A mini laptop, officially named a mobile Internet device (MID), is a smaller version of the typical laptop. Mini laptops are very small and are lighter weight than normal laptops, with many of them coming in at around 2 pounds (907 grams) and some as small as paperback books. They do not have a lot of the extra features regular-sized laptops are known to have, which translates into significantly lower price tags for most models. Usually, they can be purchased for at least a couple of hundred dollars less than regular laptops.
Mini laptops, also called netbooks, may provide a great option for those who travel a lot and want a compact computer to take on the road with them. Often, these computers have batteries that last for two to three hours of operating time, but a user can purchase a battery that lasts longer. They do not have CD or DVD drives, so they aren’t good for taking along movies and games to enjoy on the road.
Students, those who spend a good deal of time in airports, busy moms on the go, and even those who just like to use computers at their local coffee shops may find mini laptops appealing. They take up much less space than other laptops, which allows users to travel light, even tucking them into shoulder bags, backpacks, or briefcases. However, they cannot handle many of the tasks and uses of normal laptops. These devices are designed primarily for surfing the Internet. They can also be used for creating documents and sending and receiving email.
While mini laptops may be appealing because they are so compact, there are some drawbacks to using one. For starters, their processors are generally less powerful than those found in traditional laptops. They also have less space for storing documents. For some, the keyboards on these diminutive laptops may seem too small for large adult fingers, but this may not be too much of a problem if they are only used occasionally.
The screen sizes on mini laptops are very small. For example, one model has a 7-inch (17.78-centimeter) screen; this may lead to a good deal of squinting to see for many users. However, that may not be a significant problem as long as the user isn’t attempting to use the mini-laptop as his main computer. Also, for those who want to see an entire web page on their laptop screens, it may be best to choose a 8.9-inch (22.60-centimeter) screen. It is possible to find a mini-laptop with a screen as large as 10 inches (25.4 centimeters), but a larger screen typically translates into a larger and heavier computer; other things may add weight as well, such as longer-lasting batteries and additional memory.