A lot of folks (myself included) have pointed out that you can get an Acer Aspire One laptop with 1GB of RAM and an 8GB SSD for $20 less than the cheapest Dell Inspiron Mini 9. But Kevin Tofel of jkOnTheRun makes an interesting point – the Dell netbook may include a faster SSD module.
It appears that Dell is using a solid state disk from STEC which is capable of up to 85 MBps read speeds and 25 MBps write speeds, which means that it should be 2-3 times faster than the SSD in the Acer Aspire One.
Kevin also makes an educated guess that the SSD is a PCI Express card which could be easily upgraded. While Dell is only offering 4GB, 8GB, and 16GB options, STEC also makes a 32GB module which means Dell could release a system with a additional storage capacity later.
Does this mean the Dell Inspiron Mini is really a better deal than the Acer Aspire One? That depends on your needs — and on how the netbook performs in real world tests. Until I see someone post some benchmarks or perform some side by side comparisons, I’m withholding judgment. But the news is promising.
Aspire One with 6 cell battery, 1GB RAM, 160GB HDD only costs $400 USD… Dell Inspiron 9 at the same price only has 4 cell battery and 8GB SSD….
Things are changing so fast with SSDs, it might make sense to buy a Mini 9 (or other netbook) with the smallest SSD you can get by with for now. Then, with luck, you you could upgrade to a bigger, faster one at a reasonable price in two or three months.
With that strategy, you might not have to worry too much about which cards they happen to have on hand when you buy.
Different reviewers have noticed different brands of SSD.
Hmm… but if you look at this photo from Dell’s own service manual, it shows the Intel logo on the SSD card: https://support.euro.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/ins910/en/sm/qh_ssd_3.jpg
Could it be that the preproduction unit used by Joanna in the Laptop mag webcast has an STEC SSD module and the production units will have Intel? Or that the actual brand of SSD will vary, depending on who is supplying Dell at the time a given unit is assembled?
Good point. Dell often uses different components based on who got the low bid that week. (a gross oversimplification sure, but in essence true). So there’s no guarantee that a Dell purchased today will contain the identical parts of those purchased a month or two from now.
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