Dell’s Mini 10 Packs a Punch


Many of you have been keeping track of the Mini 10 since we previewed some details at CES. Starting today, we’ll begin taking preorders from customers in the United States through QVC. U.S. online availability through will follow soon after—it’s scheduled for February 26.  We’ll begin shippping next month. The regional schedule will vary, but the Mini 10 will be available to Dell customers worldwide in the future.

It comes standard in Obsidian Black, but we offer Alpine White, Promise Pink, Cherry Red, Ice Blue and Jade Green as color options. Mini 10 pricing starts at $399. With the 3-cell battery, its starting weight is 2.86 lbs.

Update (2-26): The Mini 10 is now available for order at

The Mini 10 will be available with two Atom processor options: the Z520 and Z530. Standard features include:

  • an integrated 1.3 megapixel webcam
  • an HDMI out port
  • integrated 802.11g Wi-Fi
  • a 3-cell 24Whr battery
  • 160GB 5400rpm hard drive
  • a 4-in-1 memory card reader

Initially, all Mini 10s will come with 1GB fixed RAM (which means it will not be upgradable), the Windows XP operating system, and a 16:9 edge-to-edge display that supports a maximum resolution of 1024 x 768. The default screen resolution is 1024 x 576, which is a better fit for the widescreen display. As far as ports, the Mini 10 features HDMI out, 3 USB ports, an Ethernet jack, a 4-in-1 memory card reader, AC Power in and 1 line out + 1 Mic-in ports.

Update (3-31): The high resolution screen is now available as an option on the US website. For $35 more, you now can opt for a 1366 x 768 display).

Update (4-30): I tweeted this last week, but forgot to update this post: The 6-cell 56W/Hr battery is now available as a $30 option. Beyond that, we now offer some designs in addition to all the color options I’ve mentioned elsewhere in this post. 

Update (8-15): Recently we just began offering a promotional Mini 10 configuration for customers in the United States with 2GB of RAM and Windows Vista Home Basic with SP1. For more details, check out my updated post on the 2GB topic here.

All Windows XP machines will ship with Windows Live Essentials and the Windows Live Toolbar. Microsoft Works will also be standard software. Microsoft Office Basic 2007 will be an option in the future.

If you prefer Linux, Ubuntu 8.04 will be an available option soon. The higher resolution 720P panel will be available as an option in the future and the integrated digital TV tuner will be available on a future model. While I’m on the subject of future options, Bluetooth, integrated GPS and mobile broadband, will all be options down the road.

I’ve been using the entry-level config for Mini 10 for the last few days. My verdict: I’m going to have a hard time giving it back. The keyboard is the first thing I noticed—at 92% the size of a standard keyboard, it’s a bit larger than the one on the Mini 9. I adjusted to it in no time. The other thing I noticed was that overall performance on Windows XP seemed really snappy. Just about all my work these days revolves around e-mail and web-based apps, and for those kinds of things, the Mini 10 was great. I installed Internet Explorer 8 and Firefox 3 and fired up several tabs to mimic what I do everyday. I used two of my favorite Twitter clients, Twhirl and Tweetdeck to have some conversations there. Beyond that, the Mini 10 performed well when I uploaded and viewed videos and  images on YouTube (even HQ and HD-quality ones) and Flickr, checked Techmeme and wrote most of this blog post on both Live Writer and the Community Server back end. Doing these kinds of activities, I was able to get about 3 hours of battery life with the standard 3-cell battery.

I’ll update this blog post as new options become available. For a bit more background on the Mini 10 and where netbooks fit in the world of mobile devices, check out this StudioDell video. And if you want to see some photos of the Mini 10, take a look here on Dell’s Official Flickr page.

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  • loupgarou2

    Only 1GB of non-upgradable RAM? COME ON!!!

  • Lionel_Menchaca

    loupgarou2: Notice I said initially.

  • Lionel_Menchaca

    ShakataGaNai: Thanks for your comment and for your patience. I tried to provide a good overview of the kind of options that will ultimately be available on the Mini 10. I will provide updates to this post as new information is available.

  • ShakataGaNai

    I appreciate you're overview of what will be available, but when will it be available.  Are we talking next week, next month, or 6 months?

  • dantes44

    Why would this laptop be available on QVC first instead of on Dell online? Doesn't make sense. Why no upgrade capability? I also have been waiting very patiently for this laptop, and the Acer Aspire One 10 is beginning to look more attractive, what with all the secrecy and stories by Dell. Please give us poor customers a break. Thank you for your information.

  • ShakataGaNai

    Well, since Dell is going to spend it's time jerking around it's customers, I'll shop elsewhere. I just went and purchased an ASUS Eee PC 1000 on Amazon. Has 1.6ghz, webcam, bluetooth, 40GB SSD, longer battery life, and all the miscelaneous trimmings. Cost me $387, cheaper than the Mini 10. Oh, and I'll have it on Monday, not sometime after "initially" expires.

