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Dell Begins Selling Inspiron Mini 9 320

Posted by timothy
from the lightbulbs-in-round-rock dept.
mocoloco writes "A week after the rumored date, Dell has begun selling their entry into the netbook/subnotebook/UMPC market, the Inspiron Mini 9. The base system for $349 includes Ubuntu 8.04 "with custom Dell interface", 512MB RAM, and a 4GB SSD. There are options with XP, one that includes an 8GB drive and a $40 instant savings, another with a 16GB drive and 1GB RAM that has a $55 instant savings. Curiously the Ubuntu systems are a pre-order at this point, to be shipped within 15 days. Also, no Red option yet."
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Dell Begins Selling Inspiron Mini 9

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  • Not in Canada (Score:5, Informative)

    by VEGETA_GT (255721) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @04:37PM (#24879491)

    Like normal its not on the Canadian site. Usually launches in the Us of product is on the same day in Canada but Dell dose not give us Canadians as many options for pc/laptops as they do to the US. HP also has a limited website for product configuration/product compared to the US. Considering how closely tied we are and how most company release Canada/us same time this would be in Canada to.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 04, 2008 @04:39PM (#24879521)

      You should learn to proofread. You're giving us Canadians a bad name, therefore Dell won't sell their new products to us.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Munitions export laws. You guys are poised to attack us. Look, you've even amassed all your population along our border. And you don't even pronounce the letter 'o' correctly in 'about'. And don't even get me started on about the beer....

    • Re:Not in Canada (Score:5, Informative)

      by KillerBob (217953) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @04:57PM (#24879827)

      Like normal its not on the Canadian site. Usually launches in the Us of product is on the same day in Canada but Dell dose not give us Canadians as many options for pc/laptops as they do to the US. HP also has a limited website for product configuration/product compared to the US. Considering how closely tied we are and how most company release Canada/us same time this would be in Canada to.

      Historically, the reason that Dell hasn't released products in Canada at the same time as the US is because they need to sell it in French as well as English. That means they have to translate the manuals, and that they need to provide French-language technical support. Doing otherwise would open themselves to a lawsuit for discrimination. They don't have French tech. support for *any* of their Linux offerings, which is what explains this one. That's what prevented the Insprion N-series Linux-based systems, as well as the XPS One from being released in Canada.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Jorophose (1062218)

        And yet they'll release to France next, right?

        That's what they did for ubuntu systems, at least. =/

    • by MoonBuggy (611105)

      You'll be glad to know we've got it available in the UK. Only £299 ($528 at today's rates) for the base model. Thanks Dell.

      And, just because I know it'll come up: UK VAT is 17.5%. (528/100)*82.5=$435.60 so pre-tax we're paying just under $100 premium for absolutely nothing. The eee and the Aspire one, on the other hand, are about the same price when tax is figured. The MSI Wind is similarly inflated.

      I was actually waiting to see what Dell's offering was like before going out and getting a mini l

      • by MoonBuggy (611105)

        Hate to reply to myself, but it would appear that I'm mistaken.

        I was comparing the UK and US pages and simply read "From $349" and "From £299" in the same place on the equivalent pages, assuming they were the same model. Turns out the UK don't have the choice of the low-spec one yet, so I was inadvertently using the price from the 16GB/1GB RAM model - looks like a decent deal after all. Windows only, by the look, but at least it should be easy enough to wipe and replace; possibly even worth tryi

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by dylan_- (1661)

        And, just because I know it'll come up: UK VAT is 17.5%. (528/100)*82.5=$435.60 so pre-tax we're paying just under $100 premium for absolutely nothing.

        That's not how you actually calculate the price before VAT.

        Think of the pre-tax price as 100% and then you add 17.5% to get 117.5% for price+VAT.

        Another way of thinking of this is that you multiply your 100% by 1.175 to get 117.5%.

        i.e. price_before_vat * 1.175 = price_including_vat

        So, price_including_vat / 1.175 = price_before_vat

        Therefore $528/1.175 = $449*

  • The value of Windows (Score:5, Informative)

    by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris@nOSPAM.beau.org> on Thursday September 04, 2008 @04:38PM (#24879497)

    I just love it! Go price out the same specs with Linux or Windows. The Windows machines are cheaper! Gotta love this, Linux is now more valuable than Windows!

