Decent TV tuner
Good design with small, light layout
Mediocre netbook performance
High-res screen is a little hard to read
Despite a decent design, this netbook's screen and limited storage don't make it the ideal platform for a TV tuner.
Netbooks are a lot cheaper than full-size notebooks, the battery lasts a lot longer, and if you spend most of your time in a Web browser anyway, the performance limitations aren't that big a deal. With the Mini 10, Dell attempts to tap into the desires of this market the same way so many companies do--by utilizing Intel's diminutive Atom processor.
What you may not realize is that the Atom has two common versions, the N-series and the Z-series. The Mini 10 netbook uses the Z-series. The primary difference between the two versions is that the Z-series features a chipset with a better graphics processor in it. It's a better match for Vista's GPU-accelerated desktop, though we wouldn't recommend trying to run Vista on this system. More important, the Z-series chipset supports the kind of video acceleration technology that makes it possible to play back video reasonably smoothly (something the Atom N-series doesn't do too well).
The Mini 10 with the Atom Z530 processor (1.6GHz) that we tested costs $534 as configured. The price puts our Mini 10 beyond the usual upper limit of a netbook (though units start at under $350). In addition to the Atom Z530 processor, our test unit had 1GB of soldered-on RAM, 802.11g Wi-Fi, an ethernet jack (10/100, not gigabit), three USB ports, headphone output, mic input, an HDMI-output, and a slightly higher-res screen than most 10-inch netbooks (1366 by 768). Frankly, the extra resolution doesn't do much at this size, and you'll find yourself squinting to read on it. You could always increase the size of icons and fonts and such, but Windows XP doesn't handle such resizing very gracefully. The reason for that video kick is in no small part due to the optional on-board HDTV tuner that came with our unit.
Yep, this nondescript input jack sits somewhere between a USB port, a combination SD/Memory Stick card reader, and a power plug on the left side. It seems a little out of place, but the internal Hauppauge WinTV MOD7700 ATSC tuner meshes pretty well with the included Dell Digital TV software. As long as you get a decent signal with the included antenna, TV video plays back fairly smoothly. But why put a TV tuner in a netbook? It makes sense in a larger notebook where you might want to record TV and then watch it on the road, but the small, slow hard drives in netbooks are no good for that. You actually have to pull the tuner and the antenna out and hunt for a signal. It'd be easier to find a real TV.
The video decoding in general (TV and otherwise) is mediocre--HDTV channels are just a little choppy, and standard-def channels need to be cleaned up a little. And the real problem is that the GMA500 integrated graphics doesn't do anything for most Web video, like Hulu or YouTube. Watching even standard-def YouTube videos at normal size in the browser window was such a choppy mess that you want to stop watching in seconds. Now if Dell incorporates this feature into a Ion-based netbook, that would probably make all the difference.
The 10.1-inch screen actually looks a little small on this system, in part because the body is large enough to accommodate an 11-inch screen. A lot of border surrounds the screen, and that doesn't combine well with the relatively high resolution and small size. It only exaggerates the impression that you're straining to read the screen. But in actual visual quality, the screen is surprisingly decent for something so small and cheap, with reasonable contrast, color reproduction, and viewing angles.
The keyboard is large enough to type on easily, but the "extra" keys like function keys, Home/End, and arrows are a bit cramped. The trackpad is the biggest bother. It's a sort of buttonless design where you need to press on the lower left or right corner to left- or right-click, but it's hard to use in practice. You'll often move the pointer when trying to click, resulting in more mis-clicks and no-clicks than you should really have to deal with.
The Mini 10's performance is about what you would expect from an Atom-based notebook. Even running just Windows XP, the system quickly becomes unresponsive. Though low performance is a fact of life on most netbooks, the Mini 10 performed a tad worse than most of its competition, scoring just 32 on WorldBench 6. The best netbooks in its price range score in the upper 30s. Battery life is good at a little under 7 hours, but not as stellar as the ASUS Eee Pc 1005HA or the Toshiba Mini NB205-N310 (the later lasts a little under 10 hours). You can't even "hackintosh" the Mini 10 (the process of buying a compatible notebook and installing OS X on it). The integrated GMA500 graphics is incompatible.
