A few weeks ago I got myself a Dell Mini9 netbook, purchased from Officeworks.
I actually wanted an ASUS EEE 901 but they appear to be out of production and hard to get.. Probably good I got the mini9 when I did as shortly after the mini9 stopped being made as well.
The Dell is virtually identical in specs to the ASUS, although it has a better keyboard, shorter battery life, and larger SSD.
In the USA they can be gotten with Linux pre-installed.. unfortunately I guess due to economies of scale here in Australia only XP is available, though. This problem was quickly fixed by installed Ubuntu Netbook Remix, which has worked perfectly on the mini9s hardware (wifi, bluetooth, webcam, sound, etc all work fine). In fact this distro of Linux is so nice to use I would recommend it as a general starter Linux distro for just getting general stuff done.
A few useful Dell Mini9 links:
- http://www.ubuntumini.com/ – Ubuntu on the Dell mini.
- http://www.mydellmini.com/ – Dell mini news and user forum site.
- Dell BIOS download page – given it deep links into Dells support site this link might not work very well, or for long.
Lucky I got a 9″ (aka 23.5cm) netbook with SSD now as it looks as they are getting rare, everyone moving to 10″ netbooks, which are more pricy at the moment, and/or using spinning hard disks rather than SSD storage.
After having 2 laptop hard disks fail in Thailand in 2 years – granted they were old laptops – its time to move on from clunky electro mechanical storage tech and go all solid state.
The small keyboard is not the greatest for typing anything long but fine for casual usage (web surfing, small emails, the odd command) and I really like how this is completely silent and has no moving parts.
A 16G SDHC card from MSY has doubled my storage capacity, and there is a netbook theme for MIXXX so I can have a dabble with some Linux based DJ software on it.
One thing the ASUS EEE 901 had that the Dell mini9 doesnt is a padded sleeve to protect it. I took a punt and got a cheap one from China via EBAY, it cost me $8 but is quite a nice little neoprene sleeve to stop it getting scratched.