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Is a 7" Laptop Usable?

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  • Written By: K. Schurman
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 13 October 2017
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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The usability of a 7" laptop depends on a variety of factors. For those who want a high-end laptop that contains all of the latest features, a 7" laptop is not going to provide the power they want. If the buyer is looking for an inexpensive laptop that provides a host of basic capabilities, the small laptop can be a nice bargain.

Small laptop computers are designed for use on the go. Although all laptops offer mobility, they come in a variety of sizes, thickness, and weights. A 7" laptop has an liquid crystal display (LCD) screen that measures 7 inches (17.78 cm) diagonally, and such laptops are among the smallest made. Small laptops that offer minimal features and are aimed primarily at people who want to use them to browse the Internet often are called netbooks.

When compared to a full-sized notebook, a 7" laptop's primary difference is in the size and quality of the screen. A full-sized notebook screen might measure 13 or 15 inches (33.02 or 38.1 cm) diagonally or more, and might offer enough resolution, or sharpness, to display high-quality images. A 7" laptop might offer only minimal resolution, meaning it may not work well for watching a movie or even reviewing digital photographs.

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A 7" laptop also differs greatly from larger notebooks in the size of the keyboard. A full-sized notebook can offer a keyboard of normal size, while a small netbook uses a smaller keyboard. Some people might have trouble using the keyboard on a 7" laptop, because the keys are smaller than normal and closer together.

In addition, a 7" laptop usually is going to carry a series of hardware components that are not as powerful as those found in full-sized notebooks or desktop computers. For example, with a small, low-resolution screen, a netbook can make use of a low-end graphics chip integrated into the motherboard, rather than an expensive graphics card, as might be found in a high-end notebook. The processor is usually far less powerful than one that's available in a newer notebook, in part to lower the cost of the netbook and in part to avoid generating heat. A slower processor doesn't generate as much heat as a fast processor, meaning the 7" laptop doesn't require as many cooling components, which again lowers the cost of the overall unit.

Someone who needs powerful computing features will be disappointed in a 7" laptop, because of its low-end components. A netbook has some advantages that will appeal to some users, however. For example, the small netbook will cost significantly less than a full-sized notebook. It also will weigh much less and offer quite a bit more battery life. In the right situation and for the right person, a 7" laptop will be extremely usable.

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