Dell Inspiron Mini 10 and the Toshiba Mini NB305-N410BN
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If you're looking for a capable netbook, you'll find both the Dell Inspiron Mini 10 and the Toshiba Mini NB305-N410BN ready to deliver. Which one you choose depends on what you value more, potential upgrades or head-turning design.
Dell Inspiron Mini 10 netbook
The Dell Inspiron Mini 10 is a highly-configurable 10.1-inch netbook and is the newest version of the popular release from Dell. It features an upgraded CPU and its performance is highlighted by its lengthy battery life. Features are standard, but you can add more onto the base configuration's starting price of $384. The Mini 10 comes with a one-year warranty on parts and labor and technical support online or through Dell's 24-7 toll-free line.
When purchasing the Mini 10 from Dell's website, you have plenty of upgradable options. For this review, however, we will go over the base configuration, which starts at $348. The base Mini 10 comes with a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom N450 processor, which is an upgrade from the previous generation N270 and N280 processors from Intel that found their homes in older netbooks.
While the N450 processor does improve performance in terms of battery life, which will be discussed shortly, it does not provide much more in the way of speed. You can expect netbook-type performance, meaning you should not try to run too many programs at once, and you can also expect some lag at times. The Mini 10 should suffice for common tasks like Internet browsing, instant messaging, and document editing, with the occasional multimedia too. Trying to do more intensive tasks than those might result in a frustrating experience, especially if you're impatient.
Only 1 GB of DDR2 SDRAM is on board to help with multitasking. At least 2 GB would have been a nice. Graphics are supported via an Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 2150 card. Storage is supplied with a 250 GB hard drive to hold your important files and data.
Battery life is quite good, thanks to the N450 CPU's improved power management. You can expect around nine hours of usage when the system's six-cell battery is fully charged, making the Mini 10 an optimal companion for students or travelers who require time away from an outlet. For the operating system, the basic Windows 7 Starter is pre-installed. This edition gives you some Windows 7 perks, but is not as good as the Home Premium Edition that some other netbooks employ.
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