Dell Unveils Its First Netbook

Dell, one of the world's largest producers of personal computers, has unveiled its first netbook, the Inspiron Mini 9 product. The company does not position its netbook for emerging markets, but concentrates on pushing the Mini 9 in developed countries as a mobile companion for other devices. Dell Inspiron Mini 9 is based on Intel Atom N270 (1.60GHz) processor as well as an Intel core-logic with integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 950 graphics core. Depending on actual configuration, the systems may feature 512MB or 1GB of DDR2 memory as well as 4GB, 8GB or 16GB solid-state drive. Dell Inspiron Mini 9 comes with 8.9" screen that has 1024x600 resolution.

The Inspiron Mini can be further customized with optional technologies like built-in webcam, bundled with Dell Video Chat, making it easy to stay in touch using video chat, recording and sending video emails, or even PC-to-PC phone calls around the world; integrated Bluetooth for easy wireless connections to Bluetooth-enabled accessories like a pair of stereo headphones, a mouse, a printer, etc.

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I read a review today somewhere that was just utterly stupid it was saying "Dell should be ashamed of 16GB of Disk Space, even the iPhone has 16GB, this notebook should have at least 120GB of storage space" and was thinking wow someone missed the point of this thing...

Except that putting a large hdd in a netbook completely defeats the purpose... Flash memory is faster, more resistant to shocks, and consumes less power (which is a big deal in a netbook).

Plus, what are you going to store in those hdds? Are you going to put your entire music library on a netbook? Are you going to watch entire un-compressed DVDs?

Netbooks are designed for simple tasks (web surfing, text editing, IM), and 8-20GB of flash storage works perfectly in these computers.

What you do is either pop the 16 GB SSD out and put in a larger-capacity SSD, or you just use the SDHC slot for large-capacity storage.

Which brings up a point: The specs for this thing do not list SDHC as a feature (or even an option). Was that just an inadvertent omision by the writer, or did Dell really decide not to put an SDHC slot on this thing?

(rgenier said @ #4.2)
Except that putting a large hdd in a netbook completely defeats the purpose... Flash memory is faster, more resistant to shocks, and consumes less power (which is a big deal in a netbook).

Unfortunately flash memory SSD are not currently faster nor do they consume less power...YET. They have been sold on these two tech advantage, but they currently don't measure up in the real world. For example, tests with the Macbook AIR using both types of drive show no advantages whatsoever.

The hope is that new versions of SSDs will be able to tout speed and power savings.

Actually Flash Memory SSDs are currently faster AND consume less power. Only very cheap and dodgy ones are consuming more power as seen in the TomsHardware review (they made a mistake in the original article). The SSD in the Macbook Air is a joke, it doesn't give performance benefits. However, there are many SSDs (ones actually developed for performance) that do. SanDisk, Micron and Samsung have long held these performance SSDs that operate faster than the speed of conventional hard drives and are useful in servers (Google uses them for high IO/s). IO/s was the main selling point though.
Just recently Intel announced two, relatively cheap, MLC SSDs that have a) very fast 0.85 microsecond access times b) 200MB/s sustained read, 75MB/s sustained write speeds and c) very low power consumption of approximately one watt on load. Selling 80GB for $560.

This is because it is easy for the company to benefit from the linear scaling of multiple chips (resulting from the fast access times). Of course the big winner for Intel is their new controller but other SSDs have been outperforming conventional drives for a long time, albeit at a cost.

Of course 80GB for $560 is expensive, but you don't need this for a netbook. Try one-quarter of this. 20GB for $140. Add in the fixed cost for controller and cache that I divided and add in some for retailers and you may arrive at around $200. People would be more than willing to pay $200 for a 20GB drive that did 100MB/s windows boot up compared to ~8MB/s of a conventional drive. Added with the light weight, a third of the power consumption, no noise and this is perfect for a netbook, right NOW.

looks like the same spec as a lot of other competitors...except many months later. whats the point then?

at £300 a pop in the UK there are cheaper alternatives

(predator001 said @ #3)
looks like the same spec as a lot of other competitors...except many months later. whats the point then?

at £300 a pop in the UK there are cheaper alternatives

Yes because all the other competitors, many months ago had the intel atom processor....

This was designed to take advantage of that.