Fender Newporter Mini review

Travel guitar or toy?

  • £238
  • €222
  • $399.99
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Our Verdict

Yup, it works! Quite well actually, but there's little to make it stand out from the crowd.


  • Competent build; price; acceptable sound; the Fender headstock.


  • No gigbag; just a little bit ordinary…

Like every niche in the guitar world, the so-called 'travel guitar' market is well catered for: virtually every acoustic manufacturer offers small-size/small-scale 'mini' guitars.

Along with its existing Baby and Big Baby guitars, Taylor re-drew the concept with its GS Mini - a small 597mm (23.5-inch) scale, 14-fret guitar with a big voice and price, which doesn't leave too much change from £500. Takamine's EG Mini is another cheaper contender with 578mm (22.75-inch) scale - and there are longer-standing choices such as Martin's LX series, not to mention the more radical Backpackers.

So what does Fender bring to the table? A Chinese-made mini that reuses the Newporter name from the '60s: a 576mm (22.6-inch) scale 14-fret guitar with, of course, a Fender Strat-style headstock.

The all-laminate-bodied guitar (spruce top, mahogany back and sides) is certainly diminutive, yet it's tidily made with a clean natural-satin finish and deep-brown mahogany neck.

Measured nut width is electric-like at 41.78mm (the GS Mini is slightly wider at 43mm). Yes, it's a little cramped but plays nicely, and is pretty in-tune thanks to the compensated saddle.


The small soundbox kicks out limited, bass-light volume. But it's quite roomy and resonant and the electric-like neck feel might well suit lighter gauge strings.

Perfectly adequate for strum-a-longs and even songwriting; less so for more serious practising.

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Tech Specs

Sides MaterialLaminated mahogany
No. of Frets20
Fingerboard MaterialRosewood
Nut MaterialSynthetic bone
Back MaterialLaminated mahogany
Top MaterialLaminated spruce
Body StyleMini dreadnought
Available FinishSatin