As the world progresses, gadgets are becoming thinner, more powerful, and smaller, and so does mini notebooks. Yes, you read that right; they are usually called netbooks.
Are you looking to buy some fabulous pieces of technology with 7-inch screens and powerful hardware that are ultra-portable, and you can continue your work while traveling around? If yes, then you are in for a treat because here at DigitalNomadHardware, our experts have gathered some fabulous models of ultra-portable notebooks that require your immediate attention.
In this article, we are not only going to show you some products, but also how they become a valuable part of our lives and why you should invest in a miniature notebook. Sounds interesting, right?
Why not read till the end and find out how amazing the world around us is developing for good.
History of mini notebooks (Netbooks)
In an all-together guide of mini-notebooks, it would be unfair if we won’t tell you about how and why these amazing gadgets came into existence. Surprisingly, a few years back, mini notebooks were one of the most discussing topics.
Although they didn’t have enough functionality, high performance as laptops, but they were easy to carry, extremely affordable, and ultra-portable devices that were enough to spend your travels productively.
However, the first mini notebook is probably evolved from network computers in the mid-1990s. It is now a discontinued netbook line, but in the beginning, it was known as a 100 US dollar laptop. Later on, it was named the OLPC XO-1. This small machine was equipped with 366MHz, 128MBs of RAM, AMD Geode GX2-500 CPU, and most importantly, Wi-Fi 802.11g.
Quite impressive, right? Furthermore, the Palm Foleo, which was small and portable, also lighted the market for a long time. But you will be surprised to know that these mini notebooks were originally manufactured for developing markets around the world only.
But later, OLPC X0-1 was built to be distributed among the children, so every child can have a better reach to knowledge. Hence, OLPC stands for “One Laptop Per Child.” At this time, it was quite hard for the mini-notebook to get into the market, but after early 2008, netbooks were not less than a wildfire.
Especially when big companies, such as Dell and HP, launched their mini notebooks with the availability of the Microsoft Windows operating systems. Therefore, it reduced the drawbacks for users, and Netbooks started to grow.
You will be surprised to know that in the second quarter of 2008, small-sized notebooks represented only 5.6% of sales. In the second quarter of 2009, the margins have expanded to 22.5% of all netbook sales.
Mini notebooks vs. Full sized notebooks
In this part, we are going to compare the mini notebooks (usually Netbooks) with the full-sized notebooks. Yes, we can understand both words are quite similar and can be confusing, but trust us, the idea behind them is quite the opposite.
To understand it better, you have to know the general idea of a mini notebook first. Well, These are lighter, thinner, and comes with a lesser price tag. But they lack the powerful internal hardware that you can see in other devices. While the main factor still remains the screen size. A netbook comes with a screen size of less than 11-inches (Mostly 7-inches).
Now the big question arises, what is the purpose of a netbook? Clearly, a netbook can be used for basic web browsing, communication, and listening to music. If you are a light user of your device, then Netbook is the right way to go.
On the other hand, we have a Notebook, and a notebook is a device that comes with plenty of features other than those of a Netbook. Such as you can see an optical drive, an Ethernet port, and nothing other than a big screen (usually 15.6-inches).
Clearly, these notebooks were designed to switch the desktop PCs, which is why these notebooks are often called “regular” laptops since these notebooks can show quite amazing performance while doing some pretty heavy work, such as photo editing, video editing, etc.
A full-sized notebook should be your choice to go for if you’ve loads of work that requires efficient hardware. But keep in mind that when you are going to get plenty of features and a good piece of internal hardware, you have to pay some extra bucks as well.
Therefore, these notebooks can cost you up to a couple of thousand dollars.
Advantages and disadvantages of mini notebooks
People who bought and used these mini notebooks have mixed reviews for future buyers. Definitely, there are some advantages and disadvantages with these devices, so we suggest you pay close attention.
Firstly, there are three main advantages that you will be getting if you are interested in buying a mini notebook. You can find all three factors below.
The most mini-notebooks that you can buy have 7-inches to 11-inches of the screen and weigh around 2.5 pounds. Clearly, this means that these mini notebooks are ultra-portable, and you can carry them around with ease. In addition, people find these netbooks quite handy to fit in their bags along with other stuff.
Low cost of replacement parts
Although you never wish to damage your netbooks, it is a fact that devices do crack. But here is the good part, unlike notebooks, Netbooks are quite easy to fix. The replacement parts that you can buy online aren’t way too much expensive, and you can easily get them replaced by your local repairer.
