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Best Bets Daily: Wednesday

Downsized Dell

Posted November 26, 2008
Last November, Best Bets Daily reviewed the U.S. debut of a then-revolutionary new laptop: the Asus Eee PC, a teeny, two-pound ultraportable that was already a smash hit in Asia. Miniaturized laptops used to cost a fortune—sometimes more than two grand—because, until Asus got smart, manufacturers insisted on including all the bells and whistles, like DVD drives and bloated Windows operating systems, when all people really want in an ultraportable is the ability to check e-mail or edit docs on the road without having to lug around a seven-pound monster. A year later, copycats in the so-called “Netbook” category are everywhere, and now even Dell has jumped into the fray with the new Inspiron Mini 9—officially our new favorite ultraportable. It’s got a great nine-inch screen, a surprisingly comfortable keyboard, a sleek Windows-free (Linux-based) operating system (though you can opt to pay more if you really want Windows), and built-in broadband wireless. It’s 2.3 pounds, measures just seven by nine inches (by 1.25 inches thick), and it’s aesthetically customizable (e.g., you can pay $25 extra for the “Pretty Pink” or “Cherry Red” casing). Best of all, the price is miniaturized too.

$349 and up at

Buy it online.


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