Dell Mini 9 Netbook Lands At Casa Guru

P1610 vs Dell Mini 9

My friends like to make fun of me, asking frequently, ‘How many computers do you need? I thought you were a cell phone guy?’ It’s true, I am a cell phone guy, but at the moment, there are 6 computers in Casa Guru, 5 of which are laptops. The media center doesn’t really count, it’s just an old eMachines tower with a new 500GB hard drive that sits in the livingroom, storing all of our video and photos. Nothing to see there.

Three of the remaining 4 laptops are Dells, which wasn’t really planned. Mrs. Guru has an old Inspiron something-or-other that I’ve been trying to let her let me replace, but no avail. My work machine is a Dell XPS M1330, and I have an old Gateway MX6956 that’s still rocking. The 2 netbooks are the Fujitsu P1610 and the new arrival – a Dell Mini 9.

P1610 vs Dell Mini 9

As you can see, the Dell and the Fujitsu are roughly the same size, both having an 8.9″ display. However, they’re vastly different machines. The P1610 is a tablet-pc, with a swiveling touchscreen display, PC Card slot, and a few other niceties. It’s also rather ugly, and very industrial-looking. The Dell, on the other hand, is very….cute, with consumer-friendly design cues, but in a regular laptop form factor and a minimum level of extras.

Within a few minutes, both machines will be running Windows 7, though the Dell is slated to get hackintosh’d this weekend, hopefully. My initial reaction is that the Dell’s keyboard is going to take *alot* of getting used to. As you can see in the photos, the P1610’s keyboard stretches from edge-to-edge, with no room on either side, and includes a 6th row of F-keys, which are actually incredibly necessary on a computer with such a small display. You’ll also notice that while the Dell’s main keys are full sized, the flanking keys on either side of the keyboard have been shrunk, and some of them even rearranged. This is going to irritate the junk out of me, for sure.

Dell Mini 9 Keyboard
Dell Mini 9 Keyboard
P1610 Keyboard
P1610 Keyboard

However, I like that the Dell has a regular touchpad, vs. the ‘nub’ on the P1610. A major downpoint, for me, on the Dell is the 16GB SSD inside, vs the 60GB HDD on the P1610. Sure, SSD means far better battery life, quieter operation, and all that, but hey, space is space. I’m considering upgrading to a 64GB aftermarket SSD, but haven’t decided yet.

The other main draw of the Dell Mini 9 is the vibrant community of folks who like to tinker. MyDellMini.com has a great and active Forum, with separate subforums on Windows 7 (which is 98% installed, as I’m typing this), OSX (which will hopefully be this weekend), and even hardware modifications, if that’s your bag. I like having support.

Below are more comparison pics of the Fujitsu P1610 beside the Dell Mini 9. I’ll definitely be posting more thoughts on it, including documenting the hackintosh procedure for you.

P1610 vs. Dell Mini 9

Published by rcadden

Just a dude with a phone.

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