The Incredible Shrinking Laptop

A review of the Dell Mini 9.

The Mini 9 from Dell is a great little laptop. It is very capable and can do just about everything I want a laptop to do. For those who can adapt to working with a smaller keyboard, it is at least as capable as any three- or four-year-old laptop, like my D610, without the driver headaches. And, if portability is a big concern, it is hard to beat the dimensions and weight of the Mini. It is the only laptop I've used that fits into my motorcycle tank bag, which is a big plus in my book.

However, I have decided not to keep it. I'm not sending it back or anything; instead, I'm going to give it to my eldest daughter for her birthday. She's old enough for her own computer, and her hands fit the keyboard better than mine. I've also let her “borrow” it a few times over the past few weeks, and she thinks it's “really cool” (her words). But, don't tell her that she's getting it, I want it to be a surprise.

Daniel Bartholomew lives with his wife and children in North Carolina. His on-line home is at



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