Day Three of Dell Mini 9 netbook ownership and things are going pretty well, all told. My two main gripes are with the keyboard and the memory performance.
The smaller than normal (how much smaller? I suddenly wonder. But I don’t bother looking it up) keyboard is actually OK from a normal typing point of view — the normal letter and number keys may be a bit titchy but they’re all where your touchtyping fingers expect them to be. It’s the special keys in the bottom right that are really annoying. To save space, they’ve resized the ?/, right shift, and Up arrow keys so that three keys fit where two should, with the result that I have to have three goes at finding a question mark, and roughly half the time when I want shift I get an inadvertant Up, which can really slow down your typing when you suddenly find yourself back on the previous line.
You’d think that 1Gb of RAM would be enough for Windows XP Home to run a web browser, and email program and a Skype voice call wouldn’t you? And it does — for a while. But when the Mini has been running for a few hours it starts to complain of low virtual memory, and slows down. The best approach is to only run a couple of applications at a time. If you’re gentle with it it will repay you by serving up web pages promtply and sharply.
Wireless, Bluetooth, and 3G broadband via the embedded SIM card all work well, and with Internet Explorer in fullscreen mode the display is very nice, making it a diddy surfing machine extraordinaire.
I’m now thinking up wild, exotic places to surf, where I couldn’t surf before. Any suggestions?