You’ve heard of the next wave of computers, those little laptops which go by various names, UMPC, Netbook, or even mini-laptops. But I was surprised when I read one person’s review who doesn’t care for the little guys. The review was based on a mini using Windows XP. He even admits that he hasn’t used a mini with Linux. In the article it states:

So if those aren’t the issues, then what’s the problem? Many, if you ask me. It is a little too heavy — 2.7 lbs — for an ultraportable, especially if you factor in a fat extended battery you need to run this thing. It runs Windows XP and no surprise, takes too long to boot up. (There is a Linux version, but I didn’t try that just yet.)

More importantly, in less than an hour it was generating more heat than my first Macbook Pro, aka the oven. It is not as if I had dozens of apps open. All I was using was a simple Internet Explorer. (I have not installed Firefox just yet.) Maybe it’s a problem with the pre-production demo unit, but if it’s not, then the issue of heat is a deal-breaker for me, and it should be for other people as well. Any highly mobile device whose primary function is to surf the web should not become a kitchen appliance within an hour. It would be virtually impossible to use it on one’s lap.

The reviewer tried the Hewlett Packard’s HP 2133 miniNote. I would suggest trying the Asus Eee with Linux instead of Windows XP. On my little mini I have not encountered any heat issues. Performance is snappy and it boots up fairly quickly. I do have to agree that I wouldn’t want to type any long documents on the mini, though for simple e-mail responses it works just fine. Use it on your lap? Maybe that is why they are not being called laptops. 🙂

There is no doubt about it. These new devices are not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. But I believe that for some of us, they will serve a purpose.

What is your opinion?

Comments welcome.