BioBooksAwardsComing NextContactBlogFun StuffHome

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Dell Mini 12 Review

If you're one of my Twitter followers (, you're aware of my purchase a few weeks ago of a Dell Mini 12. I was hauling a 15.4 inch laptop in and out of the Evil Day Job and I'd reached a point where there was so much pain, I knew I had to come up with an alternate way of writing. I had an Asus eee, but that was 8 inches and when I tried to use it to write, it was a complete fail. The keyboard was too scrunched up for me to build up any speed and hunt and peck made me insane.

I decided to go looking at what was available in light weight laptops/netbooks and I discovered there were a couple of computer makers selling 12 inch netbooks. My first laptop was about that size, and while it weighed as much as a tank, I knew the size was workable for both screen and keyboard. I decided against the ten inch because I didn't want to risk it still being too small to work on.

I comparison shopped next, looking for which companies offered a 12 inch, how much their model weighed, and price. I eliminated all the 12 inch netbooks that were in the $1000+ range. That was ridiculous! That left me with Dell and HP, and since the Dell weighed enough less to make a difference, that's the one I ended up buying.

So after about a month, what do I think of my new netbook?

Big thing is that the weight made a huge difference. I no longer have pain from hauling the laptop in and instead of carrying the case on my shoulder, the netbook fits in my tote bag. It's incredibly light and that was huge for me!

The other big thing is that the keyboard is nearly full size and I can type easily on it. The period and question mark keys are a little tiny and I have trouble hitting the right one (I usually hit both), but that's the only issue I have with typing on it.

These two things along make the purchase a total win! There are a couple of negatives, though.

I hate the touch pad. I finally found a way to turn off the scrolling feature. It was disconcerting to suddenly have the entire page scroll to the side, especially when I didn't realize the touch pad had a scrolling feature. It's better now that it's off, but I still have a problem getting the cursor to move despite adjusting the sensitivity of the pad. I'm debating buying one of those little laptop mice to alleviate this issue.

No disk drive. I ended up buying a USB plug and play CD ROM drive so I could load software to write on. Let's face it, if you're a writer, Microsoft Works doesn't cut it for word processing.

These are minor nits, though, and while the mouse thing is frustrating, it's not unworkable. The big thing is that the Dell Mini 12 is light and usable. I'm giving this purchase a thumbs up.