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Dell Inspiron Mini 10 review

Alan Lu
22 Jun 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
300
inc VAT
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Although most of the netbooks here feel sturdy, we were especially impressed by how robust the Mini 10 felt; its lid barely flexed at all under pressure.

We were also immediately impressed with the keyboard. It makes good use of all the available space, so most of the keys are large with only the tab and left Shift keys narrower than we'd expect. They feel responsive and comfortable to type on.

The touchpad looks unusual since the buttons are integrated into the bottom corners of the pad, which can make them tricky to press accurately. Since the touchpad also supports multitouch gestures, like the Eee PC 1000 HE, it's easy to activate the gestures accidentally when attempting to move the cursor using the pad. At least the pad itself has accurate tracking.

The 10in screen is bright, although some colours looked a little washed out. The screen doesn't tilt back very far, which can make it difficult to use in cramped conditions. Like the other 10in netbooks here, it has a resolution of 1,024x600 pixels, but you can order a 1,366x768 version from Dell's website.

Unfortunately, we were disappointed by the Mini 10's battery life. At two hours and 50 minutes, it didn't last as long as many of the other netbooks here. We were also disappointed by the netbook's performance. Switching between multiple applications felt a little sluggish, while standard-definition Divx and iPlayer videos stuttered when played full-screen. We suspect this is due to the 1.33GHz Atom Z520 processor, which has a slower clock speed than the more common 1.6GHz Atom N270.

We had high hopes that the Mini 10 would be an improvement over previous Dell netbooks, but were quickly left wanting more. Although we were impressed with its large, comfortable keyboard and rugged build, its performance lets it down. At this price, MSI's Wind U100 is a much better buy, while Samsung's N120 is the best choice if your budget can stretch to £360.

Basic Specifications

Rating**
ProcessorIntel Atom Z520
Processor clock speed1.33GHz
Memory1.00GB
Memory slots1
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory1GB
Size30x260x180mm
Weight1.1kg
SoundRealtek High Definition Audio
Pointing devicetouchpad
Power consumption standby1W
Power consumption idle12W

Display

Viewable size10 in
Native resolution1,024x576
Graphics ProcessorIntel GMA 500
Graphics/video portsHDMI
Graphics Memory253MB

Storage

Total storage capacity160GB
Optical drive modelnone
Optical drive typeN/A

Ports and Expansion

USB ports3
Bluetoothyes
Wired network ports1x 10/100
Wireless networking support802.11b/g
PC Card slotsnone
ModemNo
Supported memory cardsSDHC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro/Duo
Other portsnone

Miscellaneous

Carrying caseNo
Operating systemWindows XP Home Edition
Operating system restore optionrestore disc
Software includedCyberLink PowerDVD 8 SE, Microsoft Works 9
Optional extrasnone

Buying Information

Warrantyone year collect and return
Price£300
Detailswww.dell.co.uk
Supplierhttp://www.pcworld.co.uk

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