Top 9 Best Mini Laptops of 2020 – Reviews

When looking for a mini laptop, one must always keep track of not only the features they come equipped with but their compatibility as well. With a mini laptop, you will most certainly not get the same operating standards as a state of the art gaming laptop, but then again, that’s not what mini laptops are designed to do.

In fact, you will find that the best lightweight laptop out there is more suitable for office applications than anything else, because this is precisely its intended purpose. With this in mind, let us point out that most of these laptops, despite their relatively small size, still pack quite a punch in the specs department.

Battery Life

While most high-end laptops suffer from short battery life, with a mini laptop you get the certainty that its battery won’t suddenly die on you when you least expect it. This is because small laptops use much fewer resources overall, which guarantees a much longer battery life than their bigger counterparts. Sure, this power-saving characteristic comes at the price of lower specs, but you don’t really invest in such a small laptop to play the latest video games in the first place. In this regard, you can expect the battery of a mini laptop to last between five to ten hours.

Keyboard Ergonomics

Given the small size of mini laptops, typing on such a small keyboard might need some getting used to, but you will eventually get accustomed as long as the keyboard is good enough. That said, you really shouldn’t be content with anything less than the absolute best when it comes to mini laptop keyboards. We say this because when dealing with compact laptops, the keyboard is usually the first to malfunction. Regardless of how careful you may be, such a small keyboard is bound to develop certain issues after being used consistently over long periods of time.

Operating System & Applications

With such a small laptop, you are definitely going to be confronted by a wide array of issues related to software compatibility. This is because the features of some applications don’t really translate well on mini laptops, which is why you want to invest in a laptop that already has a fair share of pre-installed applications or at least one that is guaranteed to run most software without any real issues to speak of. At the same time, some of these mini laptops are equipped with specially designed software aimed at office workers or students, which is bound to come in handy if you’re in either category.

Budget

You will find that the best budget laptop isn’t necessarily the one with the worst specs because technology is constantly moving forward. For this reason, you shouldn’t really pay more than a couple hundred bucks for a decent mini laptop, at least not in this economy. Ideally, you never want to spend more than a few hundred dollars on a mini laptop, not even on a top-shelf machine that you know for a fact that it has the best configuration possible. We say this because of the nature of such devices and how quickly even the best ones become obsolete. Still, to give you a better idea of what to look for, we put together a list of the ten best mini laptops money can buy.

Best Mini Laptops

9RCA Cambio Purple 10.1 Inch 2-in-1 Tablet PC

The first thing you notice about this particular laptop is that it features a Windows 10 Operating System. This is definitely a feature to look for in a laptop nowadays, not only because of compatibility concerns but also because of how much more reliable Windows 10 can be in the long run. Specs-wise, this laptop comes with a reasonably fast Z3735 processor, 32 GB of storage space, dual webcams, Wifi & Bluetooth connectivity, and a reliable 10-inch touchscreen to top it off. Overall, this is one of the best mini laptops in this price range.

Pros:

– Affordable
– Highly compatible with a variety of applications
– Good keyboard

Cons:

– Unreliable touchscreen
– Storage space could be bigger
– Should ideally have more memory

8Lenovo – IdeaPad 100s 11.6 Inch Laptop

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This compact laptop from Lenovo will definitely meet the requirements of anyone who doesn’t expect to run the memory-intensive software on account of its 2 GB DDR3L memory. Even so, its Z3735F CPU should prove more than enough for running most applications, while also saving an awful lot of battery life in the long run. Interestingly enough, this laptop also features a decent built-in webcam, along with every type of ports you could possibly need.

At the same time, we should point out that its 32GB eMMC flash memory runs quite fast, although some may find the capacity to be somewhat limited. Having said that, let it be said that the laptop’s 11.6-inch LED backlit screen is of the highest standard and that the laptop itself runs quite fast.

Pros:

– It boots quickly
– Decent graphics considering its size
– Fast USB ports

Cons:

– Doesn’t support too many upgrades
– Unreliable trackpad
– Audio output is limited

7Acer One 10.1 Inch Tablet S1002-145A 2-IN-1

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This lightweight tablet / laptop from Acer uses a powerful Intel Quad Core Z3735F processor designed for speed above everything else. Not only that but it also comes with 32 GB of internal storage + a microSD slot that allows you to expand its storage up to 64 GB if needed. Furthermore, this laptop comes with dual HD cameras for crystal-clear photos, an LED-backlit IPS display with integrated multi-touch screen features, a micro HDMI output with HDCP support, multiple sensors, and a lot more. Also worth mentioning is the fact that this laptop can last you up to 8 hours on a single charge, which is definitely something to look for in a laptop.

