One of the major promises of modern computer technology is the prospect of smaller and smaller gadgets. This promise has been fulfilling in many ways. For example, mobile phones are not only more powerful than they used to be, but that power is built into much smaller handsets. The same miniaturization technology has been translated into gadgets like portable media players that essentially condense an entire home entertainment center- and all of the media that would go with it into a device that can fit in a pocket the same thing is true about computers. Dozens of times the computing power of a top of the line desktop computer can now be packed into a reliably cheap laptop. While the ability to pack more computing power into ever smaller gadgets is a noble goal, in some cases it can go too far. This is often the case when it comes to miniature laptop computers.
These days, even what are considered standard laptop computers come in a variety of sizes ranging from some that have true desktop capabilities and high definition screens to super compact models that are less than three pounds and are designed to be taken just about anywhere.
Now though, it's possible to squeezed full scale computing- even hardware capable of running Windows Vista- into a gadget that's smaller than even the smallest conventional laptop computers. This has dazzled the lines between devices like smart phones and laptop computers with a whole class of miniature laptop computers. These devices typically have keyboards that resemble full sized keyboards and LCD screens that are more like those found on laptops (though not as big) than those found on smart phones. These devices are also much more portable than most laptops with sizes that are smaller than paperback books and weights of less than two pounds.
In the past, these gadgets have not been very popular. They tend to be plagued with high price tags and short battery lives. What really scares away a lot of buyers though is the practicality if actually using these gadgets. In general, these devices tend to have keyboards that are too small for normal touch typing but too large for their owners to reach all of the keys with their thumbs for efficient thumb typing like most people use for smart phones. This is as true now as it ever was.
That said, there are a number of things that modern iterations of these gadgets- like the new FlipStart PC- can do better than what earlier models can do. For example, the FlipStart has an impressive battery life and can get on the Internet using both a WiFi connection and a cellular modem. This device can also run Windows XP or Windows Vista, and attach itself to a full sized external keyboard, mouse, and monitor simultaneously – all of which are impossible with a smart phone. In that sense, while the FlipStart PC does have all of the drawbacks related to its medium sized keyboard, it may be a realistic alternative for anyone who needs lots of computing power and the ability to run full blown computer applications in a small sized gadget.