Mini Laptop And Netbook Buyer’s Guide

mini laptop buyers guide

Netbook vs Mini Laptop

There’s no industry standard that differentiate netbook with mini laptop, but generally we refer to netbook as a lightweight portable PC that has limited power and is capable only for general computing tasks such as web browsing, checking emails, creating and editing office documents, or pretty much anything else you could do with a 2-3 year old computer; while mini laptop is a more powerful device that’s not only capable for general computing, but also for running more demanding tasks like full HD video playback, and some moderate gaming that netbook couldn’t handle well.

Important Features For Netbooks And Mini Laptops

There are both advantages and disadvantages for netbooks and mini laptops. Both have lighter weight and lower price but less processing power than a full-featured laptop. Netbooks and mini laptops may not be for everyone, but if you use your current laptop mostly for Internet surfing and word processing, then you could benefit from these smaller, and more portable device. Below are some of the features that you should look for when buying a netbook or mini laptop.

Weight
Portability is one of the major benefits for netbook or mini laptop. Therefore, always look for a model that’s light enough to carry conveniently. Most minis weigh about three pounds, but if you are able to find one with less weight, go for it — the lighter a netbook or mini laptop is, the better.

Screen And Keyboard Size
One of the drawbacks to a smaller, more compact computer can be a reduction in screen size. If you want a bigger screen, there are quite a number of mini laptops that have 12-inch displays, but keep in mind that you shouldn’t get mini laptops with screens larger than that, because at that point you should probably just buy a full-featured laptop.

Similar to the screen size, keyboard size is shrunk down a bit on most netbooks and mini laptops. Try to find one as close to a normal laptop’s size as possible if you have problems working with smaller keys.

Battery Life
What good is buying an uber-portable mini if you’re tethered to an outlet all the time? Luciky, most netbooks and mini laptops nowadays are available with 6-cell battery that provide users with more than 6 hours of battery life. There are some models that comes with 3-cell battery that delivers 4 hours or less of battery life. So pay attention to the battery that comes with a netbook or mini laptop. Most of the time, manufacturers will state the estimated battery life in product description. Read carefully and choose according to your need.

Matte Display
If you are getting a netbook or a mini laptop, chances are you plan to take it outside often with you. If that’s the case, a matte display, as opposed to a glossy display, is a better choice because it stands up to glare and bright sunlight. You will find that majority of the netbooks and mini laptops comes with glossy screen, but it’s worth spending some time to locate a model with a matte display if you plan to use it outdoor frequently.

Performance And Price
Another advantage of mini laptops and netbooks are the price. You get less power and thus you pay less. However, it’s still important to think about what kind of activities you will be doing on your computer so that you will to be able to choose between price and performance wisely:

If you only need to surf the web, checking emails, editing documents, or other lightweight computing tasks, a netbook with single-core Atom processor will be sufficient. A few models in this category that we recommend includes: Toshiba NB505, ASUS Eee PC 1001PX, and Acer Aspire One 255E. You can get one of these models for below $300.

If you have the habit of running lots of program simultaneously, a netbook with dual-core Atom processor, which cost between $300 to $399, will provide you smoother multitasking experience. Some netbooks in this category that we recommend includes: ASUS Eee PC 1015PEM, Toshiba NB305, and Samsung NF310

If you are to run some demanding tasks such as video editing, playing 1080p videos, or playing first person shooter games, then you need a mini laptop with either a dual core Atom processor with discrete GPU, or one with the new AMD Fusion APU which combines CPU and GPU into one. Some netbooks in this category that we recommend includes:ASUS Eee PC 1215B, ASUS Eee PC 1215N, and HP Pavilion dm1z

And finally if you are in the market for a netbook or mini laptop, be sure to check out our list top 10 netbooks and mini laptops!