Clicky

'); //]]>

Dell Mini 10v Review: I Believe in Netbooks Again

By  |  24 Comments

I’ve got a confession.  A little over a month after I swore off netbooks for one computer, my MacBook Pro, I found a rare deal that couldn’t be passed.

I happened to hear a little bird on Twitter, the Dell Factory Outlet, who regularly sends out coupons for many of their numerous refurbished, scratch and dent, and previously ordered products.  As I have written before, the advantages of buying factory refurbished items can often save you hundreds of dollars.  I rarely purchase an electronic item from a major manufacturer that isn’t refurbished.  Refurbished products are factory inspected, fully tested, and come with equal warranties to new products.

The 15% off coupon that was released on Twitter was for the Dell Mini 10/10v series netbooks.  After doing a little research, I found that the 15% off coupon dropped the regularly priced $249 Mini 10v to a ridiculously priced $211.  The unit I purchased is cast from the traditional netbook mold.

IMG_3938

Dell Mini 10v Specs:

  • 1.6 GHz Intel Atom N270 Processor
  • 160 GB Hard Disk
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
  • 10.1″ LED backlit glossy screen
  • 92% full size keyboard
  • 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi capabilities
  • Multi-card Reader

The Good

Keyboard:

The keyboard of this netbook is one of the best I’ve used.  I can easily and quickly touch-type.  It simply does not feel like typing on a stereotypical netbook keyboard.  Unlike some netbooks, the keys are appropriately placed for my hands.  The flex of the keyboard is minimal, although some might feel that the keys have a longer travel than a similar Asus Eee PC 1000H series netbook.  The keys are wider than those found on the chiclet-styled Asus netbooks.IMG_3939

Screen Size:

I believe that anything less than a 10.1″ screen is a deal breaker when it comes to a netbook.  My first Eee PC was the 701 which featured a miniscule 7″ screen.  There is plenty of screen real estate to work with Microsoft Office documents, watching videos, or even creating a small PowerPoint presentation.  Going from the Mini to my MacBook Pro at the end of the day does feel as though I’m working with a 32″ monitor, but the Mini 10v has enough size to get the job done.

Battery Life:

I am easily able to get 6 hours out of a full charge with the Mini 10v’s 6-cell battery.  I prefer the 6-cell battery not only for its longer provided computing time, but because it slants the keyboard at a comfortable angle as well.  It also makes a nice handle when moving it around from desk to desk.  While the Mini 10v is fan-less and this may slightly promote increased battery life, it definitely makes for a very quiet computing experience.

Power AdapterIMG_3943:

The power adapter of the Mini 10v is one unit; there is no brick between two wires.  I love the design as it’s easy to grab and go.  It conserves space in my bag and is easy to wrap if I’m in a hurry.  The adapter is a little on the large size when compared to a cell phone power adapter, but the over all portability makes it perfect for a netbook.

Video Out: VGA

One of the major differences between the Dell Mini 10 and the Mini 10v is that the 10v has a VGA out, while the Dell Mini 10 has an HDMI port.  The VGA port is more functional for what I will be using the Mini 10v for, primarily for classroom presentations.  Most LCD projectors still rely on VGA as the default video connection.  My HDTV also contains VGA in so I’m still able to connect it to my HDTV to watch videos.

The Bad

TrackpadIMG_3945:

The trackpad on the Dell Mini 10/10v is goofy to say the least.  The entire trackpad mimics that of the new MacBook Pro in that the entire pad is touch sensitive, including the buttons.  The Mini 10v does have two specific regions for the left and right click, but even they are touch-sensitive.  Problems sometime arise when trying to click as the cursor can jump off target.  It takes some getting used to, but it continues to be slightly annoying.

Glossy Screen & Case:

The 1024×600 screen of the Dell Mini 10v doesn’t seem as crisp as other devices that I’ve used.  Again, it’s certainly no deal breaker, but the colors don’t pop as I’ve experienced with the Asus 1000HE.  I imagine that the color settings can be modified, but the default setup feels a little bland.IMG_3941

I’m also not a huge fan of glossy screens, especially since these devices often find themselves being used outdoors.  The screen is very reflective as seen in the pictures.  I often have to move the screen up or down so that there isn’t a huge glare.

