Dell Vostro A90: A Corporate Mini 9

Dell today introduced a new netbook -- strictly for businesses -- but it’s nothing we haven’t seen before.

Now available for U.S. companies is the Vostro A90 netbook. It has your usual Intel Atom N270 at 1.6 GHz on a 945GSE chipset. It’s also equipped with an 8 or 16 GB SSD, has an 8.9-inch screen and weighs 2.36 lbs.

Sounds familiar. But that’s because we’ve seen it all before.

You see, the Dell Vostro A90 is nothing more than a repainted Mini 9. Businesses seem to have this thing about having serious business-like machines for their employees, so they won’t have anything to do with those Inspirons or Studios. They also have special credits and accounts, and those credits do not apply to machines meant for consumers. This means that places that want a Mini 9 can't purchase one on business credit, but now, thanks to the all-business, all-black Vostro A90, they can.

From our inspection, it seems that companies will be paying a small premium for their work-oriented version of the netbook. The base Vostro A90 with Windows XP, 512 MB RAM, 8 GB SSD, Bluetooth and webcam runs $349. A similarly configured Mini 9 gives you more for less with 1 GB RAM standard for $334.

Oh and for those interested, with innards the same as the Mini 9, the Vostro A90 should still be one of the best candidates for converting into a Hackintosh.

  • unlicensedhitman
    15.4 inch laptops FTW!
  • mamw93
    It's nice but all laptops are the same for some reason. If you want good performance you have to basically give an arm and a leg to obtain it. And the are a prime example of why Macs suck. What is an upgrade for a laptop?? More RAM?? Or if you want to upgrade the graphics what do you do??? I upgraded my FX laptop that had a 8800GTS in it to the 9800GTS that came in the newer one. I had to go to ebay and buy a broken 7870u laptop and break it open. Well worth it but a pain in the butt.
  • Tedders
    hey, the article is about Dell, not Apple. Apple wasnt even mentioned anywhere. And no, the hackintosh reference doesnt count ;)
  • cadder
    Sounds good except I don't think they should sell an XP machine with only 8GB of drive. 512MB of ram is OK for lots of uses, I have an old Inspiron with XP and 512MB, but I couldn't live with an 8GB drive.
  • Master Exon
    12" laptops FTW!
  • hellwig
    $345 list price, but most businesses will probably sign a 3-year lease at $50/month or something ridiculous. I've never understood why corporations lease computers. You lease cars so you don't have to pay the full price of the car, and someone takes it off yours hands when the lease is up. However, computer leasing tends to lead to paying 2-3 times the value of the computer, and for what?
  • bunnyblaster
    For cash flow reasons. Asking a business to fork out 350 one hundred times all at once is more difficult to swallow than 50 one hundred times.
  • thejerk
    Also for tax and accounting reasons. Leasing is basically paying for the projected depreciation over the lease term. In the US, you can write off the entire lease payment at tax time. When the lease is up, you return the item and lease new equipment. If you bought the equipment, you can write off a pre-calculated depreciation amount, but are stuck trying to recoup the cost after the useful life is up. For tax reasons, it MUCH easier to just lease.
  • 8GB is lots of space. I have XP Pro, Office 2003 installed on 8GB and still have 3GB left over. The key is to use nLite so that you can slim down the install and remove the superfluous that isn't needed.
  • solarscreen
    I just used my Mini 9 for a trip and was pleased with the performance. I have the 16GB drive and 2GB of ram. The key for data is to use the SDHC slot and put a 16GB card in it. Works great!