Answering the question of whether mini laptop computers are usable depends greatly upon what you want to use one for. These computers are one of the hottest sellers in recent years, especially for students who are looking for a low-cost machine to surf the Internet and do basic computer tasks, such as word processing and spreadsheets. However, they also have received a lot of criticism because of their lack of functionality.
For what they are meant to do, mini laptop computers are fairly competent. They can surf the Internet at fairly good speeds with a wireless card. Some have mobile broadband cards, which are capable of using cellular frequencies to access the Internet so WiFi access is not needed. However, that feature may cost a little more in some models.
One of the primary criticisms of mini laptop computers are the screen sizes. Most are not any bigger than 9 inches (22.86 cm). However, while many may prefer a larger screen size, the fact is that mini laptop computers are designated as such because of their smaller size. Those wanting a larger screen size should consider another type of computer notebook.
It should be noted that those who are interested in mini laptop computers should take care to understand what operating system they may be getting. Even for those manufacturers that specialize in PC notebook models, the operating system may not be Windows® based. Instead, some may be a Linux® system. While this may not be a big concern for many people, those used to a certain operating system may not appreciate the change.
For those who want to do a little bit more with their laptops, mini laptop computers may not be the best choice. They are not good for most gaming applications. Any resource-intensive programming, such as drafting, would also be substandard on these mini laptops. They may run slowly, become jumpy and even freeze up. For that reason, anyone needing a computer for such applications would do well to consider other models.
Where mini laptop computers do excel is in their portability. In addition to being very easy to carry from location to location, battery life is also very good. One of the biggest consumers of batteries in computers is the screen. The smaller the screen, the longer the battery will last. In some cases, getting six to eight hours out of a mini laptop computer battery is a reasonable expectation.
Another benefit to these computers is the cost. It is possible to get a machine for as little as $250 US Dollars (USD). Even better models can still be purchased for approximately $400 USD. While many may not include a CD/DVD drive, they will include a hard drive, plenty of RAM and the ability to connect to the Internet wirelessly.