Pros:

– Quite fast
– Long battery life
– Good software compatibility

Cons:

– Possible issues finding the right drivers
– Construction could be sturdier
– Keyboard might show signs of damage after a few months

6Nextbook Flexx 10.1 Inch Convertible Laptop

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If you’re looking for a decent mini laptop on a budget, then the Flexx10.1″ Convertible from Nextbook might just be what you need. This highly affordable laptop comes with an Intel Atom Z3735F Quad-Core processor, 2 GB of DDR3L memory, a POGO keyboard, front & back 2 MP webcams, 32 GB of onboard storage memory, a G-sensor, and a microSD slot for good measure. On top of all this, you can expect the Flexx to run well on virtually any operating system without any issues to speak of. We should also point out that it comes with a variety of useful pre-installed software and applications to choose from.

Pros:

– Very affordable
– Decent build quality
– Quite fast

Cons:

– Unreliable trackpad
– Sound output could be stronger
– WiFi only has 2.4 GHz capabilities

5RCA Viking Pro 10.1 Inch Flagship Purple Edition

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With this particular laptop, you get an Android 5.0 Lollipop OS, which is a fresh change from all the Windows-based operating systems most laptops employ. At the same time, this laptop comes with a free office Mobile app, a detachable keyboard, a responsive 10-inch touchscreen, and much more. Not only that but it also benefits from a surprisingly fast Quad-Core processor and 32 GB of onboard storage which can be expanded easily via MicroSD. Combine all of this with a Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity and you have yourself one of the most reliable laptops in this price range.

Pros:

– Detachable keyboard
– IPS display
– microSD card slot

Cons:

– Should have more RAM memory
– Possible issues with its WiFi
– Weak speakers

4Acer Aspire Switch 10 SW5-015-198P 10.1 Inch

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What makes this mini laptop stand out is its impressive 64 GB internal storage, which is almost twice as big as most laptops this size. As you may have already guessed, this is the type of laptop that can also be used as a tablet if needed, which is why it comes with a few interesting mobile apps. Powered by an Intel Atom Z3735 Processor operating at a 1.33 GHz frequency, this mini laptop can be expected to perform at the highest possible standards for a laptop this small. At the same time, it comes with a Windows 10 OS and up to 8 hours of guaranteed battery life.

Pros:

– Long battery life
– Flexible design
– Big storage capacity

Cons:

– Some software issues to be expected
– Difficult to update
– Construction could be sturdier

3ASUS Transformer Book 10.1 Inch T100HA-C4-GR

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This 2-in-1 ultraportable notebook is perhaps the best thin & light laptop the market has to offer at this point in time. We say this because it benefits from a state of the art touchscreen, smooth multitasking capabilities thanks to no less than 4 GB of RAM, a 64 GB eMMC with pre-installed Windows 10, an Intel Quad-Core Cherry Trail x5-Z8500 1.44 GHz processor, a comfortable keyboard dock with multi-touch touchpad and USB 3.0 capabilities, and a multitude of other equally interesting features. On top of all this, the laptop only weighs 2.28 lbs, which is impressive by all standards.

Pros:

– Lightweight
– Very fast
– Good keyboard dock

Cons:

– May experience issues prompting the onscreen keyboard
– Strange portrait mode representation
– Some degree of backlight bleed

2ASUS C100PA-DB02 10.1 inch Touch Chromebook Flip

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The C100PA-DB02 from ASUS is seen as perhaps the best mini laptop money can buy nowadays and for good reasons. It is equipped with a Rockchip 3288-C Quad-Core 1.8 GHz processor, 4 GB of DDR3 RAM, a 10.1-inch WXGA LED-lit Screen IPS panel with Multi-Touch support, a Chrome OS, and an overall design that makes it stand out as both slim and lightweight. Although it only comes with 16 GB eMMC storage, it should prove more than enough given how fast the device runs most applications. Although it may be a bit more expensive than some of the mini laptops we talked about so far, it is definitely one that’s worth the price tag.

