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Dell Criticizes Netbooks, Praises Windows 7

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 33 comments

Dell Mini 10? Maybe not.

Dell founder and CEO Michael Dell must, even if only by outward appearances, love all of the products that his company makes, right?

Perhaps not, as Dell made comments that were quite disparaging towards the netbook.

"Take a user who's used to a 15-inch notebook and then give him a 10-inch netbook. He'll say 'Oh, this is so cool, it's so lightweight.' Then 36 hours later he'll say the screen's not big enough, give me my 15-inch back," said Dell, according to IDG.

Dell was relatively late to the netbook party by the time it introduced the Inspiron Mini 9, which has since been discontinued. The Mini 10 has since taken its place and has been a popular netbook.

Michael Dell later added that "a fair amount of customers" have been unsatisfied with the smaller screens and lower-performance parts.

The CEO later made more positive comments regarding the new version of Windows, promising that new software such as Windows 7 and Office 2010 will make users love their PCs again.

"If you get the latest processor technology and you get Windows 7 and Office 2010, you will love your PC again," Dell said. "And we actually have not been able to say that for a long time. It's a dramatic improvement."

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Top Comments
  • 19 Hide
    XD_dued , October 15, 2009 8:09 PM
    But wait! Windows 7 will make everyone go buy macs, that's what the past has told us!
  • 15 Hide
    Regulas , October 15, 2009 8:21 PM
    "Take a user who's used to a 15-inch notebook and then give him a 10-inch netbook. He'll say 'Oh, this is so cool, it's so lightweight.' Then 36 hours later he'll say the screen's not big enough, give me my 15-inch back," said Dell, according to IDG."

    He has a point and I think he is right on this one for at least most people.
  • 15 Hide
    doomhammr , October 15, 2009 8:20 PM
    Michael Dell needs to realize that Netbooks aren't full size notbook replacements.
Other Comments
    Display all 33 comments.
  • 4 Hide
    lemonade4 , October 15, 2009 8:06 PM
    Michael Dell is Simon Cowell's brother
  • 19 Hide
    XD_dued , October 15, 2009 8:09 PM
    But wait! Windows 7 will make everyone go buy macs, that's what the past has told us!
  • 15 Hide
    doomhammr , October 15, 2009 8:20 PM
    Michael Dell needs to realize that Netbooks aren't full size notbook replacements.
  • 12 Hide
    dark_lord69 , October 15, 2009 8:20 PM
    I have to agree with Dell on these topics.
  • 15 Hide
    Regulas , October 15, 2009 8:21 PM
    "Take a user who's used to a 15-inch notebook and then give him a 10-inch netbook. He'll say 'Oh, this is so cool, it's so lightweight.' Then 36 hours later he'll say the screen's not big enough, give me my 15-inch back," said Dell, according to IDG."

    He has a point and I think he is right on this one for at least most people.
  • 5 Hide
    fulle , October 15, 2009 8:28 PM
    He's right, and I'm sure Dell's data supports his claim. Just what? A month ago? There was a survey that indicated that a very high percentage of Netbook users were not satisfied with their purchase. Reasons given were commonly performance, screen size, and so on. The bottom line is that people purchasing netbooks often do no realize what pieces of crap they are, and if they did understand netbook sales would be at least halved.
  • 11 Hide
    acecombat , October 15, 2009 8:33 PM
    He's not really criticizing the netbook, he's just making a statement that a lot of people go for them because they look cool, then realise it's not the replacement to a laptop/PC.
  • 3 Hide
    cybrcatter , October 15, 2009 8:35 PM
    I agree with Dell's two statements. I gave our households netbook a go for about a week, but I just ended up using my android phone and laptop in the end.
    Windows 7 is excellent, even without the "latest processor technology", though I don't find myself giddy in anticipation for Office 10.
  • -4 Hide
    dupaman , October 15, 2009 8:49 PM
    ^I tried running Win7 on a retired northwood Celeron 2.2GHz /w 1GB RAM and a 6600GT and it was a dog. Opening windows explorer took seconds as opposed to fractions of one in xp, and scrolling through a large folder caused CPU usage to spike to 100 and become very laggy to mouse input. So while the "latest processor technology" isn't needed, you won't get a good experience with old/ultra-low-end hardware...

    Aside from that, I think netbooks are good as long as you have realistic expectations.
  • -4 Hide
    ak47lt , October 15, 2009 8:57 PM
    I
  • 1 Hide
    ak47lt , October 15, 2009 9:01 PM
    I have MS Wind 10 inch netbook. And Dell 14 inch notebook (and yes, powerful enough for Crysis). I use MS Wind every day (in the train during commute and backyard at home). Last time I used Dell was 6 months ago. So there are those who love netbooks and use them without any regrets.
  • 0 Hide
    cknobman , October 15, 2009 9:09 PM
    dupaman^I tried running Win7 on a retired northwood Celeron 2.2GHz /w 1GB RAM and a 6600GT and it was a dog. Opening windows explorer took seconds as opposed to fractions of one in xp, and scrolling through a large folder caused CPU usage to spike to 100 and become very laggy to mouse input. So while the "latest processor technology" isn't needed, you won't get a good experience with old/ultra-low-end hardware...Aside from that, I think netbooks are good as long as you have realistic expectations.