    Dell: People buy machines from you because they want customization. By moving away from that model (not telling us WHEN features will be available, and making items like RAM non-upgradeable), you just make your customers go elsewhere. Why would I pay $399 for a Mini 10 that doesn't have everything I want, and wont for an unknown amount of time, when I can have an Eee PC tomorrow, for cheaper.

    If anyone is interested, this is what I bought:

  • psynnott

    Poor.  There is absolutely no reason to firstly have fixed ram.  This is a major turn off for me.  Secondly, 1gb?  Just not good enough.  You know people want 2gb, why make them wait?

    I'm disappointed and I'm going to have to reconsider whether I want to wait or just get something now.  Oh well.

  • msung330

    That's pretty sad.  No 1GB RAM upgrades, none of the "good" features available now (HD screen, GPS, SSD, even Bluetooth?), only vague "coming later" promises, from a company who defined user customization and hardware choices.  And if prices start here, how expensive will it be when these features eventually get added?  Why even have the HDMI output if you can't view HD content on the screen and/or if you might not have the horsepower to decode and play it to an external output device?

    Where did Dell go wrong?  This reminds me of the M1330; announced too early, and by the time they finally shipped the darn thing, competitors had already launched thin-and-light offerings with upgrades.

    Seems like the Samsung NC10 and 1000HE are the way to go (better feature set, better price, available today).  Tsk tsk Dell.

  • lenkun

    Here is the official dell site with specs.


    I am disappointed that it doesn't offer the following.

    1. No Linux option yet

    2. No 2GB Ram option (Which means you can forget about future upgrades such as running Vista or Windows 7)

    3. No Solid-State-Hard-Drive option, which means poor battery life and a bit more noise from the running fans.

    4. 1.3MP camera?  Where's the 2.0MP?

    5. Needs a higher resolution than 1024×576.  There won't be much room for a browser after a few toolbar add-ons.

    6. No Firewire, VGA, PCMCIA,, and 56K modem support

  • prentiz

    Could we get some clarity on what you mean by "non-upgradeable" RAM. Does this mean that, like the mini9, you can only order the mini10 with 1GB RAM, but that the SIMM slot is still accessible? That would seem fair enough to me. If, however, it means that Dell has specifically changed the design to prevent the installation of more RAM, for example by soldering in the existing RAM, or other changes to the system to prevent it, this would be totally unacceptable.

    I've put off buying a Mini-9 since the announcement of the mini-10 and I'd be really annoyed if Dell have downgraded the upgradeability!

    Its also annoying that we don't have an indication as to when peripherals and upgrades will become available. I've already waited some time to buy the 10 – at least an indication as to timescale for things like the 6 cell battery would be greatly appreciated. Otherwise its back to waiting for internet rumour to tell us what's going on, and the nagging temptation that really I ought to just buy the new EEE PC…

  • Zorviny

    Lionel: I appreciate Dell relaying this information to the
    customers, but I have to say I am seriously underwhelmed, which seems
    to be the case for the rest of the markets response to this news.


    People come to Dell because they sell highly customizable products.
    It seems wrong to tease a product as Dell has done with the Mini 10,
    and then to release it crippled, with all of the noteable features from
    CES missing.

    Of the items listed, the version to be released will have 4 of the features mentioned… I was seriously going to spend part of my income tax refund on the mini 10, but it looks like I am going to have to look elsewhere.

  • msung330

    Ah, I guess pricing was spilled on QVC.  $449 preconfigured gets you 1.6 GHz Atom Z530, 1GB RAM, 160GB HD, 10.1-in 1024×576.  Hmmm, definitely no HD screen, no GPS, no TV tuner, but I wonder about 802.11 and BT (probably included).

    Well, thankfully the pricing isn't all *that* bad, but the Asus 1000 HE at $399 with a much bigger batt, 1024×600, etc. I think is still the better choice.  If Dell can add the GPS unit and HD screen and keep the price only marginally above the competition, they might have a winner here…  but I'm guessing it'll take some time to roll it out (look at the blog piece above), and the competition presumably won't sit still either.

  • steve.bogdanski

    The qualification of "initially" just doesn't cut it…

    For how long Dell has been hyping this system, it's "initial" offering is not only sub-par but completely a waste of time.  I hope no one is foolish enough to purchase this product until Dell get's it's act together and stays a bit more true to it's history (customization) and it's word (hype about this product we've been hearing for 3 months).

  • Iron_Hide

    What a terrible waste! I simply cannot believe that Dell released the Mini 10 as a lame Duck!


    Like many others, I was eagerly awaiting the release of this device since it was revealed at CES.


    I am absolutely shocked and dismayed that Dell would release this machine in it's current crippled state. This is just not good enough, you are literally driving people away towards the competition, which as we all know in this market segment, is fierce.


