Your Netbook and You

Jan 17, 2009 · 2 mins read
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The Register is reporting today that Michael Dell doesn’t think you’ll like your little netbook.

“If you take a user who’s used to a 14- or 15-inch notebook and you say ‘Here’s a 10-inch netbook,’ they’re gonna say ‘Hey, this is so fantastic. It’s so cute. It’s so light. I love it,’” Dell told Silicon Valley’s tech-obsessed Churchill Club during an appearance Tuesday night. “But about 36 hours later, they’re saying ‘The screen’s gonna have to go. Give me my 15-inch screen back.’”

Right. I’ve had my netbook for exactly a week, which is longer than 36 hours, and I beg to differ. The only thing I dislike about my Dell Mini 10v is the trackpad, and that’s easily fixed with a tiny wireless mouse.

First off, I can’t imagine marketing these little machines as primary machines. If that’s been Dell’s strategy, then they’re nuts. These are not good primary machines unless you a) need very little computing power and b) intend to hook it up to an external monitor, mouse, and keyboard.


Now, Michael Dell does mention that these are good as secondary machines, and that is indeed how they should be marketed. If I know I’ve got an hour between appointments, I’ll make sure to grab my Mini on the way out the door to spend working wherever I can find some Wi-Fi. When I travel (and it does seem to be my Year of the Suitcase), I intend to take only the Mini. It’s a huge weight difference from my 15-inch Macbook Pro and much, much easier for me to deal with in my carry-on. I chose the 10v over the 10 because the “low-end” 10v has a VGA port, making it my primary machine for the countless PowerPoint presentations I give. It’s just easy to deal with on so many levels.

Is it my primary machine? Of course not. The trackpad is a pain and it’s got a 10-inch screen. I’m not crazy. But while I was killing time in the salon while my hair color baked onto my head, I was able to get a little work done on the Mini I pulled out of my purse. When I’m in my family room watching a movie and I need a quick answer from IMDB, the Mini is a lot easier to deal with than my large Mac.

So, Michael Dell, I respectfully disagree with you. I love my Mini, but I love it for all the reasons it should be used, and not the reasons it shouldn’t.


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