    Yes I know what is actually happening, Dell is keeping Microsoft happy. But lets all spin this as Windows is now the option nobody wants and see what happens. :)

    • by MightyYar (622222) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @04:44PM (#24879597)

      No kidding! Go fully-loaded with Linux and it costs $20 more! LOL. MS must be practically giving them XP.

      • by Shados (741919) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @04:58PM (#24879839)

        They are. Having dealt with some OEM contracts, XP can end up as low as 5$ per license. Then add what companies pay Dell to install crapware, and you end up with negative cost (until people start developing crapware for Linux anyway)

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by LWATCDR (28044)

          Yea people don't seem to realize that the crapletts are a source of cash. Dell probably makes a good $30 more installing Windows than Linux.
          I wouldn't mind paying for Windows version if only I could use that copy of XP on a different machine.

      • Go fully-loaded with Linux and it costs $20 more! LOL. MS must be practically giving them XP.

        Really? It sounds to me like MS is paying them to preinstall XP.
      • by anagama (611277)
        Don't forget the $20 bump to get white! go that route and it's $40 more.
    • by Corrado (64013) <rnhurt@noSpam.gmail.com> on Thursday September 04, 2008 @04:45PM (#24879617) Homepage Journal

      Yea, well couldn't you get the Windows one, refuse the EULA, and get $100 back? That sounds like the way to go to me. :)

      • by Fred Ferrigno (122319) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @06:08PM (#24880769)

        The Windows OEM EULA leaves the refund/return policy up to the manufacturer. While some manufacturers have paid out to placate angry customers, they're not required to give refunds. Since Dell actually supports Linux on this laptop, they'd probably just ship you a Linux restore CD to wipe away Windows. (At cost to you, of course.)

    • They probably got some sort of sweet deal from MS for that.

      Linux already has a reputation for being nerdy or hard or not having their favourite programs so why create a product with that OS and then charge more which will put those people off?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by jbeaupre (752124)
      They are just charging extra for access to all the Ubuntu program repositories. That's not free, you know. That's a valuable service not provided by MS so Dell needs to charge more to pay for it.
    • by thermian (1267986) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @04:47PM (#24879653)

      lets all spin this as Windows is now the option nobody wants and see what happens. :)

      Nobody wants? Lots of people want Windows. Surprising though it may be, outside of technically aware circles, there are many computer owners who don't even know Linux exists. Then even if they find out, how many shops sell Linux software on their shelves? Again, there are still lots of people who like to buy their goods in high street stores.

      I'd buy the Windows version, put the backup media aside, then install Linux, in full knowledge that if I decide to I can change to Windows with ease.

      I wouldn't want a machine without an option to install Windows on it if I want to, and that means getting the licence when I buy the machine.

      But then I must be a freak, because I like Linux and Windows XP. Ok, not Vista, I'm a freak, but I'm not crazy.

      • by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris@nOSPAM.beau.org> on Thursday September 04, 2008 @04:57PM (#24879823)

        > Surprising though it may be, outside of technically aware circles, there are many
        > computer owners who don't even know Linux exists.

        Outside of technical circles most people only know Windows exists from the PC vs Mac commercials. Try an eeepc and you will know understand that if properly preloaded the average person can use Linux just fine, especially on these new small machines where running 3D shooters isn't going to be an option anyway.

        > I'd buy the Windows version, put the backup media aside, then install Linux...

        Thats you. Me, I am typing on this Thinkpad that we wasted money on an XP Pro license for that MIGHT have accumulated twenty hours of use in four years, because we didn't have a choice. Then I probably blew more than a man day on getting Linux up and fully twiddled. Gimme a preload anyday and keep yer stinkin Windows sticker. Now if Dell would sell one preloaded with XP AND toss in a Linux recovery disc I'd think about it. Somehow I suspect Microsoft won't be subsidizing that option though.

    • by Taxman415a (863020) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @04:49PM (#24879681) Homepage Journal
      Not sure how you got that. If you take the linux option and add the same 8GB larger "hard drive" then it is slightly cheaper than the second option that has Windows with the same specs. If you add the 16gb drive and 1GB memory to it, then it is the same price as the third option that has windows and the same specs.

