The 10 Best Mini Laptops  

There are different kinds of laptops. Some are built for productivity, featuring a comfortable keyboard, a bright display, and great connectivity options. Others are made for serious gaming, boasting powerful hardware and performance. And then there are laptops designed to be more portable and travel-friendly than others.

If you are more interested in compact and lightweight laptops, check out mini laptops. While they typically have a modest CPU and limited storage, they are easier to carry in your bag due to their small-form design. They are suitable for general office work, school use, and on-the-go entertainment. They are also usually cheaper, with several good options selling for around $200 or less.

In this guide, you’ll find the 10 best mini laptops currently out on the market. The products in this guide include regular netbooks – which have become less and less popular in recent years – and compact Chromebooks and 2-in-1 laptops. All laptops listed here have a screen size smaller than 12 inches, with a few options in the 10-inch range.

Dell Inspiron Chromebook 11Dell Inspiron Chromebook 11

The Dell Inspiron Chromebook 11 is for those who don’t care about aesthetics and simply want a budget mini laptop for basic tasks. It has an Intel Celeron N3060 processor, a 4 GB memory, and a 16 GB storage, with the option to choose a 32 GB storage. You can get it for less than $200, regardless of the storage capacity.

Featuring an 11.6-inch display with a 1366×768 resolution and a 16:9 aspect ratio, this Dell laptop is made of plastic, like most other laptops in the same price range. The non-touch display has an anti-glare coating for better visibility in a bright environment. The hinge easily holds the lid in place, but it doesn’t allow for one-hand opening. The laptop has built-in speakers and a front-facing camera in the top bezel – but both are mediocre, as expected from a budget laptop.

Both the keyboard and the touchpad are a mixed bag. The keyboard has well-spaced keys and is comfortable to use, but the keys feel cheaply made, not to mention they are a bit noisy. The touchpad, meanwhile, is responsive, but it feels stiff when pressed. For connectivity, the Inspiron Chromebook 11 has a microSD card slot, an HDMI port, and a pair of USB ports on the left side. With the microSD card slot, you can easily expand the laptop storage. On the right side, there is an audio port for headsets and external speakers.

Equipped with Chrome OS, the Inspiron Chromebook 11 is only good for basic tasks such as web browsing, G-mail, and word processing. It’s not for photo editing, video editing, and other more intensive tasks. It has good battery life, with Dell claiming up to 10 hours of battery life, which is good enough for all-day use. Combine that with the laptop’s compact and lightweight form, and what you get is a laptop that’s perfect for extended business trips.

The display is mediocre, though. The panel is TN, which automatically translates to subpar contrast and poor viewing angles, with the latter being a problem when showing an image or video to a person sitting next to you. On the plus side, the display has good brightness, which allows for better viewing in a bright room. The screen brightness is not good enough for outside use, though, especially when under direct sunlight.

Overall, the Inspiron Chromebook 11 is a good budget laptop for general use and school use, featuring a decent keyboard, a good battery, and stable wireless connectivity. It has a decent selection of ports, with the dual USB ports allowing for easy connectivity with most accessories. If you have a very tight budget and can’t afford to spend more than $200 on a mini laptop, check out the Inspiron Chromebook 11.

Purchase

HP Stream 11HP Stream 11

If you prefer to work in a Windows environment instead of Chrome OS, the HP Stream 11 is a better option than the Dell Inspiron Chromebook 11. Like Dell’s laptop, it offers modest specifications and performance, along with similar build quality. Selling for less than $200, this HP netbook has an Intel Celeron N4000 CPU, a 4 GB RAM, and a 32 GB storage.

The Stream 11 has a bland design and is not going to earn praise for its aesthetics. It has rounded edges and a textured lid. The display is 11.6 inches diagonally, featuring a 1366×768 resolution – which translates to a pixel density of around 135 pixels per inch (PPI) – and a wide 16:9 aspect ratio. The built-in camera is in the top bezel, but it’s not that great. On the plus side, the built-in speakers are fairly decent for a budget laptop and are acceptable enough for watching video clips.

