You want to purchase a laptop, but you don’t want the bulk. Standard models typically range from 13.3-inch to 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 in 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
Microsoft has announced the second iteration to their Surface Go series. The Microsoft Surface Go 2 is one of the best mini laptops, as well as 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 a little larger than 12 inches at 12.4 inches, but it still has a very small form factor and 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 starts 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 only 3.6mm 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.
5. HP Elite X2 G4
Most mini laptops tend to be on the affordable side of the spectrum, but the HP Elite X2 G4 is a proper laptop for professionals. It offers a more powerful set-up on a small form factor. Its price goes significantly over the $1,000 mark, and prices can get near the $3,000 mark once you start throwing upgrades at it.
That said, it’s also a really cool mini laptop. The tablet screen has a stand, and the keyboard can be completely detached. This makes it possible to use it in a variety of situations. You could remove the keyboard and use it as a tablet, or attach it and send some emails. 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 a good build quality and a small 10.1-inch display. This officially makes it the smallest of the best mini laptops in 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. Dell Inspiron 11 3000 mini laptop
The last entry on our list belongs to the Dell Inspiron 11, which now features the seventh-generation AMD A9-9420e processor. It’s a departure from previous Inspiron models, which featured Intel processors. It’s also a 2-in-1, which means you can fold the 11.6-inch HD display back 360 degrees and turn the laptop into a 2.6-pound tablet.
On the right are two regular USB ports and a headphone jack. On the left are the power port, HDMI port, another USB port, and a microSD card slot. Unfortunately, the Inspiron 11 doesn’t feature a USB-C port. That hurts, especially when cheaper machines than this one feature USB-C.