Dell Inspiron Zino HD (like Mac Mini)

D. Hugh Redelmeier hugh-pmF8o41NoarQT0dZR+AlfA at
Tue Nov 17 21:44:46 UTC 2009

This is a new Dell thing that reminds one of a Mac Mini.
Seems quite interesting to me, but with problems.  Of course I judge it as 
if it were a Mac Mini, but that may not be fair

Nice picture:
(What does "scalable only" mean with respect to eSATA?)

+ AMD low-power CPUs so better than Atom-based things (but worse than
  Mac Mini which uses C2D).  Do these do VT?

- base unit is US$229 or C$349.  And the Canadian version has 1G of RAM 
  versus 2G in the US version

- upgrade Athlon 2650e to Athlon X2 3250e US$60 C$150

- no remote control

- only 2.1 sound!  (I think that the HDMI carries surround sound, but it 
  is not mentioned in the specs.  Uses an AMD740G which (if I remember 
  correctly) does some high def sound but not all you'd like.)

+ there is an option for a better video chip but I don't know how that
  is installed.  It does not seem to be a PCIe slot, but I could be
  wrong.  ATI Radeon HD 4330 with 512M: US$75 C$99

+ optional colour.  Costs US$10 / C$30.

+ comes with DVD-writer.  Upgrade to BluRay reader / DVD writer: US$100 / 

- in general, nice options quickly increase the price.

? I wonder how quiet this is

I'm tempted by the US prices and turned off by the Canadian premium.
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