With well-spaced keys and good key travel, the keyboard is surprisingly good and is a bit better than that of the Dell Inspiron Chromebook 11. There is no keyboard backlight, though, which is a deal-breaker for some people, especially those who prefer to work in the dark late at night. The touchpad, on the other hand, is not that good – it feels cheaply implemented, which makes you wish the display was a touchscreen instead.

The Stream 11 has a good selection of ports. On the left side, you’ll find one USB port and one combo audio port. On the right side, you’ll find one HDMI port, one USB port, and a microSD card slot for easy storage expansion. You can easily connect the laptop to an external monitor using the HDMI port, which is a common interface among monitors.

Weighing around 2.6 pounds, the Stream 11 is a good mini laptop for travel and school use, with its compact and lightweight design making it easy to carry. It comes with Windows 10 in S Mode. While it gets sluggish when multitasking, it’s good enough for basic tasks such as editing spreadsheets, internet surfing, and typing. It has a good battery as well, with up to 12 hours and 30 minutes of video playback, according to HP.

Like most other budget laptops in this price range, the Stream 11 has subpar display quality, so you shouldn’t expect too much on that front. It has a TN panel, which is generally regarded as the worst panel technology. The contrast is poor while the screen brightness is below-average, which makes the display hard to see clearly while outdoors.

While clearly flawed in more than one area, the Stream 11 is still a good option if you are in the market for a mini laptop, especially if you want a budget-friendly product under $200. It has a good keyboard, a long-lasting battery, and a good selection of ports. If you are looking for a budget Windows laptop, the Stream 11 is one of the best options.

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Asus VivoBook L203MAAsus VivoBook L203MA

Most netbooks come with just 16 GB storage, with some offering options to upgrade to 32 GB. If you want more storage than that, check out the Asus VivoBook L203MA, which comes with a 64 GB storage out of the box. It normally sells for $250, with the price regularly dropping to around $200 during a sale, placing it in the same price range as the 32 GB model of the Dell Inspiron Chromebook 11.

The VivoBook L203MA has a good design. While it’s still made of plastic like most other low-end laptops, it looks better than the Dell and HP laptops above. It has an 11.6-inch display with a 1366×768 resolution and a 16:9 aspect ratio. The built-in camera is in the top bezel, which is a bit thicker than the side bezels; as expected from a netbook, the integrated camera has mediocre picture quality.

One of the best things about the VivoBook L203MA is its great keyboard design. The keyboard has well-spaced keys with good key travel and feedback. On the other hand, it has no backlighting, which can be a problem for some people. The generously sized touchpad is also good – it’s responsive and doesn’t feel as cheap as the touchpads on other budget laptops.

Of the best mini laptops on this list, this Asus laptop is one of the better ones when it comes to connection options, featuring both USB-C and USB-A ports for versatility. On the left side, you’ll find one USB-C port, one USB-A port, one HDMI port, and one microSD card slot. The HDMI port is for easy connectivity with external monitors – which usually feature at least one HDMI port for input – while the microSD card slot is for expanding the storage. On the other side of the laptop, you’ll find one audio port and one more USB-A port.

The VivoBook L203MA includes an Intel Celeron N4000 CPU and a 4 GB RAM and runs in Windows 10 in S Mode. It’s great for basic computing and can handle multitasking decently, although it gets noticeably warm when under heavy load, which might cause discomfort if the unit is on your lap. The battery is also good, easily reaching 8-10 hours under normal circumstances, which is good enough for all-day use. On the other hand, the TN display is not that good, with mediocre viewing angles and colors.

If you want a Windows netbook with a 64 GB storage, the VivoBook L203MA is one of the best options out there. It’s got a good battery life, a comfortable keyboard, and USB-C connectivity. It’s a recommended laptop for general use, with its long-lasting battery and lightweight chassis making it ideal for those who are constantly on the move.

