"Amazing netbook!"4.5 starson by dalsanto3
Pros: Fast processor (with realistic expectations)
Lightweight, VERY portable
Great price (under $400)
Windows XP / Linux options
Wireless internet and bluetooth options
Cons: There are a few awkward key compromises that take getting used to (especially moving the apostrophe key below the period and comma)
Summary: I absolutely love my Dell Mini 9; it's tiny profile is great for on-the-go computing. It runs Windows XP about as well as my office computer. However, to be fair, when asked to multi-task (say, if you have 4-6 tabs open in Firefox, start a video in Windows Media Player, and try to open Windows Explorer), you might experience a bit of a lag. This has a lot more to do with the stated limitations of the product rather than any fault of Dell or Intel in their Atom processors. They are low-drain, low-cost processors (with only 1 GB of ram) that can't do quite as much as more expensive chips found in full size laptops. However, in general, the performance is very zippy. It's not that you can't do browse the internet, watch a movie, or transfer files around. It's just that you might not want to do them all at the same time.
The screen is great. The images are crisp and clear. Also, having three USB ports its really convenient - as it allows having a hookup for a flash drive, a printer, and a CD Drive / Hard drive all at once. The glossy finish is very eye-catching (though fingerprint-prone) - and it really looks impressive.
Just as the CNET review says, the caps lock, tab key, shft, control keys are all tiny. This hasn't been much of a problem for me, as you just get used to being a little more accurate when you go to punch these keys. In all honesty, it never really slowed me down. Reviews I have read talk about the moving of keys like the dash or the F-row. In my experience, I use these keys relatively infrequently, and so it is not very frustrating at all. However, the keyboard compromise that is maddening is the decision to move the apostrophe key down to where the right alt and control button would be on a normal keyboard. This requires you to literally pick up your hand and punch the key every time you use quotes or a contraction. The other problem is that when you go to press that key where it normally would be, you end up pressing enter. So, if you're talking on gchat, and you go to click apostrophe, you'll click enter instead, sending your message. Otherwise, letters, numbers, enter, and space bar are all big enough to type on relatively comfortably.
Overall, I am very happy with this purchase. If you get one, though, just be ready to feel that any other laptop you use is heavy and clunky. This machine is perfect for watching a movie in bed, on a train or an airplane, and bringing to Panera / Starbucks to surf the web or work on a paper. Highly, highly recommended.