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Dell Mini laptop anyone?


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#1 Jess

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    Posted 24 November 2008 - 01:41 PM

    Has anyone bought a new Dell Mini laptop? I'm wondering what they think as I really want to get one and they seem very reasonable - about $400. The problem is I typically hate Dell laptops - I've always had problems with them...of course the last one I had was a few years ago, so they could have changed.

    If you do have one of the new Minis, can you tell me what you like and don't like? Otherwise, anyone know of any light/small laptops in the under $500 range?

    #2 DallasAshli

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      Posted 24 November 2008 - 01:50 PM

      My FI recently bought a MSI Wind netbook. There are 5 netbooks that are comparable (all under $500)...and the new Dell and MSI Wind are 2 of them.

      He did a ton of research and decided on the Wind, but the Dell was his second choice. I can ask him what the final deciding factor was but here is what I've noticed...
      1. very light - easy to carry around
      2. runs very well - we are taking it to the wedding for our music (rather than an i-pod)
      3. very small - good in general, but I have fingernails (they grow like crazy) and its hard for me to use the small keyboard sometimes
      4. smaller screen than I am used to - but I have a Dell as well and its a 15" so its a big difference (he loves the smaller screen)
      5. no cd/dvd drive - we might buy an external one for flights (we travel a lot)
      6. he uses an external mouse as well as the touch pad is too small for daily use (its fine when we travel, but you wouldnt want to use it for hours on end)

      Overall, he loves it and its a great buy. I would suggest going to Best Buy or similar to try one out first.

      #3 Jess

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        Posted 24 November 2008 - 03:14 PM

        thanks Ashli! I haven't even heard of that one I will definitely check it out.

        #4 Nora

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          Posted 25 November 2008 - 04:22 AM

          I don't know about the mini but I have a Dell laptop and two desktops and have had no problems with any of them. I bought a Mac last year because everyone told me that Macs were what all the professional photographers used but honestly I had so many problems with it I sold it on Craigslist a few months later. I'm a happy Dell customer.

          #5 Ana

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          Posted 25 November 2008 - 12:44 PM

          I looked into the mini about 3 weeks ago, but I decided it wasn't exactly what I needed. You have to look at what you will be using your computer for. The mini has limited memory and disk space. Even with the customization features you are not able to have more than 1gb of memory...and that means your computer won't be able to run some applications, or will be slow in doing so. Again that depends on you and what your usage will be like.

          I run photoshop, illustrator, dreamweaver etc... on mine so 1GB for a computer is really slow. Also the mini, is actually mini, lol so it has a small screen, small buttons etc. Its a relatively new computer so it might not have all its kinks worked out yet.

          With that said I've had both dell and mac laptops in the past. 2 mac notebooks and 4 dell notebooks, and I love the dell computers. I've never had problems with them, and there is 24hr support that comes with it, so its useful incase something ever needs to be done.

          I just ordered my new laptop last week actually (with a pink cover because I am a nerd and i don't want the FI using it) hehe! I think its supposed to be delivered today. I will let you know how it runs in a few days if you want to wait that long, and then give you the exact name of it and specs.

          #6 DallasAshli

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            Posted 25 November 2008 - 01:22 PM

            Hey Jess, I asked Matt to give me a review of his MSI Wind and he wrote a lot! Hopefully it helps. This is straight from him:

            http://tinyurl.com/5ft3hm
            There's a comparison of 4 of the netbooks that I'd recommend right now. I've read good things about the Acer Aspire, Dell is a well-known brand and I've read good things about their netbook, Asus started the netbook trend so has a lot of support, and I love everything about my MSI Wind. Almost all the netbooks our there right now have the same specs, there's just small things (if only cosmetic) that differentiate them.

            All of them run the same processor, I think you can get all of them with 1GB RAM (which I'd recommend) and I'm pretty sure you can get all of them with Windows XP installed, all have wireless, all but the Acer have bluetooth to use with bluetooth mice, etc; so the only things to really think about are size (screen, harddrive, & keyboard).

            The Acer and Dell models are both 8.9 inch screens while the Asus and MSI are 10 inch screens. Keep in mind that dimension is measured diagonally from corner to corner. I like my Wind's 10 inch screen as it makes the netbook really portable while not making me read off an incredibly small screen. 10 inches is smaller than someone thinks if they haven't seen one in person.

            The keyboards on all of these models should be fine, but won't be exactly the same size as a regular desktop or laptop, but after time your fingers will get used to it and touch typing is fine. A larger screen means a larger case and so a larger keyboard.

            As for harddrives the Acer and Dell come with SSD (solid state drives). SSD have no moving parts, but are more expensive to manufacture so usually don't have as much capacity. The Acer, MSI and Asus come with regular laptop harddrives which have moving parts. Unless you're throwing this thing around either type of drive should be fine. You should be able to get the Acer with a 8 or 16 GB SSD harddrive or 120 or 160 GB laptop drive. The Dell a 4, 8, or 16 GB SSD harddrive. MSI a 80, 120, or 160 GB laptop drive. Asus an 80 or 160 GB laptop drive. External harddrives can always be bought fairly cheap with large capacities; WD Passport and Seagate Freeagent are two I'd recommend.

            All of these models have good forums run by fans; depending on which she chooses I can point her in the right direction. I think whichever she's comfortable with is the one she should get; they're all good. Just an FYI, Asus has a ton of them out so make sure to read the data sheet before buying; if going towards an Asus I would recommend the Asus EEE 1000h as it has a larger screen and harddrive.

            Personally I chose the MSI Wind as it had real favorable reviews, an almost full size keyboard, a 10 inch screen, and a larger capacity harddrive. The only issues I've had with it are the touchpad was real sensitive at first (only affected certain batches) but after downloading a new driver that fixed the problem. In fact regardless of the model, one of the first things I'd recommend after getting it is to check for driver updates on the products official page and install them.

            #7 Jess

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              Posted 25 November 2008 - 02:01 PM

              Thank you girls so much - you are so helpful!

              #8 Riyko

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                Posted 27 November 2008 - 09:45 PM

                HP, Toshiba and Sony also have Mini laptops, but the HP is the only other one i've seen that's under $500.

                #9 MaryS

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                  Posted 29 November 2008 - 11:38 PM

                  my FI just bought one it was on sale for $299 yesterday. He just bought for fun.
                  WE ARE MARRIED!!

                  #10 DallasAshli

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                    Posted 03 December 2008 - 06:17 PM

                    Here is a Consumer Reports comparison:

                    Six Windows Netbooks Rated - Yahoo! Shopping




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