Mini Laptop

Mini Laptops & Netbooks

Fri Nov 28, 2008 2:46 pm
Comments: 0 Views: 722

Mini Laptops & Netbooks are small, 7 inch to 10 inch laptop computers made for mobile use. For the most part people assume these are not really computers, and that they are limited to web use.

Most Netbooks are made to use with Linux, but many offer Windows as an option. It has been mentioned that the return rate for Netbooks is 4 times higher than for traditional laptops (yahoo). This has been attributed to the fact that many have been shipped with Linux, which is unfamiliar to most people.

We have tested the Asus Eee PC 900 with Linux and from what we found most anyone would not have a problem with using the basic programs, word processing, web browser, and file management. No doubt that even this might scare away some people but it's hard to see how they could make it easier to use.

As for the notion that these are not real computers, or that they are limited to web use, it should be realized that these are full computers. Mini Laptops have a normal operating system, hard drives or Solid State Hard Drives (SSD), and have a real Intel processor.

The only component that netbooks do not usually come with is a builtin CD/DVD Drive. You can easily add one via one of the available USB ports, just as you can add a portable floppy disk drive. We have found that it is something that is not missed as most people do not use them as they once did.

We set one up to act as a full server just to see what it would do. We added MySQL, PHP, BIND & Apache and there were no problems. The netbooks are generally not as fast as normal computers but most computers do not go for $300-$500, and some of the older models are as low as $200.

There are a number of manufacturers that are now rushing to produce these things, and it was announced that Asus, the Taiwan maker expects to sell about 5 million of them in 2008 (source).

The main producers of Netbooks are Asus, Dell, Lenovo, Acer & MSI. As of yet we have not seen any of these models in mainstream stores such as Target, Staples or Office Max, although I believe that Walmart may be selling some models.

Update: November 28, 2008

Costco is now selling the HP Mini 1000 ($450)

Target now carries the Asus Eee PC 900 ($299) 

Here is a break down of the main models available:

Asus Eee PC

700 - Basically the first generation (7 inch screen, 2 gig hd)

Asus 900 - 8.9 inch screen, 900 mhz intel chip, 16 gig

Asus 901 - comes with the new Intel Atom chip. Saves power, longer battery life.

Asus 1000 - 10 inch screen, Atom chip

Dell Mini Laptops

Dell Mini 9 - 8.9 inch screen

Dell Mini 12 - 12 inch screen


Acer Aspire One - 10 inch screen


MSI Wind - 10 inch screen


Ideapad S10 - 10 inch screen


2133 Mini-Note - 8.9 inch screen, Via C7-M (1.2G) processor

HP Mini 1000 - 10 inch screen

Most of these netbooks have the same processor, the Atom, which is faster and has a better battery life than the Asus Eee PC 900 or the 700/701.

Some come with hard drives and some come with SSD's but the main difference is in size. The Asus 700/701/900/901 are all the smallest. The Asus 1000 seems to be the largest so far, along with the Lenovo Ideapad. The Dell Mini 9 is slightly larger and of course the 10 inch versions have a larger keyboard. But if you want to put one of these in a large pocket or purse than the Asus 900/901 and the Dell Mini 9 is your best bet. Some of the 10 inch models are quite large, bordering on normal size laptops.

It seems with the popularity of these cheaper laptops they will be around for a while.

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