It's so small!
September 10, 2008 8:08 AM   Subscribe

Help me customize my Inspiron 9 (mini)

My thinking is that I can get the cheapskate version with the 4gb SSD and 512mb of memory, upgrade the memory myself, install XP myself, and slip a large CF card in to use as a semi-permanent HD. Is this a terrible plan? Any reason it's worth it to get the next size up? I don't currently own or use a webcam, any reason I may want one? Any reason to get the 1.3 MP camera over the ".3 MP" one?
posted by piedmont to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
If you want to do this, it should work fine. Keep in mind that there is no optical drive, so installing XP will require some sort of USB drive. As for the memory, it's doubtful there is more than one slot, so you will probably have to chuck the included 512M.

BTW, you might want to consider the eeepc 901.
posted by jrockway at 8:26 AM on September 10, 2008

Upgrading from 512MB to a full gig is only $25, so I'd just go for it. You're not going to find a gig stick, with shipping, that cheap anywhere.
posted by Tomorrowful at 8:36 AM on September 10, 2008

I have an EEE 7" so I have a little experience in this area.

Installing XP over USB isn't a big deal if you are familar with the command prompt and Windows in general. Hit up's forums for more info on that.

I will say that I wish my EEE had a 1.3MP camera. I use it for video chatting and the resolution is horrible.

4gb SSD is enough to hold a stripped down version of XP, Firefox, Office, and a few other small programs. There are definitely times I wish I had more internal storage, but it is bearable. I have a 16gb SD card that I use for files and it works great.

I bought a 2gb stick of RAM off NewEgg for about $40-50 I think and don't regret it at all. I actually made 512mb of it into a RAMDISK and use that to store my pagefile and Temp files. Works perfectly and the whole machine is quite snappy.

If the webcam & internal storage are sufficient for you I would recommend getting the low end version then installing XP yourself and dropping in a 2gb stick of RAM.

Just to be sure, I'm assuming you've read all the reviews on the gobs of other netbooks out there? There's probably a chance one might be better for your needs/wants. I don't know anything about the Inspiron 9, but personally I'm not a fan of Dells...
posted by nokry56 at 9:11 AM on September 10, 2008

Oh yeah, something I forgot to mention... the Windows version is cheaper than the Ubuntu version. So I don't think you'll need to install XP yourself.
posted by jrockway at 9:49 AM on September 10, 2008

I wouldn't try to replace the SSD with a large CF. You're bound to run into performance bottlenecks.

Also, get the least bit of ram you can. Expansion is minimal on those Netbooks, you can find 2GB of notebook ram very cheap. There was a 2x1GB sodimm kit for $7 today on slickdeals. There is also a 2x2GB kit for $40.
posted by wongcorgi at 1:42 PM on September 10, 2008

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