All that said, this $500-plus netbook seems a little pricey because of all the extra on-board bells and whistles that came with our review model. Drop down to a lower-res screen, forget the TV tuner, and you have a decent machine that would probably cost you somewhere in the neighborhood of $400. Dell's intentions are in the right place with the Mini 10, but a netbook with a tiny screen and limited storage is not the ideal platform for a TV tuner, and they're just not winning us over on the benchmarks or industrial design. If you're in the market for a 10-inch netbook, you can do better.
The Dell Studio XPS line emphasizes style without sacrificing functionality. These multimedia laptops have a bit of leather trim here, a backlit keyboard there--and a whole lot of plugs, ports, and features packed in.
The Studio XPS 16 is in a prime position to outmuscle one competitor, the slick but slightly flawed Gateway MC7803u. The Dell's advantage speaks to the idea that you can get a little luxury in your laptop without having to shell out a fortune. The polished looks and edge-to-edge glass of the MC7803u make Gateway's $999 all-purpose box seem a little more premium than its guts actually are. In contrast, Dell's classy Studio XPS 16 starts at $1199 (as of 1/8/09), $200 higher than Gateway's offering, and that shows in its build quality and construction (which I'll get to in a bit).
But it has more substantial possibilities, too: The blingy, premium version of the Studio XPS 16 that we received for testing offers significantly more than the Gateway machine does--at a significantly higher price (our review unit sells for roughly $1804 as of 1/8/09, according to spokespeople). In truth, it would probably be fairer to compare Dell's beefed-up box with the HP HDX 16, which tips the scales on price, but offers comparable features.
Inside our Studio XPS 16, a 2.4-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 CPU, a 512MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3670 graphics processor, and 4GB of RAM run the 64-bit flavor of Windows Vista. That configuration notched a 92 in WorldBench 6. It lags a little behind the HDX 16, but it's more than enough for everyday tasks -- and some games when you're done. What I can tell you is that I had no problem playing Fallout 3 and Left 4 Dead at the screen's native resolution of 1920 by 1080 pixels. Thank the capable mobile graphics processor and the laptop's speedy, 7200-rpm, 320GB hard drive (whose fast rotational speed enables better read/write performance during game play).
Images looked sharp on the laptop's RGB LED screen. Provided that you don't have bright daylight bouncing off the colorful and glossy display, you're in for a treat. Inky blacks, such as in the creepy corners of Left 4 Dead's zombiethon, look deep and rich. And the sand-blasted landscapes of Fallout 3 pop off the screen.
The sound of the Studio XPS 16, on the other hand, falls a little flat. Two speaker grilles flank the keyboard. Though you can sit for a spell and listen, the audio comes off as hollow. I had no issues with the volume level, though; the laptop's sound became loud enough to disturb my cubemates.
Besides extra audio outputs, the Studio XPS 16 has a number of nice input options around the sides. You get two USB ports and one shared eSATA/USB jack, and DisplayPort, HDMI-out, and VGA-out jacks cover all possible video needs. In addition, it sports a four-pin FireWire 400 port, a five-in-one flash memory card reader, a 2-megapixel Webcam, an ExpressCard slot, and a slot-loading Blu-ray Disc drive. Our review unit came with both a six-cell battery and a nine-cell battery for the price. And with the 9-cell battery our test unit survived for three hours, 41 minutes. That's about 12 minutes under the average, but certainly long enough to watch a movie on it's crisp display. Another thing to keep in mind: HP's HDX16, another multimedia all-purpose machine, only lasts about two hours, 14 minutes on a single battery charge.
The operative word with the Studio XPS 16 is "extras." In addition to all the hardware hoopla, it has you pretty well covered on the software side. Included in the price is Microsoft Works 9, a 2GB Data Safe Online account (free for one year), and a slick little facial-recognition security suite that uses the laptop's Webcam to drive the biometric security. And everything from the software to the online storage is accessible through an unobtrusive quick-launch bar at the top of the screen.
Not only is the Studio XPS 16 packed with features, but it also boasts a reasonably sharp-looking design. Earlier, I mentioned that this machine and its siblings are Dell's answer to Gateway's MC series. If you were to put the two open laptops side by side, you'd see that the Studio XPS 16 one-ups the MC7803u. The two laptops share similar backlit and square-cut keyboards, but on the Studio XPS 16 the keys feel a little more satisfyingly solid. The same can be said for the Dell's nicely positioned touchpad and backlit mouse buttons.