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Samsung Chromebook 3Samsung Chromebook 3

One of the more popular compact Chromebooks on the market, the Samsung Chromebook 3 is another good option if you want a mini laptop with more storage than usual. Like with the Asus VivoBook L203MA – which is in the same price range – the storage can be up to 64 GB.

Measuring 0.7 inches thin and weighing less than three pounds, the Samsung Chromebook 3 is a travel-friendly laptop that’s easy to carry in your backpack. While the material used for the chassis is plastic, the build quality is good. The hinge has no problem holding the lid in place and allows for up to 180 degrees recline, which is useful in some situations. The laptop has built-in speakers and a front camera in the top bezel, but both are mediocre, especially the former.

Like many other small-form laptops on the market, the Samsung Chromebook 3 has an 11.6-inch screen with a 1366×768 resolution and a 16:9 aspect ratio. The screen has an anti-glare finish, which helps when using the laptop in a bright room but is not good enough for outdoor use. The spill-resistant keyboard is good, featuring well-spaced keys with good feedback. The touchpad is also good, with the smooth surface easily registering input.

Regarding connectivity, this Samsung Chromebook is almost identical to the Asus VivoBook L203MA, with the former’s lack of a USB-C port being the only difference. In addition to two USB-A ports, this compact laptop has one HDMI port, one audio port, and one microSD card slot, with the latter allowing you to expand the storage even further.

Equipped with an Intel Celeron N3060 processor and a 4 GB memory, the Samsung Chromebook 3 is a great laptop for internet surfing, word processing, and editing spreadsheets. You can also use it to play some browser games. While it gets noticeably warm on the underside when under stress, it can handle multitasking fairly well. The battery life is also great, with Samsung claiming up to 11 hours, and the screen brightness is decent.

If you want a mini laptop with a 64 GB flash storage but prefer Chrome OS instead of Windows, the Samsung Chromebook 3 is a better option than the Asus VivoBook L203MA, which, as mentioned, is in the same price range. Its overall design is good, with a good keyboard and a good selection of ports, while its performance is solid.

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Acer Chromebook R 11Acer Chromebook R 11

The Acer Chromebook R 11 is a 2-in-1 Chromebook with an IPS touchscreen. It’s a recommended product if you want the benefits of both laptops and tablets. You can use it for on-the-go entertainment and productivity, with its long-lasting battery making it ideal for long trips. The model listed here includes an Intel Celeron N3150 CPU, a 4 GB RAM, and a 32 GB storage, which can be expanded with an SD card.

Featuring an 11.6-inch 10-point touchscreen with a 1366×768 resolution, the Chromebook R 11 is made almost entirely of plastic. The white chassis has a textured design at the top and bottom covers for better grip when carrying the laptop. The top cover is made of metal, with the Acer and Google Chrome logos being the only decorations on it. The screen, which is surrounded by a thick bezel, has a glossy finish for more vibrant images. The built-in 720p webcam is in the top bezel while the integrated speakers – which can get very loud – are at the bottom.

With its 360-degree hinge, the Chromebook R 11 can be easily switched into its different modes, with options to switch to laptop mode, display mode, tablet mode, and tent mode. The displayed content automatically adjusts based on the active mode. The keyboard is made up of black keys, which look nice next to the white chassis. The chiclet keys have good travel and feedback, but they are not backlit.

The connection options are similar to that of most other mini laptops. There is an HDMI for external monitor output, a USB-A port, and an SD card slot on the left side. On the other side, there is another USB-A port, along with an audio port for headphones and external speakers. The power button is also on the right side.

You can use this Chromebook for basic computing. It can easily handle multiple browser tabs with a video playing in one of the tabs – although it starts to get sluggish when there are around 10 browser tabs open at the same time. The battery is good enough for all-day use, with Acer claiming up to 10 hours of battery life. With good viewing angles and decent brightness, the IPS display is also better than the TN displays of most other low-end laptops, which is great for entertainment.

