Hackbook Dell mini 9 buyers remorse?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by iZac, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. iZac macrumors 68000

    iZac

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2003
    Location:
    Shanghai
    #1
    Chaps, i wonder if you could grace me with your knowledge, wisdom, and experience...

    Ive just ordered a Dell mini 9 (could you guess?) online, with a 64 gig ssd and 2 gig of ram. Now ... this was almost totally an impulse purchase, and while i wait for it to be shipped to me, im getting an increasing sense of buyers remorse.

    I naturally intend it to be a hackintosh toy, and already have mobile broadband which i could presumably just slip into the sim card slot and i know it could be an interesting experience. I am considering (finances depending) getting a macbook / macbook pro when they update, but the Mac Pro that sits under my desk does all the cad work, rendering, photoshop that i really need. A notebook would mainly compliment it and be used to bring to the office, so i dont have to suffer my windows environment quite so much.

    The long and short of it is, who has played around with OS X on one of these mini 9s? Is it worth it, does it get old quickly? Should I try to quell my gadget fix, return it and just wait until an apple umpc / sexy new macbook updates appear? Or do i embrace this hackintosh for the frivolity of it?
     
  2. adamj8923 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    #2
    don't wait. I have played with these hackintosh's and they work as well as can be hoped for a netbook, unless u enjoy the sleek look of mac's as so many of us do :D
     
  3. sbb155 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2005
    #3
    i did it with a dell mini 9. It was a pain to set up, but forums helped. I was very happy with the machine, but understand IT IS A NETBOOK. Thus, it is useful for surfing the net. It is not useful for other major pursuits.
    It is great for itunes, surfing, minor word processing.
    BUT: guess what - you can do all that just fine with XP.
    The mac experience of video, photo editing, etc is not useful on the netbook in any real way.
    It is tough to do real work on the netbook b/c the keys are small.
    Understand what a netbook is. You get what you pay for. I dont know how I lived without mine, but i find that the OS is less important for a "computer lite".
     
  4. macffooky macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    Location:
    The 51st State
    #4
    Don't worry, it runs OS X astonishingly well and you'll take it where and when you'd probably not take your £1000+ MB/P. If Apple ever do release a netbook it'll be at least 3 or 4 times more expensive. Slicker, shinier and more classy no doubt but not half as much fun. I ended up buying two, one each time they were Dell's 2-day deal...just for my kids you understand ;)
     
  5. shoppy macrumors 6502a

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    Hants
    #5
    I ordered one last week, same as you, middle spec starting at £229, upped the HDD, ram, BT, 1.3 webcam to have the same goal of running OSX on it for the wife. Emailed Dell, yesterday to cancel order and ordered a new apple laptop instead. I will just buy her an apple net book if they ever make one. Reply, was can not cancel till order arrives, then refuse delivery or have dell collect and refund.

    It is easy enough just google "dell mini 9 osx" loads of helpful links off doing it via USB opposed to external drive.
     
  6. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #6
    Look up 'boing boing netbook hackintosh chart'. Go to the article by boing boing. It lists a chart of the best netbooks to hack to osx. Click on the title of the machine, it should be a link to the hackintosh forum/support page for that machine.

    I did the same with a msi wind and a lenovo ideapad. The wind was easier, but the lenovo was a better machine. I'm impressed with the build quality as well of the mini9.

    If you can live with the limitations of the keyboard, and carefully follow the instructions on the site, you will have a very usable, stable machine running osx for well, netbook stuff. DO NOT RUN UPDATES UNTIL YOU CHECK ON YOUR MACHINE'S FORUM FIRST!!!!

    That being said, I would humbly suggest returning/cancelling the order, getting a 12" ibook or powerbook, maxing the ram, and using that as a netbook instead.
     
  7. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #7
    I think there's absolutely nothing wrong with a Dell Mini 9 hackintosh. Supposedly it works great.

    The only reason I would regret such a purchase is because I don't particularly like that netbook model. ;) If you already know you like the laptop itself, then you'll definitely be happy with the result after adding OS X.
     
  8. longwood macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    #8
    I have a Mini 9 running OSX and it's works great. There are various methods, I would recommend one that you can use a Leopard disk. This will allow you to downloaded all future updates from Apple. Being a netbook the keyboard is fairly small, so typing on it will take some getting used to. However, it is a really cool toy. I don't worry about bringing it around to places and throwing it my bag - if something happens to it, I can replace is fro $200. I would recommend heading over to mydellmini.com for any questions you might have.
     
  9. jtgotsjets macrumors 6502

    jtgotsjets

    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Location:
    Lawrence, KS
    #9
    Seriously! I was briefly—for no apparent reason—really hot on getting a netbook and installing OSX on it.
    Then I had the sudden epiphany that my 12" iBook is already the third smallest modern laptop Apple has made (trailing the Macbook Air—though not in footprint!—and the 12" PowerBook—just barely!). This is about as small as a laptop can come with a full keyboard, barring a tiny widescreen. I don't know what res the 10" netbook screens run at, but I wouldn't want it any smaller than this screen already is.

    My roommate's white MacBook has always felt big and heavy and clunky to me.
     
  10. phobic99 macrumors 6502a

    phobic99

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    #10
    I had a MSI Wind hackbook and it was great. In fact, I wish I kept it. Why did I get rid of it? I sold it to fund a new aluminum macbook. I've wanted an actual mac for quite some time so the redesign helped me in that direction. I really wish Apple would make something in that size though. A 10" laptop is much more portable than a 13.3".
     
  11. iZac thread starter macrumors 68000

    iZac

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2003
    Location:
    Shanghai
    #11
    Thanks for all the replies chaps,

    Id still like the opportunity to play around with OSX in these exciting waters of non apple hardware, but logic and an actual need for one is evading me, somewhat.

    haha, i was planning on slapping an apple sticker over the dell logo on the back, it would would be for home use only i think. However I will end up getting a macbook at some point in the future, in whatever iteration it may be. So in the long term, it might be a wasted £300, a toy to play with and enjoy for a while.