Like the MC7803u, this machine sports edge-to-edge glass on the display. The difference here is that Dell locks down the screen by bolting the hinges firmly into both sides of the bezel. In the end, even from a quick glance at the Studio XPS 16, you can see what the $200 difference buys you.
Oh, just so don't you think I'm completely in love with Dell's design, I did spy one head-scratcher: The leather pad on the lid adds a classy two-tone touch, but it's also a little silly. I'd rather have that leather on the wrist rest.
Dell's Studio XPS 16 is squarely aimed at people who want to get a little more for their entertainment buck; it's a solidly built multimedia machine that piles on features without breaking the bank. Dell's Studio XPS 16 looks to be a solid choice for gaming and movies, as well as getting the job done, while keeping costs within reason.
Screen The 8.9” SVGA (1024x600) LED backlight screen is impressive. Outside, with full sunlight directly on the screen I am able to view this review with no problems! XGA (1024x768) is still the standard resolution (established in 1990) and many applications, websites, etc are optimized for XGA not SVGA. You might have to do some side scrolling but it’s definitely tolerable. For example, I wrote this entire review on the mini 9 (no cheating).
Keyboard The only other netbook I’ve been able to use is the ASUS eee PC 900. Compared to the ASUS’s keyboard the mini 9’s is great! It may take some time getting used to but this keyboard it is bearable, unlike the ASUS. The function keys (F1, F2, etc)have been replaced with function keys, meaning you have to press the Fn key to access the function keys (i.e. Fn + A = F1). The F11 and F12 keys are gone, no ifs and or buts about it. Keep that in mind if any of your applications require these two keys.
Batty Life GREAT! I clocked 3 and a half hours under some pretty heavy usage.
Memory card reader I only tested a SD card, it works fine and the card fits fully into the machine. Some notebooks only insert ½ the card leaving the other half hanging out........
Got one of the new Dell Mini 9 notebooks or netbooks as some call them today. Have had much too little time with it, but wanted to post a review anyway. Here's what I've learned so far...
specs. I ordered the $449 Windows XP version with 1 gig ram and the 16 gig SSD hard drive. The unit only comes with a 1024x600 screen which is adequate, but I do wish one of the netbook makers would push the limit to 1280x800. It also has a 4 cell battery good for about 3 hours, and the standard port setup of 3 USB, VGA, sound in/out and an ethernet. There is also a slot for an SD card to help out the small SSD hard drive if desired.
What's in the box. The system came with only a power adapter, which is not more than just a normal looking power brick, so you'll need a plug with room to use it. And, the OS CD, resource CD and Works CD. And, a terse manual and other odd paper work. The power cord is plenty long enough so getting power to it is not hard at all. The power plug is located on the left had side of the unit near the back....................
The dell inspiron Mini 10 is a new 10-inch model. The notebook will come together with the latest Intel Atom platform.
The system of this laptop will be equipped with a 1.6GHz Atom Z530 processor. This edition of dell will also come with a number of built-in features such as a TV tuner, mobile broadband, GPS or wireless 802.11n Internet connectivity. The product has a number of battery options such as a 3-cell and 6-cell versions that are available to t…
The Dell Inspiron Mini 10 netbook has been around in various guises for a while, and Dell recently updated the entry-level version of this netbook with a newer Intel Atom N450 processor. The Z530 processor used in this version has several of the advantages that the upgraded ‘N' version offers and lowers the price tag to a very tempting £229 inc VAT.
The Dell Inspiron Mini 10 netbook with the 1.6GHz Atom Z530 processor is accompanied by 1GB of RAM, 802.11g Wi-Fi, ethernet, three USB ports, a headphone output, a microphone input, an HDMI output and a 10.1in (1024x600) screen.
Dell offers several options for customising your Inspiron Mini 10 netbook when you order it online, such as a choice of white, blue or green coloured lids (for an extra £19) or even a patterned sticker for £35. But note that the Mini 10 is limited to 1GB RAM, and this is not easily user-upgradable later on.
When customising your model, you can also choose to upgrade to a 1366x768 resolution screen. We found the extra resolution makes a difference if you're used to modern screens. The Dell Inspiron Mini 10 netbook also includes an integrated TV tuner - an unusual addition to a netbook and the reason Dell has seen fit to include better graphics support.
