Is a White Dell Inspiron Mini 9 Worth $25 More?

This morning I got a hold of the Dell Inspiron Mini 9 in Alpine White (not to be confused with Snow White). I have to say it looks pretty elegant and has a MacBook look to it. However, I am not sure I prefer it over the Obsidian Black Inspiron Mini 9 we have been reviewing, since the only difference is the lid’s color. The keyboard is still black and the palm rest silver. In honor of Jerry Seinfeld’s appearance on the tech scene, I got to thinking about the black-and-white cookie/laptop debate (if you don’t know what Seinfeld has to do with the black-and-white cookie, shame on you, and see the “Dinner Party” episode). Dell is charging $25 more for its white (sorry, Alpine White) Inspiron Mini. For that same $25 you could get a 1.3-MP webcam or 1GB of RAM. We didn’t quite understand why a webcam wasn’t standard on the system, but paying for a glossy white lid on a low-cost notebook is even more bewildering. Apple has, for a long time, offered the opposite type of deal: white is standard, black costs more. I understood upgrading to black in the case of the MacBook: you get a larger hard drive (250GB), and the black gets less dirt on it than the white. But in the Inspiron Mini’s case I don’t see the point. I’d rather pay 25 bucks more for RAM or a webcam. After all, this is supposed to be a low-cost system, and after a while the dollars add up to the point where you could get a standard notebook for the price. In charging $25 more for white plastic, could Dell be thinking that:

  • White is a Mac color and Macs cost more than PCs.
  • Alpine White paint has to be imported from Switzerland.
  • The white version lid will be cooler when left out in the sun (like a white car, or wearing a white shirt).

Tell us what you think in the comments. Maybe we should refer to Jerry on this one as he did say in the classic episode: “If people would only look to the cookie [mini-notebook?], all our problems would be solved.”

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  1. Matt Parkins Says:

    I wouldn’t pay $25 extra for a white Dell Inspiron Mini, but I would pay $25 extra for the red one. I wonder what that says about us all:

    http://www.freshpilot.com/wp-content/images2/dell_mini_inspiron_red.jpg

  2. Jimbo Says:

    Dell Mini 9 is a rip-off. Pay extra for webcam, small storage, pay extra for white color… common!
    Acer is the best deal so far. go Acer!

  3. Todd Haselton Says:

    I will pay $25 for a black and white cookie

  4. V Says:

    You forgot that

    White makes you look thinner.

    Black makes you look fat.

  5. S Says:

    I configured a mini on the dell website today, by the time I added in white, webcam and 1 gig of ram I realized I was over the price of an asus eee pc, which started all this. Dell has it wrong in thinking to make these standard features extra money.

  6. Futurize Korea Says:

    The Dell Mini on the Canadian site has no difference in prices for either colour.

  7. Dan Says:

    Overall, it is a C+ deal, if you wanna add all the extra it will become a C- deal…
    for me to have a webcam or 1gig of ram is much important than have a alpine white lid..

  8. GeorgeJ Says:

    In Canada, we only only get one base model (1gb, 8 gb ssd, xp) then you need to add the webcam ($20 for 0.3MP and $40 for 1.3MP) and Bluetooth… The good news for US Canadians is that the there is no additional $25 cost for white.. both Black and white versions cost the same here…

  9. Pratul Says:

    I like both colors and would not mind paying $25 because I like it. However, I wonder what other colors might be offered soon. Google search using “dell mini” brings up the sponsored link from dell touting ‘choose from 4 colors’*.

    The leaked phots on Gizmodo featured red. I will wait for some more time and choose from four colors instead of two.

    * if you don’t get this message the first time, refresh the page a couple of times and this message will appear from dell. Looks like their advertising team is little bit ahead of marketing.

  10. Linda Says:

    Thought I would buy as soon as available. Now waiting for red. That’s one less sale!!

  11. Jae Says:

    White can’t jump..

  12. Smith Says:

    I don’t have to pay $25 for white as I live in Canada, and its a free option
    also, our 399$ version comes with 1GB of ram standard :)

  13. Me Says:

    I hear that the black case looks like carp from finger grease.
    I would pay for the white.

  14. Gone95835 Says:

    Right now on the USA site, the $449.99 config offers white for no charge, change to black -$25.00.

  15. likethewind22175 Says:

    I would also pay $25 for red – not the white. I had one configured but decided not to buy. Red would have made me pull the trigger! If red comes out within a few weeks , I may buy one. Having a hard time between this and MSI Wind…..

  16. LOGIC PROPHET Says:

    I don’t see the reasoning behind the white maybe its less of a finger print magnet? at any rate leaving it black and matching the specs of the other popular netbooks sans the BT its cheaper for me then a 901 and acer one

  17. anon Says:

    This is the only Dell product I wouldn’t mind purchasing. It’s lame how they’re trying to squeeze as much money out of the Inspiron Mini 9 by charging people for standard features like Bluetooth, 1.3MP webcam, Windows XP, and etc..

    I wouldn’t mind getting an Inspiron Mini 9 in white as long as it doesn’t have problems with discoloration like the white Macbooks.

  18. mark Says:

    The white one is now no extra charge on the dell website as of now on the XP versions

  19. mac sucks Says:

    if u get either one they look like mac books but for 1/5 the price. MAC’S SUCK

  20. David Says:

    “The white one is now no extra charge on the dell website as of now on the XP versions”

    Not true – yea its “included” but for example – the maxed out xp is $494
    Using the 1-DNDMXA1 e-value code – you can actually delete the white and save $25 making it $469

  21. Steve Says:

    I ordered one in ALPINE white, but it was a NO COST option with my configuration. Also, don’t look at the Mini as a low cost notebook, but an expensive, specialty, mini computer. That will put it into correct perspective.

  22. brian Says:

    I went with white because I don’t like finger prints

  23. code4fun Says:

    I would pay an extra $25 for an aluminum case. I don’t care for the glossy plastic white/black. They scratch easy and smudge marks shows. I like the fact that you can open up a Dell mini and upgrade the memory and has an extra mini PCI. I’d like a 10″ model like the MSI Wind and room for a 2.5″ drive and 6-cell battery. The only thing is MSI should make it easier for owners to upgrade the Wind.

  24. G Says:

    I bought mine from QVC. Black or white were the same price. Came with a webcam and a 3 year warranty. I got white thinking it would not show the fingerprints as much as my glossy black HP tx1115nr does. We’ll see. I am receiving it tomorrow

  25. Natta Says:

    I would probably pay a little more for it, just because white is my favorite color. If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t even bother buying one. BUT can someone tell me a link to a online shop that has an Airplane White Dell Mini?!

  26. crystal Says:

    i bought a white mini and love it! my bf would of preferred red. its simple yet perfect for me

  27. ty Says:

    I have a alpine white dell i prefer the white it is a lot nicer than the black one for my opinon

  28. ty Says:

    p.s my does not have a webcam you can buy one off ebay for less than $10 my mini is only 8gb

  29. byaa3.com Says:

    yes I will and I already did, 1st the white looks cooler than the black, 2nd in my country (Egypt) all Dell partners selling the black only so I got mine from US via Dell web site and now I have something nobody but few people own it, 3rd I already installed Mac OS X on it and using it right now typing this comment :)

  30. asdfghjkl Says:

    The whites sexy and sleek for females. The black is rough and cold for males :) problem solved.

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