    Shame on you Dell! A wasted opportunity – I for one will be looking elsewhere for my next Netbook. I was SO looking forward to the Mini 10!Angry

  • tmbrbeest

    i'm disappointed too but WAIT, on their webpage, it reads 2GB RAM at a later date.  i hope they deliver on that promise.

    also, runcore might be making SSDs to replace their mechanical hard drives.

    Coming Soon

    The following Inspiron Mini 10 features will be available at a later date:

    • HD capabilities – Enjoy your favorite movies on the optional 720p Hi-def 10.1¨ seamless display.
    • More Storage – Do even more with optional 2GB memory and optional 250GB2 hard drive.
    • Navigation – Know your way like the back of your hand using the optional GPS with optional internal WWAN support.
    • Design Studio – Personalize your Mini 10 with cool designs from the artist, Tristen Eaton, in Dell’s Design Studio.
    • Long
      battery life – No need to sacrifice weight for battery life. The
      Inspiron Mini 10 provides extended battery life while keeping the
      weight of the system under 3 pounds. 3-cell: approx. 3 hours. 6-cell:
      approx. 6.5 hours.
    • The New TV – Watch your favorite TV shows with the internal digital TV tuner.
  • scottwilkins

    I'll agree somewhat with most here.  But, I am patient, so the features announced but not yet offered don't bother me too much.  Some folks are just too impatient.

    BUT, the lack of upgradable memory?  That's a slap in the face of your customers, especially the loyal ones.  Bad move.  Very bad move.  Sure, a Netbook is supposed to be limited.  But this limitation is not one seen on most other netbooks, and is totally unacceptable.  Dell is slowly but surely loosing my interest as a customer…  And, YES, I am a corporate buyer, so I buy a LOT of computers.

  • Iron_Hide

    Sad, Sad, Sad……………………that's all I can say. I was really looking forward to the Mini 10 and Dell went and released it absolutely crippled. Dell…..WHAT were you guys THINKING!!

    Guess I'll go buy me an HP 2140…………….

  • msung330

    Whoa, just priced one up (well, you can't really customize it, but…)

    Dell Mini 10, black, Intel Z530 (1.6GHz), 1024×576, Win XP home, 1GB RAM not upgradable, 160GB HDD, 802.11g, no Bluetooth?, 1.3mp webcam, 3-cell batt.  $449.  And with an April 2 ship date.

    I'm using the Asus PC 1000HE as a benchmark.  Intel Atom N280 (1.66GHz), 1024×600, Win XP home, 1GB RAM upgradable to 2GB, 160GB HDD, 802.11bgn, Bluetooth, 1.3mp webcam, huge 6-cell battery. $375.  Available now.

    (a) anyone know the differences between the chip and chipset combos here?  Z530 vs. N280?  Also any comments on the performance of the integrated graphics?  I think they're different?

    (b) what's up with the 1024 x 576?  I though WSVGA is standard 1024 x 600?

    (c) I could have swore there was no Bluetooth option in the Dell Mini 10 config?

    I'm pretty disappointed with the pricing too…  the Mini 10 looked pretty promising when they announced it, but I think alternatives are stronger and cheaper.

  • taffman

    Yes, waited and now disappointed. I want two of them, one for my own use travelling on business and one for my motor home.

    I do hope they bring out the features they promised like the GPS etc as well as the mobile broadband. Without this its not much more than a dumb laptop. Wifi does not exist every where.

    But how long do I wait, need it in the next two months max and then its off to another supplier. Shame as I have always been a Dell supporter and have found their gear good to excellent but this time, they really have missed the goal posts. My XPS M1730 is fantastic, the three desktops all XPS and an old Inspiron 8100 at home have been great.

    But I expect Jo Soap public will buy them in ignorance as the new feature in waiting are not exactly advertised well. It will create bad feeling amongst those who buy early only to find they have bought the bog standard base model when a much better version was due out. Bad publicity for Dell and word of mouth will kill it dead.

  • taffman

    Perhaps they need to claw back some cost, short of cash so they release the bog standard version, get some cash then await the new graphics chip, new motherboard to support it and the better processor lurking in the background. Then we may see the mini 10 we want.

    But when? Would be nice to have an update on this.

  • charlie_bravo

    I have been looking for a netbook. I would like to stick with a US company to help with local jobs which are becoming scarce. Yes, I know these are made overseas but at least more local folks benefit and it is nice to have pride in an American product.

    So the Mini 9 looks real promising and the price is right.. I find it at Sams Club and Dell for a great price. Reality strikes… I'll have to wait 4 weeks for delivery!?! A month? In a world where products are obsolete the moment you buy them.

    Then I see the CES info about the Mini 10 with GPS, 720p… and the Dell site. Wow, the specs are impressive, maybe I'll by one of these. Reality srikes again…I find on the Dell site that most of the features annouced at CES are not available. I didn't bother to check delivery time.