The 10.1in screen looks a little small on the Dell Inspiron Mini 10 netbook; the chassis could easily have accommodated an 11in screen. Instead, you're left with a lot of wasted border surrounding the screen. The visual quality is surprisingly decent with reasonable contrast, colour reproduction and viewing angles.
The Dell Inspiron Mini 10 netbook's keyboard is large enough to type on easily, but the Fn keys, Home/End buttons and arrows are a bit cramped. The trackpad is a sort of buttonless design where you press on the lower left or right corner to left- or right-click, but it's hard to use in practice.
The Dell Inspiron Mini 10 netbook's performance isn't great, scoring just 32 points in our WorldBench 6 real-world speed test, but the battery lasts for seven hours, which did impress us.
Dell pushes the upper echelons of netbookitude with the Mini 10. It's a little laptop whose Atom processor marks it as a populist ultraportable, but whose 10-inch, wide-format display and HDMI port reveal more aristocratic ambitions.
Want to catch the last episode of Battlestar Galactica while hanging out in the local java joint? Going to download a season of The Simpsons for viewing on the plane? Giving an impromptu screening of your vacation photos at a friend's house? The Mini 10 is your machine.
It's not all for show, either. Although powered by a relatively anemic 1.6-GHz Atom Z530 processor (a 1.3-GHz Atom Z520 is also available, for $50 less), the Mini 10 actually does a pretty good job at video playback — on its own screen. While the screen's 1,024 x 576 pixels are too few for even 720p HD playback, the 16:9 aspect ratio and vivid colors are enough to make you think you're watching high-def video, and the difference is barely perceptible on a 10-inch screen, anyway. Playing videos from Hulu.com was perfectly acceptable at Hulu's "standard quality," but became jerky at the "high quality" (480 lines) setting.
Playing video over the HDMI out port is another matter, though. While the Mini 10 can drive large screens, it just can't keep up when delivering video to them, so playback becomes choppy. For plugging into a second monitor or for showing off slideshows of your favorite photos (using the integrated SD card slot), that might be ok — but forget about making this puny portable the centerpiece of your home entertainment system.
The 160-GB hard drive gives you plenty of room to store your supersecret cache of BitTorrent porn — ahem, legitimately purchased network TV shows from iTunes — and the keyboard is ample and gives lots of tactile feedback, so when you're ready to turn off the shows and get down to work, the Mini 10 is ready, too.
But there are infuriating shortcomings to the Mini 10. The trackpad is one of the worst we've seen. Dell's decision to integrate the buttons underneath the pad itself makes using it both unpredictable and challenging. When you click on a button, the cursor may hit the target, wiggle off an centimeter or two, or teleport off into a remote corner of your screen. While it got easier to use after a week of practice, our advice is to invest in a cheap travel mouse.
Also, our unit exhibited frequent problems connecting with secure Wi-Fi networks, although it had no problems with unsecured hotspots. (Those still exist?) And the screen, while bright, sports a highly reflective, glossy surface that makes using it in high-contrast environments a real drag.
Worse, the 3-cell battery only lasted an average of 2 hours and 16 minutes in our battery rundown tests. That's far less than the longest-lasting 10-inch netbooks, the Asus Eee PC 1000HE and the Samsung NC10 (both 5 hours).
Unless you absolutely adore Dell's customer service, wait for the company to iron the kinks out of this promising but not-fully-cooked media-friendly netbook. There are other tiny portables that are more deserving of your money.
WIRED Bright, responsive screen. Integrated 1.3-megapixel webcam. Not gunked up with crapware. HDMI-out port shows charming, if unwarranted, optimism about the netbook's video capabilities. Light weight: Just 2.6 pounds.
TIRED Infuriating trackpad with integrated buttons hidden underneath. Excessively glossy screen produces distracting glare. Windows XP is starting to look pretty tired. What, no solid-state option? Despite the HDMI port, the netbook can't deliver HD video without fits and starts.
+Size +Weight +Craftsmanship +Style +Cost +Trackpad Operation +Integrated Web Camera +Win XP +Availability +Keypad Size and Design +3USB, HDMI, external speaker option, card reader +Ethernet port & internal wireless +Power cord construction.
Cons: - Speakers are under the machine (muffled sound)
- Intel Atom Processor - Cant get to the hard drive externally - Screen size cuts off some dialog box's footer & resizing is a chore if not impossible..
