The Netbook has a dated design and the touch pad is awkward but however it has one advantage being the first ever Netbook to include an in built WiMax antenna. If faster Web surfing means much to you, then paying the extra $100 is worth for the Netbook. Purchasing the Netbook also depend upon where you take it as the 4G network is available in only certain locations including Baltimore and Salt Lake City. The service provider for this model does not offer service in New York City. The cost for the service are $40 and $55 every month which is comparable with 3G plan but be sure where you take it before purchasing.
Bonus is that the Netbook offers the best batter life that you would see in a Netbook. If you are not much worried about losing the WiMax capability then less costlier similar performing Netbooks are available including the Asus Eee PC 1018 which has a better design profile also.
The Netbooks design could be said as the least attractive of the four Netbooks in the 2010 back to school lineup. It has the same glossy black design but the Asus Eee PC 1018 is been redesigned now has a brushed metal lid. The other competitors HP Mini 210-1199DX and Samsung N150 have their own graphic designs. As we said above, the keyboard design is awkward but not unusable. The keyboard layout is very general with important keys including Tab and Shift having full size.
The touch pad is widened but is short just like the one we have seen in earlier HP Netbooks. The touchpad is sure to cause trouble when scrolling the Web pages up and down. Of such short space, the bottom left and right corner is occupied by the mouse buttons. They have further reduced the space available for navigation.
A software dock by default is present on to edge of the screen. It is not that essential but we appreciate it as it provides easy access for security, networking and some control panels. It includes a default selection of apps but can be customized. The dock also includes Clearwire WiMax which helps in turning the adapter on and off. The Netbook has a 10.1 inch display which has a resolution of 1024x600p which is common for a low pricing Netbook. We would have appreciated if it had a resolution of 1366×768 considering its price.
The model includes only the Atom N450 processor, 1GB RAM and the Windows 7 Starter edition. The similar pricing HD Mini 210 includes a DDR3 RAM. Difference in their performance cannot be found out when running a single application but will be clearly noticeable when multitasking. As said above, the Dell offers a good battery life with just 4 minutes short of 6 hours. This is very impressive as it uses a 6-cell battery.
Dell backs up the Netbook with one year warranty on parts and labor. Warranty period can be increased when purchasing from retailers like BestBuy but you need to pay extra for it. It is around $59 for the two year plan. Technical support is available all day over phone. You can also download manuals and drivers from the Dell website.