I want to add one thing that is perhaps easy to overlook with this laptop: it has the best CPU in it's class and price range. Most notebooks with an 11.6 inch screen have a Celeron CPU (such as the new Acer 1410 series). This means less cache and no "Intel Speedstep" which is an important power saving feature (mostly used when in battery mode). Celeron laptops will drain your battery quickly when you use any compute heavy task. The other common CPU is a single core "Core Solo". The single core CPUs have the bad habit of slowing to a crawl whenever the anti-virus kicks in (because it can't offload that task to the second core) and being generally slow if you run any internet security software(which any sane person would today but adds a lot of background CPU tasks that can run on a second core if you have one). You can step up to a full Core2 Duo, but that can add 20%-30% onto the cost (see the Acer Timeline series).
Dell did the right thing here when they used the 1.3GHz Intel Pentium SU4100 Processor. It has two cores, 2MB cache (twice the Celeron but 2/3 the more expensive Core2 Duo), and a 800MHz memory bus (vs. the Celeron's 667Mhz). And it has the all important SpeedStep technology found in the more expensive Core2 Duo. The only major feature it lacks is Virtualization, which is mostly a server technology which no home application to speak of. It uses the same core as the more expensive Core2 Duo so aside from the smaller cache the basic performance is the same (though some Core2 Duos have faster memory bus). It's the best fit price/performance wise but lately it's been passed over for the cheaper Celeron but vendors who count on consumers not knowing any better.
on February 24, 2010
I've had my product over a month now.
The OS is 64bit Windows 7. Can't complain about that. I am happy with the size of the laptop and screen resolution. I find this has respectable battery life. The weight is quite comfortable for me. I have gone for at 2 hours with moderate and peaked down at my battery display at the halfway mark or a little less. I would risk going to a coffee shop without my charger on this laptop. This laptop does not burn my lap. I don't know if it is because the battery keeps it from laying flat. This a complaint for some people but I find that I like this. This unit has an HDMI which I am ecstatic about. It means I can connect it to HD TVs on my travels. So far I have tested it with 720p content to my satisfaction. I've read reviews where it is said to work well at 1080p with some tweaking.
MAJOR REASON TO CONSIDER NOT BUYING:
If you intend to use the built in touch bad a lot you may be in for major annoyance. On almost any review you read about this laptop they will complain about this touchpad. I agree with them. it is what stops this laptop from being FANTASTIC. I am a person who has never pulled out a mouse to use a laptop. This laptop has had me do that several times. It is also really easy to re-size the screen size without meaning too. I realize Dell meant this as a feature but I find this all counter intuitive. The left and right mouse button areas are also too small. I find myself using my left hand to hold down the left mouse button while using the right hand to scroll when highlighting. They've provided software updates to this, but I have noticed no performance improvement. They need to redesign this.
MINOR (RELATIVELY) ANNOYANCES:
No DVD Burner internally or externally. Its absence makes the drive lighter. Depending on your needs you may opt to buy a small external that you keep in your laptop case or buy a laptop with one built in. I think the primary annoyance for me is if I need to rebuild my machine from using a DVD. Be sure to create the emergency recover disc as soon as possible.
This is not a gaming laptop. It cannot handle graphically intense games. But I imagine the people who buy this laptop are not looking for that. If your game requirements are light you'll be happy. Besides, the touchpad is just awful for playing any game that requires mouselike interaction.
There is no drive activity light. Not a showstopper by ANY means.
To wrap it up.
Be prepared for the touch-pad. It is JUST as annoying as people say. It is the ONLY reason I don't give it four stars.
Plan for the lack of a DVD/CD burner just as you would any netbook. It does not have to be showstopper. Just be prepared. Have a recover plan and be good about backing up important data via, Network, USB or External burner.
on December 4, 2009
Very nice computer but I want to share a couple of specifics that others have questioned.
1. This comes with a 6 cell battery so it sticks out on the bottom in back. Very good battery life- about 7 hours yesterday.