All in all, the Chromebook R 11 is one of the best 2-in-1 Chromebooks under $300. It has a good overall design and offers solid performance. It has built-in virus protection and comes with 100 GB of Google Drive space, giving you a lot of space for your files.

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Lenovo Chromebook C330Lenovo Chromebook C330

The Lenovo Chromebook C330 is like the Acer Chromebook R 11 in appearance, featuring a white chassis with a keyboard in contrasting color and a thick black bezel around the display. But while they look identical due to their chassis design, they come with different hardware inside. The Lenovo unit includes a MediaTek MT8173C processor. The specific model listed here also offers larger storage at 64 GB, with Lenovo also selling a cheaper model with half the storage.

Although it’s a budget convertible, the Chromebook C330 doesn’t look and feel as cheap as other budget notebooks. The build quality is good. The chassis feels sturdy while the 360-degree hinge allows for easy switching between laptop, tablet, stand, and tent modes. The 11.6-inch IPS touchscreen, which has a glossy surface, has a 1366×768 resolution. While the resolution is low, the display still looks sharp due to the small screen. The touch-sensitive screen is responsive, easily registering input, with smooth scrolling.

The built-in webcam is in the top bezel while the speakers are at the bottom of the chassis. While the speakers are decent for a small-form Chromebook, they are still inferior to headphones and external speakers. The keyboard and touchpad are both well implemented – the former is comfortable to use and offers good tactile feedback while the latter is responsive. There is no keyboard backlight, which can be a problem when typing in the dark.

For connectivity, the Chromebook C330 has one USB-C port, one USB-A port, one HDMI port, one audio port, and one SD card slot. The USB-C port can be used for charging and as a DisplayPort while the HDMI port allows for easy output to an external monitor. Unlike with high-end ultraportable laptops such as the Apple MacBook Air, the USB-C port on this convertible does not support Thunderbolt 3, which isn’t really surprising considering the price.

Equipped with a good battery that can last up to around 10 hours, the Chromebook C330 has decent performance. It’s great for general office work, but it struggles a bit when multitasking with several browser tabs open at the same time. You can also play some games on it, but don’t expect to be able to play some of the more graphically intensive games. The IPS display is also great, with wide viewing angles, decent brightness, and good contrast.

If you want an affordable 2-in-1 Chromebook with USB-C connectivity, check out the Chromebook C330 from Lenovo. It has a comfortable keyboard, a responsive touchscreen, and a long-lasting battery, which is beneficial for those who are constantly out on the field for work. It comes with built-in virus protection and 100 GB of Google Drive space.

Purchase

Lenovo Flex 11Lenovo Flex 11

The Lenovo Flex 11 is a 2-in-1 laptop running in Windows 10 in S mode, which separates it from the Lenovo Chromebook C330, which also sells for less than $300. While it has a different CPU and panel technology, it has an almost identical set of ports – including USB-C and HDMI connectivity. The model listed here comes with an Intel Pentium Silver N5000 CPU, a 4 GB RAM, and a 64 GB storage.

At around 2.8 pounds, the Flex 11 is one of the heavier ones among the best mini laptops on this list, but it’s still travel-friendly. The chassis is made of plastic, as expected from a convertible selling for under $300, but the build quality is pretty good. The 11.6-inch multi-point touchscreen has the common 1366×768 resolution and 16:9 aspect ratio seen in small-form laptops. There is a pair of speakers at the bottom of the chassis, but they are mediocre.

The keyboard is well designed and is comfortable to use, which will please typists, but it has no backlight (which can also be said for most other low-end laptops). The large touchpad is responsive and easily registers multi-finger gestures. The connection ports located on the sides include one USB-C port, two USB-A ports, one HDMI port, one audio port, and one SD card slot for storage expansion. The HDMI output can be used to connect to an external monitor or a TV if you want a larger screen.