Summary: Placed this side by side with all its current competitors (and I did) and it will win every time. There are just too many pro's than con's and off of that alone makes this the best buy in every way.
Pros •Distinctive design with several color options •Comfortable keyboard •Relatively loud speakers •Over 9 hours of battery life •Lots of optional bells and whistles
Cons •Finicky touchpad •Runs a bit hot •Somewhat sluggish boot time
Dell’s netbooks have always been in the middle of the pack. They’ve typically offered sleek designs and plenty of customization options, but not the best ergonomics or battery life. This time around Dell took full advantage of Intel’s new Atom N450 processor (Pine Trail) to give its Inspiron Mini 10 a major boost of endurance. Thanks in part to this more efficient CPU, the Mini 10 offers over 9 hours of battery life without a bulging battery. We especially like the more distinctive look, not to mention the several fun color options. You also get a 250GB hard drive, 1GB of RAM, and Windows 7 Starter Edition. At $369, the Mini 10 is fiscally attractive, too. But has Dell done enough to catch up to the likes of Acer, ASUS, and Toshiba?
I purchased this Mini to be in touch on an extended personal and business trip in Central America. Dell was exceptional in delivering the unit before I left, even though the promised delivery was after my departure. While away the Mini let me keep up with email and browse for information vital to the trip. The machine worked exactly as expected with no glitches. Bonus points for how easy it was to get the Minithrough security in American airports- an unexpected pleasure. Two of my colleagues and travelling companions were impressed - kept borrowing the Mini and will likely acquire one for travel.
I bought this laptop to replace the company-issued one that I've used on personal excursions for a few years, since I'll soon be leaving my current employer.
Portability and battery life were my primary concerns, followed immediately by price. I'm a programmer, but most of my work is done remotely by SSH, so power isn't a real concern. 90% of my intended use is a mix of ssh and firefox.
Given my requirements, and the fact that I'm a die-hard Linux proponent,
I went with the Ubuntu version with a 4GB SSD and 1GB RAM. I got the integrated wifi and bluetooth modules, as well as the 1.3MP webcam.
The wifi was the only requirement, but the other two were cheap enough that I included them as amusements. I typically leave the bluetooth soft-disabled .....
Build Quality and Finish My first impression as I unpacked the laptop was how light it felt for a 17” notebook. By comparison, my older Dell 9400 (E1705) seems much heavier. I don’t hear any creaking/groaning of plastics when I hold the laptop from one corner and, overall, the chassis appears rigid and well constructed. Aesthetically, this machine will not be a compliment generator. It’s industrial design is simple (read: bland), straightforward (read: uninspired), and utilitarian. A business laptop through and through.
The display hinges (one of the first things I check on new laptops) are excellent. There is absolutely no screen wobble when opening the display and hinges have a nice strong feeling. Of course, hinges often start to wear many months into ownership but my initial impression is very positive.
The display bezel has some rather unsightly hooks for the screen latch but I still appreciate the ability to lock the panel down before transport. The media key console above the keyboard is, in a word, ugly. The buttons are simple squares with boring symbols printed inside. The blue LED indicator lights are nice and, in a rare example of engineering forethought, are not blindingly bright.
The palm rest flexes when pressure is applied and has a slightly hollow sound when tapped. One small feature that I really appreciate is Dell softened and curved the forward edge of the palm rest to ensure your hands don’t sit on a sharp edge.
When closed, the display does not sit perfectly flush with the palm rest and has a 2-3 millimetre gap (however the right and left gaps are equal - so the rubber bumpers may be just a little too short). For a budget laptop, I consider this acceptable.
Fan(s) are very quiet when idle but do ramp up under high CPU/GPU loads (gaming) but have a low pitch and are not distracting. The exhaust is located on the left side of the computer.
***UPDATE: After further use, I have found that the fan(s) can become quite loud and distracting when gaming for 20-30 minutes. Under load (Crysis, Fallout 3, etc.), the 9600 GS video card does heat up considerably over time. Examining the bottom of the laptop, a very small air intake is provided for the video card and appears insufficiently sized for good airflow. If you value a quiet gaming experience, this could be a deal-breaker***
Display I opted for the 1440x900 LED-backlight matte panel. Brightness uniformity is good but colours are somewhat muted compared to Dell’s TrueLife panels. Contrast is also significantly lower than the glossy displays. If you’ve ever used one of Dell’s business-class matte monitors you can expect an almost identical image quality with this panel. At it’s highest setting, panel brightness is more than adequate and, in a darker work environment, I would knock the brightness down 3-4 steps (of 7 total brightness levels). Despite the trade-offs (muted colours and lower contrast), the absence of annoying reflections that plague glossy displays is a nice benefit. I would rate the viewing angles (both horizontal and vertical) as average......
