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Mini-notebook Shopping Tips

These tiny low-cost laptops are all the rage, but they’re not all created equal.


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by Jeffrey L. Wilson on August 21, 2008

/uploadedImages/Multimedia_Assets/Images/2008/Advice/mini-notebook-shopping-tips_sh01.jpgBasic and inexpensive. Practical and small. Mini-notebooks, a new category of laptops, are designed as secondary systems that you can toss into a bag and take anywhere. These machines deliver the Web, e-mail, and productivity punch in a body only slightly larger than a paperback book. They typically weigh less than 3 pounds and feature battery-saving Intel or VIA processors, 7- to 10-inch displays, 512MB to 1GB of RAM, solid state or traditional hard drives, and Linux or Windows operating systems.

Mini-notebooks lack the raw power of their larger brethren. You won’t find dual-core processors or discrete graphics in these circles, but you will get true portability without paying the hefty prices of traditional ultraportables. With so many manufacturers jumping onto the mini-notebook bandwagon, choosing the best model to suit you particular needs can be difficult. We’ve culled the most vital aspects you’ll need to brush up on to help you make a wise purchase. Happy mini-computing.

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