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 Post subject: Dell mini: fanless, diskless 2-pound 8.9"; $399
PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 4:16 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2008 2:01 pm
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Location: Vancouver
(seems I need a post before I can post links, so here's one; real post to follow)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 4:18 pm 
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Location: Vancouver
Unless I'm naive to think LED backlighting means no hum (such as Andyb was disappointed to hear from his Eee 900), this solid-state unit should be truly silent.

Tiny computers aren't for everyone, but I've been using a Sony Picturebook (also 8.9" and 2 pounds) as my only machine for 7 years - so my fingers are used to the slightly reduced spacing (and it's not much: 16.5 mm, instead of 17.5 for at least some desktop keyboards). As for the display - with 17" monitors at home & office, the notebook becomes a handy data pack with a little display you only use while traveling.

Delivery predicted Oct. 3 - I'll let you know how it sounds. (And if it sounds good already, the $399 price - for XP and 8GB SSD - is good in Canada until Sept. 25, then goes up to $439. I think it's list price in the US. $50 upgrade to 16 GB recommended, partly because the larger SSD is the better STEC variant.)

Dell's site . . Reviews: Anandtech . . Notebook Review . . LaptopMag


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 4:21 pm 
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Location: Northern California.
I'd get one, but I don't see a way to order it with a 16gb ssd and linux.(or no OS)

Or am I missing something?


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 Post subject: Ubuntu when it's done
PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 4:36 pm 
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Location: Vancouver
They're still tweaking their customized Ubuntu desktop - that version expected to issue in a few weeks.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 4:43 pm 
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Location: Northern California.
understood.
but everything ive read is that linux will only come on smaller SSD which is a drag..
All the OEM offering that include options for either linux or no OS, sadly seem to limit you on the hardware choice.
ie The lenovo's are not available with dedicated video unless you get windows.
When will oems realize that consumers should not be penalized for their OS choice?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 10:53 pm 
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Location: USA
xan_user wrote:
When will oems realize that consumers should not be penalized for their OS choice?

You don't think it had anything to do with Microsoft making them an offer they couldn't refuse? Lenovo as a whole ships how many millions of copies of Windows annually. Even a few pennies less per license cost from Microsoft is probably more money than they make on all non-Windows units combined.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2008 6:22 am 
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jessekopelman wrote:
xan_user wrote:
When will oems realize that consumers should not be penalized for their OS choice?

You don't think it had anything to do with Microsoft making them an offer they couldn't refuse? Lenovo as a whole ships how many millions of copies of Windows annually. Even a few pennies less per license cost from Microsoft is probably more money than they make on all non-Windows units combined.


They loose either way with me. I didn't buy a lenovo cause I couldn't get the hardware without the software.

Its an offer I could refuse.

Now i guess i'll have to build one.

I didn't expect my vow to never buy windows again to go easily...

At least their are some options, lets hope their are more to come.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2008 6:29 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 8:56 pm
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Location: Council Bluffs, Iowa
The only thing holding me back from buying a Dell Mini is that it's still using a power-hungry chipset, instead of the little efficient one designed alongside Atom. It's obviously not too bad, since they're running fanless, but I can't help thinking the correct chipset will show up soon and run cooler and with more battery life.


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 Post subject: why not Poulsbo?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2008 6:14 pm 
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Location: Vancouver
Conflicting sources on this.

This guy confidently says the 945GMS chipset is as good as it's going to get for a while - Poulsbo chipset being for the lower-power Silverthorne Atom only.

But Anandtech's Dell Mini review has this:
Quote:
I asked Dell why it opted against Poulsbo and I was told that it was a timing issue - in order to have the Inspiron Mini out today, the design had to be completed using 945G. I'd expect future netbooks to start switching to Poulsbo, but for now we're strictly a 945G shop.

My impression is that Poulsbo would work, and be better for performance as well as efficiency (it's cited as supporting 1080 px video), but is a lot more expensive. Maybe the success of netbooks among affluent populations will lead to segmentation of the market, and a higher-priced Poulsbo class - I think a lot of us would be happy to pay for the gains it would bring. (Intel seems to have a party line based on a somewhat condescending preconception of what the market for netbooks is, and it leads them to say things which confuse people.)


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 Post subject: Dell Mini in the flesh
PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2008 2:55 pm 
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Location: Vancouver
It really is silent.

Key pitch is 17mm - to compare to what you have now, measure the 10-key row QWERTYUIOP - whatever its width is in cm is pitch in mm. My Picturebook was 16.5, so I have no problem with it.

The glossy screen is OK. A few design decisions I would change (Fn keys eliminated & mapped to home row, quote key moved, hinge only allows display to get to about 135 degrees), but no deal breakers for me.

I've read that Dell enables compression by default, which slows disk writes and is regarded as a blunder by some cognoscenti - but easy to turn off. See jkkmobile.com for more.

I'd recommend it to anyone for whom silence is a major plus. As a long-time ultra-compact user, I'd also recommend getting roomy displays for desks (home & work); that approach, and carrying the computer around, has proved ideal for me.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 4:20 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2008 4:29 pm
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Location: Slovenia
Hi! That's interesting... Glad you found something that works well for you! :)

Do you use it together with a silent external HD? (& which one? :))


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 Post subject: Flash multimedia with Atom?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 8:23 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 3:03 pm
Posts: 317
Very useful info in your posts. Thank you!

Can you comment on how usable the Mini is with common flash-based sites like YouTube and Hulu?

Some more info on the machine --
http://tycheent.wordpress.com/2008/10/14/mini-mine/
http://tycheent.wordpress.com/2008/10/17/update-on-mini-mine/
http://jonrob.wordpress.com/2008/09/23/dell-mini-inspiron-9/
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=943826


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 1:17 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 3:50 am
Posts: 76
Location: Australia
Mini 12 announced, though with h/d instead of SSD. Keyboard looks nice. Is it fanless?

I was very interested, but the fan on my new E6500 (P8400, X4500, replaced h/d with SSD) just doesn't want to kick on while browsing, reading, running several not-too-intensive apps (for several hours at a time). So unless something changes, I can't see the point of getting a netbook any longer.

Edited to add: The honeymoon is over! The above is true at a room temp of 19-20dC, but today at 25dC the fan runs on low most of the time. A netbook is looking attractive again! (I can't bare fan noise.)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 3:14 pm 
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Location: Vancouver
@layla: no external HD for me; I only ever filled up 5 GB of the 80 GB HD on my last machine, so 16 GB is plenty.
@dougz: YouTube vids run fine. Hulu doesn't work in Canada.

If choosing now, with options proliferating, the Mini9's violations of keyboard norms might be a dealbreaker. Here's my mini-essay about that on the Dell board:
http://www.ideastorm.com/ideaView?id=087700000000BuuAAE


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