The last but not the least advantage that you can have with the mini netbooks is the price tag. Surprisingly, mini notebooks fall in a range of $500 to $900, while the other notebooks can cost you up to $3000. Conclusively, mini notebooks are much cheaper, and almost everyone can afford them, which is why it is a good option for children.
Now when you are getting amazing advantages, you should know there are some disadvantages that you will be getting along with.
Before you go any further, you should keep in mind; these mini notebooks are more like toy computers, not because of their size but because of their build structure. They are mostly built from cheap plastics, comes with a tiny keyboard, but probably you can get used to it.
Furthermore, there are no optical drives or Ethernet ports, but whenever you need them, you have to stick with the USB storage option only. It might be an issue for some users, but most people go with the flow here.
Limited power supply
If you are wondering about using mini notebooks as a gaming device, or you want to complete your designing projects on it, we are sorry to tell you that these mini notebooks aren’t able to perform that well.
If you are interested in some multitasking, netbooks might pull that off, but a big no for regular video editing, graphic designing tasks.
Fewer Hard drive and RAM
The major drawback that you can come across with a mini notebook is the less hard drive storage. Initially, they were shipped at 4 GB or 6 GB Solid-State Drives. However, now most of them carry 128 GB or 256 GB hard drives, in which you can store a good piece of song collection and movies simultaneously.
Famous brands of mini notebooks
So, if you are ready to buy mini-notebooks, you should know some of the amazing manufacturers that build high-quality netbooks, and people love them.
RCA (Radio Corporation of America)
Do you want to buy one of the best mini notebooks at an affordable price? RCA is your brand to go for. Amazon’s best mini-notebook choice also belongs to this company because their primary focus has always been on the users and their needs, but on the minimum price budgets.
RCA has a record of delivering the best products all across the globe with maximum internal specifications. You can have a look at the products section to know some of the best techs they have built; in our top-models section below.
Asus is one of the main manufacturers of the mini notebooks, so we weren’t able to keep the record of how many netbooks Asus has sold, from Eee PC 700 to modern Eee PC Seashells. The individual pieces that they have sold are easily more than fifty.
GPD (GamePad Digital)
Suppose we are about to choose the most underrated mini notebook manufacturer that would be GPD for sure. GPD has been in the competition for a while now. Although they have a different kind of fan following, you will be surprised to see their mini notebooks from the “Pocket series” that have a fabulous performance.
Acer has always gone with quality over quantity. As a result, they have provided a few mini-notebooks than all the others, but their products hold top-notch quality. Acer has only officially launched three Aspire One mini-notebooks – A110, A150, D150, and the upcoming AOD250 and A751H plus.
It’s been a while since MSI is in the business of mini-notebooks. You will be surprised to know that MSI was the manufacturer of the famous netbook model Wind U100. Although MSI has kept launching their amazing netbook variants, and if you are interested in mini notebooks, MSI should be your definitive call.
One Netbook has ruled the hearts of the people since they launched the One Mix 3. Additionally, they have always given unique and amazing netbooks. One Netbook is known for the quality that it brings in most of its products.
They focus on the needs of their users. One Netbook keeps a strong fan base, and no matter what, their fans have never failed them either.
Samsung has not released a bunch of mini-notebooks in the market yet, but whenever they did, it was fabulous. Some remarkable additions in the market from Samsung were N120, NC10, and NC20.
However, after these models, Samsung shifted its paradigm towards a new generation of netbooks with the N310 that has colorful bezels, ruggedized form factor, which makes it ideal for school-going children.
Dell has not been into the mini-notebook business for long. They started with the two prime models Inspiron Mini 9 (later branded as Dell Vostro) and Inspiron Mini 10. Moreover, dell is looking forward to manufacturing a few more models to make a step ahead in netbooks.
Although HP had launched its mini notebook for a long time before any of its competitors, unfortunately, it had a high price tag than most of the netbooks out there. However, it was not a bummer for HP. Their fans support them and still made it a huge success, even with the limitations.
Such appreciations encouraged HP to launch the HP Mini 2140, which was significantly improved after its previous model. Hp is still looking forward to surprising their fans with something interested.
Factors you need to look at while buying mini notebooks
Now that you have learned about the mini notebooks and certain benefits that these netbooks provide before you head towards investing in the mini notebooks, there are some factors that you should keep in mind.
