From the exterior the Dell Inspiron Mini 9 looks simple but elegant. The model we had came with an obsidian black finish, which was rather shiny, and in the center was the Dell logo. The Inspiron Mini 9 almost looks like a smaller version of the Dell Inspiron 1525. The Inspiron Mini 9 is also available in promise pink, alpine white, cherry red, ice blue, and jade green. There are also a few varieties that even have stickers for a more unique appearance.
On the right side of the Dell Inspiron Mini 9 are a headphone jack, microphone input, one USB 2.0 port, one VGA port, and an Ethernet port. There is also a very small vent on this side of the netbook for relieving warm air. The backside of the netbook is relatively plain with there just being the four-cell battery.
On the left hand side of the Dell Inspiron Mini 9 is a Kensington lock slot, DC power input, two USB 2.0 ports, and a memory card reader. The Dell memory card reader supports Secure Digital, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, and MultiMedia Cards. Along the front edge of the netbook are power and disk indicator LEDs.
The keyboard on the Mini 9 is quite compact, but not as small as that of the ASUS Eee PC. It is not nearly as nice as the keyboard found on the Samsung NC10, but better than the Lenovo IdeaPad S10. Fortunately, the touchpad on the Mini 9 has a bit more surface area than the NC10.
Our Dell Mini 9 had no web-camera, but otherwise that would be found right above the 8.9" LCD. This display uses LEDs for its backlight and its native resolution is the standard 1024 x 600.
Flipping over the netbook, on the bottom side is a large panel that can be removed for upgrading the hardware. Exposed when removing two screws and popping off the plastic panel are one DDR2 DIMM slot, a PCI Express wireless mini card, and a mini PCI Express Solid-State Drive.