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Checkpoint: Dell Inspiron Mini 9 Edition

I’ve been patiently awaiting a competitor to the ASUS Eee netbook. Why? So I can be writing stuff like this without actually sitting at my desk. It’s not meant to replace my desktop — merely accompany it. I’ve looked at the MSI Wind, the Acer Aspire One and the ASUS Eee line, but I just couldn’t commit to any of them. Then Dell shows up with their Inspiron Mini 9.

Both the specifications and the price seem right. $449.99 CAD for:

  • Intel® Atom Processor® N270 (1.6GHz/533Mhz FSB/512K cache)
  • Genuine Windows® XP Home Edition
  • Obsidian Black
  • No Camera Option
  • 1GB DDR2 SDRAM at 800MHz, 1 DIMM
  • 16GB Solid State Drive
  • 8.9 Inch Wide Screen WSVGA TL Display (1024×600)
  • Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 950
  • Wireless 802.11g Mini Card
  • 4 Cell battery
  • Base LCD Assembly

That’s taken from my build and I’ve got to say, it looks pretty as well. The build quality was quoted as “amazingly solid” by NotebookReview.com.

There are, however, a couple of things keeping me from submitting my order right now. First, I somehow missed the fact that the Intel Atom isn’t a native dual core design and won’t be for quite some time. Fortunately, it is still multithreaded thanks to the inclusion of Hyper Threading. So, it won’t be that terrible at multitasking.

Second, Apple’s rumored touch screen tablet and possibly a netbook. It could be both! I know if it’s from Apple, the possibilities of it being cheap would slim to none, but I still want a device like that from them. It would incredibly slick if they could produce such a device with reasonable specs for less than $800 CAD — I’d be set.

It’s all wishful thinking so far.

So unless Apple is unveiling a netbook on their September 9th “Music Event”, I’ll be ordering a Dell Inspiron Mini 9 on Wednesday.

Speaking of PCs, I’ve noticed quite a few people have thrown down some money for upgrades and I was thinking about joining the party. I haven’t been ignoring PC gaming, but I do admit that there’s nothing compelling me to upgrade. Nothing coming out strikes me as something that I need to play. Not Spore. Not S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky. Not the gorgeous Crysis: Warhead. FarCry 2, which is now launching on October 21st, will most likely be superior on the PC, but I just don’t care.

Left4Dead is the only game I’m getting for the PC year and I definitely don’t need a new one to experience it.

At this point in time, I’m more excited about the prospects of turning the Inspiron Mini 9 into a portable SNES, Genesis and arcade machine. Now that would be awesome.

That’s all for now. There are Transformers to be gawked at in high definition.

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