Mini laptops are small, light weight and inexpensive laptop computers increasingly being used to stay connected to the digital world. These devices are typically below $500 and designed for web browsing, chatting & email and for less demanding media applications.

The most important features that differentiate mini laptops from traditional laptops are price, weight and battery power. However, one can also argue that screen size, processor power, storage capacity and keyboard size can make or break mini laptop experience. These power optimized devices do not perform well specifically with video streaming and graphic-intense video games.

As these devices are the fastest growing computer segment, users are using them in variety of ways. The idea behind the development of these devices is to allow the user to stay connected to the world while on the move. These small and incredibly light laptops help the user to keep-up with blogs, instant messenger and email so that he never loses the touch with family and friends.

Some of the most used applications on such devices are web-browsing, multimedia usage, and working on official tasks. The following points give an overview of various application Softwares available for web-browsing and multimedia usage on these small computers. In later posts, I shall give an overview of some Softwares available for working on official tasks.

Web-browsing: The web browser is the most important and most used application on a mini laptop specially for people who are using cloud computing or browser based applications. The top three browsers that let the users browse the Internet on these devices are FireFox, Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. Furthermore, since these devices have a small screen as compared to traditional laptops, full screen browser becomes an important requirement for good browsing experience. All the above mentioned browsers do have full screen browsing facilities.

FireFox and Internet Explorer do provide decent web-browsing performance, but recently released Google Chrome is developed specifically for hassle–free connection to the cloud in such computers. Moreover, Google Chrome also offers a facility to close or kill single tabs during multiple tab browsing. This feature is still not offered on any other browser. In case you use GMAIL for email and chatting, Chrome opens the webpage quite fast when compared to Internet Explorer and FireFox.

Multimedia: This is where the limited power of processors used in these devices starts to hurt. But still some available devices do allow users to watch a movie or some movie clips. If it is a windows machine, you can use Windows media player for watching movies or playing clips. Another good option is to use VLC player, which is a reliable light weight alternative since it is available for both Windows as well as Linux.

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