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Old 05-20-2009, 03:00 PM
Jason Dunn
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Default Dell's Inspiron Mini 10 Reviewed

<p>This is an in-depth review video of the Dell Inspiron Mini 10. A couple of months ago I did the <a href="http://www.digitalhomethoughts.com/news/show/93022/unboxing-the-dell-inspiron-mini-10.html" target="_blank">unboxing video</a>, and after some heavy use here's my full review - it's the longest video review I've done to date. As configured from Dell Canada, it cost me $559 CAD in March 2009 - and now, in May 2009, the same configuration is available for $499 CAD. It goes to show you how often Dell changes the prices on their products, and how the only way to find out how much a Dell computer costs is to go to the Dell Web site yourself and configure one. This Mini 10 is cherry red in colour, uses the Intel Atom Z530 (1.6 Ghz) CPU, has 1 GB of DDR2 RAM, uses Windows XP Home SP3, has a 10.1 inch 16:9 aspect ratio screen (1024 x 576 resolution), a 160 GB 5400 RPM 2.5 inch hard drive, a 1.3 megapixel Webcam, a 802.11g WiFi card, and is powered by a 3-cell 24 WHr battery.</p><p><object classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000" width="600" height="360" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,40,0"><param name="src" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/9VXRBvZ3lFk&amp;hd=1" /><embed type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="600" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/9VXRBvZ3lFk&amp;hd=1"></embed></object></p><p>As I mention in the video, since I purchased the Dell Mini 10, Dell has come up with a new model: the Dell Mini 10v. The 10v is puzzling, because if I configure a 10v to match the specs of the 10 I configured above for $499 CAD, the 10v comes out at only $409 CAD - and the only difference is that the 10v uses the Intel Atom N270 rather than the Z530 that the regular Mini 10 uses. Both CPUs run at 1.6 Ghz, and both are on a 533mhz bus. The only difference I can see is that the N270 uses 2.5 watts of power under load while the Z530 uses 2.2 watts under load. In other words, not much of a difference from a consumer's point of view. Equally important is the fact that Dell is now offering a 1366 x 788 screen option, and a 6-cell battery - both choices that weren't available to me when I ordered mine. <MORE /></p><p>At the request of a YouTube commenter, I did some more video tests using Quicktime and Windows Media Player, and while playback was fine (no obvious major glitches like I saw with VLC), the quality of the playback wasn't great - the Intel GMA500 GPU really sucks at scaling video, and artifacts popped up constantly. I thought the GMA950 was bad as a GPU, but the GMA500 is even worse. I'm hopeful that Dell can release a graphics driver update and smooth out the quality issues I saw. As it stands now, I'd be more inclined to recommend an upgraded 10v, which uses the GMA950, rather than a regular Mini 10. The limitation there is that the 10v doesn't allow for the 1366 x 768 resolution screen, so you'd have to make the call on which is more important to you: a higher-resolution screen or better video playback. Come on Dell, why do we have to choose between the two?</p><p><em>Jason Dunn owns and operates <a href="http://www.thoughtsmedia.com/" target="_blank">Thoughts Media Inc.</a>, a company dedicated to creating the best in online communities. He enjoys <a href="http://photos.jasondunn.com/" target="_blank">photography</a>, mobile devices, <a href="http://www.jasondunn.com/" target="_blank">blogging</a>, digital media content creation/editing, and pretty much all technology. He lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with his lovely wife, and his sometimes obedient dog. He's still searching for the ultimate netbook.</em></p><p><em></em><img src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com//ppct/auto/1240336793.usr1.gif" /></p><p><strong>Do you enjoy using new hardware, software and accessories, then sharing your experience with others? Then join us on the <a href="http://www.thoughtsmedia.com/reviewteam.php" target="_blank">Thoughts Media Review Team</a>! We're looking for individuals who find it fun to test new gear and give their honest opinions about the experience. It's a volunteer role with some great perks. Interested? <a href="http://www.thoughtsmedia.com/reviewteam.php" target="_blank">Then click here for more information.</a></strong></p><p><img src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com//ppct/auto/1240336793.usr1.gif" /></p>
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Old 05-20-2009, 04:36 PM
Vincent Ferrari
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The 10 was perfect for me in every way. It was everything I needed a Netbook for.

Except the soldered on 1 gig of RAM. Bummer. Even the 9 can handle that.

Yet another way Dell makes you "choose."
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Old 05-20-2009, 08:24 PM
doogald
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vincent Ferrari View Post
Yet another way Dell makes you "choose."
An Apple-oriented blog making this accusation against Dell is a bit like the man who only eats at a restaurant that serves only various sized grilled cheese sandwiches complaining that the restaurant next door only cooks one of their steaks rare (ignoring that they have far more products on their menu besides steak.)
 
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Old 05-21-2009, 01:42 AM
Vincent Ferrari
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doogald View Post
An Apple-oriented blog making this accusation against Dell is a bit like the man who only eats at a restaurant that serves only various sized grilled cheese sandwiches complaining that the restaurant next door only cooks one of their steaks rare (ignoring that they have far more products on their menu besides steak.)
Hmmm...

Let's ignore the fact that this isn't, in fact, on an Apple blog.

Jason pointed out that there was a strange choice that had to be made between chipsets and screens on the mini 10. I said they also make you choose between a RAM uprgradeable 9 and a soldered on 10 to buttress his point of the weird decisions Dell forces consumers into making.

Can you please explain to me:

1. How my point is invalid...

2. How if my point is invalid, how Jason's, being of similar ilk, is also therefore invalid...

3. What the hell any of that has to do with Apple?
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Old 05-21-2009, 12:51 PM
Lee Yuan Sheng
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Hmm, it's the same thing here too! Very odd product seggregation on Dell's part.
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