2. Windows 7 is the 64-bit version.
3. There is 4 GB Ram.
Much faster than my Dell mini 9 and only slightly larger. So far, I love it.
on November 30, 2009
Probably the most power and performance that you can get in anything under 13", and for less than $500!!! Ultra low voltage processor for incedible speed and effeciency, will definitely get you more battery life. 4GB Ram and 250GB Hard drive is more than most other laptops priced at $899 or better and this is only $499.
the previous review says it only has 2GB of Ram, this is wrong. I also called Amazon and they confirmed it is 4GB, and that the site has been updated to reflect the correct information.
I was looking for a mini, but when I found this, i was blown away with the components i'm getting, and not sacrificing the size i wanted in the mini.
on January 13, 2010
It's hard to find detailed info about this laptop, even from Dell's website. The specs certainly measure up to the competion at Amazon's fantastic price, and if you order it similarly equipped direct from Dell expect to pay about $150 more. Other reviews of the computer have been helpful, but compare carefully to other small notebooks on the market before you buy. (I returned this one.)
Overall fit and finish: excellent, although a fingerprint magnet
Price: best 1.3ghz dual core notebook bargain at the moment (expect to pay about $100 more for comparable performance)
Excellent screen, although only 11.6" compared to competition (see below)
A 3 cell battery would have kept the sleek, slim <1" profile, while the included 6 cell battery sticks out akwardly from the bottom of the case at the rear of the unit, doubling the thickness and making it difficult to slide the computer into a sleeve, computer bag, etc. (see photo.)
No HDD indicator light!
2 of 3 USB ports and the power port are on the right side of the case, right where I use my mouse!
Card reader only accepts 3 types of cards.
HDMI output only, no VGA.
4Gb of memory is great, but it's configured suboptimally in single channel configuration instead of dual channel (a very minor impact on performance.)
Weight of the notebook with included 6 cell battery is 3.40 lbs...still fairly light, but this is not clearly spelled out in the description.
A 12.1" screen could have easily been installed in the same space.
Touchpad buttons are difficult to activate with normal finger pressure.
No "upgrade" access panels anywhere on the unit; would require signficant disassembly.
Large and heavy power AC power adapter, 3 prong plug.
I ultimately returned this laptop due to the akward battery issue (the 3 cell version does not have this issue, but I need the 6 cell.) The depth of the computer at the battery is a full 2 inches, and it does not fit neatly in a travel bag in any way. I purchased an ASUS UL30A-X5 which is a great value as well but $170 more. It offers higher specs (13.3" LCD, full core2 duo, 500GB HDD, 4gb DDR3 memory) in a slightly larger footprint, but with it's smaller power supply weighs only 2oz more than the 11z. The ASUS UL20A is also a good model.
on January 7, 2010
This was offered during the holidays as one of Amazon's daily deals. To get a Dell laptop with 4GB of RAM and a very large laptop hard drive for 449.00 was an outstanding purchase. It was purchased to replace a larger Dell laptop that was heavier. While the old one was great for school, the new lighter weight 1100 is perfect for travelling and taking to the library. The new Windows 7 that came in the computer is also an outstanding upgrade. While XP is great, and Vista only so-so, Windows 7 is a step up from XP and miles above Vista. Overall, this was a wonderful computer offered through Amazon and I would purchase it again without even thinking about it.
on February 19, 2010
I needed a small notebook/netbook to walk around with at school. I am very picky with any electronic device, and expect quality when I make a purchase. I did A LOT of research beforehand to decide which brand would be the best. This one has more than exceeded my expectations in all areas.
- Hi def led screen is miles ahead of the regular 1280 x 600 resolution screens
- Excellent performance in everything I need, including using MS Office, Adobe CS4, programming, and watching HD videos in full 1080p!
- Large multi-gesture mouse pad similar to Apple notebook
- Lots of ports, including memory card slot (3 in 1), HDMI port (full 1080p), USB ports including one powered for use while computer is asleep
- Great battery life (I must have a special unreleased prototype version, because my battery lasts over 8 hours without using power saver mode! They advertise 6 hours I believe)
- Great speaker volume (lacking bass but so what!)
- Thin charger, great for packing it in the same case
- Doesn't heat up much at all, even when using for extended periods of time
- Very attractive looking, ultra thin. Nice glossy surface. Easily leaves fingerprints, but everything does these days.
- Battery lasts long, but is pretty much the same thickness as the notebook itself. Makes it a little harder for use with sleeves, but it creates great vent airflow and a good typing angle. Buy the 3-cell version if you have a problem.
