With the continuous development in the world of electronics, gadgets and devices are constantly getting better and every year brings something new.
Major laptop companies are constantly coming up with more compact and portable devices that do not compromise on functionality. And that is what we are showcasing in this post, the best small laptops to buy.
These days laptops are getting thinner, lighter and even more efficient. So if you need to work on-the-go but prefer surfing the web and sending emails through a computer instead of your phone, but don’t want to drag a heavy computer with you, then these ultra-thin and feather-light mini laptops were designed for you.
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Best small laptops: what to look for
The best mini laptops are compact and portable and yet they do not fall short in functionality and efficiency. These small computing devices are designed to act as mobile offices that support a wide range of office applications so you can take your work anywhere.
There are lots of mini laptops on the market so when you are looking to buy one, you should know what to look out for. Important features include the operating system, battery life, design, touchpad, and keyboard ergonomics.
The ideal mini laptop should be compatible with a wide range of applications and it should smoothly run your software without unnecessary glitches.
Considering that you are looking for a mini laptop to take advantage of its portability, the chances are you will be using it on the go. This means that battery life is something that is of absolute importance. We strongly recommend a super-portable laptop with a battery life of at least 8 hours of constant web surfing on a single charge.
You also have to think about the keyboard, since you’re looking for a small and portable laptop you should expect a small keyboard. But despite being small the keyboard should be sturdy and support fast typing.
Next is your budget. In the world of electronics, lower prices don’t always mean worst features especially with the very rapid advancements in the industry. Although the price of some mini laptops is a lot, it is possible that with a couple of hundred bucks you can still get yourself an excellent little computing device that you’ll be proud of.
Top 10 Mini Laptops
With these in mind, we’ve put together a list of the top 10 lightweight laptops with long battery life for you … and here they are.
#1. Apple MacBook Air
The Apple MacBook Air is arguably one of the most beautiful 13-inch ultra-portable laptops in the world. It weighs just 2.8 pounds and has a thickness of about 0.6 inches. While it carries a high-end price tag, it is certainly one of the best small laptops on the market.
This Apple laptop is very robust and a master at multitasking, it does not stutter when you simultaneously complete several tasks including web surfing, working on system applications and watching video playback. This smooth performance is due to the Y-Series Intel Core i5-8210Y CPU and a RAM of 8GB.
With its solid performance, the MacBook Air also has a battery life of up to 8 hours of uninterrupted web surfing on a single charge. The Air comes with Apple’s 4th generation Butterfly-switch keyboard. This keyboard is shallow and clicky but offers a decent typing experience and it comes with 4 years warranty.
This ultra-slim laptop supports up to 16GB RAM and up to 1.5TB of solid-state storage, but the base model comes with 8GB RAM and a 128GB SSD. It has two USB-C ports on the left side and a headphone jack on the right.
The MacBook Air is a super portable and ultra-slim laptop, it has a solid performance and great battery life. It can easily disappear into a shoulder bag making it your on-the-go laptop, with all these great features there’s really nothing not to love about this laptop.
- Sleek and ultra-portable
- Solid performance
- High-resolution display
- Only has USB-C port
- Keyboard is shallow
#2. Microsoft Surface Go
If you want a very compact and portable computing device, then the Surface Go was designed for you. This sleek and stylish work machine is packed full of the many beauties of modern technology and it can be used as either a tablet or a laptop. At first glance, you’ll see a 10-inch tablet with the latest Windows 10 but a closer look will reveal a super portable and very compact laptop — a beautiful transformation which happens when you attach the keyboard.
The Microsoft Surface Go is your ideal on-the-go laptop as you can take it along on any trip, plus it has Windows 10 which is compatible with a wide range of system applications and therefore it can double as a mobile office.
Its budget-friendly price tag makes it accessible to students. The weight of this laptop can be compared to that of a feature; it weighs 1.15 pounds without the keyboard and with the keyboard attached, it wight increases to 1.66 pounds which is still small for a laptop.
With a thickness of 0.33mm, this device is ultra-slim and it has a Type C USB port, a microSD card slot, a headphone jack, and a Surface Connect port for charging and docking. The Surface Go performs really fast on everyday tasks thanks to its Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y processor and 4GB RAM. It also comes with a 64GB storage space and a battery that lasts up to 6 hours of constant web surfing on a single charge.
