Today a large proportion of the population has some form of computer or other,
you'll see people on busses, the Tube, sitting in cafe's, in parks and pretty much everywhere using some form of
It may be business or pleasure related, could be last quarter's sales figures or
just as likely (possibly even more likely today) checking messages on their Face Book page or whatever.
Making a restaurant reservation for that evening or booking gig
tickets. There are almost an infinite number of uses for a computer
on the move. However, many people don't want to lug a full sized laptop about with them, this is where a tiny
laptop comes in.
Tiny laptops or "NetBooks" as they're generally classified have exploded in
popularity in the last year or two. Prices have fallen as more and more manufacturers enter that part of the
market and fight for your purchase. The technology is becoming more and more mature as time passes.
They are well beyond being a risky purchase, their place in the market is well and truly cemented, they are here to
They are improving all the time too, faster, more computational power so you can
do more with them and extended battery life. This is very important for a portable, no point having a fast
computer when the battery only lasts a few minutes. Generally these tiny laptops last at least 4
or 5 hours and many can now achieve 10 hours (and more)!
A Net Book is a fantastic compromise. So often compromises are jacks of all trades, masters of none and end up being fairly useless but in
this instance it doesn't appear
to be the case. It is true that they're pretty much "masters of none" but they're perfectly adequate for
their main uses which are web browsing and email. Lets expand on this a little...
There are many "smart phones" on the market that claim to be able to web browse
and can send/receive email but it's always fiddly to type much on a number keypad or the few that have full QWERTY
keyboards the keys are so microscopic they're very difficult to use for more
than a quick couple of lines.
Web browsing on them is worse in many respects because the screens just aren't up
to it. You get a tiny area to view a web page which is usually a large thing and it usually ends up simply
annoying the user. There are special web pages designed for mobile devices but few webmasters bother to
create them so you have these screen issues.
Netbooks are ideal here with an average 10 inch (25cm screen (most manufacturers
start at 7 inch models and go up to 12 inches) which is far more usable for web browsing.
A full sized laptop will pack far more
punch than a Net Book or smart phone and won't suffer the screen size issues for browsing but by their very nature
they're bulky and heavy.
While a laptop is not suitable for proper gaming (unless you buy a
specialist gaming laptop which will set you back a good couple of grand)
a little light gaming can be done, not something you can really do with the other devices.
Net Books, or tiny laptops as many people refer to them (and it's not a terrible
name for them as they are much more akin to a laptop than they are to a smart phone), with around 10 inches
of screen realestate are really quite usable for writing a document or viewing a smallish
No it's not perfect, it's not as useful as a laptop but it's infinitely better
than a smart phone screen and is eminently useable. With a small QWERTY keyboard they're highly useable for
emails and documents. You wouldn't want to type a best seller on one but for a few pages they're very
With WiFi built in, plenty of storage space (16GB is very common), a decent
keyboard and screen plus a glide pad to take the place of a mouse they are a tiny laptop.
They all also have standard USB ports on
them for connecting your devices to, they're capable of playing MP3's, watching video on and almost everything else
you would do on a full sized laptop.
They're just slower, the screen and keyboard are smaller and they don't tend to have DVD drives so you'd need to load your films up onto it before
hand rather than take a disc with you.
All in all an excellent compromise. They're not all a full sized unit is but
they remain very useful and with the size and weight they are they can be slipped into a large pocket, a handbag or
whatever without sticking out and being a big "please mug me" advert.
There will possibly come a day when they are as ubiquitous as mobile phones.
Perhaps they'll even kill off smart phones like the much vaunted iPhone and phones will become simpler again but
will all be able to easily interface with a tiny laptop so it can use the mobile's connection to it's network
for it's internet connection if it's not in a wireless hot spot at the time.
A tiny laptop seems like a very sensible purchase for almost any one. They
can be justified for a great many different people in different circumstances. The inventors of these devices have really done a great job and created them selves an
enormous market. Mr. tiny laptop inventor, we salute you!