Skype 4.0 Far from Ideal on a Mini-Notebook

There isn’t a mini-notebook that lands in my hands on which I don’t run Skype. So to say I was excited when I read my friend Andy Abramson’s post on the new release of Skype 4.0 (Beta) is an understatement. I was psyched to get it running on the latest mini-notebooks (including the Eee PC 901, 1000H, and the Acer Aspire one). Until I realized the software release is nowhere near appropriate for a mini-notebook.

As I have been inseparable from the Eee PC 1000H for the past few days, I downloaded Skype 4.0 (Beta). The 1000H has a 10-inch screen, which is quite large compared with the others that sport 7- and 8.9-inch displays. After running through the initial installation and sign-in process, Skype takes over the entire screen with a initial start window that provides the user with the options to configure audio and add contacts. I was hoping that the full-screen interface would shrink back to the corner when I headed for my contact list to make calls and start chatting. Nope. How do you make the Skype window fit on the side of the screen as a column? In my hours of trying, I found that you simply can’t. The contacts list sits on the right side of the screen, but another window is attached to the right of the list that displays a contact’s information, or your current chats or calls. You can separate chat or call windows out of the main window by selecting the small pop-out button in the upper right corner, but you are still left with this large window to the right of the contact list. I am impressed with the Eee PC 1000H’s 10-inch screen; it provides a lot of real estate—but not with Skype 4.0. The program takes up 90 percent of screen space, leaving it almost impossible to have a chat on one side of the screen and look at a Web page in Firefox 3. The reason for the new interface, according to Skype, is to enhance video calling. I did like that the video window is much wider and taller than in previous versions of Skype and doesn’t require you to stretch the corners of the window to make the image look larger on your screen. I was impressed with the video and audio call quality. A video call to my friend Ryan was extremely clear, and audio was void of any skips, pauses, or delay. Initial thoughts: If you’ve got a laptop with a large screen or you are working on a desktop, Skype 4.0 works well and looks sleek. I wish it had a classic mode that could revert back to the settings that frequent Skype users are used to. But if you have a mini-notebook or even a notebook with a 13-inch screen or smaller, just say no to Skype 4.0.

Email* (will not be published)
*Indicates required field
Submit Comments

  1. Tom Says:

    actually you can just switch it to compact mode and voila…

  2. Beatrize Says:

    thanks for the Heads up. I really appreciate it.

  3. Beatrize Says:

    however I have a question, with skype and the video calling, would you recommend it to someone who wanted to use the skype 4.0 for their netbook for the purpose of video calling? Not necessarily have more than the skype application working. I don’t need to multitask, however but I would want to have a higher quality video call.

  4. tita Says:

    i can learn it

  5. ADE Says:


All Product Types Accessories Cars Digital Camcorders Digital Cameras eReaders GPS Laptops MP3 & Video Players Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets / MIDs VoIP Wi-Fi
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS Averatec BenQ CTL Corp. Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Sager Samsung Sony Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 4 5 6 7 8 9
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1920x1080 1920x1200 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options