Just had to share my experience with HP's Bluetooth mouse they currently offer because I can barely find any information regarding their mouse, just that they offer it and the specs. I just recieved it, I've gotten about an hour or two of full use with it after an awful installtion on Windows 7. So yeah my thoughts so far, pretty nice once you get it working.
Another thing, if you have EPP discount, or Academic discounts, and some other coupon codes you can get this at a nice deal. I was able to get it for about 44$ with a retractable mouse (20$) and free shipping at that point. So I got about 81$ (including shipping) worth of stuff for 44$, almost 50% off with all the discounts I had. Not bad I would assume for a nice looking mouse.
I'm just trying to provide an informational post with this mini-review. I hope it helps some people who are looking for a BT mouse.
Installation In a couple words, pretty bad. Being bluetooth, I'd thought I'd fire up my bluetooth adapter, then just hit pair using native Windows, and let Win Update do it's thing if needed. Everything went through fine, choose no pairing code, and things installed, but things didn't work. Threw in the disc, followed instructions, no worky still. After a restart, and trying again, seemed to work....
The extreme glare of HP's Infinity displays and lesser glare of glossy screens in general has a cure: antiglare films, which also provide scratch protection. I found a very comprehensive review of the options here:
Screen Protector Shootout Results
Photodon LCD protector sheets were highly rated, and since Photodon is in my home state of Michigan I ordered from them. I went with a larger than normal custom cut for my HP dv4z's Infinity display, figuring (correctly) that I'd want the film to be a little larger than the LCD panel since there's no bezel. I got the width right, 310mm, but I guessed low on the height. 194mm should be about right. Being mechanically disinclined I did a poor job applying the film but it still looks good. Some pics:
Glare screen, no flash, creepy serial killer gloves from the Photodon installation kit
Glare screen, flash on
Photodon antiglare film, flash off
Photodon antiglare film, flash on
Photodon antiglare film, notebook on, flash off..................
Prior to 2006, there was a distinct difference between Apple and the PC industry. Apple specialized in design, and still does, and the PC industry won over customers by wooing them with the best bargain available—features for the price charged—and almost always at the cost of a pedestrian design. In 2006, in an ambitious bid to gain market share, HP launched a massive and hugely successful marketing campaign known as, “The Computer Is Personal Again,” and redesigned all of its laptops with the extremely popular high-gloss Imprint finish. In less than 2 years, HP unseated Dell as the undisputed leader in PC shipments and maintains that lead today.
3 years later, HP is back again (perhaps) to change the game. Borrowing from design cues from Apple’s Macbook Pro line, HP launched the dm3 in late October and the tm2 earlier this month, with designs that feature a brushed aluminum finish. Is it successful? Read more to find out.
How this laptop was purchased
I had shopped for a while to look for a new computer to replace my aging dv6000t from back in the Windows XP days. My options were the HP Pavilion dm3t and the Sony VAIO CW. I visited a Best Buy to check out some of the laptops, and I can say that I was absolutely repulsed by the build quality of the Dells these days. They suck. Period. What really won me over from the Sony CW was the build quality of the dm3t. The aluminum finish really is outstanding. More on that later................
Excellent performance, but poor portability from this Inspiron
Mobility be dammed. Weighing over 3Kg, the Dell Inspiron 17R is a back breaker. Double that with the low battery life and it’s clear this laptop is not for seekers of portability. Fortunately for Dell - and us - its desktop replacement credentials are brilliant.
The Inspiron 17R we had comes with a “peacock” blue case but you can choose tomato red or mars black. The peacock blue isn’t as garish as it sounds and actually has a nice chrome finish that looks good against the gun-metal insides – it just doesn’t look like it’s trying to imitate anything else.
