The one-piece trackpad is new to Dell's netbook line up and though small - it's only 78 x 38mm - it has a nicely tactile surface and is pleasant to use over long periods of time. The click action is both firm and satisfying. We have heard reports that the 10v's trackpad can be a bit skittish if you are clumsy with your click-finger positioning, and though this is a fair comment, it's also a problem very easily rectified by simply ensuring that you press down on the far bottom left corner of the pad before you start moving the cursor rather than on the painted button mark, which is placed too far inboard. There's no multi-touch functionality, just the usual bottom and right scroll zones.
Nice, big keyboard
The exterior design does have one howling fault, however. Stick an SD card into the relevant slot and exactly half the card is left sticking out with its backside dangling in the wind ready to snap off at the slightest knock. This removes the option to leaving it in situ as a permanent storage addition, something you could do with both SD slots on the Acer Aspire One, one of which was completely flush while the other left the card protruding by no more than a few millimetres.
Under the hood, the Mini 10v is netbook business as usual with a 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270 processor and 1GB of DDR 2 memory. Wireless connectivity comes courtesy of 802.11b/g Wi-Fi though for an extra £15 you can spring for an 802.11n card. If you want Bluetooth, you're going to have to buy a dongle as it doesn't come built in and isn't even an extra-cost option for the 10v. The same goes for 3G cellular connectivity. For storage, Dell fits a 2.5in 8GB multi-level cell SSD. A 16GB SSD is an option too.
The 10v comes loaded with Ubuntu 8.04, or Hardy Heron to its friends. Annoyingly, Dell has fiddled with the set up so that users can't download and install Ubuntu updates or applications from the Ubuntu repository. The answer is to install 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope which works out of the box with the Mini 10v, though you do loose the Dell desktop dock - which is frankly something you can live without - and the built-in microphone. No doubt some bright spark will come up with a work around to fix the latter soon enough.
Upgrading to 9.04 also frees up more of the SDD for data storage – our machine had 2.6GB available when running 8.04, but 4.6GB following the Jaunty install.
Stick-out SD cards no good for on-board storage expansion
In terms of performance, the 10v does pretty much exactly what you would expect. Our Gimp Gaussian Blur test was dispatched in an eminently reasonable five seconds, and while the integrated Intel GMA 950 graphics core struggled with hi-def H.264 files, it managed to play a 1080i .AVI file at full screen in VLC without any problems. If HD movies are your bag, Dell will sell you a regular Mini 10 with a 1366 x 768 screen, HDMI port and GMA 500 GPU.
Famous last words
The Linux version appears now to have vanished without a trace from Dell UK's site.
Arm-twisting from the beast of Redmond?
OK, it's back on the Dell site now
They do hide it rather though....
It's a graphics world now...
Intel Video chipset...uhhhh...no.
I have only looked at a couple of these netbooks so its hard to compare plus I am from the U.S so im not sure about pounds. I spent $329. for the acer one with free shipping and $300. plus $8.00 for the Dell 10v, but the acer has much better specs for the extra $21.00 dollars.If you can buy from Amazon the then compare the Asus and also the Samsung nc10. Too me the most important issues are hhd size and battery size and I would assume they have normal Led indicators for keyboard functions. Sometimes spending a little extra money is worth it. When I got my acer I called tech support about a questions and I got through in a couple minutes and they were very helpful.
When I call dell I am always transferred numerous times and they a very unhelpful.
The Asus looks good and I would buy it if I had the extra money.
Dell Mini 10v=JUNK
I have read several reviews about the dell mini 10v before I ordered it and not one said anything about the missing leds considered standard on any notebook or netbook. It is my opinion that dell cut every corner they could to make this netbook. I have read other people having problems with the power switch. Yes the dell is pretty compared to the acer one and does have a better keyboard but thats where the compassion ends in my mind. Xp probably cant even use the 1gb ram included but if you a different os that can use my ram you have to void the warranty ( im not sure but I would almost bet money it would.) Maybe mine was a lemon but it should not of left the factory and if you have ever delt with dell they are the absolute worst unless you have a business machine.
I felled to mention my 10v crashed constantly even after I flashed the new bios and there where 2 new bios update already meaning it was not ready to be sold.
I didnt mean to offend anyone but at least some reviews are more impressed with looks than function and Its a waste of time because there short on the facts. I like the the lan switch and light on the acer one . Not having the leds would be a deal breaker for me, some people like you dont care but its nice to now.The acer one has both a larger hdd and a larger battery capacity. I would be interested in seeing some more benchmarks. They are basically the same inside so they should have the same numbers.