    So ... i think ill cancel it, and be patient enough for a real computer! perhaps i'll even be able to pick up a macbook later in the year when snow leopard ships! Now to tackle Dells legendary customer service, thanks for the warning on that front, Shoppy.

    This might be exactly what's happened to me!

    Seriously, thanks for all the help and opinions guys, ill deny my new gadget itch for now..
     
  12. macgrl macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    #12
    I have heard good things about Dell Mini 9 hackintosh's. I would stick with it. :)
     
  13. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #13
    The netbook hackintosh can be a viable option. But before you buy one-literally-get your hands on it first. Can you use the keyboard? The HP mini probably has the most usable one in its class. Can you use the trackpad? Most netbook trackpads are the size of a postage stamp. Can you easily swap ram and hard drives?

    I've done this method on two different machines, and found them usable, but there was no comparison with a 12" late gen g4 powerbook with 1 gig of ram or more.
     
  14. iZac thread starter macrumors 68000

    iZac

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2003
    Location:
    Shanghai
    #14
    Like Shoppy suggested, Dell wont let me cancel my order, so im left to wait for its arrival. Waiting for me to give in and rip open the box, rather than diligently sending it back for a refund.

    clyde2801, ive been playing around with a mini 9 in a local shop (i got it cheaper online from Dell, along with a better spec and random discounts) and the keys seem usable. I havnt got huge sausage fingers, so ive no worries on that front.

    I know my flatmate will tell me to keep it once it arrives, simply because he'll want to play with it. I'll fire off a post when ive got it in my hands and decide what to do it it ...
     
  15. shoppy macrumors 6502a

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    Hants
    #15
    Honestly, I would simply mag to grid it. I was playing with the idea, but I would rather lug around my 17" or 15"/13"" till apple bring out a net book if they ever do. I love the OS but I also like the look and feel of the machines. Hence I have been buying them forever.
     
  16. txnoob macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    #16
    I've got a hackintosh Lenovo S10. I love the OSX experience on it. But note, as mentioned it's really only useful for internet, iTunes, email, etc. However I have plugged external monitor in and done some photo editing and such. It works well, I'm impressed for the money of what it can do. I don't think you'd be sorry with it if you kept it.
     
  17. mrfrosty macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    #17
    I paid £149 for mine a few weeks ago. Its an awsome little toy even with just ubuntu (which runs fine on the base spec). I have ordered a runcore 32Gb SSD and 2G RAM from crucial to whack in it in preperation for OSX. I'm also gonna get a friend to do a custome paint job on the lid. I was thinking about a tri-color apple logo perhaps ? Any suggestions ?
     
  18. celticgrid macrumors newbie

    celticgrid

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    #18
    Send it back. Unless the time and money are no issue.

    I was thinking along the same lines and then figured I don't need it. Want to play, maybe, but no need. I happily lug a Macbook around when roaming. As and when Apple release something using those 10" touch screen they've supposedly ordered....then I will have a need!
     
  19. striatedglutes macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #19
    My s10 will be here Monday, but I can't wait that long :(

    I'm justifying it based on price ($299 shipped, $20 for more ram) and the need for a personal computer at my parents house when I visit every so often. I kept going back and forth between an s10 or a mac mini, and decided on the s10 because of again, price, but also couch computing :)
     
  20. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    Location:
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    #20
    If you were planning on getting a MacBook in the future, perhaps if you like the Mini 9 enough, you'd reconsider your MacBook and buy an iMac instead. ;) That means you'd have an iMac at home, and a real ultraportable for the road.
     
  21. dantherevelator macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2007
    #21
    Mine has consistently surprised me. It runs Xcode and Photoshop CS4 for me just fine and battery is a little champ.

    My eyes do start to go crossways after using it for a more than a couple hours, though. Then it's back to the iMac.
     
  22. iZac thread starter macrumors 68000

    iZac

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2003
    Location:
    Shanghai
    #22
    i would love a new, svelte iMac, but cant justify it, i already have a Gen 1 Mac Pro gobbling up dust under my desk.

    However i just got lunch from my local coffee shop and got Macbook envy. I dont think i could be restrained enough not to buy a macbook (or mbp), when my little netbook starts chugging!
     
  23. shoppy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    Location:
    Hants
    #23
    Well my dell mini 9 turned up. I rang up to return the machine and they offered me another 5% off to a total of 10% off if i keep it. I said I would play with it but still book in the reurn for Tuesday. I have now opened it and am in the process of getting it prepped for a hackintosh install.

    I am quite lucky as when I ordered mine the 2gb ram upgrade was free and the cost of the 64gb SSD is the same as what it now costs for the 32GB SSD which is the maximum available. So I am in a bit of a dilemma, do i keep it or return it, I paid a total of £325.85. I quite like the size of teh machine, I will see how it performs as a hackintosh.
     
  24. striatedglutes macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #24
    My s10 got here last Friday, loving it so far. OS X running like a champ. Haven't used it for much yet, but so far so good and no regrets!
     
  25. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Location:
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    #25
    I'd return it.

    Won't play your iTunes videos (if you have any) very well at all - the Atom/GMA950 setup is too whimpy...

    I got blasted on another thread for stating as such, but the fact of the matter is that all the newer Atom machines will be able to play at least 720p with the GMA500 or 1080p with the nVidia Ion.

    I wouldn't invest in ANYTHING at this point in time that doesn't at least play iTunes HD (720p) videos flawlessly.

    So, it must be some sort of issue if the industry is finally going away from the GMA950... :eek:
     

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