CNET First Look
Dell Inspiron Mini 9The computer giant gets in on the tiny laptop action with a new Netbook.
[ Music ] ^M00:00:03 >> I'm Dan Ackerman, Senior Editor at www.cnet.com and we are here taking a look at Dells Inspiron Mini 9. This is one we've been waiting for. For a while we've known that Dell's been working on a Netbook, those are those small, low power, low cost laptops meant for surfing the Web, e-mailing, not much more than that. Made popular by systems like the Ace's EPC. Well, now Dell has their own it's called the Inspiron Mini 9 and it's gonna look and feel very familiar for anyone who's a Netbook fan. Like most of the current breed of Netbooks, it's got a 9 inch screen, actually an 8.9 inch screen, it's got Intel's Adam CPU, it's got a gig of RAM, and Windows XP. Now, a set up like that is gonna cost you around $500 which is kind of the sweet spot for a Netbook. You can actually knock it down to about 350 if you get a smaller solid state hard drive. This one is a 16 gig drive. Go down to 512 migs of RAM and switch out the XP for Linux. It's got a fairly standard set of connections for Netbook. You get 3 USB ports you get a VGA Out, you get headphone and mic jacks, and you get an SD card slot which is important if you want to put in a big SD card and maybe get a little more hard drive space out of it. The biggest challenge for any Netbook is the keyboard. How do you squeeze the maximum amount of usability into a very tiny space. What Dell has done here is a pretty smart compromise. What they did was they made the letter keys, actually, fairly large, larger than on the 9 inch EPC, but some of the other keys like the Tab key and the Caps Lock key really gets squeezed down into little slivers. And, if you notice something missing, it's the whole Function key row. That's actually been moved down here as alternate keys on this row of letters right here. In typical Dell fashion this guys actually pretty configurable which is something of a rarity in the Netbook world. You can add or get rid of the Web cam or even add a Bluetooth internal antenna which is very important if you want to take your cell phone and tether it for some mobile Broadband action. I'm Dan Ackerman and that's the Dell Inspiron Mini 9. ^M00:01:54 [ Music ]