Pros:

– Big memory
– Responsive touchscreen
– Sturdy design

Cons:

– Touchpad may stop responding at times
– Keyboard feels crowded
– Operating system takes some getting used to

1Samsung Series 3 Chromebook 11.6 Inch

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Samsung’s Series 3 Chromebook is seen as perhaps the best mini laptop money can buy nowadays and for good reasons. It is equipped with a Samsung Exynos 5 Dual Processor, 2 GB of DDR3L RAM, a crystal-clear 11.6-inch Display, a Chrome OS, and an overall design that makes it stand out as both slim and lightweight.

Although it only comes with 16 GB eMMC storage, it should prove more than enough given how fast the device runs most applications. Although it may be a bit more expensive than some of the mini laptops we talked about so far, it is definitely one that’s worth the price tag given its dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, its built-in webcam, and the 100 GB of free Google Drive storage it benefits from.

Pros:

– Long battery life
– Impressive library of add-on applications
– Good build quality

Cons:

– Operating system takes some getting used to
– Doesn’t support certain popular apps
– Doesn’t run Mac, iOS, Windows, or Android applications

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Mini Laptop Guide

The convenience of being able to type on your commute can make your job a lot easier, so a mini laptop is an astute purchase for many people. They are often used alongside a regular laptop and can be good value when you find the right one.

Still, a cheap mini laptop might not have all the functionality you need it to. This is why it is important to stay up to date on what the better products offer. The following guide is designed to shed some light on what a quality mini laptop should look like.

What To Look For In A Mini Laptop

Battery Life

There is no use in buying a mini laptop that has short battery life. Many of them require less power so they won’t burn through the battery as quickly as the larger laptops out there. Still, you need to make sure it offers you at least 6 hours as a minimum so you don’t have to sit next to a charger socket every time you take it out.

The battery can last longer because a lot of people put fewer demands on mini laptops – they are not designed for gaming for a start.

Reliable Keyboard

Because everything about a mini laptop is going to be more compact, a reliable keyboard is important. They can be put through a fair bit of punishment but the keyboard still needs to have comfortable keys and be a decent size.

Software

Although you might not get all the specs of a regular-sized laptop, a mini laptop can still give you a surprisingly high standard of specs if you find the right one. Make sure it comes with pre-installed applications and is compatible with most modern software so it doesn’t slow you down.

Everything from the processor to the apps needs to be able to cope with your demands.

Brand Reputation

If you are looking for a bargain, then even the bigger brands make affordable mini laptops. They might lack some of the features and specs of their pricier models but are likely to be more reliable than a brand you’ve never heard of. The better brands often give you a higher spec of software as standard.

Design

This starts with being compact but you can get a mini laptop that is creative as you like. Some have removable screens to act as a tablet as well as a mini laptop whilst others can swivel.

Memory

These mini laptops might be small but the better ones can still pack a punch. They don’t need such high specs to run so if you can find a decent amount of memory they can be particularly fast. start at around 2GB of memory and work your way up if you can.

Screen Size

Yes, a mini laptop needs to be compact, but you still need to be able to proofread that email before you send it. A lot of them seem to hover around the 10 – 11-inch mark so anything close to this should be considered big enough.

Camera

There are plenty of mini laptops that offer a decent camera for video calling although they might be a bit limited in terms of recording videos. Not all of them offer this so if it is an important feature for you, be sure to check it has a camera before buying.

Weight

Most mini laptops should be considerably lighter than a regular version which means they are ideal for putting in your bag. Most of them weight under 3 lbs but anything over 4 and you are starting to negate the convenience.

How Much Storage Should A Mini Laptop Have?

Because they are small they aren’t going to have the same vast storage as a regular laptop but this might not be as important as a lot of files can be saved in the cloud. Still, you don’t want it to have less storage than the minimum required for a phone. There are plenty of reputable mini laptops that offer 64 GB storage which should be plenty for most people.

This is where you need to consider your needs. If you are using a mini laptop to send emails or stream a movie it won’t need the same amount of memory as those sending larger files and storing photos.

Should I Buy A Touchscreen Mini Laptop?

This links to whether you are better off buying a tablet or not but if this is important to you, certain models give you the keyboard as well as a touchscreen. This can be handy in a meeting or presentation but will inevitably increase the price.