The Motherloot Blog: Product Reviews

Review: Dell’s Tiny, Inexpensive, & Earth-Friendly Computers

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Ok, I admit it. We have more computers in our house than people. While it’s nice to be able to read up on the latest celebrity gossip from anywhere in the house, one thing that is always in the back of my mind is the amount of energy we’re burning. My husband swapped the some parts in his desktop with some energy-efficient replacements, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Recently, we had the chance get our hands on two really interesting computers from Dell that are built specifically to address the Earth conscience consumer. First up is the shockingly tiny Inspiron Mini 9. To give you a sense of its size relative to “normal-sized” laptops out there, I took this picture:

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That’s the tiny little Dell on top of my husband’s 17″ laptop from work. On either side are two 15.4″ laptops which are the most common size sold. As you can tell, it looks almost like a toy compared to the others. Also, unlike my husband’s behemoth that he has to haul around, this machine weighs just a little over 2 pounds. Even so, I was surprised how nicely it was built.

We had a family get together where I passed it around. Everyone was shocked at the size and that it was a fully functioning laptop. Sure, the hard drive and memory is small and it doesn’t have a CD drive, but it’s perfect for everyday tasks like email and surfing the net. Actually, my father-in-law immediately started pricing them out immediately after seeing it as he travels all the time and having something that easy to carry would be a huge benefit.

That brings me to the other huge plus for this laptop: the price. Starting at just $249, it’s one of the least expensive out there. Adding options like more memory and a bigger hard drive can double the price, but that’s still incredibly cheap.

dell-inspironDell has also released a very cool desktop computer along the same lines call the Studio Hybrid. Boasting it as their most energy efficient desktop ever with 70% energy savings over a typical desktop, they’ve really gone to extremes to make sure it’s as Earth-friendly as possible. Arriving in tiny packaging that’s 95% recyclable, I honestly kept looking for a big box that would have the actual computer. What I found instead was a computer less than 8 inches high and less than 3 inches wide. That’s smaller than some books I’ve read. It’s so small we actually placed it next to our Nintendo Wii and hooked it up to the TV.

The design is definitely chic and like nothing I’ve seen before. They come with your choice of a rainbow of colors and you can even get it wrapped in leather or bamboo. If you get tired of one color, you can buy one of the other shells and swap them out like a Swatch watch.

Again, the tiny size means a tiny starting price: $399. Unlike the Mini 9 laptop, there are a lot of options that you can pack into the box. Pimp it out with everything, like a player for Blu-Ray movies, and the price will easily skyrocket to $1300. On the upside, this means you’re not limited to a low powered machine if you need some extra “oomph”.

With the energy efficiency and low starting prices, both of these computers are extremely appealing to me. Though they wouldn’t fit everyone’s needs, I would highly recommend considering one if they fit yours. If that’s the case, I’d start your shopping at Dell’s online outlet, which usually has both of these available at even better prices.

Website For More Details: Dell


1 Comment

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  1. 1

    My husband was pricing these out a while back, and I had never heard of them. I told him we didn’t need another computer (we both have laptops for work + a desktop @ home) and we let a steal of a deal go by. I started reading up on them afterwards and kicked myself for passing it up. These seem really great for just checking emails/web and I’m seriously considering buying one the next time a great deal comes along. I didn’t realize how small they were; thanks for the photo comparison!

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