General discussion


Love my new Dell Mini9

By robo_dev ·
Has a great display, good keyboard, and very good battery life.

The keyboard takes a little getting used to, since there are no dedicated function keys. But I wanted a simple cheap surfing laptop, and it works great for that.

It's very light, about one pound, and it's silent. (solid state 8gig drive).

Mine has 1gig ram and the 1.8 ghz intel atom processor, runs XP. Has built in webcam, three USB ports, VGA port, SDHC slot, wired and wireless ethernet.

I bought a Dell refurbed (open box) from the Dell outlet store. cost $269, $296.00 delivered. One year warranty.

I have tried several USB-bootable linux distros on it (ubuntu, crunchbox, backtrack2, knoppix) and they all work fine, except that they have some issues with the Broadcom wifi adapter (I may swap that out later).

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by Ed Woychowsky In reply to Love my new Dell Mini9

How is the keyboard? I'm afraid that it would be too small. Also, does it have a slot for an SD card?

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It's got a SDHC slot on the left side

by robo_dev In reply to Query

the keyboard is OK. If you're used to a regular laptop keyboard it feels a little cramped. It has a nice solid feel to it.

I can type fairly well on it. It's weird not having function keys (you get to F1-F10 thru the blue Fn key). Some of the keys are in different locations than a standard layout, so I still have to look for a few of them.

One reviewer griped that there is no hardware volume control, but there is one as a special function key.

If I have to do a lot of heavy document editing on it, I'll plug in a keyboard.

For simple web surfing and so forth, the keyboard is fine.

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Enjoying the mini market was well

by jdclyde In reply to Love my new Dell Mini9

but I went with the hp 2133. a little smaller, and oh so cool.

It came preloaded with SuSE Sles10.1

I have not tried reloading it with any other flavors yet. Would need to back up the current install first before moving to anything else as it didn't come with media.

mine has an actual HD instead of the solid state.

Before getting that, I was looking at the asus for $250.

Love the portability, even if I am not a fan of the keyboard.

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by Forum Surfer In reply to Enjoying the mini market ...

Have you installed OpenOffice yet? Have you done any work-ish tasks with it if so? I was curious to see if it performed decently.

I realize that the primary intent is web surfing. But I was thinking of picking one up, loading oo, and a terminal emulator to have a quick booting network trouble-shooting/multi purpose tool. I'd still need a usb to serial...but I can live with that.

My laptop bag gets heavier and heavier with a portable hdd, mp3 players, adapters, spare batteries, books and blah blah blah. I've been pondering a 9" netbook and maybe a sleeve for "snatch and grab occasions."

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No Open Office, but I installed MS Office 2003

by robo_dev In reply to Question...

I also installed Vipre AV software. I run FireFox 3 with a good number of add-ons (NoScript, WOT, pdf download, etc)

From a performance standpoint, it seems just fine to me. I run Microsoft Word a lot on the unit...perfectly usable.

As a troubleshooting tool, I run WireShark protocol analyzer, and also run USB security distros such as BackTrack2 which have all sorts of network security tools that are also good troubleshooting tools.

The only app issue I've had is an old security DVR viewer program. It goes full screen, and the mini9 aspect ratio is 16:9, so I cannot get to the controls on the screen, and the POS old app cannot be resized. I've fiddled with display settings, but no luck yet on that. I may end up just setting up a Terminal Services connection to the DVR.

The next thing I plan to work on is to tether it to my 3G cell phone for HSPDA internet access. The Mini9 can be purchased with a 3G card, but I don't need another cell phone contract.

Just for grins I want to buy the Garmin GPS USB dongle kit....to see how it works as a GPS. For long car trips, I could tether it to my cell phone, run the GPS app to have both web surfing and navigation for the co-driver.

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OO is installed

by jdclyde In reply to Question...

but haven't had a need to use it on the mini yet.

I do use OO for most of my office needs, though.

the hp I have is more powerful than my desktop, but it gets hot. only drawback I have had with it.

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by Ed Woychowsky In reply to OO is installed

I've heard that the smaller laptops get hot, it seems that the netbooks have the same issue.

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