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Dell Inspiron Mini 10v Netbook
Dell, the name that brought us some serious quality products over the years sent us a netbook from their Inpsiron Mini series. It’s small, it’s cute, and it's Atom-based. The netbook market has some insane choices and more are welcome. So here is our review of the Dell Inspiron Mini 10v.
Design and ergonomics.
The model comes in many colors - we received a black model. It has a glossy finish, extending into the interior surfaces too, except that the latter is metallic silver. The touch pad is silver too, but has a matte finish and is keyboard centric. The keyboard itself is almost full sized, that is 92 % of regular sized keyboards to be precise. Buttons sizes are large and Page up and Page Down are integrated into the up and down arrow keys, thus overall there is no clutter of buttons. The ergonomic feel of the keyboard is quite alright - the slightly stiff tactile response of the keys is good for me personally.
Here comes my first complaint - the touch pad. It sucks, when you’re using it at normal speed. Only when you slowly move your finger across it does it behave. Dell please call up China, replace it NOW. The netbook looks very nice but ergonomics are not. It’s like the mouse is on speed, and you’re trying to catch it like some cheap online flash game. But besides that, everything else about the netbook’s design and feel is great. One small point to note in the keyboard is that the function keys and regular ones are reversed, thus to press F1 one has to use the Fn key first.
The CPU is Atom N270, 1.60 GHz. Chipset is Intel i945GSE with integrated GMA500 graphics. RAM is 1GB DDR2. Included hard disk is 160 GB, 5400 RPM. For connectivity we have 3 USB 2.0, (2 on the left and 1 on the right), one D-SUB on the right, stereo audio (mic in, headphone out) also on the right, and power adaptor input on, you guessed it, the left side. There are no hotkeys on the keyboard. The screen can fold out to about 160 degrees.
The screen is a 10.1-inch, 1024 by 600 native resolution affair. The Wi-Fi is upto Wi-Fi n, and of course we have regular Bluetooth capabilities and a 10/100 LAN port. The battery is a 3 cell Li ion model, with 6 cell optional.
As for software, we have Windows XP SP3 presintalled on our piece, along with Cyber link Power DVD 8.1, and McAfee Security demo. There are recovery and driver discs, about 3 of them in total.
These are results of our Benchmark tests:
- CinebenchR10: 825 CB-CPU
- POVRay : 1038 Secs
Then for real world tests :
- Video encoding, a 1 min uncompressed AVI using x.264 on 2 passes , time taken for second pass: 385 sec
- Audio encoding was done using 8 Flac files into 192 Kbps MP3s: 612 secs
- File compression test included 432 files with a total file size of 210 MB: 202 secs
File copy test yielded the following results( in MB/s)
- Single write (2 GB) 39.793076
- Single read (2 GB) 66.321793
- Multiple write (2 GB) 33.0141961
- Multiple read (2 GB) 41.144644
Battery Eater pro result (Full Load): 4hour 47 min
The CPU heavy task results are not so hot, they are slightly below average. The battery test result, and also real world usage wise is very good. For regular browsing and MS office use, with Wi-Fi on, we got about 8 hours and 47 minutes of usage.
The screen has above average brightness, but the sharpness and detail is good. Watching HD videos is not recommended, there is stutter. 720p videos work fine, but not perfectly smooth, as it understandably uses up lots of CPU juice.
At a price of Rs. 19,000, it's quite reasonable, and it performs like any other netbook on the current market. But the touch pad has serious issues. The screen and build of externals is very good. Battery life is really good. All in all this one is a definite 4 on 5.