The Surface Go has a 10-inch bright and colorful display, a special surface pen for taking quick notes and sketches, a keyboard designed for fast typing, a good battery life, an affordable price tag and it’s light as a feather — now isn’t it the perfect on-the-go laptop?
- Small and portable with colorful display
- Comfortable keyboard and touchpad for fast typing
- Windows Hello for facial recognition
- Battery lasts for only 6 hours which is good but not great.
- Keyboard and pen come at an extra cost.
#3. Lenovo Chromebook C330
Another amazing laptop that can double as a tablet is the Lenovo Chromebook C330. This small and compact Chromebook is the perfect device for surfing the web, streaming videos, editing photos, creating and sharing documents. The Lenovo Chromebook C330 is a very portable 11.6 inches laptop, with a thickness of 0.8 inches its very slim and weighs just 2.7 pounds which is light enough to follow you anywhere.
The C330 has a panel that smoothly rotates on a 360-degree hinge and it converts smoothly to a tent, tablet, laptop, or stand mode, which will greatly enhance our experience. It’s essentially a 2-in-1 Chromebook with a high-definition 10 inches touch screen IPS display. It has an impressive battery that can last up to 10 hours on a single charge.
The Lenovo Chromebook C330 is powered by MediaTek MT8173C processor and a RAM of 4GB which doesn’t really offer great multitasking prowess. But its not exactly disappointing and doesn’t fall behind expectations as it can smoothly handle all your everyday tasks and some level of effortless multitasking. It also comes with an eMMC storage which can be expanded with a micro SD card or 100GB of Google Drive Cloud space.
And when it comes to ports and connectivity, this Lenovo Chromebook doesn’t disappoint, on the left side you will find a USB Type-C port which doubles as the charging port, HDMI port, USB 3.0 and SD card slot. And on the right side, there’s a headphone jack, one power button and another for volume control. The HDMI port is actually a pleasant surprise. With this cheap machine, you also get a 2 X 2 AC Wi-Fi with Bluetooth 4.1 which allows you to connect simultaneously connect two Bluetooth devices.
Whether you want to work, get creative, entertain and just have fun, the Lenovo Chromebook C330 is an excellent laptop that surprisingly covers all your needs and it’s small and portable, meaning you can take it just about anywhere.
- Long-lasting battery
- Comfortable keyboard and touchpad
- Very affordable
- Low-resolution display
#4. DELL Inspiron Chromebook 14
If you’d want a slightly bigger yet portable and convertible laptop, then meet the Inspiron Chromebook 14 from Dell. With its stylish and sturdy aluminum design, this laptop is the definition of elegant. It has the latest Windows 10 and thanks to its 8th generation Intel Core i3 processor it performs smoothly while you run several applications and it can be described as a master at multitasking.
With a thickness of 0.7 inches and a weight of 3.99 pounds, this powerful Chromebook is not exactly lightweight but it can still be described as compact, slim, and portable. This work machine comes with 128 eMMC storage drive which is a reasonable amount of storage space. And its panel smoothly rotates on the 360-degree twin hinges as it transforms from a laptop to a tablet or a stand mode.
To enable physical connection, the Dell Inspiron Chromebook 14 comes with a USB Type-C 3.1 port, a USB Type-A 3.1 port and an audio jack, all on the left side. And on the right side, you’ll find a microSD card reader, a USB Type-C 3.1 port, a power button, and a volume control button. And for wireless connectivity, you’ll get an Intel 7265AC wireless card and Bluetooth 4.2.
This Dell Chromebook comes with a very comfortable keyboard and a pleasant surprise; a pen. Yes, it has a pen which you can draw or quickly scribble notes with and it doesn’t any charging so you can all day long. And speaking of things you can use all day long, the Dell Chromebook 14 has a battery life of 10 hours which means that once it’s fully charged, you can afford to leave your charger behind while you take with you on a trip and stay productive all day.
- Solid performance
- Comfortable backlit keyboard
- Comes with an interactive pen
- Loud touchpad clicks
#5. DELL Latitude 5490
Another one of the best small laptops that will definitely impress you with its solid performance is the Dell Latitude 5490. This is a 14-inch ultrabook that offers much more than the average 14 inches laptops. It’s a super tough laptop with an attraction all-black design. The ultrabook is sturdy with lid made from soft-touch carbon fiber, an aluminum frame, and steel hinges, this laptop is obviously built to last.
