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Hackintosh-friendly Dell Mini 9 Discontinued

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 15 comments

Goodbye, best hackintosh netbook yet.

Most of the new netbooks announced today are of the 10-inch variety. While the netbook concept may have started off with the smaller form factors with 7- to 9-inch screens, it seems that OEMs and/or consumers have decided that bigger is better.

As if we needed any further evidence that 9-inch netbooks were on their way out, earlier this month Dell discontinued the Mini 9, the PC maker’s first netbook. In its place, Dell introduced the Mini 10v, a lower-cost version of the Mini 10 but without high-end options such as the higher-resolution display and TV tuner. What the Mini 10v gave up in options, however, it gained in compatibility and mod-friendliness.

The Dell Mini 9 was popular amongst the Hackintosh crowd – those who load Mac OS X onto their PCs originally built for Windows or Linux – thanks its hardware compatibility with Leopard. Those who installed Mac OS X on their Mini 9s found near perfect hardware functionality with networking, audio and even webcam.

With the Mini 9 now no longer available, attention shifts to the Mini 10v, which adopts the Intel GMA 950 graphics critical for OS X compatibility (the regular Mini 10 and Mini 12 use the GMA 500, which does not work with OS X). Furthermore, the Mini 10v features a DIMM slot that will support an aftermarket memory upgrade to 2GB – something also not available on the Mini 10 or Mini 12. Getting at the DIMM slot requires disassembling most of the netbook, but it’s possible.

Early efforts at installing OS X on the Mini 10v have proved somewhat successful. Networking and video work fine, but audio and webcam are still spotty. The Mini 10v’s 1024 x 576 LCD is sometimes not enough to display a full menu (the Mini 9 was 1024 x 600), forcing users to tab through menus and hit enter blindly.

Perhaps with more time, the Dell Mini modders will be able to make the Mini 10v work with OS X as well as the netbook it replaces.

Display 15 Comments.
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  • 8 Hide
    eddieroolz , June 11, 2009 7:29 PM
    My spider senses tell me that Apple was responsible for the discontinuation..
  • 1 Hide
    skadeet , June 11, 2009 7:51 PM
    the mini 9 is still being sold, but it's now branded as the Vostro A90. same hardware just the 'palm rest/track pad' piece is black instead of silver like the mini 9. but who knows how long that will last.
  • 0 Hide
    mcnuggetofdeath , June 11, 2009 7:53 PM
    Oh Noes!!! Ppl might have to learn to use an infinitely more customizable, stable, and free OS.

    ^^^ Linux Mint
  • 8 Hide
    sstym , June 11, 2009 8:09 PM
    So if you buy Mac OS X for $100 and a mini 10v for $300, you get a $400 macbook after some hacking and tweaking?
    I can already see tears of rage on the pristine white keyboard of a macbook white, hear moans of despair in an Apple boardroom and read some inane "You'll only do that because you're not cool/hip/trendy/flush with disposable cash and devoid of ideas/ to buy a real macbook".
  • 0 Hide
    Ambictus , June 11, 2009 8:41 PM
    mcnuggetofdeathOh Noes!!! Ppl might have to learn to use an infinitely more customizable, stable, and free OS. ^^^ Linux Mint


    Mint is a beautiful thing... I highly recommend!
  • 0 Hide
    Hanin33 , June 11, 2009 9:47 PM
    mcnuggetofdeathOh Noes!!! Ppl might have to learn to use an infinitely more customizable, stable, and free OS. ^^^ Linux Mint


    an infinitely more useless than osx... the state of linux apps being atrocious at best... sure it's stable because all the software for it is archaic to say the least. if you're fine with super minimalist desktops... linux is for you!
  • 1 Hide
    hellwig , June 11, 2009 9:55 PM
    Wait a minute, the 9" notebook was 1024x600, but the 10" notebook is 1024x576? This is why computers monitors SHOULD NOT be in a 16:9 ratio. It makes sense for TVs, cause thats the ratio used by the TV programming, but for computers, its just pointless. And no, I don't care if you only use your computer and monitor for watching DVDs, you wasted your money, get over it. I can watch movies just fine on my 16:10, I don't even notice the black bars.
  • -1 Hide
    mindless728 , June 11, 2009 10:18 PM
    hellwigWait a minute, the 9" notebook was 1024x600, but the 10" notebook is 1024x576? This is why computers monitors SHOULD NOT be in a 16:9 ratio. It makes sense for TVs, cause thats the ratio used by the TV programming, but for computers, its just pointless. And no, I don't care if you only use your computer and monitor for watching DVDs, you wasted your money, get over it. I can watch movies just fine on my 16:10, I don't even notice the black bars.


    minimalist desktop, have you used KDE 4.2
  • 0 Hide
    mindless728 , June 11, 2009 10:19 PM
    whoops, quoted the wrong one (sorry)
    i was talking about Hanin33
  • 1 Hide
    anamaniac , June 11, 2009 11:23 PM
    Pathetic replacement...
    Larger screen but worse resolution.
    For any functional purpose, to me the resolution wins. My eyes are good enough.

    I am honestly more interested in the mini 9...
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , June 12, 2009 12:03 AM
    I picked a 9 when they were on sale for $200. Upgraded to the 8gb ssd, so it was about $240 after tax and shipping. Worked great out of the box with a dell modded Ubuntu 8.04 installed. For internet, email, youtube, ect. its a wonderful thing.

    To the guy that said, "an infinitely more useless than osx... the state of linux apps being atrocious at best... sure it's stable because all the software for it is archaic to say the least. if you're fine with super minimalist desktops... linux is for you!"

    Wow, just wow. If you haven't already reproduced, don't. With comments like that your kids will be destined to ride the short bus.
  • 1 Hide
    michaelahess , June 12, 2009 2:50 AM
    I've got a mini 9 with built in (I built it in) gps, touch screen, internal 8GB microSD reader/card, and bluetooth. Waiting on ssd prices to drop to get a 32GB ssd. Best laptop I've owned for functionality. Still use my Lenovo R60 for heavy work, but the mini 9 is perfect for travel and working from the bed/couch. And with my work verizon air card, I can use it anywhere.
  • -1 Hide
    captaincharisma , June 12, 2009 11:31 AM
    Quote:
    minimalist desktop, have you used KDE 4.2


    that's just as much of a joke as the rest of the windows lookalike GUI's plus its buggy as hell.
  • 1 Hide
    skadeet , June 12, 2009 7:47 PM
    your horizontal field of vision is far greater than your vertical field of vision, i believe that's why wide screen has become the standard.
  • 0 Hide
    lumpoco , June 15, 2009 3:51 AM
    I'm more interested in the Studio 14....mainly because I had "asked" them to come up with something that was between the Studio 15 and 17. They didn't listen, but I suppose for Dell 14" is the same as 16". Lol! Of course I had also asked them to discontinue using the 9400M on their laptops. That GPU has been causing Dell customers a ton of headaches. I'm not a fan of ATI, but if I'm going to buy a Dell I will choose one that uses that GPU. It's no fun having to RMA a laptop during finals week when your laptop screen "dies" or to get another laptop with another defective GPU and have to RMA that as well. I was tempted to buy a dell Mini 9. A friend had offered to convert it to a Mac, but I declined. Somehow the idea of using a laptop with only 32GB (SSD) and 1GB RAM was not as exciting even if I was able to legally acquire Leopard for $30. You got to love the family pack license scheme. I wish Microsoft would do that too.