* Blu-ray Drive * Good Performance * Software Installation Free Of Much Bloatware
* Exterior Shows Lots Of Fingerprints And Smudges * Display Can't Handle 1080p HD Video * 3D Graphics Best Suited For Casual Gaming
* Intel Core i5-450M Dual Core Mobile Processor * 4GB PC3-8500 DDR3 * 500GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive * Blu-ray Reader And Dual Layer DVD Burner Combo Drive * 17.3" WSXGA+ (1600x900) LED Backlit Display With 1.3 Megapixel Webcam * ATI Radeon Mobility HD 5470 Graphics With 1GB
Dell's Inspiron 17R is a slimmed down desktop replacement that provides a more compact and lightweight design. This high end model comes equipped with a higher resolution display and Blu-ray drive. At $1000, there are less expensive Blu-ray equipped systems or models with better graphics for gaming. It does a decent job of being a good general purpose desktop replacement without costing too much ...
In the Inspiron 17 refresh, Dell has equipped the Inspiron 17R with Intel's newest CPU generation. This is the Core i processors. Our test device is equipped with a Core i5 430M, which has two cores that do their work with a clock rate of 2.27 GHz. These two core are able to manage up to four threads simultaneously due to HT (Hyper Threading). The Core i5 430M also has the Turbo Boost feature, which can shut down unused cores to save energy and automatically lift the core rate up to 2.53 GHz when additional performance is needed at the same time. Thus, the CPU supplies more than enough computing power to manage daily tasks comfortably and with reserves.
The benchmark assessments that we made with Cinebench R10 and PCMark Vantage confirm this also. Thus, the Inspiron 17R achieved a rating of a reasonable 4884 (5754 points) in PCMark Vantage 32 bits (respectively 64 bits)....
Yes indeed, these machines are built with students in mind. They look pretty trendy for starters -- we like the brushed effect on the lid, and while it's not much of a departure from the standard old Inspiron machines they do look pretty tasty.
Dell famously offers about a zillion upgrade and customisation options on every single aspect of its machines, so summing up the specs is mighty tricky. We can tell you the R15 and R17 laptops will feature Intel Core i3 and i5 processor options if you want your CPU to pack a little more punch, and Dell will also be offering HD-resolution screens on both systems.
If you fancy turning your hand to the odd spot of photo editing or light gaming, there's an optional 1GB ATI Graphics processor on the cards, and if you're going over-spec crazy, you can also opt for up to 8GB of RAM.
The 15R will feature a dedicated number pad, which is unusual for a 15-inch machine. Hopefully it won't leave the rest of the keyboard too cramped.
Dell will also pump these babies full of proprietary software that will almost certainly get in the way and instantly become very frustrating if you're a tech-savvy teen worth your salt. Nevertheless, expect Dell DataSafeOnline, a cloud-storage solution, and the Dell Dock, which lumps all your favourite software into a Mac-style dock at the top of the screen.
The pricing, however, makes us very happy bunnies. Prices start at £479 for these machines, including VAT and delivery -- cheap as chips. Bear in mind though, if you pimp out your machine with all the optional upgrades, you'll quickly see that price climbing....
Moderate price for a 17-inch laptop; eye-catching design; decent battery life for size
Weak 3D performance, despite discrete graphics chip; no Blu-ray drive; tinny speakers
Once again, Dell is making a big splash with a new line of consumer notebooks. This time around, the newcomer is the Inspiron R Series, and the theme is a popular one: cramming in high-end features while keeping the price low. The R Series offers a newly designed chassis and several fun color options, and it comes in sizes ranging from a lightweight 13-inch laptop to an imposing 17-inch desktop replacement.
We looked at the Inspiron 17R, a stylish 17-inch model sporting a beautiful high-definition (HD) display and an eye-catching finish. What's more, it comes with a discrete graphics processor, unusual for a laptop in this price range. (The model we tested cost $849 when we wrote this.) While this looks good on paper, our testing indicates that the graphics hardware could still stand for some improvement. If you're looking for a laptop with a big display for reasons other than gaming or graphics-intensive work, this Inspiron has potential. Gamers won't rejoice, however. It all depends on what you intend to do with your notebook.
