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The History of Mini Notebooks


People love taking things on-the-go. And they love smaller versions of the real thing. One of the first real instances of this was the portable CD player. When they arrived, we no longer wanted to listen to music at home or in the car, because now we could listen to it in the grocery store. Yeah, that’s right, the grocery store (Sounds strange, but I know a woman who’s done that). Or how about popcorn chicken, or Pop Tarts, or iPods? All of these are examples of things we as humans have created to suffice our need to take things with us.

And up next, the mini notebook — a smaller, lighter notebook (sometimes called a “netbook”) which leans more toward the wireless internet side of laptop usage rather than it’s program capability. This new craze is sweeping the nation. And rightfully so. These new notebooks are lighter, cheaper, and much faster than anyone had anticipated years ago. With the coolest sounding processor in recent memory, the Intel Atom has created a new way of thinking about computers with it’s high speed on such a low-cost/small-sized device.

The Network Computer
The idea for the netbook can be traced back to the Network Computer of the 1990s. Oracle developed a desktop computer that relied solely on it’s programming. That is, it had no external drives or disk inputs. This was an idea that was simply a decade ahead of it’s time. Not only were desktop computers becoming more and more as essential to a home as a microwave, but the fastest Internet speed at the time only ran at 28.8 kb/s, much too slow for the Network Computer to be of any use. Of course, this idea was scrapped.

One Laptop Per Child
Then, in 2005, the One Laptop Per Child organization was founded. Their goal was to create an affordable device to educate children in developing countries. With funding from major corporations, they were able to create the XO-1 laptop by Christmas, 2007. The lightweight device was made to be durable and have a long battery life, and ended up with a price tag of 188 dollars, when purchased by thousand units. The creation of the XO-1 solidified the mini notebook as a real-deal device, and more netbooks followed in it’s footsteps.

The Eee PC
Around that time, ASUS delivered what became the standard in mini notebooks, the Eee PC. It weighed about 2 pounds with a inch screen and a keyboard about 85% normal size. Shortly after, Everex, MSI, Dell, and HP all developed their own mini notebooks and by late 2008, mini notebooks were starting to take money away from normal laptop sales.

This craze is now just beginning to bloom. Who knows what the future holds for these devices? What we do know is that we are living on the cutting edge of technology, and we can count on much more to come.

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