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back to article Dell readies small, cheap computer for small biz

Dell is preparing an all-black version of its Inspiron Mini 9 netbook, this one aimed at small businesses and set to ship as the Vostro A90. Dell Vostro A90 Dell's Vostro A90: rebranded Inspiron Mini 9 The PC giant launched the machine in Japan today, and while you can't buy the A90 from its UK website yet, Dell has begun …

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Surely small "not cheap" computer!

That's silly money, must be a mistake.

I've got so bored of reading about netbooks which all seem to have the same specs. Where's the innovation now?

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Anonymous Coward

The innovation seems to be in making up the price tag...

The innovation seems to be in making up the price tag...

Hmmm lets see other companies are selling equivalent product for sub £300 we'll charge...

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Alert

SEC

that is all.

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Aspire One

Looks like Tescos and PCWorld (where in the world?) have dropped the price of the base model Aspire One by £20, down to £180.

Couldn't be arsed to wait for a decent one to turn up so got myself a Latitude X1 (circa 2005) off of fleabay. Decent screen, decent keyboard and adequate processing power.

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Interesting netbooks will run Linux

"I've got so bored of reading about netbooks which all seem to have the same specs. Where's the innovation now?"

There's basically no room for innovation for a machine that they produce to run Linux *or* Windows XP. Since Windows is x86-only, this alone severely limits the range of available designs. This limited range is FURTHER limited by the WinXP license..Microsoft only kept selling WinXP because they'd lose the netbook market entirely to Linux otherwise (Vista's TOO BLOATED)... they'll ONLY sell WinXP for use on machines <=10.2" screen (no touchscreens allowed), <=1GB RAM, <=80GB HD, and <=1.0ghz processor (but, they then made an exception to allow Via C7 and Atom up to 1.6ghz.) Thus the large number of machines with 1.6ghz Atom, 80GB HD, blah-de-blah. What Microsoft wants I think is for netbooks to creep up in spec until they can run the ever-bloated Vista.

Hopefully companies will stick it to them and keep selling Linux models. I would recommend they sell Ubuntu Remix on them rather than Linpus, gOS, etc. that some have been trying... but, as long as it's non-Microsoft I can install what I want personally. (I have taken a hard line and will not by ANY more products with bundled Microsoft software licenses... since I use 100% Linux* I *WILL NOT* have Microsoft count me in their sales statistics as "proof" that everyone uses Windows...)

The real innovation I'm looking forward to will be when a couple of the MIPS and ARM designs I've seen popping up are beefed up just a little (these have been running Linux exclusively). The ones I've seen are typically 500mhz CPU, 128MB of RAM, 1GB flash. The ones I've seen are well under $200 but that's pretty low spec. Just bumping it to 256MB RAM and 4GB flash would help a lot.. that'd give it breathing room to run a "normal" distro instead of probably a modified PDA distro. The CPU might not be a problem, especially if it's an ARM (ARM is crazy-efficient at video decoding.. and is reasonably quick in general.)

*100% Linux.. 3 Ubuntu and 2 Gentoo machines at home. At work? We sell off surplus computers, I've got an unattended Ubuntu network install we've used to install onto a bit over 5000 machines, 7.10 initially, now 8.04.1 with flash + java added on... Switch in a wiped hard disk, look for blown caps. Plug in keyboard, ethernet, VGA, and power, write down CPU speed, disk size, and RAM amount on a slip, set it to PXE boot and walk away (or use a PXE boot floppy on machines that won't PXE boot). Walk away and work on something else.. the install doubles as a burn-in, the install is either done within 15 minutes or the machine blows a cap or otherwise craps out. Before that we sold machines with blank hard disks, the number of people that'd try to return a machine because "I put my Office 2000 in and nothing happened" was absurd.. they'd usually figure out the problem when I'd point out "Office 2000 isn't Windows. The computer is totally blank." I expect now anyone that's that far out of touch just thinks Ubuntu is some other version of Windows and happily uses it 8-). At any rate I haven't gotten any returns for at least 6 months, except for a few bad pieces of kit the burn-in didn't catch. 8-) Oh we've installed Windows machines as well to meet demand (as long as the machine has an XP license, the place we get them from has a seperate site license so the on-machine license is unused and fully valid...) As much as people "want" windows they won't pay for it when they know it costs money -- we charge $100 extra and have sold MAYBE 20 in the last year.

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jon
Linux

More like four weeks

"Speaking of the Mini 9, while Dell did begin offering the cheaper, Linux version of the SCC earlier this month, readers report it's still taking the company around two weeks to ship orders. To be fair, the company warns buyers of the XP model that they face the same waiting period for their machines too."

I ordered mine on the 29th September - the first day they started taking orders on the Dell UK website for the Linux version. My initial estimated delivery date was the 17th October, but this was pushed out to the 28th October. When that happened I cancelled the order and have been very happily using my Asus EEE 901 Linux with the bigger battery for a whole week and a half now...

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