    Guys… home team, this is really disappointing. I can grab an Acer netbook at Walmart for <$300. I can drive over there right now, pick one up and have it running in an hour. I could be on my exercise bike tonight, reading news and watching vids on it as I burn away this American fat.

    I guess I'll try HP next. Michael, I'll be back but you have to fix this. I know you can do it.

  • dcheong

    Still no news on when all the optional features will be available?

    Lionel: can't you just give us a clue as to when we can expect the upgraded mini 10s to be available? is it going to be weeks, months, half a year, 2012?? All I really want is the 2GB RAM, 720p display and the 6 cell battery.  I need a new laptop within the next 2 months or so, and I would really like to buy the mini 10 because I honestly do like it and think it will be a great netbook.  But if it is still not available by then, then I will have to go look for another one.  So please…  you don't need to give us an exact release date, just a clue as to when the upgrades could possibly be available.  I am willing to wait a little bit, but I really need a new laptop soon.  So just tell me… should I wait or not? Will it be available in the next 2 months or not?


  • taffman

    Samsung NC310 comes out here in the UK in May with a nice spec. At £399 it looks like the Samsung for me unless Dell get their act into gear.. Dell has miised the boat with their offering.

  • brentonboy

    Everywhere on the internet that I have heard about the Mini 10 I have heard the same thing. Video reviews, comments on various websites, even the comments here. Anger at the fixed RAM, the price, the absurdly large non-SSD hard drive, the resolution, and the lack of timeframe for the updates.

    Yet I have not seen any sort of response from Dell that addresses this unanimous upset head on. I think we deserve some sort of explanation. Be honest with us. Personally, I got burned with the Mini 9 and it's horrible placement of the quote/apostrophe key, and was looking forward to the larger keyboard on the 10. But this is absurd, I have no motivation to buy this instead of a netbook from a different company. Does Dell really think this netbook is able to compete with the netbooks that were released a year ago? I get the feeling that Dell realizes this is a flop, but can't admit it for marketing reasons.

    If Dell fixed the problems that have been unanimously pointed out, maybe it would have an edge, but if it is going to take 6 months, it's going to be too late.

  • dantes44

    I recently contacted Dell to inquire on the availability of the Studio One 19 desk top, and on a possible date for the update of the Mini 10.  I received no answer to either question.  I have been patiently waiting to buy both these American products -albeit made in China- but Dell's marketing ploys are abyssmal.  How about giving the public exact dates as to when a product is going to be available in the USA, not in China or Japan – and one must wonder why a suppossedly American product is sold first in a foreign country – and when a product such as the Mini 10 is going to be upgraded with all the bells and whistles promised. 

    I am beginning to lose patience with Dell and go for a netbook made by a competitor.  At least they are readily available and one does not have to wait and see when Dell is going to tell the public about its products.  And we wonder why American companies are having such a hard time.

  • kako13

    When I'm going to be able to buy what I want?

    Dell Mini 10"

    2GB RAM

    Is so hard install 2GB stick on a Mini 10"!


  • taffman

    I am totally underwhelmed.

    Does Dell not realise the feed back on this and the need for more news on this product. Why no 2Gb RAM, why other promised parts not available. The blog entry is of little use. So what about the Hi Res screen. I am sure more people would be interested in the other options such as the 2Gb Ram, GPS, Mobile Broadband, I certainly am. The term future in the blog to me means 6 months plus. if at all.

    Come on Dell, you really are missing the point of all this. Perhaps sales of the Mini 10 are so good they don't feel the need to upgrade it. Shame. It really does look like my money will be going to Samsung in May. That's two sales lost and I think it will be the same for my replacement desktop and laptop for my son.

  • dcheong

    I absolutely agree.  The lack of any sort of response is incredibly frustrating and off-putting.  I see that the 72-p display has just been introduced, that's a good start.  But seriously, as kako13 mentioned… how hard can it be to stick 2GB RAM into this computer.  I will give a dell till the end of april, but I have already started looking at other netbooks.

  • CapitalCreationGroup

    Yep, not having the 2GB of RAm is what's stopping me from buying this for my entire family which is about 12 of them.

  • kako13

    Yep me need more memory!

  • kako13

    Yep we need more memory!

  • brentonboy

    Me too. There is no way I'm going to buy a netbook with less than 2GB ram that is not upgradable. Does Dell think I'm a complete idiot? Get out of bed with Microsoft, Dell.

  • CapitalCreationGroup

    The reason why we want this 2GB of RAM is to be prepared for Windows 7! Dell should relized that TONS are returning the first run because it's not worth having since it's not built for future use.

  • amitvaria

    If there's a better place to voice our request for the upgraded RAM option, let me know. I'm ready to purchase the moment they offer atleast 2GB. Like other's have mentioned here, the main reason is that I want to throw Windows 7 on this guy.

  • Lionel_Menchaca

    amitvaria and others: This is the right place to let us know you want a 2GB option. One other place is this IdeaStorm thread:

    I can definitely say our folks have seen the comments on here and in other places around the web. We're starting to introduce new options (like the HD display, the larger 6-cell battery, and new design options). 

