Dell Inspiron Mini 12 running Windows XP

When Laptop Magazine reviewed the Dell Inspiron Mini 12 a few weeks ago, the magazine concluded that the hardware was decent, but that the system performance was substandard thanks in large part to Windows Vista operating system that Dell slapped on the cheap subnotebook (I’m going to refrain from calling a 12 inch notebook a netbook).

It’s worth noting that the Dell Inspiron Mini 12 also uses a different version of the Intel Atom processor than the Dell Inspiron Mini 9, but it turns out that many of the problems can be associated with the OS, not the CPU. How do we know? Because when the folks at Laptop Magazine wiped Windows Vista and replaced it with Windows XP, the notebook ran better.

Laptop Magazine reports that the computer boots faster and that programs seem more responsive. Multitasking performance was also better.

Installing Windows XP is a little tricky since Dell doesn’t actually sell the Dell Inspiron Mini 12 with Windows XP yet, and therefore hasn’t posted any drivers to its website. Still, if you load Windows XP using a USB disc drive or by trying to load the installer onto a USB flash disk, you can get most of the drivers working by using the Dell Inspiron Mini 9 drivers.

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5 replies on “Dell Inspiron Mini 12: Better with Windows XP”

  1. Many 12*ers are populatr.this one is thin and light and cheap. Without vista it should be ok for what most of the others are used for..

    1. Dell Uk has put the Linux version on the website. Looking forward to the review. I’m very curious about the speed of Linux version. Does anyone know how to install xp on this thing if I bought a legal copy of xp?

  2. Too big for a netbook, too underpowered for a sub-notebook. Just what is the market for this thing? I suspect many (clueless) buyers will think it is just a cheap laptop and be very disappointed when it won’t run many games decently.

    1. I doubt any gamer would buy a 12-inch display notebook. The Inspiron Mini 12 gives the business user more than satisfactory performance (on top of the 6+ hours of battery life), packed in a truly beautiful design. It’s like a stylish successor of the Latitude series. Anyone who has ever considered buying a MacBook, but was disconcerted by its incompatibility with the real world when it comes to anything else than graphic design, is likely to become a satisfied owner of an Inspiron Mini 12.

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