    I dont think its windows 7 that is the problem. I am running windows 7 on a laptop 1.4 ghz gen 1 centrino platform and it runs like a champ. Much faster that xp loaded on the same machine (i dual boot).
  • 3 Hide
    ssalim , October 15, 2009 9:13 PM
    Netbook is for small screen, slower and lightweight. That is its purpose. If you want to play games or video chat or programming, then netbook isn't for you.

    Know what you want, get what you need.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , October 15, 2009 9:18 PM
    cknobmanI dont think its windows 7 that is the problem. I am running windows 7 on a laptop 1.4 ghz gen 1 centrino platform and it runs like a champ. Much faster that xp loaded on the same machine (i dual boot).

    That's awkward! My XP runs much faster on a Core2Duo 1,66GHz than Win7!
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , October 15, 2009 9:24 PM
    Regulas"Take a user who's used to a 15-inch notebook and then give him a 10-inch netbook. He'll say 'Oh, this is so cool, it's so lightweight.' Then 36 hours later he'll say the screen's not big enough, give me my 15-inch back," said Dell, according to IDG."He has a point and I think he is right on this one for at least most people.


    Not for me!
    I love the size of the 9" netbooks, but only dislike the small resolution.
    They could have increased the resolution on 10" netbooks to 1280x720 or similar, without causing too much eyestrain to the user.
    In essence, what most people want is see all their information on one screen, preferably without scrolling.
    A bump in screensize is not the solution if it does not go together with a bump in resolution as well.

    Besides many of the netbooks' hardware is made for 720p video's; it would also make sense to match the screens as well!

    So to me, the only disappointment is the resolution.
    And like some users have mentioned, a netbook is not a notebook, and does not replace a notebook!
    It's a lightweight, small, very affordable device to read documents, do some light browsing and document editing, and at best watch a 720pmovie with it.
    It is not created to watch blueray video's, or play the latest games.
    But even still, it performs better than a Wii. Why then are there so little comments about Nintendo's Wii (which is slower than a netbook)?
  • 1 Hide
    thackstonns , October 15, 2009 9:47 PM
    dupaman^I tried running Win7 on a retired northwood Celeron 2.2GHz /w 1GB RAM and a 6600GT and it was a dog. Opening windows explorer took seconds as opposed to fractions of one in xp, and scrolling through a large folder caused CPU usage to spike to 100 and become very laggy to mouse input. So while the "latest processor technology" isn't needed, you won't get a good experience with old/ultra-low-end hardware...Aside from that, I think netbooks are good as long as you have realistic expectations.


    Yeah you have a different problem, I have windows 7 rc on both a aspire one netbook and two old centrino laptops, and it runs like a champ. Just as fast as xp. No areo though.
  • 2 Hide
    SAL-e , October 15, 2009 9:49 PM
    Atom / ARM based portable computer + OS like Android or Moblin = NETbook.
    Atom / ARM based portable computer + Windows XP = Crappy Notebook.

    Netbook has its purpose and as some people already said. Know what do you need and want. If you need netbook get netbook and use it as netbook.
    If you need a notebook, please get a notebook. You can get Core2 Duo for all most the same price as netbook.
    Mr. Dell, go and fire your marketing director for marketing netbooks as notebooks.
  • 0 Hide
    buwish , October 16, 2009 12:57 AM
    Marketing issues aside, each offers something for the customer. Some prefer a netbook, which means that don't really require anything else but Internet use and maybe some small apps. Some prefer to spend more and buy a notebook, i.e. a bit more computing power.
  • 0 Hide
    brendano257 , October 16, 2009 1:09 AM
    I think part of the problem is lack of education on the part of the buyer. They don't realize what a netbook really is for, for minor things like a little mobile web browsing, it's not meant to be able to be your mobile office like a laptop can be. I think they need to be purchased knowing the limitations and realizing what it's meant for. Not just saying LOOK A CHEAP LAPTOP!
    My dad personally has a Dell Mini 10v with Ubuntu, and it runs amazingly for only having an Atom processor and 1GB of memory. I would venture a guess it would not be as great with XP, let alone Vista. He loves it, not because it's everything a laptop is, but because it suits his needs, and he knew it would before he bought it. He uses it for emails on the go, and for keeping track of small things, and a little word processing, and simply having internet access wherever theres Wifi without the huge bulky case that comes with a 15" laptop.
  • 0 Hide
    Shadow703793 , October 16, 2009 2:02 AM
    Net books = for long trips where battery life is important and for just checking emails,etc.

    Notebook = actually getting things (office work,etc)done.

    Any one who's used a netbook to type a school/research report knows the pain of having a small KB and screen.
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