported in newer displays and VGA Port is currently the most supported with almost all the display devices.
WebCam and Audio
The less said about these tow the better it will be. The 1.3 MP WebCam was nice to make a video call but there are some motion blur and a light greyish tint on the pictures it took. The built-in speakers were not loud enough and the sound was also tinny as expected.
The standard system comes with a three cell battery which runs about four hours low usage mode with power saving configuration turned on. Expect the system to run more than two and a half hours with high workload which is standard for a 3 cell battery. With a six cell battery expect the system to run nearly double of this capacity.
- Slim and light than most other netbooks
- Spacious keyboard
- Bright, glossy display
- Nice Color options for those who look for style
- TouchPad and Buttons are uncomfortable to use
- No VGA Port
- HDMI without Dedicated graphics is a bad choice
The 10 inch netbook crowd is seriously competitive. There are strong competitors like Acer Aspire AOD 150 which is really cheap, there is Lenovo IdeaPad S10 which is has nothing wrong with it, there is Asus Eee PC 10058 HA from the house of Asus, the creator of the netbook market. In this crowd there are some netbooks which will provide a greater bang for your buck but with its nearly full sized keyboard and other upgrade options like integrated GPS, mobile broadband and TV Tuner can make it a good choice as a netbook.
Tags: Dell Inspiron Mini 10, netbook