Thursday, September 8, 2011

Dell Inspiron Netbook Review

Since I work from home all of my business is done on the computer. I prefer a netbook over a desktop PC or even a full sized laptop since I travel a lot and hate lugging around a bulky laptop. For a few years I had an HP Mini 1030 but it only had 15GB of memory. I found myself juggling files constantly and buying memory cards and flash drives to store the extra information. About two months ago I decided to buy a refurbished Dell Inspiron Mini 1012. It definitely has it's good points and a bad point. 

What I like about the Dell Inspiron Netbook:

~It's a lot sturdier than the HP Mini I had. The keys are thicker and very tight and don't seem like they're going to fall off at any minute. (That's one problem I had with my HP) It's a bit heavier than the HP but that's okay. It seems like it's much better made than the other mini computer I had.

~It has 250GB of memory. Yay! No more juggling files around.

~The battery life is phenomenal. I've used it several times for over 6 hours and the battery still had 2 hours left on it.

~The screen is very clear and sharp. With the HP it seemed a bit "dull."
~It plays most games pretty well. I tend to purchase games from Big Fish Games or Popcap Games and none of these are too intense. Nothing like World of Warcraft or Call of Duty.
~The sound quality is average for a mini computer. When you plug in headphones though it's really good. On the HP it sounded awful no matter what.
~It comes with Windows 7 Starter edition which is fine for my needs. I noticed that the Wordpad program is even updated to where it works almost like a regular word processing program. On the HP is was very primitive. 
~When I loaded my music onto the Dell it shows all the album covers. That's a nice little addition and something I didn't have with the HP.

~When I open and close the lid it feels good and tight. With the HP mini I had to constantly tighten the hinge screws since they'd come loose in less than a week.

My only complaint: 

~It doesn't connect to the internet via wifi very well. Actually, it's quite frustrating. The HP mini stayed connected fine and was pretty fast. With the Dell Inspiron Mini I'll get "not responding" many times during the day. I'm talking about several times each hour. This is something that really drives me insane though I enjoy all the other features so much that I try to be forgiving. If you have any suggestions on how I can speed it up or get it to connect better please let me know.  It's so bad I thought I might have a virus or Trojan but I ran a few good adware/spyware/anti-virus programs and it came out clean.

Should you buy the Dell Inspiron mini 1012?

If you want to browse the internet quickly or play games with a lot of action then this probably isn't the computer for you. Plants vs. Zombies does well, but games with higher level graphics are very slow or don't run at all. However, if you play smaller games like I do, are a student or writer or blogger, of don't need a computer that's very fast or does too many fancy things, then this is definitely a fabulous small computer to get. Best of all, I bought both the HP and the Dell refurbished from a seller on and I paid the same for them, less than $250 including S&H. In my opinion, I got a much, much better deal with the Dell mini!

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