    2GB is on the list. So is Ubuntu. Stay tuned on this post. I'll probably do another Direct2Dell post on the topic as well. To all of you who are interested and are still waiting, I appreciate it. 

    When I have updates to share, I will. 

  • taffman

    Well that's one upgrade per month then. This model will be out of date by the time it reaches the spec promised a long time ago.

    Can you please give us some idea of when we will see the computer that Dell said they would release. Replies like soon, in the future are really not very helpful.

    I have seen the current version in shops in the UK and it is very nice but lacks the spec that I and a lot of others want or need.

    Dell's status in the computer world is sliding fast. To loose more customers or be subject to more bad press for the well known reasons is none too good for them. Why not handle this a bit better than Dell is doing now. Word of mouth sells far more computers than adverts in the pubic consumer market.

  • flyover

    So how does the 6-cell battery affect the mini 10's dimensions, weight, and heat?

  • kako13

    You named it. 2 GB for our Mini!

  • dantes44

    What are the fun and games in the USA you are alluding to?  Are you implying that you and the rest of Europe are paying for anything here?  Are you expecting the product to cost the same in the UK as it costs in the USA?  Aren't UK products cheaper in the UK than they are in the USA?  Of course they are.  Same rule applies in reverse.

  • taffman

    How is the Mini 10 affected by the six cell battery in the UK, well its the equivalent of $56 here. A little difference to 30 in the USA.


    Looks like Europe is funding the fun and games in the USA again.

  • dantes44

    Reference your reply, I suggest you buy a product made in the UK, that way you won't have to fund the fun and games for us poor Americans.  Get off your silly high horse.  Don't buy Dell, buy something made in the UK, that way it will be cheaper and you can stop whining about Americans.

  • taffman

    Do you know where the components are made? China may be ?

    The hardware sold in Europe is assembled in Poland now. Was Ireland but it got expensive for Dell to be there.

    Where are Dell computers assembled for the USA ?    Where are most of the components made. Not the USA I suspect.

  • taffman

    Oh dear, never mind.

    You completly missed the point. Best leave it then.

    But thanks for the sugesstion, I am sure Dell will be happy with it !

    Have a nice day. 

  • taffman

    Thanks for the information, very interesting and looking forward to seeing them released here in the UK.

    Sorry to be a bit cheeky, any news on the GPS feature as this is the last item I would like to finish off my configuration of the Mini 10.

    I would like it for use in my motor home and the GPS function would be really useful. I have found it very nice in my XPS1730 as a side function of the mobile broadband module but the 1730 is a little bit big to use on the dash board.

    Thanks again.

  • kako13

    that's nice, but when we are going to be able to upgrade the machine memory  to 2GB Ram?

  • taffman

    Back to the Mini 10 then, any news ?

  • mgmacmurray

    Please tell your support reps that the Mini 10's 1GB of RAM is NOT upgradeable. I asked 3 different 'online chat' reps to confirm the maximum supportable RAM and all 3 said the user could upgrade the RAM to 2GB.

    Wajid 1581, Srinivas 1307, Sastry 1286


  • CapitalCreationGroup

    Whenever the 2GB of RAm is available, Dell better UP their production because they will get a SURGE of orders! Please bring out the 2 GB of RAM, waiting to use that with Windows 7 Ultimate! MS finally has a winner, now Dell needs a winner with the perfect 10.

  • CapitalCreationGroup

    Dell really needs to bring support BACK into the good OL America, outsourcing it have really destroyed my trust and satisfaction with Dell support. Sad

  • kako13

    um yep coming soon 2020

  • Phil937

    I just ordered a new Mini10 based upon the sales reps assurances that it is now possible to upgrade the memory. 

    To quote him "you just have to pop out the existing memory and put in new ones.  The rep sitting next to me just did it with his Mini 10 and it now sizzles" 

    When I asked him why the support rep that I spoke to said that it couldn't be upgraded, he said (and again I quote) "We were not sure that it would work, so until we found out that it would, it was better to be wrong about it than possibly lie about it." 

    Did he lie just to get me to buy something or are they now shipping Mini 10's with removable memory or are employees getting a special version? 

    Has anyone out there received one in the last week our so and checked the memory?

    Talk about getting confused and frustrated. 

  • DELL-Todd S


    Since I wasn't part of that conversation I can only guess that there were differences in what each meant by "upgrade".  There are websites out on the 'net that show the process of how to pop out memory from one of the Mini's and upgrade it to a 2mb chip, but its also something that we don't support officially.  If something happens to the Mini when you're doing these modifications yourself it can, and will, void any warranty on them.

    So both are right in what they meant to convey.  I know people here that I work with that have done it successfully, but it wouldn't have been right for the support tech you were speaking with to explain how to do it since that could quite easily lead to problems with your system.  As soon as a Dell support tech starts those conversations its too easily confused with implicit support of those modifications.