The Dell Latitude 5490 features a 1.6 GHz Intel Core i5-8250U processor with 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD. These features give the notebook an amazingly smooth and fast performance and enable it to multitask with ease. At 3.5 pounds and 0.8 inches thick, this ultrabook may not be the lightest or slimmest 14 inches laptop but it’s sleek and stylish and arguably the strongest 14 inches you can find.
The Latitude 5490 is built to go with you anywhere and it’s designed to withstand what other laptops in its class cannot take. It can extreme heat and cold, high humidity, vibration, drops onto a hard surface, blowing sand and dust, and liquid spills on the keyboard. And speaking of the keyboard, this notebook has a backlit keyboard which provides for comfortable typing and elevates it among best small laptops for writers. The touchpad is also very smooth and provides for easy cursor manipulation and you don’t have to worry about a missing cursor.
Another remarkable feature of the Dell Latitude 5490 is the 14-inch display which is very bright and crisp, produces very vivid colors. One major drawback of this notebook is its less than average battery life but the battery is also removable, meaning you can always have one or two spare batteries – with the spare batteries, the Dell Latitude 5490 can be your on-the-go laptop.
- Bright and colorful display
- Very sturdy design
- Solid and speedy performance
- Battery lasts for only 4.5 hours
#6. GPD Pocket 2 Mini Laptop
If size matters and you want to find the smallest micro laptop, then you will have to check out the GPD Pocket 2. At just 7 inches, it is one of the smallest laptops on the market that offers desktop-style computing.-
The GPD Pocket runs off a 1.1 GHz Intel Core M-5Y10 Processor. It contains 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. Obviously there is no hiding from the fact that it is not going to give you mindblowing performance, but in a device, this small, compromises have to be made. That said, the GPD Pocket is a great small laptop for writing, surfing the web or even running low-intensity games and movies to entertain you on the road.
The advertised battery life is 12 hours, although multiple users state that in reality, you can expect between 6 – 8 with continuous usage. But considering it weighs just 15.5 ounces, that’s still pretty impressive.
But what about the keyboard? After a brief adjustment period, you’ll be up to full speed with surprising ease. There are some annoyances, like the reduced size CAPS key right up against the A, but overall, they have done a great job of providing a better than expected keyboard experience.
Finally, connectivity, with a standard USB, a USB C, and a micro SD slot, this little machine has most necessities covered. Especially when paired with a USB adaptor. There is also a 3.5mm earphone port for listening and watching on the go.
Overall this is a surprisingly good machine considering the limitations by design. If you really want to pack minimal but still have connectivity options, it could be a great choice.
- It’s tiny
- Good selection of connectivity ports
- Keyboard is better than expected
- Have I mentioned how small it is?
- Battery life is less than advertised
- Lacks processing power for bigger tasks
#7. Acer Aspire E15
Another beautiful work machine is the Acer Aspire E15, it offers an amazingly strong performance. As the name implies, it’s is a bit larger on than the others on this list and is a bit of a stretch to be considered a mini laptop, but considering the value this machine offers, I wanted to include it. At 15.6 inches, the laptop too bulky to be truly attractive. But a closer look will reveal a super-solid work machine with a surprisingly strong performance.
If you’ve ever wanted to enjoy your computing device without any form of internet connection, then you’ve got that feature in the Aspire E15. It has a built-in DVD player (which is a pleasant surprise since that is not a feature you find in modern laptop designs) and two surprisingly loud stereo speakers which means you can have some real fun without the internet or Netflix — this is enough compensation for the bulky build. Despite looking big, it weighs much less than you’d expect at first glance, it’s 4.9 pounds in weight and 32mm thick.
The Acer Aspire E 15 features the 1.8GHz Core i5-8250U (eighth generation) processor, 8 GB of RAM, 256 GB SSD and Nvidia’s new GeForce MX150 graphics processor. This makes this laptop incredibly strong and good at multitasking. This laptop has a full-size spacious and comfortable keyboard and a responsive touchpad that responds well to all the Windows 10 gestures.
And for ports, the Aspire E 15 has a USB-3.1 Type-C port, an Ethernet port, a VGA input, an HDMI port, two USB 3.0 ports, and a Kensington lock – all on the left side. And on the right side, you will find a USB 2.0 port, an 8X DVD-RW double-layer drive, a headphone jack, and a power connector. You will also find an SD card reader conveniently positioned on the laptop’s front-left edge.
