So, I’ve been cruising around with my new Dell Mini 9 for about 24 hours now and I thought I’d share my first impressions.
The Size Of The Device Is Smaller Than Imagined
- When I ordered the Dell Inspiron Mini 9 last week I had no idea it would be as small as it was.
- You can easily carry it around like you would a book like in a backpack, purse, gym bag or even just in your hand.
- I was stopped three times while carrying this around downtown in less than a few hours. People really are amazed at the size of it (or lack there of).
The Screen Is Bright And Clear
- From a head on view the screen is extremely bright and clear.
- From about a 40 degree angle the screen begins to turn blue in color, which is not a problem for normal use.
The Dell Desktop Sucks
- The Dell Desktop mode that comes pre-configured with the Mini 9 sucks in comparison to the Classic Desktop, especially for users who are new to Ubuntu. I struggled navigating around for hours until I enabled the Classic Desktop mode.
- The Classic Desktop is very similar to Windows as the open applications being displayed along the bottom task bar. The Classic Desktop also offers a lot more short cuts along the top menu bar that help tremendously.
The Keyboard Takes Some Getting Used To
- Obviously since the Mini 9 is so small it took Dell some maneuvering to get all of the needed keys on the keyboard.
- The Tab key (indicated by A below) is extremely small, and only about a 1/2 wide. If you are a person that tabs from box to box on websites and in applications this will take some time to master.
- Just like the Tab key the right Shift key (indicated by C below) is extremely small, and only about a 1/2 wide. If you use right Shift, prepare for a learning curve.
- The most baffling part about the keyboard has to be the location of the apostrophe/quote key (indicated by B below). Dell moved the apostrophe/quote key down to the bottom row of keys and left the colon/semi-colon key on the proper line. To me it would have made a ton more sense to swap those two keys as people use apostrophe/quote a lot more than colon/semi-colon. This will take a huge learning curve for most people to get used to.
- A backlit keyboard would be a nice pay to have option.
The Touch Pad Is Very Sensitive
- The touch pad on the mini 9 works well (indicated by D below), but sometimes too well.
- Since the keyboard is so small when you type with two hands your hands are close together, and sometimes your thumbs will inadvertently hit the touch pad sending the cursor somewhere else on the screen.
The Speakers Aren’t Bad For A Netbook
- The two speakers (indicated by E below) have ample output for a device of it’s size, price and power consumption.
- The audio out and mic jack on the front right side work well.
The Power Supply Is Tiny
- The power supply, which is more like a power adapter for the Mini 9 is tiny.
- The charger is no larger than that of a normal cell phone.
- I was able to wrap up the cord and stuff it in my jacket pocket.
- It is also extremely light weight.
Must Have 2GB Of Memory
- Regardless of which route you take with a Mini 9 2GB of memory is a must.
- With the current 1GB of memory the device randomly freezes for 1-2 seconds at time when I am performing memory heavy tasks.
- Hulu.com HD video skips while trying to play with only 1GB of memory.
- Spend the $25 and get the 2GB stick from NewEgg.
24 hours in and overall I am still extremely happy with my purchase. I haven’t had time to play with all of the bells and whistles like I want to including the webcam and bluetooth so I’ll revisit those in later posts.I am very happy with the size of the device as a whole and love the fact that I can simply throw it in my gym bag and not have to lug around another laptop backpack for my M1330. It is also showing to be an amazing conversation starter as I was stopped in the elevator, the lobby and at Buffalo Wild Wings with people inquiring about it.
More to come soon.