Dell has been shipping a version of the Inspiron Mini 10v netbook with Ubuntu Moblin Remix Edition for a couple of weeks. And the folks at Ars Technica have posted the first detailed review of the Linux netbook I’ve seen. Now, bear in mind, Dell is considering this a developer edition netbook, meaning the software isn’t really intended for general use yet, even though anyone can purchase the laptop from Dell.com.
The folks at Ars were generally happy with the netbook’s hardware including its nice roomy keyboard. But like me, they were disappointed with the awkward touchpad.
As for the software, Ars noticed a few issues. Xorg crashed repeatedly, as did the web browser.They report that the window manager takes a little getting used to, but that it does have some advantages over a more traditional approach.
You can find a far more detailed report with plenty of pictures at Ars Technica, where they walk through the WiFi connection manager, media player, web browser, and email client. One interesting note is that the web browser uses Mozilla’s Gecko rendering engine, but lacks support for some basic Firefox features including add-ons and re-opening recently closed tabs. On the other hand, it does support running each tab as a separate process which allows one tab to crash without taking down the whole browser.
In related news, jkOnTheRun reports that a preview of Moblin 2.1 is now available with support for new features including 3G and Bluetooth connections.