Chris Alexander

On Engineering

Why I love my Dell Mini

15th February, 2010

I’ve had my little Dell Mini 9 “netbook” (I hate that term… let’s call it a “subnotebook”?) for just over half a year now, and I have to say I am really really enjoying using it.

There has been a real market shift in recent years - powered by the chip makers producing more energy efficient and powerful processors - towards smaller laptops. The Mini 9 is just about as small as you can get here without getting ridiculous.

Despite its diminutive stature, the laptop packs a punch. Designed for Windows XP but now running Windows 7, it handles Chrome and Office 2010 pretty well with its Intel Atom processor.

Its main hardware advantage comes from the 16GB SSD that it has inside, which is blazingly fast (I have also added another 16GB SD card as there isn’t much space left on the SSD). Booting is quick, and Windows 7′s clever power management and reliable sleeps mean that it really as easy as closing the lid and opening it again when you need to use it.

For something with integrated graphics, it also seems to do quite well on that front - it doesn’t have to push that many pixels I guess. It manages to play BBC iPlayer pretty well, although it struggles a bit with an hour-long HD programme - I suspect the memory is holding it back a bit.

Something that I benefit from having a Nokia mobile with unlimited internet is that I can tether my mobile to the Mini 9 via Bluetooth, and get 3G internet literally wherever I go.

All in all, I find the Mini 9 - in combination with Windows 7 - to be a really enjoyable and superbly useful device that’s so easy to carry around and really functional too.