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Dell Inspiron Mini 12 - 12.1in netbook

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Fruitloaf 7th May 2009, 13:09 Quote
I'd be interested to see how the 1.33GHz Atom worked with Ubuntu 9.04, in my experience its as fast or faster than XP and a good step up from 8.04 when using a sluggish processor. Mind you I'm talking about a P-M 1.2 which has a fair bit more horsepower than an Atom.
Narishma 7th May 2009, 13:13 Quote
I think the sluggishness in Ubuntu is caused by the GMA500 chip. It has very poor linux drivers last time I looked.
oasked 7th May 2009, 13:17 Quote
Why use atom chips at all in a 12" notebook? It doesn't make any sense when you could install a much faster CPU rather than the underpowered Atom.
DougEdey 7th May 2009, 13:33 Quote
If it had a better res screen I'd be interested, shame though since that's a killer for me :(
ch424 7th May 2009, 13:38 Quote
Shame about the terrible ergonomics :( You can generally a get very nice refurbished D430 on ebay for only £100 more.
DougEdey 7th May 2009, 13:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Narishma
I think the sluggishness in Ubuntu is caused by the GMA500 chip. It has very poor linux drivers last time I looked.

It's worse now, Intel decided that the best way to clear bugs from their driver was to remove a load of codepaths and change them to brand new un-tested stuff
BLC 7th May 2009, 14:38 Quote
I've used the Mini 9, 10 & 12 and chose the Mini 9 - what clinched it were the options for SSD and built in mobile broadband WWAN. The keyboard is even more awkward and cramped than the Mini 12 (no dedicated F-keys can be a pain), but I find it quite responsive; I'm used to the layout now, so I can get quite a good typing speed.

No bit-tech lovin' (read:reviews) for the Mini 9 (or even the Vostro A90), I notice... ;)
kenco_uk 7th May 2009, 15:19 Quote
Why put a glossy screen on an ultra mobile? Surely someone must test these in an outside environment? If it'd been left matte, but still transflective it might've fared a whole lot better.

I'd also hazard a guess that, although the Intel chipset is low power, perhaps it's being asked too much..? The Atom chip is fairly nippy at basic tasks and tbh the difference in speed from 1.33 to 1.6 isn't going to set the world on fire. If you really want to, you can overclock the 1.33 to 1.6 easily enough :) By far the largest contributor to a feeling of sluggishness is the hard drive. If an SSD had been put in (16GB would be enough for a basic XP+Office system) it could be done for the same price, maybe a marginal amount more, it'd make a big difference in response time.

edit: Forgot to mention - damn good review that, Tim! Btw, it's creak, not creek (page 2 para 5).
Cupboard 7th May 2009, 16:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DougEdey
If it had a better res screen I'd be interested, shame though since that's a killer for me :(

It is a lot better than most netbooks and is the standard for a 12" screen (at all the way up to 15.4 in some cases )

For a similar price as the cheap one you can also get the Via powered Samsung NC20 or for not a huge amount more, a Sumsung Q45 for around £500 which comes with a much faster Core 2 Duo and often 3GB ram edit: although it still has a 12" screen, the Q45 does weigh 1.8KG though
greensabbath 7th May 2009, 19:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by oasked
Why use atom chips at all in a 12" notebook? It doesn't make any sense when you could install a much faster CPU rather than the underpowered Atom.

Exactly. For this size (and price) you could have a real laptop and not have to worry about it not being able to run most of your programs. My 12.1" Lenovo x61 didn't cost much more than this, has better battery life, and right now I'm running Autocad and Rhino at only 20% cpu (while connected to a 20 inch monitor). TBH, I don't think I would have a use for a laptop or netbook smaller than 12 inch if it means giving up so much in performance.
pendragon 7th May 2009, 19:07 Quote
yick.. well, this turned out similar to what I expected... seriously, if you're getting a 12" laptop, get a real ultraportable.. for everything below there are real netbooks to be had elsewhere
naokaji 7th May 2009, 19:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by oasked
Why use atom chips at all in a 12" notebook? It doesn't make any sense when you could install a much faster CPU rather than the underpowered Atom.

Price, the ULV C2D's are horribly expensive.
Cupboard 7th May 2009, 19:57 Quote
But you don't need an ULV C2D, the normal ones are fine, I can get 4-5 hours on my laptop, more if I try hard.
500mph 7th May 2009, 20:26 Quote
The Mini 9 is fine once you get used to it. I dont type with all my fingers anymore, just 4 now. It doesnt have a F11 key which is kinda annoying, but understandable. When you use GMA Booster you can play HD video's on Youtube no problem. I am still finding out what clock generator to use with setfsb, but I am not worried about overclocking with this fanless design. Getting the Runcore 16gb sdd will make this an amazing netbook with Windows 7
HourBeforeDawn 8th May 2009, 01:24 Quote
I like the larger screen but at 12" I think I would go for a normal laptop at that point but Im really happy with my EeePC 1000he :)
BLC 8th May 2009, 10:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by 500mph
The Mini 9 is fine once you get used to it. I dont type with all my fingers anymore, just 4 now. It doesnt have a F11 key which is kinda annoying, but understandable. When you use GMA Booster you can play HD video's on Youtube no problem. I am still finding out what clock generator to use with setfsb, but I am not worried about overclocking with this fanless design. Getting the Runcore 16gb sdd will make this an amazing netbook with Windows 7

Grab the latest BIOS from Dell; version A04 and upwards for the Mini 9 will let you use Fn+Z as F11 and Fn+X as F12. Came in very handy for fullscreen browsing. I've already managed to install Win7 on an 8GB SSD with some very, very careful vLite editing (it's quite easy to chop out required components) - setting it up to install from USB can be a real pig. You'll probably end up with next to no hard drive space left either way, but that's where SDHC cards come in...

And I'll check out GMA Booster - never heard of it before...

Ahem. Threadjack over. IIRC, this was supposed to be about the Mini 12.... ;)
Jamie 8th May 2009, 12:05 Quote
Doesn't look like it stands up to wear and tear very well, there's quite a few dents and scratches in your review model.
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