Dell Inspiron Mini 9 review

Alan Lu
13 Feb 2009
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Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
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8 in 1,024x600 display, 1.0kg, 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270, 1.00GB RAM, 16GB disk, Windows XP Home Edition

We reviewed Dell's Inspiron Mini 9 in last month's issue, but we wanted to see how well it fared against the other models in this round-up.

The Inspiron has an 8.9in screen, so it's slightly more compact than the 10in netbooks here. The screen's glossy finish is reflective, but it's also bright.

The small touch pad is accurate, but the spongy buttons don't give enough feedback when pressed. Unusually, the keyboard lacks a top row of Function keys; instead, these are accessible using the Fn key and the letter keys starting from A. This makes activating some keyboard short cuts trickier than on other keyboards. The benefit is that the keys are large enough for touch-typing, unlike the keyboards on the NB100 and Amilo Mini 8.9in netbooks. However, the tab, Delete, Caps Lock and cursor keys, as well as some punctuation keys, are difficult to press accurately because they are narrower than the other keys.

Like LG's X110, the Mini 9 has a built-in 3G wireless broadband modem with the SIM card slot tucked away in the battery bay. As well as being available directly from Dell for £293, you can also buy it with a 24-month 3G contract from Vodafone for £30 per month. The Vodafone version has only a measly 8GB SSD, which is even more cramped than the already small 16GB SSD in Dell's standard version. More storage can be added using memory cards, though.

Although the Inspiron's battery didn't last as long as some other netbooks here, it still managed three hours and 39 minutes. This is long enough for most short-haul European flights or an afternoon out of the office.

Although the Inspiron has a smaller keyboard and less storage space than LG's X110, its longer battery life makes it preferable if you want a netbook with built-in 3G. If you can put up with an external 3G modem, Samsung's NC10 is a better choice thanks to its incredible battery life and bigger keyboard and screen, but similar weight.

Basic Specifications

ProcessorIntel Atom N270
Processor clock speed1.6GHz
Memory slots1
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory1GB
Pointing devicetouchpad
Power consumption standby0W
Power consumption idle10W
Power consumption active13W


Viewable size8 in
Native resolution1,024x600
Graphics ProcessorIntel 945 Express
Graphics/video portsVGA
Graphics Memory64MB


Total storage capacity16GB
Optical drive modelnone
Optical drive typeN/A

Ports and Expansion

USB ports3
Wired network ports1x 10/100
Wireless networking support802.11n, HSDPA
PC Card slotsnone
Supported memory cardsSD, MMC, Memory Stick Pro
Other portsnone


Carrying caseNo
Operating systemWindows XP Home Edition
Operating system restore optionrestore disc
Software includednone
Optional extrasnone

Buying Information

Warrantyone year collect and return

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