After buying a mini notebook, you know what you will be staring at for most of the time? Yes, it is the screen for sure. For this purpose, we suggest you buy a netbook model that has a clear and sharp screen quality.
With a low image quality, there can be some terrible effects on your vision. Your eyes might end up straining, and definitely, you don’t want that, so what would be the better solution? Invest in a laptop that shows well and keeps your eyes relaxed.
You wouldn’t want your mini notebook to tear apart after a few days, do you? Certainly, no one wants that, but there are plenty of cheap mini-notebooks available in the market. They all fail when it comes to the build quality, which is why we don’t recommend you to buy them.
Mini notebooks are usually not that pricey, and when you are about to spend some amount, a little more is better to invest in durability. Secondly, better build quality makes your device looks more promising. So, we recommend you to go with the model that has a neat build quality.
There is a number of manufacturers making mini notebooks for users. Better manufacturers act as a token of warranty that their products are made for a better user experience. Now, in the market, there are some local manufacturers or cheap manufacturers, which even sell a mini notebook for around $100.
However, we suggest you always buy a reliable device from a famous manufacturer, such as GPD, One Netbook, Asus, and all other mentioned brands. These companies are in this business for a while. Now, they know what people want and what is better for them. So, a little more bucks for a reliable piece shouldn’t be a problem, right?
If you are a typing person, keyboard quality is a major factor. Certainly, you don’t want a peculiar keyboard with a lot of tacky buttons, which take a lot of time while you are working. As you know, a mini notebook already has limited space, but still, we wouldn’t recommend you to buy a keyboard that has a squeezing keyboard.
However, we suggest you look for a comfortable keyboard layout, ideally having big buttons with spaces around the arrow keys. Such keyboards have a good keyboard quality, and you will enjoy your typing sessions for sure.
You would be thinking that internal hardware isn’t a big deal because you are buying a mini notebook. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case, and you must look forward to a good piece of internal hardware that supports your normal usage without lags.
A good CPU with at least 4 GB of RAM is the bare minimum that you should buy. Below these, you might not enjoy your mini notebook, and undoubtedly, you don’t want that to happen.
Top models of mini notebooks
Now that you have learned all about the mini notebooks, it is time to show you some fabulous models from which you can choose the right one for you.
Most of the conventional mini-notebooks were working on the Windows operating systems, but RCA has decided to break the ice by giving users the Android 10 operating system and converting their mini-notebooks into a tablet-PC.
It is equipped with a 1.3 GHz Quad-core processor and 2 GB of RAM, which make sure that your tasks are completed quickly and effectively. Secondly, they have focused on giving you the best experience of a device by providing a removable 1024 x 600 touch screen display, which you can use on a tablet.
Besides, RCA has given all the necessary connectivity options that you need, such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, MicroSD card slot, USB, 3.5 mm headphone jack, microphone, and a battery life of 6 hours that you can enjoy without any worries.
As the world is progressing towards the future, why not have a device that gives you a sense of modern technology?GPD Pocket 2 is definitely, the right choice. It comes with a fabulous 7-inch touch display and a tacky keyboard that can make your typing sessions worthwhile on the go.
However, this comes with a windows operating system that allows you to perform small professional tasks quickly. Best of all? The Intel Celeron processor 3965Y, Intel HD graphics 615, and 256 GB SSD, which give you effective performance in your travels.
Furthermore, you have the ease in rotating the screen altogether by 360° — to use your mini notebook as a tablet. At last, the GPD Pocket 2 comes with a 6800 mAh large capacity and high-density lithium polymer batteries that make sure you can have at least 6-8 hours of productivity on a single charge.
How about a mini notebook that can be your tablet and PC simultaneously? Sounds interesting, right?RCA Voyager Pro provides their user a similar experience. Although it comes with a keyboard case that you have to equip to use as a mini notebook, it is still a wonderful option.
Furthermore, it comes with android 6.0 (Marshmello), which isn’t that bad in the price range. Secondly, RCA provides 16 GB memory with 2 GB DDR3 RAM that has the capability to give you effective results.
Do you want to buy a robust, handheld, small notebook that can perform efficiently in hours of need? We have what you need! GPD MicroPC is a 6-inch mini-laptop that comes with Windows 10 Pro, 8 GB RAM, and 128 GB memory, which is enough to complete the tasks on the go.
