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The Dell Inspiron Mini 9 is one of the easiest netbooks to install OS X on. While Apple doesn’t support this endeavor (and in fact, claims that today’s netbooks have junky screens, keyboards, and other hardware), the Mini 9 can be tweaked to run OS X with the WiFi, sound, sleep, Bluetooth, and other features working perfectly.

With a price starting at around $279, the Mini 9 is also one of the cheapest netbooks that’s capable of running OS X. But you know what’s even cheaper? The Dell Vostro A90 — which is basically the business class version of the Inspiron Mini 9. You can pick up a Vostro A90 for as little as $249, and every now and again Dell offers even deeper discounts. The other day you could pick one up for just $199.

Of course, you’ll also want to shell out some cash for a licensed copy of OS X if you want to make sure Apple is compensated for the hard work they put into the operating system. But I’m not going to pretend that there aren’t other ways to obtain a copy of OS X.

MyDellMini forum member bmcclure937 has put together a handy FAQ explaining the differences (and similarities) between the Vostro A90 and Inspiron Mini 9. Thelong and short of it is that these are practically the same machine. You can swap one BIOS for another, upgrade either model’s RAM to 2GB, and the procedure for installing OS X (or any other operating system, for that matter) is identical on both machines.

The only thing setting the Vostro A90 apart is that it has a solid lack case that is designed to be sturdier.

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9 replies on “Dell Vostro A90: The cheapest Macbook Mini?”

  1. Great article. But I just wanted to remind you that Apple “ripped off” OSX from BSD Unix. So while I agree that they should be compensated for the work they did on the GUI let’s not forget all the hard core, pipe hittin binary homies that worked on BSD and didn’t get a dime. 😉

  2. I totally jumped on the $199 Vostro A90 when I read the post here on Liliputing (thank YOU, Brad!) and even though I have to wait until May 22 to get it, I am amazed at getting essentially a Dell Mini 9 for that price. Sure, I’ll swap out the 8GB drive for a Runcore SSD and purchase OS X for the install, but that only brings my total outlay to $380 for a Dell Mini Hackintosh. Wow. Or, I may even ditch that and just run Ubuntu 9.04 on it – the Netbook Remix version is really great and FAST. Either way, what’s not to like?

  3. If you are that anti-M$ to do this, why not just use a good Linux distro?
    Ubuntu just released a new version, with a netbook specific desktop environment. I’m going to try it on the Mini 10 I just purchased.

  4. i’d rather spend that hundred bucks on upgrading to a netbook with a real hdd and a proper 600 row display.

  5. If you like the Vostro Mini a90 size, but want a full PC but in that same small size, check out the Dell Latitude 4300. A full system, only a little larger, can get solid state hard drives, and you can ADD a Dell Inspiron Mini for another $99.


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