The case itself is very glossy.  The top of the lid can be a fingerprint magnet, although it does not seem as bad as the Asus Eee PC 1000HE.  A simple swipe with a cleaning cloth and the problem is resolved.

It’s a Netbook:

Keep in mind that the Dell Mini 10v is not a full-fledged, powerhouse notebook.  It has the same limitations in processing power and functionality as other netbooks, but it’s perfect for basic tasks.  You’re not going to be doing any video editing, heavy Photoshop creating, or intense gaming, but the 10v will easily handle a few YouTube videos, Hulu, and your social networking.  My parents were so impressed with my Mini 10v that they purchased one a week later without the 15% coupon.  A netbook such as this meets all of their computer needs and doesn’t put a dent in the wallet.  Their 3-cell version was around $259.

Of the several netbooks I’ve owned, I am most satisfied with the Dell Mini 10v.  Perhaps the only thing missing on this netbook that I’d like to have is Bluetooth, but at $211 the lack of Bluetooth wasn’t enough to prevent me from purchasing.  Unlike the others that found their way to eBay, I’m certain that the 10v will have a long life in my household for years to come.  I don’t rescind my previous argument that the MacBook Pro is all I need.  Netbooks are still underpowered, largely overpriced, and quickly obsolete, but who wouldn’t grab one of these for $211?

Additional Pictures:

IMG_3944

The 6-cell battery makes a nice handle.

The Dell Mini 10v

The Dell Mini 10v

Right side of the 10v has VGA out, audio in/out, USB 2.0, and ethernet.

The right side of the 10v has VGA out, audio in/out, USB 2.0, and ethernet.

Follow Matthew on Twitter.

24 Comments

  1. Kevin

    September 17, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    Nice I had been looking for a detailed product review on this. I appreciate the effort.

  2. Kevin

    September 17, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    Nice I had been looking for a detailed product review on this. I appreciate the effort.

  3. Kevin

    September 17, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    Nice I had been looking for a detailed product review on this. I appreciate the effort.

  4. Daniel Fernandes

    September 21, 2009 at 7:10 am

    Dell is one of the most reputed names and is known for high quality products. The Dell

    Inspiron Mini 10v is one of the latest netbooks in the market. Typing is very comfortable though it has a small keyboard. Battery life is quiet long. Glossy 10.1-inch screen is very attractive. It has 1.3MP webcam feature. Overall features are nice but there is no change in the design. Hope Dell comes up with some innovative design.

  5. Daniel Fernandes

    September 21, 2009 at 7:10 am

    Dell is one of the most reputed names and is known for high quality products. The Dell

    Inspiron Mini 10v is one of the latest netbooks in the market. Typing is very comfortable though it has a small keyboard. Battery life is quiet long. Glossy 10.1-inch screen is very attractive. It has 1.3MP webcam feature. Overall features are nice but there is no change in the design. Hope Dell comes up with some innovative design.

  6. Daniel Fernandes

    September 21, 2009 at 12:10 am

    Dell is one of the most reputed names and is known for high quality products. The Dell

    Inspiron Mini 10v is one of the latest netbooks in the market. Typing is very comfortable though it has a small keyboard. Battery life is quiet long. Glossy 10.1-inch screen is very attractive. It has 1.3MP webcam feature. Overall features are nice but there is no change in the design. Hope Dell comes up with some innovative design.

  7. MacMini10v

    October 18, 2009 at 6:09 am

    Since you are Mac user, have you thought about turning the 10v into a Hackintosh? I just got a Mini 10v with the Twitter deal too and came across this page:

    http://osxdaily.com/2009/09/08/how-i-got-an-ultra-portable-2lbs-mac-os-x-netbook-with-a-10-lcd-for-204/

    I am a little hesitant to do this as it looks advanced, what do you think? Mine was about $215 and to have a Mac for that cheap is amazing, so I may just put my Mini as a guinea pig!