    I hope this clears up the misunderstanding. 

  • Phil937

    The Mini 10 uses a daughter board with the processor and memory all in one.  Bottom line, Not upgradable to 2MB

  • DELL-Todd S

    Ahh, sorry, my bad then.  They must have been discussing one of the Mini 9s, which is what I have.

  • taffman

    Almost at the end of another month. Will we see more news on the Mini 10 with the items being released that have already been promised. We will see Huh?

  • dvinas

    I recently purchased a Mini 10.  Went to the website, and customized the most expensive model.  I was not given a choice of battery, and had to take the 6-cell.  Unfortunately, as I hadn't been following the discussions, I didn't realize that this was an "upgrade" from the original battery, but just thought it was the standard battery.  I looked at all the photos, checked the dimensions, and ultimately chose to purchase this netbook.  When I received it, there was a huge "roll" sticking off the bottom of the laptop.  It is completely unusable for my purposes.  The height is almost double in the back, it elevates the keyboard to an uncomfortable typing angle, and it won't fit into the nifty case I bought for it.  I am absolutely furious at Dell, and have spent over 6 hours on the phone with various "customer service" agents, who basically all tell me it's my own fault for trusting Dell.  I escalated to several supervisors, who all quoted return policies and claimed this was not Dell's fault, despite the clearly misleading marketing information and technical specs. 

    As evidence, go to this link: and then click the "Tech Specs" tab.  If you scroll down to "Ports, Slots, Chassis" and look at the Mini 10 Dimensions & Weight, you'll see that the height is listed as 1.0-1.1 inches (Front-Back).  Additionally, have a look at the gallery and see the various product shots, taken from all angles.  Now look at this photo: and tell me whether that looks like the same product.  No longer the sleek, sexy laptop I thought I was buying, the version I received has an unsightly tumor growing off the bottom.  This difference should be clearly stated on the website, and it should be pictured in photos.  Some customers might like this feature, and some might not (like me).  In either case, they should know what they're getting and have the option of which battery to purchase.

    All I want is to return this machine and get my money back, as it was clearly misrepresented on the website.  Nowhere is there a photo with the new battery, and if you choose the high-end Mini 10, there is no choice of battery, and indeed, no indication that there is anything unusual about what you will receive.  I am being told that I will have to eat the 15% restocking fee.  I have spent the equivalent of the entire purchase price in my time dedicated to trying to resolve this issue, to no avail.  Dell customer support is the worst I have encountered in recent history.  I am tired of dealing with unprofessional reps in the India call center.  I am tired of being told that I "should have known" the battery would be big.  (What, am I telepathic?) 

    I am an IT professional, and it is part of my job to recommend technology to my clients, not to mention my friends and family.  I am returning the laptop, and Dell can keep the $75 they are stealing from me.  But be warned, I will make sure that you lose far more than that amount in business.  In this economy, for a company like Dell to completely ignore their customers, and treat us like criminals, is utterly reprehensible.

  • LarryTru

    Hello, Thank you for your post.  I also had no idea that the 6-cell battery was so ugly.  I can also appreciate your anger and frustration.  I don't know if they offered to exchange the battery for you or whether you would have accepted that alternative with the correspondingly short battery life.  I think you've already had the intended effect though because I don't think we'll be buying one after all. 

  • dvinas

    Larry, I gave them every opportunity to correct the issue.  I offered to have them cross-ship me a different battery, but they wouldn't do it.  (I haven't so much as plugged the laptop in to charge, much less turned it on, so it's factory-new.)  They wanted me to buy the 3-cell outright, which I thought was throwing good money after bad, since the 6-cell is basically useless to me.  Then I reconsidered, thinking that maybe I could sell it to someone who actually wants it.  When I tried to buy the 3-cell, I was informed they don't sell it as an accessory, only as part of a bundle (ie. new laptop)!  I asked the salesperson what someone would do if their battery went bad, and he tried to explain that they don't view the Mini 10 as an actual laptop, but more like a PDA, phone, or other mobile device.  I said I have both a PDA and a phone, and I can buy batteries for both.  (He had no answer for that.)  He was basically implying that the Mini 10 is a disposable device, not worthy of replaceable batteries!  I ask you, who would buy a $534 disposable device? (And is this the way Dell views their netbook line?)

    In any case, I shouldn't have had to pay more money to rectify Dell's error.  All I can say is that once they've got you, they won't let you go, won't give you service, won't do anything for you unless you are willing to pay.  I've known loan sharks that had better customer service.  You are doing yourself a favor to steer clear of Dell.  They used to be a great company, but someone decided that they'd rather milk the customer for every cent rather than provide an actual superior product and service.  We've seen how well that worked for GM; now let's see how it'll work for Dell.

    [Kyle, not sure what happened to your comment, but I hope you were able to cancel your order.]

