- Computers & Software»
- Computer Buying Guides
A Mini Laptop vs a Regular Laptop
The mini laptop is basically an ultraportable version of the laptop. The question of which to choose comes down to what you intend to use it for and the level of portability you require.
The mini laptop is smaller and not as powerful as a laptop. It was mainly designed for wireless communication and access to the internet. These units are meant to be used mostly for web browsing and e-mailing and target users who do not require too much computing horsepower under "their hood". The netbook, as it is also known, operates either Windows XP or Linux, Vista being too resource intensive for the max 1 GB of RAM they come equipped with. They range in size from below 5 inches to over 13 inches and weigh less than 3 pounds.
The netbook, as it is known today, can be traced back to the ASUS Eee PC which was launched in 2007. Initially, the unit was designed for emerging markets but by the end of 2008 many more companies released similar units and they began to take market share away from laptops due to their cost effectiveness. Versus their predecessors, which utilized highly expensive platforms, computer technology has evolved to the point where mini laptop computers with performance levels adequate for most users can be provided at reasonable prices. In fact at a fraction of the cost of a regular laptop.
Some benefits to mini laptops are the fact they are ultraportable since they are so light and take up very little space. They can run for 3 hours or more on a full battery but that is at the expense of the RAM and a weaker CPU. Even if they lack a built in optical drive they do have USB ports which will help in data transfer using a memory stick.
Among the negatives of a mini laptop the most important would be the weak CPU and the small amount of RAM. Also, low storage levels as the hard drives are rather small and, of course, the lack of a built in optical drive meaning that you will have to purchase an external unit if you wish to do a lot of software installation.
To be honest, though, the most important benefit has to be the price. They are relatively inexpensive if you do not require a highly powerful computer for portability. Remember that this unit is mainly for portability and cannot replace a main desktop PC or laptop, it is for support.
Coming full circle to the question at hand, though, the answer lies in what you require. If you wish to play performance intensive games or run heavy applications then the laptop is the way to go. But if all you are looking for is Office applications and a way to browse and work via the internet then the mini laptop pc cannot be beaten for portability. It definitely is better to carry 3 pounds versus 15.
Of course, there are mini laptops and mini laptops, since they have also come a long way and now most of the large computer manufacturers have come out with several models. And new models are being put on the market, it seems, every day. After all, the only product as perishable as food is probably the computer. For a closer look at some of the more popular models visit Popular Mini Laptop Computers.