      Funny that the build your own doesn't allow you to select the OS. It would feel so good to select one of the Windows configurations and be able upgrade to Ubuntu. But with any luck once Ubuntu isn't a pre-order, you'll be able to.
    • by jellomizer (103300) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @04:53PM (#24879763)

      It is more of a fact that they need to alter the production line and put a different OS on the system. Thus costing more as it is an exception to the process. When you are mass producing things every step of customization costs more. Having Linux or Windows option means most likely the drives default come with windows on them and then there is an extra step to reimage it with Linux. This doesn't have anything to do with Linux being better or worse then Windows, or even the cost of the licenses that dell needs to pay for it is about costs of mass production. Say each Windows License costs Dell $100.00, it is quite possible the extra step in production is costing dell $120 for an exception of a Linux image (Labor Costs+Benefits, QA, support, inventory....) It all adds up.

      • I disagree. Dell has a drive-image process where they pull out any one of like 500 images (for different hardware, drivers, etc) for different machines.

        It can't exactly be rocket science for them to pull the "Ubuntu for mini9" instead of "Windows for mini9".

        I think the price difference is that the crapware they load from Google and others almost totally offsets the cost of the Windows license AND they probably tack on an additional $20 for the required support staff for Linux. Those two things combined pr

      • by corsec67 (627446)

        Um, then are you saying that every single drive in every single Dell laptop has the exact same image?

        I would assume there would be an image for every drive size for every combination of laptop hardware they sell.

        It isn't like they get imaged hard drives from the manufacturer, they have to image them somewhere, and right before they put it into a CTO laptop seems like a good time, since they could then include any updates, regardless of the OS.

        They already have like 8 colors of some laptops, so having two di

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by drakethegreat (832715)
        Or they could just leave them blank and image it after the order is place. There by removing the need to reimage and making neither more expensive to install from the technical side. Sorry I just think $120 to reimage a system in production with the default choice is absolute bull and you are stretching it. I think the reality is simply the crapware and the cheap licenses that Microsoft provides are better reasons for the price differential.
        • Also if they do pay $120 per machine to simply reimage a hard drive I want the job because that person is getting overpaid.
    • by mocoloco (1136259) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @05:04PM (#24879919)

      This irks me, if you go to the "design" tab and hit "Meet the Mini" it says "Look for Ubuntu Linux 8.04 with custom Dell interface when customizing your Inspiron Mini 9, or upgrade to Genuine Microsoft Windows XP."

      So XP is considered an Upgrade? Aaarrgh!

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by noidentity (188756)

        "Look for Ubuntu Linux 8.04 with custom Dell interface when customizing your Inspiron Mini 9, or upgrade to Genuine Microsoft Windows XP."

        So XP is considered an Upgrade? Aaarrgh!

        They probably copy-and-pasted that from the blurb for machines that come with Vista pre-installed. Simple mistake.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by noidentity (188756)

      I just love it! Go price out the same specs with Linux or Windows. The Windows machines are cheaper! Gotta love this, Linux is now more valuable than Windows!

      If you calculate in Windows' negative value, it makes sense. It would be like buying a new car that had soda spilled all over the seat, discounted because you'd have to clean the crap out before you can use it.

  • Curiously (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Thelasko (1196535) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @04:40PM (#24879545) Journal

    There are options with XP, one that includes an 8GB drive and a $40 instant savings, another with a 16GB drive and 1GB RAM that has a $55 instant savings. Curiously the Ubuntu systems...

    Aren't eligible for "instant savings."

    Instant Savings= money we pass on to you for loading bloatware?

  • The discounts on the two windows based versions equal out the cost of configuring the Linux version exactly the same. The resolution of the screen is 1024x600 making it slightly better than some competitors.
    • by Thelasko (1196535) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @04:48PM (#24879669) Journal

      The discounts on the two windows based versions equal out the cost of configuring the Linux version exactly the same. The resolution of the screen is 1024x600 making it slightly better than some competitors.

