William Matheson (nova_one) wrote,
William Matheson

Inspiron Mini 10 specs disappoint

I'd been waiting on tenterhooks for the new Dell Inspiron Mini 10 - the "perfect 10," the netbook that combines small size with a usable keyboard.

But according to the latest, it will lag behind the Mini 9 in several ways:

- RAM is limited to 1GB, and it will be fixed and non-upgradeable (the 9 is available with 2GB)
- 160GB 5400rpm hard drive (there is no word about an SSD option - the 9 offers a range of SSDs)
- Ubuntu 8.04, Bluetooth, mobile broadband not yet available (the 9 can have all three)

I guess what I really want is a 9 with the keyboard of a 10. The 10 has a keyboard that's purportedly 92% of a standard notebook keyboard. Really, that's the reason I was waiting for this machine - look at that generous right shift key!

I guess I'll wait and see if they come out with a 2GB Linux SSD model - if they don't, I'll have to wait longer or look elsewhere. There's no way I'm buying a 1GB machine with XP Home. Fughedaboudit.

Update: It looks like 2GB of RAM (still fixed, but whatever) will be an option later this year. No word about an SSD drive. I suppose the thing to do is wait - maybe they'll release a 9 with a better keyboard. Or maybe I'll get the 9 anyway if the price drops a bit.

The reason for this chicanery is chiefly Microsoft's refusal to licence Windows XP to any systems that are sold with more than 1GB of RAM. Since the demand for Ubuntu is somewhat less than the demand for Windows, they're basically forced to offer a 1GB system initially. If it weren't for Microsoft, they probably wouldn't bother with the 1GB and they'd probably just release the 2GB.

No NumLock? Isn't that kind of puzzling? It'd make this a less capable companion in math class, that's for sure.
Tags: computers, dell, inspiron mini, netbooks, ubuntu

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