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Observing a Heretic

Some general observations to round out my review of a Hackintoshed Dell Inspiron Mini 10v.

I wouldn’t consider this Netbook a multitasking machine. Sure, it can run several apps simultaneously, it’s just that I wouldn’t. The Netbook is built for the convenience of portability, not performance. So take it nice and easy.

The Dell Mini 10v actually looks decent. While it’s not an art masterpiece like Apple products, it doesn’t look cheap or cheesy. The black obsidian and silver combination is appealing, but the glossy top does show fingerprints too easily.

One irritation I have is you need two hands to open the Mini 10v when closed. I’m used to needing one hand to open up the screen, but since the Netbook is so light, you need one hand to hold the bottom of the 10v while the other hand props up the screen.

I haven’t upgraded to the latest version of Snow Leopard, 10.6.2. There were previous incompatibilities with Netbooks so I stayed at 10.6.1. I think the incompatibilities have been resolved though.

MobileMe works fine. I can access my iDisk and sync information which is a great and hassle-free way to copy needed information.

Startup time takes about 80 seconds and shutdowns are blazingly quick at about 5 to 15 seconds.

While video performance is acceptable for everyday tasks, the integrated graphics processor isn’t powerful enough for HD tasks. Watching HD content on YouTube is too choppy to be watchable. The standard definition versions playback well enough but not the HD renderings (I used the DWTS performance of Derek Hough and Joanna Krupa dancing a futuristic paso doble as a reference movie). And this is with the beta version of Adobe Flash 10.1 with hardware acceleration specifically for Netbooks.

So the obvious observation is to manage your expectations from a Netbook, and you won’t be disappointed. Don’t expect $2000 performance from a $300 machine, you know?

That wraps up my experiences with my Dell Inspiron Mini 10v running Mac OS X. I covered my reasons for getting a Netbook, the conversion process to Mac OS X, interfacing with a small Netbook, the software I installed, and my general observations. All in all though, for a $300 investment, a Hackintoshed Netbook definitely fills a niche.

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