So yesterday my new laptop arrived. I decided to get a little Dell Mini 10 netbook as a companion to my new Mac Mini workstation. At the moment I’m at the point of selling it again though.
I found a good deal on eBay for a Dell Mini 10 with integrated wireless-n, bluetooth, 3G/HSDPA, TV-tuner, HD screen and a 6 cell battery. Additionally I liked the model because everyone seems to like the Dell Mini 10 for turning them into hackintoshes. Yeah, that’s where I was wrong.
The Dell Mini 10 has a little brother called the Dell Mini 10v (where the v stands for value). This model rarely comes with all the extras and has a atom N series processor. It turns out that my machines Z-series atom is actually the reason why I can’t run Mac OS X on it. Doh!
Now I promised myself at the beginning of the year to invest some more time in Linux, so I saw this as a good moment to try it out. I started off with Ubuntu 9.10, which is the newest Ubuntu version. After install the wifi didn’t work, neither did the graphics driver, nor the brightness controls, nor the sleep/suspend, nor the wifi, etc. I spend a few hours getting the wifi and screen to work correctly, and a hack gave me hibernation support. But by then the audio started acting up even more so I decided to do the wise thing to switch to Ubuntu 9.04 (the current long-term-support release).
I chose for the Netbook Remix release because I already started to notice that having a UI that’s optimized for a small screen and a small keyboard might be a wise plan. I managed to get everything to work pretty quickly (except for the TV tuner software) but realized that even the netbook remix doesn’t really run that smoothly on my Z530 with 1GB of ram.
Now to be fair, I’m used to machines with 4GB of ram for the least 4 years, so this is quite a step back. But the screen tearing and slow response is just sometimes killing me. So I decided to look into upgrading the RAM in this machine. This is when I realized this machine doesn’t have any upgradable RAM!
So at the moment I’m really contemplating my options. I love the built-in 3G in this machine, and the 6 cell battery is interesting, but the keyboard is crap, the upgradability sucks, and it won’t run Mac OS X.
So, what IS the best netbook out there that can run Mac OS X? Should I stick with this machine for now or maybe go back to Mac? A Macbook Air is starting to look very tempting.