The Flex 11 is only suitable for basic computing. It boots up fast and offers decent performance for a laptop with limited hardware. You can use it for e-mails, content writing, and internet surfing. But for more intensive tasks such as photo and video editing, it’s not recommended, especially considering the display quality. Unlike the Lenovo Chromebook C330, the Flex 11 has a TN panel, with poor viewing angles and mediocre colors.

While not as good as the Lenovo Chromebook C330 in some areas, the Flex 11 is still one of the best budget-friendly convertible laptops on the market. It has a fast-charging battery, a good selection of connection ports, and a good keyboard. If you are more comfortable with Windows 10 than Chrome OS, check out the Flex 11 instead of the Lenovo Chromebook C330.

Purchase

Asus Chromebook Flip C101PAAsus Chromebook Flip C101PA

Selling for around $300, the Asus Chromebook Flip C101PA is a recommended option if you want a more compact and lighter machine than most netbooks. Unlike many of the mini laptops on this list, it has a smaller 10.1-inch display. It’s a 2-in-1 laptop, featuring a multi-point touchscreen and a 360-degree hinge that allows for smooth switching from laptop mode to tablet mode. The product listed here includes a Rockchip RK3399 processor, a 4 GB memory, and a 32 GB storage, with Asus also offering a cheaper model with half the storage space.

The Chromebook Flip C101PA is easy to distinguish from most other Chromebooks, and not only because of its smaller screen. It’s got a more stylish chassis made of aluminum and looks inspired by the Apple MacBook Pro, featuring a thick black bezel around the display and black keyboard keys. It weighs just around two pounds, which makes it one of the lightest Chromebooks around. The touchscreen, which has a 1280×800 resolution, offers a smooth and responsive experience.

While the unit has built-in speakers, they are only decent at best. They can get very loud, but they don’t have much bass. The keyboard is good, with good key travel and tactile feedback. However, the keys are a bit cramped, which makes them uncomfortable to use for adults, especially those with large hands. The touchpad, meanwhile, is also well designed; it’s on the small side, but it’s responsive and doesn’t feel cheap when pressed.

Unlike the previous two Lenovo 2-in-1 laptops, the Chromebook Flip C101PA offers a pair of USB-C ports, which both support charging, video output, and fast data transfer. Along with the regular USB port, the audio port, and the microSD card slot, the USB-C ports are on the right side of the laptop. On the left side, you’ll find the power button and the volume control, both of which are located to the front side instead of in the middle or at the rear.

The Chromebook Flip C101PA offers solid performance for the price and will work well as a school laptop and as a secondary laptop for business trips. The Chrome OS boots up fast and the multitasking performance is decent. You can store your files in the internal storage and on the 100 GB Google Drive space available to you upon purchase, with the microSD card slot allowing for even more storage. The battery is also good enough for all-day usage, with Asus claiming up to nine hours of battery life.

Overall, the Chromebook Flip C101PA is a compact and lightweight 2-in-1 laptop that offers good value for the money. It has a good battery, a responsive touchpad and touchscreen, dual USB-C ports, and a sturdy metal chassis. However, the keyboard can be uncomfortable for adults due to the size and spacing of the keys. If that’s not a problem for you, this 10.1-inch Chromebook will serve you well.

Purchase

Asus Transformer Mini T103HAAsus Transformer Mini T103HA

The Asus Transformer Mini T103HA is another 10.1-inch 2-in-1 laptop with a compact and lightweight design. But unlike the Asus Chromebook Flip C101PA, it runs on Windows 10 instead of Chrome OS, which means its usefulness isn’t limited when there is no internet connection. The T103HA also offers more storage, featuring a 128 GB storage, with the option to expand it even more with a microSD card.

Like the Microsoft Surface Go, the T103HA is more of a tablet than a laptop instead of the other way around, featuring a detachable keyboard and a kickstand at the back of the display. The unit weighs less than two pounds and measures around 0.6 inches thin even with the keyboard attached, which makes it easy to carry regardless of its configuration.

