What Makes Handheld Ultrasound Different From Laptop Style Units?

Handheld Ultrasound

Handheld ultrasound quickly becomes the go-to medical imaging equipment choice. Its small, lightweight design makes it ideal for quick point-of-care assessments or on-the-go diagnostics. But how does it differ from laptop-style units? Let’s take a look at three of the top handheld ultrasound brands—, Butterfly, Clarius, and Minisono—to compare and contrast their features. 

Wireless or Wired

All three companies offer wireless options, allowing you to connect the ultrasound machine with compatible devices for ease of use and portability. The Butterfly iQ+ includes both wired and wireless options. At the same time, Clarius offers a cordless solution, and Minisono has a portable model that can be connected to your laptop with an included cable. However, uploads to your network don’t require a physical connection. The wireless capabilities of these three brands make them easy to use in any clinical setting.


Long battery life is critical when it comes to handheld ultrasound units. The Butterfly iQ+ boasts up to two hours of battery life on one charge, the Clarius Wireless Scanner runs approximately 45 minutes per charge, and the Minisono Portable Ultrasound System has unlimited usage time since it works through a powered wire instead of the battery. Depending on the frequency of use, you may need to invest in additional batteries or chargers for extended imaging sessions. Our expert sales team can help you determine what’s best for your practice.

Operation System

An excellent feature of the handheld ultrasound device is they’re compatible with most operating systems. The Butterfly iQ+ and Clarius run on the iOS and Android platforms, while Minisono runs on Windows tablets. Although it’s a wireless device (no wall power required), the Minisono is still tethered to the laptop or tablet, which powers the probe.

Size and Weight

The primary advantage of handheld ultrasounds is their size and weight. Among these three models, the Butterfly iQ+ is one of the lightest at 0.69 lbs; Clarius differs in weight depending on its exact model and can range from 0.63 to 0.71 pounds; however, Minisono takes the lead as it weighs only 0.38 lbs but does not use a mobile phone like the other two products – instead, this device requires a tablet or laptop for operation. Despite this, all three models are lightweight and easy to carry around, making them ideal for point-of-care exams.


Handheld Ultrasound

With the resolution, all three models offer excellent image quality with quality resolution. They designed handheld units rather than actual diagnostics for quick triage or initial determination. This is because of the power limitation of the handheld device that’s often limited. Batteries (often lithium-ion) can also degrade over time, so they are expected to replace battery components. But the major difference between handheld ultrasound and Laptop-based units comes down to penetration, power, and resolution.

Without a doubt, laptop units will have better power, penetration, and resolution, therefore much better suited for proper diagnostics. Handheld devices have their own critical role to fulfill, specifically in triage situations when you’re taking a picture away from the clinic or scanning areas close to the skin. In these cases, penetration power does not need as much consideration.

Handheld ultrasound systems are revolutionizing medical imaging equipment by making diagnosis more accessible. With long battery life and wireless capabilities, these handheld systems make diagnostics faster and easier than ever! Whether you choose the Butterfly iQ+, Clarius Wireless Scanner, or Minisono Portable Ultrasound System, each model provides excellent image quality that can help with accurate diagnoses in even the most remote locations.

Are you ready to make a purchase? Do you have more questions? Contact JayXray today for more information about handheld ultrasound systems. Our team of experts can help you choose the right model for your medical imaging needs. Give us a call to get started!

We look forward to hearing from you!


Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments