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The Mini Notebook – What You Need To Know

Updated on September 16, 2009

The mini notebook or mini laptop is a relatively new kind of personal computer that you may not be familiar with.  By the end of this article you will understand why there is so much chatter about this new breed and what you can expect from one if you decide to get one for yourself (as well as why you might want to get one, for that matter).

So what exactly is a mini notebook?  Well it’s clearly not your usual bulky desktop personal computer and it’s not the laptop you might be familiar with.  It’s smaller and lighter than a laptop, but not reduced to the size of a hand held device like a PDA, iPhone or other SmartPhone.   It has a regular keyboard like a laptop, just smaller to make it even more portable.  In fact, many of these mini notebooks weigh less than 3 pounds; some as little as two!  And their dimensions are like, well, a notebook, but a mini notebook.

While these smaller scale laptops can do a lot of the basic, everyday things that many people ask of their computers, they don’t come with a lot of excess software or unnecessary bells and whistles.  When you think about it though, a LOT of the stuff that is loaded on computers is not needed by someone who’s main uses will be surfing the internet, downloading and listening to music or watching videos or reading e-books.  For all these kinds of activities, a mini notebook does an excellent job. 

Because these little wonder machines don’t have extra, unnecessary stuff loaded on them, and because the advancement of technology is so amazing, their price points are incredibly attractive.  You can find many of these for under $400, and if you don’t need the latest and greatest, you can probably find something in the neighborhood of $200! 

With such a low price point and easy portability, mini laptops are a great solution for a lot of different consumers.  For instance, travelers who don’t want to lug around more than they need because they’ll just be surfing, reading (or watching/listening) and maybe doing a bit of writing.  Elderly, who just want to be able to exchange emails with friends and family (though one drawback is that the keyboards and keys are quite small on some models, so that is something to take into consideration for adults, especially the elderly).

Another wonderful market for mini laptops is children.  They can be exposed to the wonders of computing without investing a ton of money into one.  At the same time, they won’t be hogging the family computer or downloading questionable files that take hours to fix.  For older kids, including children in remote and/or impoverished areas, using a mini notebook along with virtual textbooks can bring a world of experience and education to their fingertips.

As mentioned above, the advancements in technology are amazing.  Some of these new mini notes (as they’re sometimes referred to) even include built in web-cam, allowing for video calls over systems such as Skype.  The hard drive capacity has increased tremendously over earlier models, with some now approaching nearly 200 GB of storage space.  Plenty of room for movies, music, books and photos.  Integrated wireless connectivity makes it a breeze to travel to your favorite local (or not so local) wireless café or hot spot. 

All in all, between the size and portability of mini notebooks, their affordability, the appropriate use of resources for the kinds of things that regular people want to use their computer for, and the ever growing variety of models to chose from, it is no wonder that mini notebooks are an exploding market in personal computing today.

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