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Since Dell was a little late in joining into the netbook market, the Dell Inspiron Mini 9 came in at a time when netbook standard specs include the Atom Processor for CPU and not smaller than 8.9-inch for the LCD display screen. Fortunately for Dell, the Inspiron Mini 9 met these two standards as well as other standard features of most 8.9- to 10.2-inch netbook displays.
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Dell Inspiron Mini 9 - Design and Form Factor
Knowing fully well that their rivals have done their best in coming up with the best looking netbook, Dell made sure that the Inspiron Mini would look as sleek and as expensive as other prime notebooks available in the market, yet would have a very affordable price tag. Dell was able to achieve both when they release the Inspiron Mini 9. The netbook's lid boasts of a glossy finish emitting a classy look that extends under its hood which also features a smooth-coated, silver palm rest and screen bezel. Size-wise, the Dell Inspiron Mini 9 maximizes its width to fit in an 8.9-inch screen. This made the Inspiron Mini 9 one of the smallest and lightest 8.9-inch netbook, measuring only 9.1 x 6.8 x 1.3 inches and weighing a mere 2.3 pounds. The Inspiron Mini 9 is lighter than both the Acer Aspire One and the HP Mini-Note. It is also the shortest among the three said netbooks.
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Dell Inspiron Mini 9 - The Hardware
Aside from the Atom CPU, another notable hardware feature of the Inspiron Mini 9 is its ruggedized Solid State Drives (with 4GB, 8GB and 16GB capacity) which are said to run quietly, be power efficient, and most importantly, be extremely durable.
Next in line is the Inspiron Mini 9's 8.9-inch LCD screen with 1024 x 600 pixel resolution that provide ample space to fit windows to the size of its screen without sacrificing sharpness.
Aside from the SSDs and LCD screen, the Inspiron Mini also comes packed with either the default 0.3 webcam or a 1.3 megapixel camera which is a 25$ option.
The Inspiron Mini 9 also boasts of great sounding built-in speakers which are located below the screen near the bottom bezel. Other notable hardware features of the Inspiron Mini 9 include a spill-resistant, full keyboard which also provides good tactile feedback, less a slight amount of flex, and which allows for comfortable typing and would not cause your hands to cramp. Rounding out the features list are a decently sized touchpad, 3 USB 2.0 ports, VGA and Ethernet ports in addition to headphone and microphone jacks. For uploading files from other external devices, the Inspiron Mini 9 also has a 4-in-1 memory card reader. Its internal mini-PCI slot can be used for mobile broadband connectivity.
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Dell Inspiron Mini 9 - The Software
If you're not used to having an OpenSource software, you might opt to get the pricier Inspiron Mini 9 netbook running Windows XP.
But by default, the Ubuntu OS is the standard platform for the Inspiron Mini 9. And if you don't want to spend extra bucks, the Ubuntu Linux OS will do a wonderful job for as long as you take the time to get used to it. Aside from the Linux OS, Dell has also partnered with Box.net to offer 2GB of free storage on their site for Inspiron Mini 9 buyers.
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Dell Inspiron Mini 9 - Battery Life and Wi-Fi Performance
Since the Inspiron Mini 9 belong to the netbook category, its most important characteristics has to be mobility and portability. Part of these two characteristics is battery life which should be long enough to enable a couple of hours of good use without needing to plug in the netbook into a power outlet. Published battery life of the Inspiron Mini 9 was pegged at around 3 hours. But there are some reviews claiming that their Inspiron Mini 9 units were able to max out more than 3 hours under normal use, including with Wi-Fi turned on.
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There's no doubt that the Dell Inspiron Mini 9 is one of the best to have yet hit the netbook market. Thankfully, the netbook was able to put in some new features which might have been neglected by other netbook manufacturers.
If you're interested in getting this netbook, be prepared to spend $379. And don't forget to enjoy your new netbook.