This may not exactly be your ideal on-the-go laptop but it is as reliable as you’d expect and a battery life of approximately 9 hours is impressive for a top-performing budget laptop.
- Good battery life
- Strong performance
- A bit bulky
#8. HP Stream 14
The HP Stream 14 is one of the most budget-friendly laptops in the market. It’s built as a light performing computing device and great for completing everyday tasks like sending emails, surfing the internet, using web apps and watching some video clips. This colorful laptop is the Windows-based competitor to Chromebooks and it’s proof that a Windows laptop can be attractive and inexpensive.
At 3.1 pounds and 0.7 inches thick you can design this notebook as compact, lightweight and portable, and you won’t be wrong. The HP Stream 14 comes equipped with a 1.6-GHz Intel Celeron N3060 processor, Intel HD Graphics 400, 4GB of RAM and 32GB of eMMc flash storage. Performance is honestly not the strong suit of this budget laptop and you might find it stuttering with heavy multitasking, and the battery lasts for about 7 hours which is good.
The Stream 14 comes with all the basic ports, on the left side you’ll a full-size HDMI port, one USB 2.0 port, two USB 3.0 ports, an SD card slot, a Kensington lock slot, and an audio headset jack. While on the right side of the laptop, there is a power connector. This laptop also comes in a bright blue color (it’s all plastic) and has a comfortable white keyboard and a very responsive touchpad.
If you’re looking for an attractive and inexpensive Windows laptop to complete everyday tasks and the bright blue color of the HP Stream 14 catches your eyes then you should definitely go for it. For its price, it’s a great buy.
- Very colorful and attractive
- Long-lasting battery
- Display’s not very bright
#9. Samsung Chromebook Plus V2
If you want a solid, lightweight and beautiful work machine to access countless apps on the Google Play Store, then meet the Chromebook Plus from Samsung. Samsung has been dishing out sleek, stylish and attractive gadgets for years now, we’ve seen the exotic Galaxy line of smartphones and now their Chromebooks are among the best in the Chromebook market.
The Samsung Chromebook Plus V2 is a 2-in-1 convertible mini laptop that has a 12.2 inches panel that rotates 360 degrees on its hinges to form a tablet. This laptop is ultra-slim and portable with a thickness of 0.55 inches and a weight of about 2.38 pounds. The Chromebook Plus comes with an Intel Celeron 3965Y processor, Intel HD Graphics 515 and 4GB of RAM and together these components allow for smooth performance and the ability to multitask without the Chromebook stuttering.
Its 12.2 inches 1920 x 1080 LCD display provide you with enough space to work on and it’s bright and colorful. Despite the small size, this Chromebook has very useful input devices. It has a full-sized and comfortable keyboard which allows for fast typing but unfortunately, it has no backlight. With a very responsive trackpad, you can smoothly control the cursor and a handy pen which is excellent at taking notes and making sketches.
It also has all the basic ports you need in a computing device, on the right side, you’ll find the power button, indicator light, volume switch, and Pen dock, plus the addition of a USB Type-A 3.0 port for all your legacy hardware. On the left are a microSD card slot, two USB Type-C 3.1 ports and a 3.5 combo audio jack.
The Chromebook Plus is a great device and if you want something much better than average but won’t cost an arm and a leg then this should be the Chromebook you choose. It checks all the boxes for a compact, lightweight and portable laptop that’ll actually perform.
- Compact, lightweight and portable
- Solid aluminum build
- Impressive performance
- Bright and beautiful HD display
- No keyboard backlighting
- Only 32GB storage
Final thoughts on the best small laptops
Every year new laptops with many fabulous feature roll into the market, this makes choosing the perfect computing device daunting and almost frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be. The key to getting yourself a great laptop is to identify the features your ideal laptop must-have.
And on your list of features make sure you include; solid performance and seamless multitasking, beautiful display, sturdy and good build quality, a comfortable keyboard and responsive touchpad, all the basic ports, more than average battery life, and of course the price tag should be fairly reasonable for the machine in question.
With these in mind and any other extra features you personally desire, you can comfortably get yourself the perfect work machine. And our top pick is the Apple MacBook Air which we strongly recommend.