If you are looking to buy a small laptop then there are some important facts you need to know in order to make the right purchase. What you think may be a bargain may end up just being a waste of money if it doesn’t do what you want it to.
Firstly what exactly is a small laptop? Well there is a group of laptops that are known as sub-laptops or more commonly now netbooks. The general characteristics of these computers are that they are much smaller than their full size counterparts. They are designed specifically to suit those who just want to use the basics such as internet and email and do other online activities. As such they are designed to be more portable and have a longer battery life so they can be taken out and about. Their larger laptop cousins with their 17 inch plus screens are generally far too heavy to carry any distance.
The key difference is that netbooks are essentially cut down versions of laptops designed primarily for internet based computing. Although they can do most everything a full size laptop can do the smaller screen, keyboard and lower processing power means that any hefty computing can be cumbersome.
The main benefits of a small portable computer is that you can get access to emails and the internet on the go. These computers are often small enough to fit into a large pocket or handbag and are not particularly heavy making them easy to carry. For you to be able to access the internet on the go you will need internet access. This is achieved via WI-FI or with a USB mobile dongle, many newer models now have this dongle built into to laptop casing itself rather than having it as a separate accessory.
One thing to remember about netbooks is that the screens will be much smaller which means a smaller display resolution. If the resolution or the amount of pixels that can be displayed on the screen is to low then it will make it problematic when viewing internet pages and checking email. My tip is to go for a model with a small screen size but can display at a decent resolution. The higher the resolution the better.
Unlike larger laptops, smaller laptops and netbooks tend not to run the latest version of Windows. Typically you may find many running Windows XP or a version of Linux. It is important to know that you may not be able to run your favourite applications and games or your documents if you buy a Linux version. Most people are also used to Windows and so they may find Linux a bit alien to them, although Linux is good only go for this if you are specifically looking for it as a feature.
Consider the battery life of the unit, many models can run for 9+ hours before needing a recharge. Generally however the longer the battery life the bigger the battery and this will make the whole unit a lot heavier. Lithium batteries tend to be one of the heaviest components in a portable computer.
Lastly make sure that you are not buying a model that is too underpowered for you. You will need to take into account the processor for speed, the RAM for running applications smoothly and the storage space. It is a case of finding a balance between cost and functionality.
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