Surprisingly, this is one of the most professional devices that we have included so far. GPD has designed this machine specifically for performing in low battery situations with an Intel N4100 processor, four cores, and four threads. Besides, you can also enjoy the backlit design that makes a great difference while working at night.
A mini notebook that is specifically designed for gamers. Sounds appealing, right? Here is the OneGx1 by One Netbook, which is a handheld PC, a gaming console, and a fully functional mini notebook.
To perform efficiently in all scenarios, OneGx1 needs fabulous internal hardware, and One Netbook has got it covered. You will be getting a Windows 10 installed with a 1920 x 1200 resolution screen along with a 10th generation Intel Core i5-10210Y.
Since it is a gaming machine, One Netbook has installed an intelligent cooling system that will not heat-up your device, and you can enjoy your gaming sessions everywhere. Now, here is the good part, there are different options available. You can either go for 8 GB RAM and 256 GB memory or 16 GB RAM and 512 GB memory.
Moreover, you can buy models with 4g and 5g support and extra side controllers, but that would cost you some extra bucks.
As the name indicates, One Netbook has designed this A1 engineer model specifically for engineers. So, if you are an engineer and looking for an ultra-portable device, this device isn’t going to cause any problem for you.
It is equipped with a touch screen and Intel Core M3-8100Y processor with 8 GB RAM and 256 GB memory, which is quite enough to complete your projects and make your travels productive as well. Secondly, you will be getting a fingerprint scanner to secure your confidential work.
Here comes the beast of mini-notebooks, the OneGx1 Pro. You can see its basic model in the list, but its features were so compelling that we can’t resist but include this monster as well. We can understand it is expensive than most mini-notebooks available, but it is totally worth it.
You will be getting a 7-inch gaming laptop with detachable controllers on both sides that make it a handheld console that is equipped with an 11th generation core i7-1160G7 processor, 16 GB RAM, and Iris Xe Graphics 96Eu that can easily handle all your gaming endeavors.
To manage all the strong internal hardware, One Netbook has installed a 12000 mAh battery that can provide you a long duration of about 6-8 hours with ease. And as a cherry on top, you can choose from different options of storage and connectivity to pick the most suitable variant for yourself.
A mini notebook with an affordable price tag that is enough for all your daily tasks. Yes, you read that right. GPD P2 max is a netbook that comes with 8.9 inches ultra-portable touch screen, Intel Core m3-8100Y, and with Intel HD graphics-615, quite interesting specifications, right?
But it doesn’t just end here; you can also get a fingerprint scanner that keeps your confidential files protected, a 2560 x 1600 resolution, with 16 GB RAM and 512 GB memory. Still, you think it can’t handle your daily tasks?
One Netbook One Mix A1 is a device specifically for productive people. They can do most of their tasks and projects with Intel Core M3-8100Y, 8 GB RAM, and 256 GB SSD. The best part of this product is that it is ultra-portable, and you can keep it in your pocket all the time.
It comes with 1920 x 1200 resolution — gives you crisp quality in designs, so you can perform efficient tasks anytime. Besides, the One Netbook has given all the basic specifications that you need in your everyday life, all that with long-lasting battery life.
If you are a professional, and you need to get a mini notebook, you can’t go for a simple one. Instead, One Netbook has designed One Mix 3 PRO for your productive tasks. This mini notebook comes with Windows 10 and a crisp resolution of 2560 x 1600. Isn’t that amazing?
Apart from this, you can complete your working tasks effectively in no time, thanks to the 16 GB RAM and 512 GB SSD storage with a 10th generation Core i7-10510Y Quad-core Processor. Moreover, with some extra processing, you wouldn’t like your device to heat-up, would you?
But you don’t have to worry about that because One Netbook has installed a dedicated cooling fan that would keep your device at normal temperature, and you can perform your heaviest tasks with ease. As a cherry on top, you will be glad to know that it comes with a fingerprint scanner — meaning only you can access your secret files.
It is good to see you down here. We hope that you have found your answer to your questions relating to mini-notebooks. However, we are sure that this information will help you out practically whenever you head towards buying a new mini notebook.
Besides, all the models that are on our list are the best ones in their domains, but if you want to find out who is the boss here, that would be probably OneGX1 Pro by One Netbook with fabulous hardware, design, and technology. Obviously, a little expensive, but definitely worth it.