- Left and right mouse buttons are very difficult to click, but I've gotten used to using the gestures to compensate
I couldn't be happier overall considering the under $500 price tag. Dell did a brilliant job with this one, and Amazon did just as well lowering the price even further, and getting it to me with its usual quality packaging. 5 stars for me.
on January 9, 2010
The early press reviews loved the performance but hated the track pad. Well the track pad issue seems fixed you need to go to the Dell website and install the updated drivers. The trackpad once you set it for your personal taste works fine. The hidden buttons on it though are harder than most to press.
The specs on Amazon are correct but mine also can with the 6 cell battery (a Dell $120.00 option)
I'm am extremely pleased with this purchase. For the money this is a bargain in the Culv Ultralight and thin category.
on March 10, 2010
After years of owning various Apple laptops (and swearing by them), I finally ventured back into the PC world, and so far I am very happy with the result.
What I like:
- Light weight: This laptop is so light that it fits into my work purse and I barely notice the weight. I can carry it everywhere with me.
- Long battery life: The 6-cell battery life is very long, about 6 hours or so on powersave mode, which means I feel comfortable not always carrying the charger around.
- Window 7: they copied a lot of features from the Mac OS, with no complaints from me. So far I find it very intuitive, elegant, and easy to use.
- Trackpad, scrolling: another feature they stole from Apple, but I love scrolling without having to hit any buttons. Bravo.
- Keyboard: might be too small for some, but perfect for my relatively small hands.
- The cost: really can't complain here, and one of the main reasons why I switched back. This computer costs less than half of what a Macbook with similar specs would have cost.
- Fast processing speed: I don't do anything that complicated on my computer, just Internet, word processing, reading pdf files,and downloading photos. It is lightning fast for all these purposes.
What I dislike:
- Trackpad, zooming and the cursor: The trackpad was not so responsive until I set it manually. The pinch-zoom feature drove me crazy until I figured out how to turn it off.
- No DVD drive: I thought that this wouldn't bother me, but it turns out that I miss being able to play DVDs and rip my CDs, etc. So I got an external drive pronto. I think on balance, I prefer having the drive inside the computer, but I do appreciate the light weight, so maybe this one is a draw.
- Screen: a bit small, but it's fine.
- The battery protrudes: the computer doesn't lie flat, which takes a while to get used to.
Overall, I am very, very happy with this computer, as evidenced by the fact that I take it with me everywhere even when I don't need to. Bravo, Dell, for converting this Apple convert back to Windows.
on January 22, 2010
i've researched a lot of netbooks/laptops in the last several weeks before i purchase this little powerhouse. i'm extremely picky when it comes to keyboard feel and mouse movement and almost didn't purchase this laptop because of some of the forum statements i've read, but in the end, the great price, no tax, and free shipping made it worth a venture. i am so glad i took the chance.
* great screen. the resolution is awesome for such a small laptop.
* keyboard feels great. solid and the keys themselves have a nice bounce to them.
* 6 cell battery. though it sticks outs (see cons), it's nice to have the battery life. i'm still going on my first charge and i've gotten about 4 hours out of it. plus the air flow below the laptop keeps it running cooler.
* super light weight. even w/ the 6 cell. slightly over 3 if i would have to guess.
* runs really cool. it doesn't seem to get very hot at all, but that maybe due to the 6 cell battery.
* built in mic works great. sounds good over skype.
* hdmi output looks amazing on my 52' lcd. the hdmi also outputs sound w/ the video stream.
* full windows 7 runs nice and fast.
* 6 cell battery. adds about 3/4 of inch to the full height, but only in the back.
* the gesture touchpad. i don't like the gestures and the fact that it doesn't have a scroll section on the bottom and side of the pad, but i'm starting to learn how to use the gestures, so we'll see if it's a pain in a week.
* finger prints. the cover is a finger print magnet, especially in black.
* cheap replacement batteries are hard to find. cheap being the key word.
* power cable is a full 3 prong block power supply, so it's not small.
* built in camera is kind of crappy and grainy compared to a lot of web cams on the market.
* the dell tool dock is annoying and pops over tops all my windows, but it is easy to turn off.