    [Dell, if you are reading this, you need to do something about this situation and not just sweep it under the rug as usual.]

  • DELL-Todd S


    If you would like to send me your order number, the service tag of your Mini, the case number where you spoke with our support group regarding this issue, and your full contact information (name, address, phone, email, etc) I'll see if someone can look into this case for you.    I don't know what, if anything, can be done to help you but hopefully they'll be able to figure out something that makes sense for everyone.

    You can PM me by clicking on my user name and selecting the option to send a message.


  • dvinas

    Thank you, Todd, for taking some positive action. I was beginning to think there were no customer-oriented folks left at Dell.  I have PMed my information to you, and appreciate your attempt to help in this matter.  I must say, I don't know what can be done, as I already returned the laptop.



  • LarryTru

    For the community's sake, I do hope you can take the time to follow through with this and let us khon what, if any, resolution results. You negative experience may still result in changes which benefit the community as a whole. thx!

  • DELL-Todd S


    I've sent out a couple emails trying to get more information.  When I know more I'll be happy to post back what I can.


  • dvinas

    Larry, Todd has been very accomodating, and it is much appreciated.  Unfortunately, there wasn't much that could be done, since I'd already returned the laptop.  I don't think that was a rash decision, under the circumstances.  As I said, I spoke with many people in customer service, tech support, sales, and, finally, returns, in order to try to resolve the issue.  If they had more folks like Todd working in any of those departments, Dell would be a lot better off.

    In general, I understand return policies, and I understand why they need to charge a restocking fee.  But this whole situation just seemed like the quintessential exception case, for reasons I've already outlined.  What I would like to see is the marketing information and ordering system updated to reflect the new battery, complete with updated photos.  If it's possible to show the different colors as the customer customizes the laptop, it should also be possible to show the different batteries.  Then you wouldn't have customers being upset about getting something different than what was publicized on the website.  I would have liked to see my full amount refunded, since Dell wasn't able to fix the problem for me.  (Again, had Todd been involved, maybe this wouldn't have been necessary, but in the end, customer service has to be responsible for the training of their staff.)  I realize that Dell would have been out a whopping $75 in this case, but they could consider that a very inexpensive consulting fee for someone to have brought a serious marketing issue to their attention.

    Hopefully they will come to their senses and fix this issue so others can avoid going through this.

  • taffman

    Looks like the 10 has slowly died. No updates, no news. Dell too busy putting paint spots on laptop lids rather than release what they said.

    Very disappointed.



  • duskstriker

    Dear July 2009,

    Please bring me a Dell Mini 10 that can be upgraded to 2GB of Ram. I have been waiting for months on top of months. I want to get rid of my tax return moneys already! (…and no the 10v won't work for me.. I want the high res screen and shweet hd)

    Patiently yourse,



    XD hehe

  • duskstriker

    Hmm… maybe I should be writing Santa instead.  =(

  • soybean.monk

    Well Dell Computers, a name brand American company are Made in China and the Tech Support comes from India. Yet these PCs are bought and used by Americans.

    I can't communicate well with the Indian tech support people. Whenever I call Dell I get a guy named Steve with an east indian accent.

  • dvinas

    In follow-up to this whole discussion, I want to note a discrepancy in Dell's pricing system.  Let's say I want the Mini 10 in Red, with the Z530 processor, HD panel, 3-cell 28WHr battery, 160GB HD, Wireless N, and Bluetooth.  I've already mentioned that it is not possible to spec out that system from the high-end Mini 10 option, because Dell only gives a choice of the 6-cell battery.  (Now, almost two months after I originally went through this exercise, this is still the same.)  If I spec it out with the 6-cell battery, it comes out to $534.  If I choose Ubuntu, I also get additional hard-drive options (250GB, 32/64GB SSD, while the XP system only offers 160GB), and a 3-year in-home warranty (!), all for $492.

    But wait, I don't want that 6-cell battery.  So if I start with the mid-range Mini 10, I get the option of which battery I want, and can upgrade the other components to the same specs as above.  Doing that, I get $662 for the XP version (remember, this is with only a 2-yr warranty), and $633 for the Ubuntu version.

    Now, ignoring the fact that the high-end Ubuntu system doesn't offer any option but the 3-year warranty, which skews the comparison slightly, the main thing I see is that I have to pay an extra $28 to get the XP version with a smaller battery, or a whopping $41 to do the same with Ubuntu.  If I try to get inside the mind of the marketing staff, I am sure they put together a couple of bundles, with what they considered the most popular features and options.  They built a beautiful website allowing customers to configure these options.  What they didn't seem to realize is that customers are not able to get what they want, at least not with consistent pricing.  Why can't I get an XP system with a 250GB HD?  Why can't I get a 2-year warranty with Ubuntu? 

