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Dell declares Mini-9 “end of life”



According to David Meyer at CNET, Dell has surrendered the Mini-9 to the “end-of-life” bucket.

What does this mean for the netbook, and mobile computing markets?

Dell’s 10-inch and 8.9-inch displays are the same resolution. Does this mean that netbook buyers have declining eyesight?

When Microsoft introduced the UMPC, the OEMs at the time were dual-purposing readily available low-res, 7″ DVD-player displays. Could it be that UMPCs failed because the screens simply weren’t big enough?

According to other postings around the web, netbooks are scheduled to get even slower. Does performance not matter to netbook users? I’ve used an Atom-powered PC (designed for embedded/single-purpose use) running Windows and it made my hair curl, in a bad way. Anyone who knows or has seen me, knows that’s a major feat.

You people who surf the ‘net on your phones – what is it that makes that experience acceptable to you? The slimmed-down-for-phones webpages? The fact that you’re always connected? The fact that it’s the device you always have with you? I personally can’t get behind data on my phone because a) I’m a Luddite; and b) I can’t figure out how to get useful information out of that tiny porthole of a display.

I have long been a price/performance sweetspot-chaser. In the last couple of years, the price of a full-on 15″ laptop has gotten to within spitting distance of a smaller 10″ netbook. Why do people choose the netbook when they could have a full-featured, 5-lb laptop for about $75 more?

photo courtesy Dell and CNET

photo courtesy Dell and CNET



  1. GoodThings2Life

    06/03/2009 at 5:46 pm

    An excellent series of questions, and it’s precisely what I’ve been wondering about netbooks since the beginning.

    For my own use, my 12.1″ screen on my HP 2730p is as small as I would ever get for serious use, and that’s strictly because the form factor is absolutely perfect for portability AND functionality in my office environment.

    I do have an HTC Touch Pro phone, and while I use it for texting, email, calendar appointments, tasks, and contacts, I do NOT do much web surfing on it. I keep Windows Live Messenger on it “just in case”, and I keep Remote Desktop on it which I’ve actually used a few times in a pinch.

    Still, I mostly depend on a full-size laptop at home (Dell Latitude E6400), even though the apps that are ALWAYS running are— Internet, E-mail, Messenger, and Zune. I just don’t like squinting to see my screens.

    And nobody I know uses a netbook. Not one, and despite their popularity in the market-place, I’ve never seen one in the wild either, so I’m obviously not attending enough tech trade shows or sitting in coffee shops.

  2. DP

    06/03/2009 at 6:46 pm

    As someone who lives and works in NYC, I can tell you that there’s a HUGE difference between lugging around a 2.5 pound machine versus a 3.5 or 4 pound machine — much less one that’s 5 pounds!! If something is on your shoulder or in your hands and you have to walk several blocks with it; go up and down the stairs to the subway; or run to catch a cab, an extra pound isn’t just noticeable, it can be literally unbearable. Therefore, unless there’s something for which I absolutely have to have a full-fledged machine — and as someone who doesn’t manipulate video or do anything that heavy-duty, even when at my desk — a featherweight 2.5 pound or lighter netbook allows me to get my work done in the field without regular visits to the orthopedist. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’ve long been willing to pay MORE for a lighter machine. The fact that a decently powerful notebook can now be had for LESS than a lighter machine is just gravy. And delicious gravy, at that!

  3. Stuart

    06/03/2009 at 9:23 pm

    I have the dell mini 9 and I absolutely love it. I cant say the same for a full sized laptop. I bring them both on vacation but i take the netbook everywhere i go. With built in 3G it makes being able to check email, send message, web surfing very convenient. Not a problem to do while riding on a bus or on a long taxi ride.

    It is definitely a convenience item and I really love it. Laptops have their place but if i don’t have a need for it…a netbook is a great alternative

  4. Virtuous

    06/03/2009 at 9:51 pm

    I can hold my Samsung Q1 Ultra UMPC in my 2 hands. I can’t hold my 13″ Macbook in my hands for more than a minute. My Q1 will fit in my Scottevest so I don’t need to carry around a laptop bag. Chances are I will replace the Q1 with a netbook when the time comes.

  5. Hilton Locke

    06/03/2009 at 11:12 pm

    @DP, You’re preaching to the choir on weight, my friend. When I was on the Tablet team, I was able to check out all the newest Tablets. There is a huge difference in the carry-ability of a 3.5lb vs 6lb Tablet.
    But, there are reasons users would want a larger device (more resolution, more battery life, more CPU, etc).
    If it’s my only machine, I’d stick with the traditional notebook. As an on-the-go internet access device, netbooks are more than enough.

    @Virtuous, will you miss the touch input feature of the Q1, or will you pick a netbook without touch? Is touch/multitouch even a factor in deciding?

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