The display, which has a 1280×800 resolution, has a thick bezel, giving you enough room to grip the unit when in tablet mode. The built-in camera is in the top bezel while the speakers are on either side of the display. The kickstand at the back allows for up to 170 degrees of adjustment and stays securely in place regardless of the angle.

Featuring palm-rejection technology, the touchpad is larger than usual and easily recognizes Windows 10 gestures. The ultra-slim keyboard, which has anti-dust protection, is comfortable to use, with good key travel, but it’s not backlit. For connectivity, the T103HA has one USB port, one micro USB port, one mini HDMI port, one audio port, and one microSD card slot – all of which are on the main unit. You can easily charge the laptop using the micro USB connection, either through a wall socket or with a power bank.

Equipped with an Intel Atom x5-Z8350 CPU and a 4 GB RAM, the T103HA is a good laptop for both productivity and entertainment. You can use it for basic tasks such as web surfing and typing, with its hardware allowing for decent multitasking performance. The battery is great for such a compact laptop, with Asus claiming up to 12 hours of video playback. The T103HA is also one of the brightest convertibles in its price range, boasting up to 400 nits of screen brightness, which makes it more suitable for outdoor use than most of the mini laptops on this list.

With its good design and solid performance, the T103HA is a recommended cheaper alternative to the Microsoft Surface Go. It has a great battery, a bright display, a good selection of connection ports, and larger-than-usual storage. It’s a suitable laptop for general office work, school use, and entertainment, especially if you travel a lot.

Purchase

Microsoft Surface GoMicrosoft Surface Go

The Microsoft Surface Go is a premium convertible, but it’s more of a tablet than a laptop, especially considering the keyboard – called the Type Cover – is not included in the package. It’s a versatile machine that works well for both office work and school use. You get to choose the RAM and storage capacity of your unit, with the top-of-the-line model listed here featuring an 8 GB RAM and a 128 GB SSD.

Of the best mini laptops in this guide, the Surface Go boasts the best display, featuring a 10-inch PixelSense Display with a 1800×1200 resolution and an uncommon 3:2 aspect ratio. The 10-point touchscreen is responsive and will easily register your inputs, whether you are using your fingers or a Surface Pen (which is also sold separately). The unit has a sturdy kickstand at the back that can be easily adjusted for more comfortable viewing angles while working or watching movies.

All the connection ports and buttons are located around the edges of the unit, with no buttons out front unlike with many tablets. The power button and volume control are at the top while the connection ports – which include one USB-C port, one audio port, one microSD card slot, and one Surface Connect port – are at the sides. The Surface Go also includes decent speakers, which can get very loud, and both front and rear cameras. You can easily log in to your device with Windows Hello, which is convenient since there is no fingerprint reader.

While not as good as a proper laptop keyboard, the Type Cover is comfortable to use despite its small keys and decent-at-best key travel. It has a backlight, which is beneficial for those who usually work in the dark late at night. The Type Cover also includes a responsive touchpad that easily registers Windows 10 gestures. On the other hand, the Type Cover can be uncomfortable to use when placed on your lap and works best on a desk.

The Surface Go has an Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y processor, which is more than good enough for basic computing. You can easily multitask on it, but it starts to get sluggish when there are more than 10 browser tabs open at the same time, especially if there is video playing in one of the tabs. The display is also great and is better than that of the other laptops on this list, with good contrast and excellent colors. But when it comes to battery life, the Surface Go is mediocre, with many low-end netbooks offering better battery life.

If you are in the market for a premium 2-in-1 laptop, the Surface Go is one of the best options out there, especially if display quality is very important to you. It has a high-resolution display, a sturdy chassis, and a capable CPU for productivity. Keep in mind that the keyboard, mouse, and pen pictured in the promotional images are not included in the package.

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