      I don't know how you configured yours, but if you specify everything:
      1GB DDR2 at 533MHz
      16GB Solid State Drive
      Built-in Bluetooth 2.1 capability
      Integrated 1.3M Pixel Webcam

      Windows=$479
      Ubuntu=$494

      • You get $55 off on the Windows machine, bringing the cost to $424 before shipping. The $55 off does not not apply to the Ubuntu selection.
        • by Thelasko (1196535)

          You get $55 off on the Windows machine, bringing the cost to $424 before shipping. The $55 off does not not apply to the Ubuntu selection.

          No, what I posted includes the discount.

          • I went through the build process for both types (Windows and Ubuntu) and was unable to get the discount on any machine with Ubuntu selected.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Piranhaa (672441)

      The MSI Wind and Asus eees (minus the 7xx versions) come with 8.9 inch screens and with the 1024x600 resolution as well. The Acer Aspire One is the same. Not sure how Dell's is any better. Now that it's released I think I may go with the 6-cell Acer Aspire One. I can't believe Dell didn't include F# keys and instead left a high 2-3inch gap above the keyboard. Poor planning on Dell's part IMO.

  • HTPC Capable (Score:2, Interesting)

    by hlopez (220083)

    I saw on the specs that it has a vga port. Could these computer serve to dish out divx and hi-def video from a wireless server? Is the chip-set capable of tv out with a vga2svido adapter o connected straight to a vga port on the tv?

  • ...is the 16GB SSD variant, which comes with WindowsXP. Turns out, if you get the one with Ubuntu, you get shafted. Wanna bet the Linux version won't be hugely popular?

    I'm slightly dismayed.

  • by bcolflesh (710514) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @04:52PM (#24879733) Homepage

    Cue ominous music...

  • Which window manager are they using for the Ubuntu version? I hope its not Gnome; I have nothing against it but Gnome is not really designed for this type of layout. I am very interested in something like the Remix WM [markshuttleworth.com] and would love to know if it would work on the Inspiron Mini 9.

    Does anyone have any details?

  • $99! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Thelasko (1196535) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @04:58PM (#24879831) Journal

    If you can wait until 6 a.m. Central tomorrow, Sept. 5, youâ(TM)ll be able to get a Mini for only $99 with the purchase of a Studio 15, XPS M1530 or XPS M1330 laptop through 6 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 9 (U.S. only).

    yourblog [direct2dell.com] found via endgadget. [engadget.com]

  • Available in the UK (Score:4, Informative)

    by Dan100 (1003855) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @04:58PM (#24879837) Homepage
    It's on dell.co.uk [dell.com]. Only one model listed, the XP SP3 1 Gb ram 16 Gb SSD version, for £299 ($530 equivalent).
  • I wish I knew somebody who wanted a dell laptop; because the 99 dollars to add a mini to select laptop orders is a sweet deal. Aside from that, this looks like a competent but not overwhelming entry to the netbook field.
  • by superid (46543) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @05:05PM (#24879927) Homepage

    I just ordered mine a few minutes ago and got my order confirmation. The anticipated shipping date is October 10Th !!!!!

  • I would recommend going with the middle option. With Linux flash support just passing at best, the lowest model just hits the minimum requirements as specified by Adobe. http://www.adobe.com/products/flashplayer/productinfo/systemreqs/ [adobe.com] The middle setup with the 1GB of RAM would make this a lot smoother.
  • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @05:18PM (#24880103) Homepage Journal

    I bought a Dell Inspiron 8000 in 2001. For $2200, it came with a 15" 1600x1200 screen, the first one in an under $5000 notebook. I knew I was buying a PC that would stay "current" for quite a while (despite its P3/1GHz and slowish CD-R). But if I want to jump to the next higher resolution now, 1920x1200 (1080p), I've still got to spend well over $2500.

    After the past 7 years, in which notebooks, TVs, projectors, phones, iPods and everywhere else I look have made substantial LCDs a huge mass market, why aren't these things cheap yet?

    I don't really need a palmtop PC to take everywhere. I'd rather keep my phone with me all the time, and use it as a remote and mic/earphone when I'm near a PC (maybe booting the PC off my own secured Desktop stored on the phone). If P4/2GHz/1GB/GPU notebooks with 1080p (1920x1200) screens 15" or bigger were $500 each, I'd buy a bunch of them to leave in my usual haunts, instead of schlepping them around.

