back to article Dell Inspiron Mini 10

Dell's cheap and cheerful Mini 10v is a firm favourite here at Vulture Central but some potential customers are doubtless more interested in capability and functionality rather than absolute economy. So, with that in mind, we thought it wise to take a quick gander at the top end of Dell's netbook offering, the Mini 10 complete …

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So it's got a HDMI port, but can't play full HD video?

Marvellous. Another one to steer clear of then, although the screen resolution is a welcome improvement.

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Boffin

OS

"the only operating system on offer is Windows XP"

Yesterday a colleague demo'd his Hackintoshed Inspiron Mini. Works a treat and apparently the install was painless.

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b 3
Pint

nice, but..

i'd like to see an option of a more powerful cpu.

wouldn't have to be much, just something approaching 2ghz, imo, would sell.

cheers,

bill

eupeople . net / forum

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It can't be a netbook...

...it costs £414!

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Upgradeable RAM?

Can the 1GB ram this comes with be upped to 2GB later on? I read on the net there's no ram slot, the 1GB ram is soldered on. Is this still true?

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Anonymous Coward

As a mini 10 owner

It's worth pointing out that there IS NO linux driver for the GMA500 card in this machine, so you will not be able to set a decent resolution under linux.

The 1gb of ram you recieve is soldered to the motherboard, so don't think you'll be upgrading later.

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Anonymous Coward

Twice the price

Were it not twice the price of the mini 9 that i snapped up recently, i'd be very tempted.

The resolution has been an issue, but the intel driver does allow you to scale all windows to the screen res so it is not an entirely terrible compromise.

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@OS

OS X will only run on N270 and N280 machines - not Silverthornes. So Mini 10v and mini 9 are runners as a hackintosh. the Mini 10 is not, more's the pity as it would be pefection.

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Anonymous Coward

No complaints here

I picked one of these up at the last minute before an extended spell abroad. It functions as my home computer, stereo and DVD player (when connected up to the cheapest monitor I could find with HDMI). I have to say for watching DVDs it is fine. If someone tells you that you can't watch media on a netbook they are talking out of their ass in the hope that you will buy something more expensive. When connected up to the monitor and USB mouse it works fine as a workstation (the built in keyboard is as good as most full size laptops). The only thing it can't do is play any recent games though it's not alone there.

It may not play HD but who really expects to play HD video on a netbook? If you have the money and the space for an HDTV surely you have the money and space for a proper HD player.

My only major complaint would be the awful mouse pad where the buttons are part of the pad's active surface, meaning that quite often the pointer will skip across the screen as you press the part of the pad where the button is supposed to be (resulting in a random click to some other part of the screen).

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Unhappy

Pah, more 16:9 being thrown at us...

Why is this (and it's bigger brother it seems) pandering to the 16:9 crowd rather than sticking at 16:10 ratio screens. Why would I want a 1366x768 screen over a 1400x900 - i'd rather the extra space and accept slight bars if I intend to watch HD content at 1:1

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Jobs Horns

Asus

Already ordered an Asus 1005HA-H.

Like the upped screen-res though, better than the current standard that all other netbooks have

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Anonymous Coward

Drivers

GMA500 is badly let down by poor drivers.

Drivers do exist for linux, but GPL issues causing packaging problems AIUI.

Ubuntu 9.04 drivers are getting there. Info here:

http://mok0.wordpress.com/2009/05/25/ubuntu-on-the-dell-mini-10-2/

If the reviewer had trouble getting 1080p video to decode smoothly, that suggests non-optimnal XP drivers were installed.

I have witnessed a GMA500 based system simultaneously decoding HD (1080p bluray rip) and SD streams (one on screen one on external display) as smooth as silk.

Vista/Win7 drivers seem to be more mature:

http://www.mydellmini.com/forum/news/9767-new-intel-gma-500-drivers-finally-show-its-potential.html

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Text size

"The text in application menus, tool bars and address bars is often rather too small for comfort, especially when using the machine on the lap rather than on a desk. The same is true for the desktop text size, but at least you can increase the size of that."

Urm, maybe I'm being a bit thick here, but you can change the menus & titlebars and whatnot with whatever font at whatever size you care for, even in Windows. This has been the case since Win95, IIRC.

The settings are buried somewhere in the right click on desktop->properties dialogue box. I can't remember the exact route to get there right now - I'm sitting in front of an Ubuntu machine.

Anyway, it nice to see that higher-res screens are going to become the next big thing in netbook land, rather than being artificially restricted by Intel's pricing requirements for Atom. It doesn't look like there's much of a battery life hit, either. Pity the 6-cell job is optional, though - it's standard on more and more netbooks these days (me love my 1000HE).

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@AC 16:9

Something about economies of scale and sharing panels with miniature DVD players/etc, I think.

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Dead Vulture

@ El Reg site designers

"Not only does the higher than the netbook norm resolution mean you get to see web pages in their entirety..."

Do you? Really?

It's true that on a 1366 wide screen you do get to see a good deal more of web pages with a liqud layout. Which is all good.

Or... you get to see the full width of the few odd web pages that are fixed at a width wider than 1024. Which is nice to have.

But... for fixed width pages 'optimised' for 1024 width screens, the benefits are merely marginal on a 1366 wide screen. Which is easy to get frustrated about, considering the premium price of the otherwise useful larger screen.

But who would do such a thing?

Just saying.

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Anonymous Coward

for me

For me the 768 is tempting - a number of the visual novels I play need at least 768 to run. Still though - I can wait another year, and what with our police force do you really want to be carrying a netbook around?

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Anonymous Coward

Extra memory

I've heard they're adding an option for 2GB of RAM some time this month, which would make it that little bit more tempting...

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