Top Deals on Refurbished, Used and New Mini Laptops – April 2011
Acer Aspire One w/ Atom N455
The Aspire One with the model name AOD255E-13639 is a 10-inch netbook based on Intel’s next-gen Atom platform with a 1.66GHz N455 processor and 1GB of DDR3 RAM. It also comes with a multi-touch trackpad, a 250GB hard drive and Windows 7 Starter. It currently sells for as little as:
$230 new (save $40), and $185 used VISIT STORE>>>
HP Mini 110 w/ 6-Cell Battery
The great-looking HP Mini 110 also comes with the latest netbook tech – an Atom N455 running at 1.66GHz coupled with Intel’s GMA 3150 integrated graphics. Windows 7 Starter is also included, along with 250GB of storage and 1GB of RAM. Thanks to a larger battery, this laptop will last for up to 9.5 hours between charges! It is currently available for as little as:
$307 new or $230 used VISIT STORE>>>
HP Mini 210 w/ Built-in Cellular
The HP Mini 210 is a nice laptop in itself, but becomes infinitely more competent with built-in UMTS/HSPA 3G hardware support. Other specs include an Intel N450 CPU 1 gig of memory, Bluetooth and a 250GB hard drive. The operating system is Windows 7 Starter and it ships with a battery that is good for almost 9 hours of use between charges. It is only available in very limited supply, currently:
Used: only $205 VISIT STORE>>>
Netbook, Ultraportable or Subnotebook?
Before you buy a mini laptop, let’s make one thing clear: Cheap netbooks with a single-core Intel Atom or AMD low-voltage equivalent is no replacement for an ordinary desktop PC or more powerful laptop. They have a decent performance, but are usually not very good for gaming or watching HD video. Their purpose is to be small and simple; mobile computers that can take anywhere and use for simple office work, surfing the web, sending some e-mails, logging into Facebook and so on.
Because they come with full-featured operating systems like Windows XP, Windows 7 or Linux in some variant, it is possible to install any applications you want on them. However, don’t count on running the Adobe CS5 suite on a netbook, at least not very efficiently. Unless it’s one of the more powerful CULV laptops, a netbook is a supplement for a desktop or mainstream laptop and not much else.
On the other hand, they’re an extremely fun and useful supplement. These laptops are perfect for students and bloggers. It is very easy to toss a netbook in your bag and go anywhere. With mobile broadband you’ll have an even more useful little companion.
Which type of mini laptop would be best for you, then? Well, it depends on what you value. Here are some factors to consider before buying.
A mini laptop is meant to be portable, and you won’t find an outlet everywhere. Make sure the computer offers plenty of battery life. Three hours is not good enough – some laptops will last for a full workday or more, which is obviously great. Check if it’s a three or six-cell battery and preferably choose the latter.
Type of Screen and Resolution
Some laptops have matte screen, others are blank. This is a matter of taste and one is not necessarily better than the other. Matte screens reflect less, but you can’t get away from the fact that the picture is often far better on a glossy screen. Try them out and see for yourself.
A small laptop is bound to have a small keyboard, but there are differences in usability. Some have larger keyboard than others, while others are very small. Generally speaking, the keyboard should always cover all the available area.
Do You Need a Wireless 3G Modem?
There are clearly advantages with a mini PC that have an integrated 3G modem. When you want to be completely mobile, having built-in mobile broadband is the way to go. On the downside it adds to the cost of the computer and you need a wireless service. All mini laptops have been fitted with ordinary wireless networking and an Ethernet port, so there’s no need to worry about that.
External Optical Drive or None at All
More often than not, a cheap mini laptop lacks the optical drive. The reason is that it simply doesn’t fit. This can be problematic when installing applications, games or switching operating systems, but you can get around this by using an external CD/DVD player.
SSD or HDD
SSDs are the more modern and faster replacement for hard drives. From the user’s perspective an SSD (Solid State Drive) works just like a hard drive, but because it uses flash memory it is completely quiet and shock resistant. Unfortunately and SSD is much more expensive than a hard drive, so you get more capacity for choosing a hard drive. You have to weigh the pros and cons here, depending on how much you need to store.
The Price Tag
Sure, the margins on these small and inexpensive mini laptops are tight, but there are still substantial differences between retailers. Always browse around for deals and see where you can find the model you want for the best price. Choosing a trustworthy retailer with a generous return policy is of course also important.