    • rubytangelo

      October 24, 2009 at 2:49 am

      Go for it!!! It is totally possible to hackintosh the mini 10v. Follow the detailed instructions on the mydellmini.com forum. A newbie can do it just follow the step by step. Plus, the forum is great to help answer any install issues. Search for my posts there too! Good Luck…worth the effort!!

    • rubytangelo

      October 24, 2009 at 2:49 am

      Go for it!!! It is totally possible to hackintosh the mini 10v. Follow the detailed instructions on the mydellmini.com forum. A newbie can do it just follow the step by step. Plus, the forum is great to help answer any install issues. Search for my posts there too! Good Luck…worth the effort!!

  8. MacMini10v

    October 18, 2009 at 6:09 am

    Since you are Mac user, have you thought about turning the 10v into a Hackintosh? I just got a Mini 10v with the Twitter deal too and came across this page:

    http://osxdaily.com/2009/09/08/how-i-got-an-ultra-portable-2lbs-mac-os-x-netbook-with-a-10-lcd-for-204/

    I am a little hesitant to do this as it looks advanced, what do you think? Mine was about $215 and to have a Mac for that cheap is amazing, so I may just put my Mini as a guinea pig!

  9. MacMini10v

    October 17, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    Since you are Mac user, have you thought about turning the 10v into a Hackintosh? I just got a Mini 10v with the Twitter deal too and came across this page:

    http://osxdaily.com/2009/09/08/how-i-got-an-ultra-portable-2lbs-mac-os-x-netbook-with-a-10-lcd-for-204/

    I am a little hesitant to do this as it looks advanced, what do you think? Mine was about $215 and to have a Mac for that cheap is amazing, so I may just put my Mini as a guinea pig!

    • rubytangelo

      October 23, 2009 at 7:49 pm

      Go for it!!! It is totally possible to hackintosh the mini 10v. Follow the detailed instructions on the mydellmini.com forum. A newbie can do it just follow the step by step. Plus, the forum is great to help answer any install issues. Search for my posts there too! Good Luck…worth the effort!!

  10. cheap dsi r4

    February 1, 2010 at 3:05 am

    I love this laptop.Its sophisticated new design attracts you more and also a plenty of configuration options.Its battery life is also good.Dell's basic Netbook adds better and improved battery life and the newest Intel Atom CPU and robust configuration options add a level of flexibility.But i don't like its low-resolution display and its small keyboard and touch pad.Otherwise this one is the best model amongest all.

  11. Josie

    February 21, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    thank you for the great review on this product.

  12. arianna322v

    March 7, 2010 at 10:02 am

    Thanks this made me have great perspectives on this unique product =]

  13. daiseymorris

    March 18, 2010 at 4:16 am

    I liked this small and compact Mini Laptop, it would very portable if there was not a external type battery. It looks really bad that what they did with the battery. Overall the specifications are good and i will look forward that they will fix battery problem.

    florida flydrive

  14. Andy

    March 25, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    The battery sticks out because he got the larger capacity. The 3 cell does not stick out. Anyways i went to dell.com and the 10v is no longer available. I got mine for $150. Only thing i regret is not upgrading the battery nor the wireless to wireless N because I wasnt sure if the machack would work. But everything works except sleep mode. But cant complain for $150 that aint bad

  15. Andy

    March 25, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    The battery sticks out because he got the larger capacity. The 3 cell does not stick out. Anyways i went to dell.com and the 10v is no longer available. I got mine for $150. Only thing i regret is not upgrading the battery nor the wireless to wireless N because I wasnt sure if the machack would work. But everything works except sleep mode. But cant complain for $150 that aint bad

  16. hello there and thanks for your information ? I’ve certainly picked up something new from proper here. I did however experience some technical issues using this site, as I skilled to reload the web site lots of instances previous to I may just get it to load correctly. I had been puzzling over in case your web hosting is OK? Not that I’m complaining, however sluggish loading instances times will sometimes impact your placement in google and could damage your high quality score if ads and marketing with Adwords. Well I’m including this RSS to my e-mail and could look out for a lot more of your respective exciting content. Make sure you update this again very soon..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>