Anyone who needs an inexpensive laptop should definitely look into a new segment of laptops that are basically being called mini laptops. Now if you are basing these definitions rather loosely, then the mini laptop category can also include netbooks, which are generally a bit smaller and cheaper than mini laptops, but are really pretty close to the same size. As for screen size and weight, mini laptops will generally fall into the ten inch to twelve inch screen size, and generally but very light at about two pounds or so.

One thing that is nice about the mini laptop is that they will generally have a little bit bigger keyboard than the netbooks that they sort of compete with. This is a critical point and should become the focus of your initial research as you try to select a new machine to purchase. What I would suggest is that you actually go to a few stores and try out all of the netbooks and mini notebooks that are set up on display and are turned on and do some typing on them. Bang out a couple of paragraphs on the different machines and find out what really works for you. Just because there is a cute netbook or a pink laptop that catches your eye does not mean it will be a good choice for you. If you cannot really type well on a machine then you are probably wasting your money.

Therefore the whole key to buying a mini notebook or a competing netbook is to get out there and do some product testing. Figure out what allows you to get some real work done and allows you to type at a good pace and then you will know that the machine is a potential buy for you. Now after this you are welcome to start comparing features and doing some price comparisons and even go online to see if you can get a better price. One of the biggest features that people might compare in this category is the battery life. If your mini notebook only gets an hour or two of battery life then that does not exactly scream "portability." I would suggest that you try to find something with a bit more longevity in the 5 to 6 hour range, as there are now several of them out there.

You can always shop based on price as well. You can spend anywhere from about 200 dollars, all the way up to a thousand on a mini notebook or a netbook. Prices are dropping rapidly though and you should not need to spend over 500 to get what you really want anymore. Do your homework first and you will not be disappointed with your purchase.