The Incredible Shrinking Laptop
Four Questions to Ponder
Before investing in a tiny laptop, give the following
Will an ultracompact laptop meet all your business needs when you're traveling? Some devices, such as Sony's VAIO Micro PC, are decent desktop computers when connected to external peripherals, but their tiny keyboards and screens make them difficult to use on the go. If you're not sure whether one of these shrunken PCs is for you, make a list of everything you typically do with a laptop on the road to help you decide. For example, if you must frequently review big Excel spreadsheets on cross-country flights, a full-size thin-and-light laptop is probably a better bet.
What will you need tomorrow? Tiny portables aren't as expandable as standard laptops are. For instance, with an ultracompact laptop you may get just one USB port--which limits the peripherals you can attach--along with
How powerful is your primary computer? A tiny laptop isn't likely to be sufficiently powerful and expandable enough to serve as your main business computer. So before you splurge on a micro-machine, ask yourself if that money wouldn't be better spent upgrading the desktop or laptop you use every day.
How will you back up and swap files? Small handheld devices tend to get lost. Or dropped. Or, heaven forbid, stolen. Before buying an ultracompact laptop, decide how you will back up the files you create on the computer. Some models, such as Fujitsu's LifeBook U810, have SD and CompactFlash card slots, which you can use for file backup and transfer. Also, if your tiny laptop uses the Windows (or Mac) OS, you can automatically sync folders between it and other computers via Microsoft's free and excellent FolderShare. Your computers must be connected to the Internet for FolderShare to perform its peer-to-peer synchronization magic.
For Further Research
- "How Small Is a Subminiature Laptop?"
- "CES: Intel Shows Off New Ultra Mobile PCs"
- "HTC's Laptop and Cell-Phone Hybrid"