Dell Mini 9 review – it’s arrived!
And I’m disappointed.
After all that waiting for a netbook with built-in 3G (“Mobile Broadband”), that I would be able to open and use anywhere, Tesco finally got the Dell Mini 9 in stock, and I ordered one. It arrived this morning.
So – before even turning it on, I got out the screwdriver, popped off the expansion cover, and…
A big gaping hole, with no soldered socket for an expansion card, and a big ‘WWAN’ stencil just to rub it in.
So, newsflash folks – it seems only the Mobile Operators are getting the 3G-enabled ones.
So I’m now left with a non-3G laptop, that cost #70 more than the equvalent Acer Aspire One. Sure, the battery life is an hour longer, but I can buy a 6-cell battery for less than the difference; and still keep the 3-cell for backup!
Admittedly I haven’t really used it yet, but the AAO still has more of that ‘Apple factor’ when you take it out of the case (it was white; my Dell is black), and the beginner’s UI on the AAO is quicker to boot and use than the tiny Ubuntu icons on the Dell. It seems the user base is bigger and better too.
So I’m torn. The fact is, I bought the Dell because I wanted mobile broadband, and it turns out mine didn’t – only those being sold by the mobile operators have 3G built-in. Given I can get an AAO 8GB Linux for GBP170 at Tesco, where I just bought this Dell 8GB Linux for GBP250, I think the Dell’s going back.
BTW – for a really excellent comparison of these with the eeePC, check here.