Dell not offering Ubuntu to Australian Mini 9 buyers?

While Dell has released its new Inspiron Mini 9 netbook in the US with the option of either Windows XP Home Edition or Ubuntu Linux operating system, it appears as though Australian consumers won’t get that option.

PC giant Dell has jumped onto the Netbook bandwagon with the release of its Inspiron Mini 9 in the US. Unfortunately, it is still only a preorder option from Dell’s Australian website.

Dell's new Inspiron Mini 9

Dell's Inspiron Mini 9

But of concern is the fact the pre-order specification list gives “Windows XP Home Edition” as the only operating system.

If this is the case, it is a poor results for Australian users who will not only miss out on the option of having Ubuntu preloaded, but it also means we’ll have to pay more as well – but it may not be as much as you think.

US consumers are being offered an Ubuntu-preloaded Mini 9 with 8GB of storage for $US384. The default model with 4GB sells for $US349. To add in an extra 4GB of storage adds $US35 to the price, bringing it up to $US384. The same system with Windows XP Home Edition is $US399 – that’s a saving of only $US15.

Still, Dell intends to sell the Mini 9 on its Australian website for AUS$599 although it does not specifically say what memory or storage options you’ll get for that price.

What is interesting is the fact that Dell does not have a hard drive-based storage option. While Asus, MSI and Acer are offering 80, 120 and soon to be 160GB of hard drive storage, Dell has gone with the solid state storage option that tops out at 16GB.

Personally, I think that’s a mistake. With that little storage and remembering that Windows XP Home Edition will chew up around 2GB of space, it doesn’t leave a whole heap for anything more than standard web-browsing.

They may not be as rugged as solid-state disk (SSD) option Dell is offering but the more conventional HDD options of Acer’s Aspire One (120GB), MSI’s Wind (80GB) and Asus’ new Eee PC 1000H (80GB) deliver a longer-term solution for those who want the convenience of ultraportability and low cost.

We’ll see how it performs when it finally lands in Australia.

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