Joanna Stern has been able to spend some quality time with the new Dell Inspiron Mini 9 mini-notebook and she’s posted a thorough review over at Laptop Magazine. In general, she seems pretty happy with the PC for the price. She reviewed a Linux unit with 1GB of RAM and says the custom version of Ubuntu 8.04 Netbook Remix with the Dell program launcher is probably the best version of Linux she’d ever used on a netbook. Here are a few more things I learned from the review:
- The notebook weighs less than 2.3 pounds, and the tiny battery charger weighs just another .3 pounds, which makes it easy to carry with you. It looks a lot like the charger that came with the Eee PC 701 which was notoriously slow at actually charging a battery. Stern says she hasn’t measured the charge time of the Inspiron Mini 9 yet, but she will soon.
- The computer has a glossy screen, but isn’t particularly prone to glare.
- The speakers are on the bezel below the screen and are reasonably loud for netbook speakers
- The keyboard is on the small side, but still touch typable. As expected, there are no dedicated function keys. Rather, you have to hit the Fn button plus another key to replicate their umm… functions. The right shift key is also awkwardly placed, which is nearly par for the course these days.
- Stern says the laptop gets hot during use, with the keyboard going up to 100 degrees, the bottom of the PC measuring 108 degrees, and the touchpad hitting 92. But she had a pre-production unit and Dell says some of the heat issues have been addressed.
- Overall battery life? About 3 hours and 12 minutes with WiFi on.
Make sure to check out the full Laptop Magazine review for a video hands on and a ton of pictures. So what do you think? Does Dell offer enough advantages over the $329 Acer Aspire One to be worth a few bucks more?