Fender Newporter Mini review

Travel guitar or toy?

  • £238
  • €222
  • $399.99
The Newporter may look like a toy, but it's also clearly a Fender.

MusicRadar 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…

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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.

Dave Burrluck

Dave Burrluck is one of the world’s most experienced guitar journalists, who started writing back in the '80s for International Musician and Recording World, co-founded The Guitar Magazine and has been the Gear Reviews Editor of Guitarist magazine for the past two decades. Along the way, Dave has been the sole author of The PRS Guitar Book and The Player's Guide to Guitar Maintenance as well as contributing to numerous other books on the electric guitar. Dave is an active gigging and recording musician and still finds time to make, repair and mod guitars, not least for Guitarist’s The Mod Squad.