What makes the perfect mini laptop?

You can set up a citywide Wi-Fi network or nationwide WiMAX network, but if people don’t have portable devices that they love to use, they won’t care how fast or ubiquitous the network is. Today, Om Malik wrote a blog post on what he wants to see in an ultra-portable laptop. He has tried several devices but found them too heavy or too hot to use on a lap. So what does Om want: better battery life, less heat, more wireless (read more here).

Since he challenged readers to come up with their list of what they’d like to see in a device, I decided I would post mine:

(1) It must be light. My current 15-inch Mac Book Pro is too heavy to lug around. I like the Mac Book Air’s weight and dimensions, but it lacks some of the other features I am looking for).

(2) It has to look good. Device manufacturers need to emulate Apple’s obsession with design. For those who want to go after the female market (if one even exists), simply making something in pink does not cut it.

(3) It must have Ethernet, Wi-Fi, 3G/HSPA, Bluetooth. Since there are hardly any WiMAX networks around, I don’t care if I don’t have WiMAX access built into it. However, I may care in two years.

(4) Longer battery life: 10 hours would be perfect. Why 10? That’s how long it takes to get to Amsterdam from San Francisco on a non-stop flight.

(5) Outstanding audio and video: I make a lot of Skype and iChat calls, listen to music and play video on my laptop.

(6) Instant on and off: what I hate about the Mac Book Pro is that it takes a while to start and sometimes even longer to power down.

What do you want to see in your portable wireless devices (not phones but laptops)?


  1. “(6) Instant on and off: what I hate about the Mac Book Pro is that it takes a while to start and sometimes even longer to power down.”

    Your macbook has instant on/off. Close the lid, it goes to sleep, open the lid, it turns on (immediately)

  2. Esme: Great topic. I would strongly recommend that readers check out the Asus Eee PC, a sub-notebook. I have the seven-inch screen version, and there’s a ton of buzz on the Net about the newer nine-inch screen.

    The device starts at about $299 for older models, and the lowest-end devices run Linux, have WiFi, and come with Google Apps and OpenOffice built in.

    My nine-year-old son loves his, and I use it from time to time for fast WiFi, email and doc exchange on business trips.

    If you absolutely prefer Windows, Asus also makes sub-notebooks with Microsoft’s OS built-in.