You want the laptop, but you don’t want the bulk. Standard models typically range from 13.3-inch and 17.3-inch screens, but even the smallest devices may be too big for your needs. It sounds like you need a tiny machine, and we’re here to help you find the best mini laptops on the market.
We would consider a mini laptop a PC with a screen that’s around 12 inches or smaller. Some have a detachable keyboard, while others have the keyboard permanently attached. Because of their size, it’s easy to think of mini laptops as large tablets with keyboards. Regardless of your preferences, there is something on this list for everyone.
The best mini laptops:
Editor’s note: We will update the list of best mini laptops as more devices launch.
1. Microsoft Surface Go 2
The Microsoft Surface Go 2 is one of the best mini laptops and the smallest option coming from the company. The screen is tiny at 10.5 inches, but it still has a 1080p resolution. The base version comes with an Intel Pentium Gold processor, but this can be upgraded to an Intel Core M3. It has 4/8GB of RAM, and 64/128/256GB of storage.
The coolest feature is likely its form factor. This is technically a tablet that runs Windows and has a very neat keyboard cover. And with prices starting at just $399.99, it is also a very affordable alternative.
2. Microsoft Surface Laptop Go
If you like the Surface Go 2 but wished it had a laptop design, was a bit larger, and packed more power, look no further than the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go. Its screen is slightly larger than 12 inches at 12.4 inches, but it still has a tiny form factor with an awesome design.
You can get a much better Intel Core i5 processor. It can have up to 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage at its highest configuration. Prices also start pretty low, but this is definitely among the best mini laptops around, as well as a much more powerful one.
3. Samsung Chromebook Plus V2
The Samsung Chromebook Plus V2 isn’t only one of the best mini laptops; it is also one of the most popular Chromebooks around. It comes with powerful features and an accessible price point. Specs include a 12.2 FHD display, an Intel Core M3 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of internal storage.
The included stylus is a great addition, especially for those who like using drawing apps. Chrome OS has access to the Google Play Store, so you will have plenty of application options.
4. Apple MacBook
Apple discontinued the MacBook line and replaced it with the updated MacBook Air earlier in the year. That said, the MacBook is still a good laptop for those who want something ridiculously light from the macOS ecosystem.
Apple only refreshed the MacBook twice, so the version you want is the 2017 refresh. The latest refresh features the Intel Core m3-7Y32 or i5-7Y54, 8 or 16GB of RAM, and 256 or 512GB of storage. Those are impressive specs for a laptop this thin.
Then again, the MacBook’s major criticisms boil down to the sole USB-C port and keyboard. You can somewhat remedy the one USB-C port by picking up a hub, but the keyboard is a tougher pill to swallow. The 2017 refresh introduced the second-generation butterfly switches, though they continued to fail for some people.
In 2018, Apple launched a service program for MacBooks with faulty keyboards. That should give you some peace of mind if you plan to buy one, especially since Apple no longer directly sells the MacBook. That said, you can find the Macbook on Amazon for great prices.
All that said, you can go for the M1 MacBook Air too, if you don’t mind a 13.3-inch display. It’s still ridiculously thin, light, and small, and it will perform much better than the MacBook.
5. HP ProBook x360 11 G6
Most mini laptops tend to be on the affordable side of the spectrum, but the HP ProBook x360 11 G6 is a proper laptop for professionals. It offers a more powerful set-up on a small form factor. Its price can get pretty high, especially once you start throwing upgrades at it.
That said, it’s also a really cool mini laptop. The keyboard can’t be detached, but the screen can be flipped all the way back and be used in tablet mode. This makes it possible to use it in a variety of situations. You could take advantage of the keyboard, use it as a tablet, or use tent mode to watch movies. You could even do some serious editing considering the specs this mini laptop rocks.
6. Asus L210
Asus is known for making quality laptops at a good price, and this one is no exception. It comes with a nice, elegant design that will look good anywhere. It also has a really cool number pad on the trackpad.
Specs are more modest than the design, though. This mini laptop comes with an 11.6-inch display, an Intel Celeron processor, up to 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage. It’s no powerhouse, but it’s a nice portable device for the casual road warrior.
7. Lenovo Chromebook Duet
Here’s another great option for those in need of something affordable yet functional. The Lenovo Chromebook Duet comes with good build quality and a small 10.1-inch display. This officially makes it the smallest of the best mini laptops on this list.
More: The best Lenovo laptops
It’s a great Chromebook with a versatile design. The magnetic back cover has a stand, and the detachable keyboard is super thin and light. Specs are modest, but this is OK for Chromebooks, which aren’t as resource intensive.
8. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold
We have to throw the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold into the list of the best mini laptops! This thing is one of the most unique PC contraptions we’ve seen in years. This is technically a Windows tablet, but what makes it unique is its foldable nature. This is technically a 13.3-inch Windows tablet, but it can be folded in half and be used in clamshell mode. You can do this with a software keyboard, or simply slap a physical keyboard addition over the lower half of the screen and type away!
This unique computer is no slouch either. It comes with an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD. The only bad news is that it comes with an insane price that’s over $3,000. This is probably the best mini laptop if you can stomach that price, though.