Dell Mini 1012 – Extending the mileage
Netbooks have come and go. They have run its course in the history of computing. People who bought into the netbook concept have now moved on either to ultrabooks or tablets. No one looks at netbooks now. You can’t sell them on eBay/gumtree. No one wants them, not even kids. People scoff at netbooks nowadays. They have become as worthless as dirt.
We are still hanging on to our 2 year old Dell Mini 1012. Sure, a new 11″ ultrabook will be a lot better but why dispose off a perfectly useable hardware especially when you are able to recognize its strengths and weaknesses. This is not a post to justify which computing tool is the best – whether a tablet, netbook, ultrabook, notebook, whatever. This is a post documenting how we are giving our little netbook a small treatment to extend its lifespan.
The most obvious issues with lower end netbooks is their low screen resolution. Most of these netbooks are stuck with a 1024 x 600 screen resolution, an odd size to say the least. Fortunately, the Dell Mini 1012 supports a native 1366 x 768 resolution and the only thing you have to do is to replace its stock screen with a 1366 x 768 unit. The DellMini forum has an old (and long) thread that discuss the upgrading of LCD screen for the Dell Mini 1012. This thread can be found here:
The thread is dated but still relevant if you are still using the same netbook. So I bought the M875K 1366 x 768 screen from an eBay retailer based in Melbourne. Cost is $75 which includes shipping. This is the screen that I bought. It is a matt screen which has less reflection.
They sent the wrong screen (wrong resolution) initially but upon realizing their mistake, they quickly send a new replacement screen. I am pleasantly surprised to find that the screen is manufactured by LG, just like the stock screen from our Dell Mini 1012. Here is a quick shot of how the screen looks like:
A bigger view of the labels showing the model number.
Youtube has plenty of videos that show how to replace the screen of the Mini 1012. Here is one.
The procedure is easy enough. The only thing worth mentioning is that the ribbon connector to the LCD screen is pretty delicate….so I would suggest anyone attempting this should handle this with a bit of care. This is how the screen turns out for us.
Don’t be misled by the poor photo quality of the picture below. The screen is of exceptionally good quality and the screen resolution of 1366 x 768 really make a world of difference compared to the old screen. It is like a different machine altogether.
So far we are happy with the netbook after the screen replacement. It is certainly more enjoyable to use and productivity has certainly increased.
We have also purchased a 2GB ram from eBay and it is on its way. So this should further give the netbook a little boost. I am not sure if I would bother to replace the internal hard drive with a cheap SSD but SSD has the additional benefit of being shock resistant…a plus when travelling. I will update this blog when the new ram from eBay arrived.
Thanks for visiting.
Edit: Installing 2GB of Ram
The 2GB of ram that I ordered from eBay arrived on 28th Jan. Cost me $25 inclusive of shipping. It is a Samsung 2GB DDR2 ram. Installing the ram is pretty easy. Just have to watch out for the fragile keyboard ribbon cable when getting under the hood.
Here are some screenshots.
Observations: The netbook seem much more snappy than with just 1GB of ram. This is a highly recommended upgrade to all existing netbook users.
Posted on January 26, 2014, in Computer, Hardware, Software, How-to's and tagged 10.1" screen, 1012, 1024 x 600, 1366 x 768, Dell, Inspiron, LG screen, Mini, netbook, screen replacement. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.