For those of you who don’t know me in “real life”, (that is, outside of the web), you may be surprised to learn that I do have interests, thoughts, opinions, and comments about things outside of politics, (you’d never guess it from reading this blog, I know). Anyway, one of those interests is in technological gadgets. So in this post, I’ll be sharing with my readers about my latest gadget.
This last Tuesday, my anxiously anticipated Dell Inspiron Mini 9 arrived. Naturally, I ripped into the packaging within mere moments of the Fedex man walking away. I plugged ‘er in, and pressed the power button. After completing the standard “Welcome to Windows” setup, etc., I began actually using the netbook. Needless to say, I have loved it since I turned it on. I’ll share with you know the ten reasons why I like my netbook the most.
1. It’s small. It goes literally anywhere. It takes the portability that notebook users were marveling about a decade ago to the next level. My Mini 9 is literally the same size as the average paper-back. And at just two and a half pounds, it’s not a pain to carry around in a bag like many notebooks.
2. It cost less than $500. That’s right. I got my little technological marvel for under half a k. True, some netbooks are sold for as little as $350, but my netbook is fully specked out. You can get a bare-bones Mini 9 for $350, which is still a step above the competition in quality.
3. It has Windows XP. Now, I know, this is an operating system that’s been outdated for years. But the alternative is Linux. Yes, there are netbooks out there that do not come with Windows installed. (Don’t worry, Linux users, the Dell Mini 9 comes with Linux as an option too. In fact, it’s the only netbook I’ve seen so far with both operating systems available.)
4. It has exceptionally long battery life. I’ve been using this booger for nearly four hours today, and have not had to recharge. That’s better than most notebooks.
5. It has a great screen. The screen of this netbook is perfect for movie watching, word processing, web browsing, you name it. It has great sound. For a machine this size, it produces very good sound at a decent volume.
6. It has a full-size keyboard. Most netbooks have shrunk the keys on the keyboard to accommodate the machine’s small size. Not the Mini. Instead, the letter keys are full sized, while the function keys as well as a few other keys are shrunken, moved, or sacrificed all together. I don’t know about you, but I’ll take a full-sized keyboard with a little rearranging over a shrunken keyboard any day. (Of course, I do have a larger than average hand, so this may not be an issue for some users.)
7. It has a great touchpad with two dedicated buttons. The touchpad has exactly the right texture (not to slick and not to bumpy), and has two buttons below the pad, (unlike the Acer, which has the buttons on either side of the pad. Thank you Dell!)
8. It runs all my apps without a problem. With a gig of ram and a 1.6 ghz processor, it runs Word, Powerpoint, WMP, IE, etc without a hitch. Now, of course, I would never try to do video editing in Vegas or render a complex 3D scene in Blender on this machine; it would take forever I’m sure. Which brings me to an important point: this is not an independent computer. In other words, don’t expect to buy a Mini 9 and use it for everything, at least, not if you do any really intense computing. For web browsing, word processing, etc., it’s perfect, but not for high-end gaming, etc.
9. It’s whisper quite. Not just the keyboard or the touchpad, but the computer itself. This is because the Mini 9 boasts a solid-state hard-drive. As a result, there’s no sound of the disk whirring, and there’re also no fans going.
10. This computer will keep you very warm on those cold winter days up in Finland. Okay, so it has one little flaw. It does run a little warm. The area around the touchpad is warm to the touch, as well as the bottom of the computer. Now, noticeable? Yes. Unbearable? Not even close. The heat does not bother me at all while I’m working.
In short, if you like to work on the go, or if you just like to have the latest gadget, the Mini 9 is for you. It has a few shortcomings, yes, but the good definitely outweighs the bad. And at $350-$500 dollars, (depending on what options you chose), it’s very hard to go wrong.