Buying Cheap Mini Notebooks & Mini Laptops

By: Alan Jacobson

Mini notebooks and mini laptops are half the size of traditional machines, but incredibly powerful and ultra-portable. They are exploding in popularity in four markets:
?- Rural areas around the globe that are cut off from new sources of information such as updated textbooks and up-to-the-minute news turn to these devices to solve these problems.
?- Many poor areas have both the above problem and also the problem of families not being able to afford a full fledged computer.
?- Consumers in the U.S., Japan, and elsewhere often have computing needs that are much less than what a large and expensive computer delivers. Groups such as children, stay at home parents, and senior citizens may want something easy, cheap portable, and light.
?- Many families in wealthier countries are finding that they need almost one computer to every family member. However, to save space and money, and for maximum convenience, they buy one or two large models and the rest are mini-laptops or mini-notebooks.

What has happened over the past few years to truly make mini-laptops and mini-notebooks so popular is that manufacturers no longer have to strip down a lot of the functionality of a larger model to get to a price and size that attracts the consumer. In fact, most of the current minis have the functionality of the fully powerful notebooks and laptops of just a few years ago. They have a screen much larger than a mobile phone or PDA, though slightly smaller than a full sized laptop.

The target price for 2010 many manufacturers have for mini-laptops and mini-notebooks is below $100. They also hope to bring their weight below a pound (they are currently only about a pound and a half). Whether a consumer wants to access e-mail, watch video, listen to MP3s, browse the internet, take pictures and video, or learn from a virtual textbook, these products are already revolutionary even before they take these exciting future steps.

For the more technologically minded, here is a brief synopsis of the features of the technology involved with mini notebooks and mini-laptops:

- Built-in Devices: Wireless LAN antenna, Bluetooth antenna
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- Dimensions (average): Width 6-7 in, Depth 5- 6 in, Height 1-1.4 in, Weight 1.5-1.75 lbs

- Processor: Intel A110 / 800 MHz

- Operating Systems: Varied, but include Windows products such as Vista

- Software: Many possibilities including standard Office products, photo and video editing, financial, etc.

- Cache Memory: Installed Size usually around 512 KB

- RAM: Installed Size .5-1 GB
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- Hard Drive: 20-60 GB

Mini-laptops and mini-notebooks will continue to evolve, but don't wait. Very powerful, ultra-portable, and inexpensive models are already available from major manufacturers.

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