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Dell Inspiron Mini 9 3G – Review

dellmini9 1

The new Dell Inspiron Mini 9 with 3G is, on the face of it, much of a muchness as far as small computers go. It’s pretty hard to find any real differentiation between mini notebooks when all of them use the same processor, same screens and similar storage and memory specs. However the Dell stands out because of a) the name, b) the fact that it’s the one which will probably sell the most via the company’s corporate connections, c) because it has a built-in 3G mobile broadband card and finally d) because you can buy them on mobile phone style pricing (Vodafone UK, Vodafone AU). So I thought it would be interesting to take an in-depth look at one for those of you who may be considering going small-sized with your next computer purchase.

Friendly Note: This review is kinda wordy so if you’re only interested in the verdict, skip to the end.

Nigel has recently decreed that this isn’t a netbook. I’ll bow to his superiortyness (and the wrath of Google) and call it a mini-notebook as it has a 8.9″ screen. The 7″ and 8.9″ screen mini notebooks are pretty much the same size, the 7″ ones just have a larger bezel around their smaller screens, the keyboards are roughly the same size. The unit I reviewed came from Vodafone Australia. Vodafone have recently teamed up with Dell to offer the Mini 9 on a plan similar to mobile phones, i.e. pay a set amount each month over 2 years and you get the notebook with mobile broadband. A good idea methinks and so do a lot of other people, cos these are selling well apparently.

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Dan Ferris is the Red Ferret’s Oceanic correspondent and Associate Editor based in Sydney, Australia. Despite not knowing Russell Crowe or Nicole Kidman, Dan has risen above adversity and now scours the world for interesting tidbits to write about. He spends far too much time photographing stuff and tinkering with computers.

Dan – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.


  • Ted

    Thanks for the clear, informative review. No jargon and great real-world trials of how a mini PC would actually be used.

  • No problems Ted, that's exactly what I set out to do.
    Cheers for noticing! :)

  • Scott

    Great review, thanks! I'm considering one of these myself and yours is the most useful review I've read. Very helpful in deciding on the options for this little guy. BTW, I am a Dell employee, at corp. HQ in Round Rock. Thanks for your comments!

    • Heh, nice one Scott. And a pretty cool product by the sounds of it. :)

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