    How long must I wait?

  • by Sockatume (732728) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @05:24PM (#24880179)
    US only, alas, but they're practically giving them away if you order them at the same time as another Dell computer apparently. Pretty damn attractive, IMO.
  • First, it is good that Dell continues to learn from Apple. Create products with a profit margin to make a profit. While Dell has to sell the no profit, they have the voluntary contribution program in the white laptops. I hopes this helps the stock.

    Second, we have never a seen a better example of the MS kickback. In exchange for exclusivity, it is clear that MS is offering some financial incentive. Linux is only sold on the smallest machine. It makes no sense for Linux not to be sold on all machines,

    • by klossner (733867)

      Linux is only sold on the smallest machine.

      You've got that just backwards. Linux is sold on any size machine -- click "Build Yours" and you can increase disk and memory. However, Windows is available only on the machines with larger disk.

  • by TheGreatGraySkwid (553871) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @05:32PM (#24880301) Homepage

    I was actually considering one of these until I took a close look at the keyboard.

    They moved the quote key.

    Look at it! The '/" key has been relocated from right next to your pinky to somewhere weird! How the fuck am I supposed to touch type with that monstrosity? WTF!

    Anyway, buyer beware.

  • by davidsyes (765062) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @05:38PM (#24880377) Homepage Journal

    It seems that mini-laptops such as these almost REQUIRE the user to carry extra/external storage media/um. If one is to put Mandriva or PCLinuxOS, or SUSE or Fedora, etc, on it, say, and add even just 1/2 of the available popular mag-distributed DVDs, one would be short on space in a short period of time after adding personal /home/user/user's-files.

    Another thing: I am soooo sick and tired of those kiss-ass computer makers running adverts such as "[Dell/Toshiba/Fujitsu/Sony/HP/et al] recommends microsoft (operating system) (for all your computing needs)", as IF there is no Linux/FreeBSD/BSD available. IF windows WERE all there was, then there'd be no NEED for ms to payola these guys to even say such slogans/subliminal types of messages.

    It would be nice if some of the US advertising laws would have to follow some European laws where product placement cannot disparage or misrepresent other competing products. Even better, it would be nice if some products (such as operating systems) were required to list at least 4 (or some number of) competitors or near-competitors. This way, mshaft would not keep getting the near-free ride they get.

    If those adverts said, "microsoft recommends vindoze wista instead of (Ubuntu/Mandriva/PCLOS/Red Hat/SUSE/Fedora/et al) for all your computing needs (such as surfing wired or wirelessly, burning CDs/DVDs/watching DVDs, creating web sites, writing programs, composing music, managing servers, doing some CAD, hosting content, learning to type, studying astronomy, and a few dozen other things that ALL of these OS' can do equally as well as or better than our own wista).... See you sales person for a demo/floor comparison!", why, then Linux/Open Source would probably finally get some improved/increased professional polish, Linux-specific vendor drivers, more press, and increased loosening of ms' illegally-obtained near-death-grip control of the market.

    Now, if only Linux land comes up with a true end-user WYSIWYG database/front end like Lotus Approach. If only i could legally get my hands on win XP pro to replace vista (the piece of crap it is, using 1.5 GB RAM and nothing to show for it relative to XP -- and to Linux as regards graphics bells and whistles), which is crippling two of my Lotus SmartSuite apps....yeh, IBM might have released patches, but STILL....

    Finally, what'll REALLY be awesome for mini-/mid-full-size laptops/portables will be unpluggable/swappable video chip modules so that users can get more out of their graphics-related task software. Not necessarily to increase time between hardware upgrades, but to give more flexibility for situations when weaker video options limit us. For example, it would be nice to not have to buy external bulky video splitters. My backpack already is at 35 lbs, what with my 8.5 lb, 17-in display, dual-hard drive Gateway, my mouse, 3DConnexion, several books, about 2 inches of 8.5x11 papers, adapters, USB tip converters, index cards, and other miscellaneous stuff, with enough space to stuff in my lunch. Hell, even when I carried my 2001 Sony Vaio, in another, smaller back pack, with a portable Canon printer and wedge-like surge strip, one of my friends asked, "Man, what the *fuck* you got in there? You look like a BACKPACK bomber"...

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