    What customers really want is to have a simple system where we can choose from all of the options at once.  Having a pre-set bundle is fine, but include all available options with every configurator, so we can add/remove features, and then have the prices be consistent no matter how the end result is reached.  Whether I start with the high-end model and remove some features, or I start with the low-end model and add features, I should reach the same goal with the same price.  (And operating system should just be another feature – I shouldn't have to start over to change the O/S.)  The current system merely increases confusion and frustration. 

  • duskstriker

    Dell chat is the way to go.  =)

  • soybean.monk



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    The Dell Mini 9 is back because you can upgrade this little
    net book. With 2GB ram and a greater SSD hard drive via Run Core. The other net
    books 10v, 12 you couldn't upgrade the net books. Dell doesn’t realize
    consumers want the choice to expand their net books as they see fit (thank you
    Dell for that little slot with 2 screws underneath the Mini 9).


    Dell is a computer brand label that’s notoriously known for
    the reliability of their PCs and also for their support of alternative
    operating systems such as Linux, BSD, etc. The Dell Mini 10v is all wrong. I do
    agree that net books should have a base screen of 10 inches. I have a Dell Mini
    9 and I use this net book everyday. Due to the fact its light, it boots fast, it
    doesn’t consume too much electricity, its quiet with an SSD hard drive (no
    moving parts).


    Dell doesn’t realize what a gem the Dell Mini 9 is. The Dell
    Mini 9 has the potential to become the primo net book if they work on improving
    and tweaking it. The Dell Mini 9 only consumes about 1GW of electricity vs. a
    dual core laptop at 30GW. My Dell Mini 9 is my best friend. The Dell Mini 9 is
    the right net book it just needs slight improvements such as a bigger screen, a
    better keyboard, a real 3D graphics card (to handle 3D videogames),
    interactivity with cell phones.


     Motorola and Dell
    need to partner and create a device that’s part net book/part cell phone.

  • Matrix-2002

    It just became available with 2GB of RAM and Windows Vista Basic starting at $429 but you can't customize it with GPS or TV Tuner yet:

  • Demonista

    Conversely, the Mini 10 that is available with the GPS and TV Tuner options is limited to 1GB of RAM, a 160GB hard drive, and Windows XP Home Edition. I am ready to buy when the GPS and TV Tuner options are available with 2GB of RAM and a 250 GB hard drive.

  • Lionel_Menchaca

    Demonista: The config that we're offering now is a promotion. Don't know the plans for offering it with the other options. Will try to find out.

    BTW: Here's my post on the availability of a 2GB Mini 10 configuration for customers in the United States. And just so you know, the 250GB drive is an option. I'm checking on the status of the GPS and the TV tuner.

  • Demonista

    Lionel: Thank you for the update on the Mini 10.

  • RBHendrick

    I just received my Dell Mini 10v, which I upgraded with a number of options.  Have to say that I wish I found this message board before ordering.  The 6-cell (56 WHr) battery is definitely unsightly and unwieldy, and was an immediate disappointment when I opened the package.  Shame on Dell for not disclosing the physical change involved when selling the upgrade.  A simple photo or interstitial note would suffice.  I haven't decided if it's worth fighting with Customer Support, but am very disappinted with that element. 

    On the more "expected disappointment" level, I'm finding that either the processor or RAM is definitely a little overwhelmed with just a bit of application switching (e.g. iTunes open, IE open… don't try opening one more thing… or a background update in progress, IE, then anything extra will run/switch very slowly).  As I said, that part is somewhat expected.  I initially thought it was the 1GB RAM (which, yes, I would love to upgrade), but upon mointoring the Task Manager, it appears that the CPU (which I upgraded to the N280 1.66 GHz, 667 MHz) is frequently running at absolute full capacity (100%) far more than the physical memory is topped-out.

    On all other fronts the Dell Mini 10v is good.  Sound is surprisingly decent for such an inexpensive/small device (my expectations were really low in this area).  Keyboard is fine, touchpad is a little awkward (very close to keyboard, not very tall) but you get used to it.  Screen, outlets, and overall construction also appear to be fine.  Webcam is also great.

  • nancyth

    According to the Direct2Dell blog, the Dell Mini 10 “packs a punch”
    but that is not going to be in terms of maximum allowed RAM.  It turns
    out that the Mini 10 will ship with “1GB fixed RAM” which means that you
    cannot decide to upgrade it at a later time.  The reason behind the 1GB
    upon shipping is due to the netbook licensing requirements that they
    have with Microsoft.  That part is understood, however they are not
    required to have the RAM fixed.

    Granted, Windows XP, or Ubuntu for that matter will run (in most
    cases) just fine with 1GB of RAM, but why limit yourself when you don’t
    have to, especially when a RAM upgrade is so inexpensive nowadays.  I
    upgraded my Eee PC 1000H to 2GB of RAM for under $30.  Personally, if
    you are considering a 10-inch netbook purchase, this is great reason to
    avoid the Mini 10 and look towards another manufacturer such as Asus or