With its bright-red lid (Dell's name for this shade is "Tomato Red") and a wrist rest with a brushed-metal look, the Inspiron 17R looks a lot more expensive than it is. ("Mars Black" and "Peacock Blue" finishes are also available for this model.) The lid has a glossy sheen that attracts a fair amount of smudges, so you'll need to keep a polishing cloth close to this machine if you want it to always look its best. New to the Inspiron line is a hinge-forward lid mechanism that brings the screen about half an inch closer to you than a "drop-hinge" design (in which the hinge sits behind the base instead of on top of it). The 1.3-inch-thick chassis weighs 7.1 pounds with the nine-cell battery, which came with our tested configuration. This battery juts out the back of the laptop around three-quarters of an inch. In sum, as with most big-screen notebooks, this chassis is not very travel-friendly.
Beneath the lid, though, you'll see the payoff for the bulk: a striking 17.3-inch display with a resolution of 1,600x900 pixels, which means you can view HD content on this machine at 720p. The screen uses LEDs for backlighting and, as a result, is bright, and it produces bold, uniform colors. A Blu-ray player would complement this relatively high-res panel, but alas, this particular Inspiron 17R comes only with an ordinary DVD burner. That said, our 720p test clip "The Magic of Flight" (from Microsoft's HD Content Showcase) looked sharp and played very smoothly. The audio system couldn't do justice to the visuals, though. The built-in speakers, embedded in the lower part of the chassis, sounded tinny, producing weak middle and bass tones.
Offering average features for a 17.3-inch laptop, the Dell Inspiron 17R-2211OBK excels in performance.
Great performance for its class. HDMI-out and eSATA ports. Barely any pre-installed bloatware.
Lid collects fingerprint smudges. No ExpressCard slot or FireWire port.
As far as features go, the Dell Inspiron 17R-2211OBK ($799.98 list) is decidedly average for a 17.3-inch laptops. But dig just below the surface and you'll find above-average performance for this desktop replacement. Currently available at Staples, the 17R-2211OBK provides the standard features you'll find in any number of 17.3-inch laptops, but where it excels is in performance. Other than that, there's not much that makes the 17R-2211OBK standout from the competition. As long as performance isn't your top priority, you can find more feature-rich laptops for not much more than what the 17R-2211OBK sells for....
“The glossy plastic lid is attractive and comes in a variety of colors. The bottom of the system is covered in glossy white plastic, and the wrist rests and keyboard bezel feature a glossy, chain-link texture.”
“Although the Mini 10’s physical features are superior to those of some of its competitors, the netbook operates on Windows 7 Starter and features internal components that are identical to those of many other Pine Trail netbooks we’ve seen this year.”
“The Dell Mini 10 comes preloaded with a full version of Microsoft Word and Adobe Reader 9.0. It also comes with 15 months of McAfee SecurityCenter antivirus service and a 60-day trial of Microsoft Office, which relieves some of the immediate strain on your wallet.”
I just ordered a Mini 9. It was $229 and I couldn't resist. Only thing is, it has Ubuntu.
I haven't a clue how to run Ubuntu. It was suggested to wipe the SSD drive and re-install Ubuntu fresh and get rid of the crapware. I checked Dells, driver and download page and all the drivers are for Windows XP. Nothing is listed for Ubuntu.
I m thinking twice to buy a Inspiron mini with linux ubuntu and and Intel® Atom™ N270 serie N (1,60 GHz, 533 MHz, cache 512 KB)
The main use should be for internet (firefox amsn skype) and for open office, but sometimes I would like to use matlab 7.5 I think that is perfect with microphne and webcam built in but does someone know if this kind of laptop with that processor is able to work well (or pretty well) with a version of matlab? For sure I dont need of super performances I like a lot the keyboard of that model and the price is very good
any suggestions? thanks
Inspiron Mini 10v: Intel® Atom™ N270 serie N (1,60 GHz, 533 MHz, cache 512 KB), Ubuntu 8.04 Display 10,1" widescreen WSVGA (1.024x576), Intel® Graphic Media Accelerator 950, SDRAM DDR21.024 MB 533 MHz, Hd 16GB ssd, wireless Dell 1397 (802.11 b/g)
so I am going to use my EPP to buy a secondary Studio 17, 24" monitor and an Inspiron Mini 9. Out of curiosity, because I really do not know, is there a difference in build quality, materials, workmanship, etc...
for people that have an EPP with Dell and order systems and other devices by Dell? Do "Home" systems differ from EPP systems? Like do EPP systems use used parts or remanufactured parts for a new system? Just curious....