How I Got an Ultra-Portable 2.5lbs Mac OS X Netbook with a 10″ LCD for $204

Sep 8, 2009 - 11 Comments

hackintosh dell mini 10v So you want a small lightweight portable Mac OS X machine, the closest thing Apple has in this area is the MacBook Air which is $1600 or more. No doubt about it, the MacBook Air is a great machine but I don’t want to spend anywhere near $1600 for another laptop when I already have a MacBook Pro. I’m thinking a small budget, like really small by Mac standards, how about $250 or less? Impossible you say? Wrong! It’s possible and I did it! Here’s how you can too. Be warned, this is not sanctioned by Apple, and it’s breaking the Mac OS X EULA agreement.

What You Will Need

* $200-$250, expenses vary based on your particular model, coupon code, and luck at the Dell Outlet
* 8gb USB key or external USB hard drive you don’t mind formatting
* Mac OS X 10.5 install DVD or image
* some patience

Finding a Cheap Dell Mini 10v for Hackintosh Purposes

So now you need to find the cheap Dell Mini 10v, the refurbs from Dell Outlet serve this purpose wonderfully. Combined with a discount code from the DellOutlet Twitter, and you have yourself a very affordable Hackintosh. My final price was $204 shipped!

Twitter: DellOutlet – follow DellOutlet on Twitter to get product discount codes, I got one for 15% off from here. They pop up once a week or so and have a limited duration. – Mini 10v – check stock and sort by price, it’s a live search so you can constantly refresh it and see different stock from other people dumping their carts. I have seen a Mini 10v for as low as $219 BEFORE using the 15% coupon!

Hackintosh: Installing Mac OS X on the Dell Mini 10v

Gizmodo Guide to install Snow Leopard on the Dell Mini 10v – this is based on the information from MyDellMini forums but it’s made a bit easier to follow and has some nice pictures of progress. If you want to install Snow Leopard on your Mini 10v, this is a great guide to follow.

MyDellMini: Fool Proof No Hassle Mini 10v Install Guide – Fellow OS X Daily author Bill Ellis wrote about theHackintosh Dell Mini 10v several weeks ago, which is what first perked my interest in the topic. I followed the guide he suggested, it works, just follow the steps carefully and it will work for you too.

Upgrades, Troubleshooting, and more

MyDellMini – Install 2GB RAM Upgrade on Dell 10v – I followed the videos here to upgrade the memory. Ok I admit, the RAM upgrade was a total pain, but OS X smokes with 2gb of ram on the Mini 10v so if you’re technically competent and have the patience, it’s the best $19 you’ll have spent in a while. For what it’s worth, OS X runs just fine with only 1GB of RAM but you will see a noticeable speed bump with the 2GB upgrade.

MyDellMini Forums – this is a wildly helpful bunch of people that are quick to help and extremely knowledgeable on the topic, if you have any questions or run into problems at all, this is probably the best place to go.

MyDellMini Forums: Snow Leopard – Now that Snow Leopard is out I’d love to get it running on my little Hackintosh, but I’m going to wait until the process is a bit more streamlined before attempting this. If you follow the MyDellMini forums though, you’ll see many people have successfully installed it already, it’s just a bit complicated. I imagine the Hackintosh community will sort this out pretty soon, it’s a smart group.

Final Thoughts on Hackintosh

Considering how vibrant the Hackintosh community is, particularly focused on Netbooks, I think it points to a hole in Apple’s current product line: a cheap, lightweight, super-portable Mac. Until Apple fills this niche with something (the rumored Mac Tablet, or whatever), I’ll bet the Hackintosh community continues to grow, especially when people are pinching pennies in a recessionary economy. Hopefully Apple steps up and delivers, an Official Mac Netbook or equivalent would be awesome and I would buy one!


Related articles:

Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Fun, Hackintosh, Mac OS


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. Dee says:

    I want to buy a dell mini 10v from dell but I want to have bluetooth installed internally. Will this mess up the mac hack?

  2. […] If you want to run OS X on a Dell Mini and want to pay around $200 USD, check out our guide for a cheap hackintosh netbook […]

  3. […] this hint on MacWorld, where the author was complaining of the way fonts looked in 10.6 on his Hackintosh Dell Mini 10v, the changes are very profound on smaller screens and the improvement was very nice on my […]

  4. Mike T says:

    I just got my 10v last night and I love it! bought it locally (clist) already upgraded & hackint0shed and its running pretty quickly.

    Performance is somewhat comparable to my Mac Mini both running Leopard 10.5.8

    Here are the specs on both machines”


    Intel Atom N280, 2GB RAM, 250 SATA HD……

    Mini: (Def…no SLOUCH)

    Intel Core 2 Duo 2.16(Upgraded) processor, 2GB Kingston Hyper X RAM, 250 7200 RPM HD

    I’m installing Snow Leopard this weekend along with Windows 7 Ultimate for Dual boot.

    Rubs Palms….this should be interesting. I’m VERY excited. The only other netbook I would consider is the Sony Vaio W Series but that’s another 200 more for the exact same performance. The only advantage is the 720P HD screen.

    Good thing these Dells have the same hardware as the Macbook Pros (minus the processor of course chipset).For the price, there’s NOTHING out there that compares. I’d do it again in a heartbeat

  5. kristin says:

    how would this one work for running mac osx
    Dell Model: Inspiron Mini 10v
    Processor Brand: Intel
    Processor Class: Atom N270
    Processor Speed: 1.6 GHz
    Memory: 1 GB
    Hard Drive: 120 GB SATA Hard Drive

  6. kristin says:

    so i am really excited to get my dell mini 10v running mac … but first i’ve got to order my dell mini 10v and my questions start here … does it matter which dell 10v i order? for instance which hard drive, memory and general specs?? what is the optimal dell mini 10v to run mac on?? i read that i need 16g ssd .. what about SATA drive?? more info on the “optimal dell configuration” to start with would be great! thanks Kristin

  7. Tony says:

    Where did you find a 2G stick for $19??
    Also, look for a refurb mini on the outlet site with a 6 Cell battery (only $30 more), don’t just pick the lowest price.

  8. […] been fans of the Dell Mini 10v for Hackintosh purposes, it’s small, quick, attractive, and can be obtained for surprisingly cheap in the $200 range. It looks like the rest of the blogworld is catching on to this little beast of a MacHack Netbook, […]

  9. […] say that sleep works on some of the models. Here at OS X Daily we usually opt for the turning the Dell Mini 10v into a Hackintosh Netbook because it’s so cheap ($199 refurbed on the Dell Outlet just last week) and it also is pretty […]

  10. […] Hackintosh Mini 10v – this is our guide on how to get a Hackintosh Dell Mini 10v that runs Mac OS X for just over $200. In my opinion, the Dell Mini 10v is the best option for a really awesome Hackintosh Netbook, it’s got good looks, a 10″ screen, and you can get one extraordinarily cheap by following these steps. Only downside is the RAM upgrade hassle. […]

  11. Michael Anderson says:

    It doesn’t break EULA if you get an apple sticker an put it on your new machine. Eula says that it must be on an apple branded machine. So brand it!

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