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best mini laptops

The Best Mini Laptops in 2021

Author: Robert Wilson

Electronics & Peripherals Expert

Welcome to our big mini laptop test. Here we present you all mini laptops that we have tested in more detail. We have put together detailed background information for you.

We want to make the purchase decision easier for you and help you find the best mini laptop for you.

You can also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. You will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a mini laptop.

  • A mini laptop allows you to work on your computer virtually anywhere, anytime.
  • A distinction is made between standard mini laptops, 2 in 1 convertibles and 2 in 1 detachables.
  • Mini laptops are smaller, lighter and less powerful than standard notebooks. However, they are cheaper and often have a longer battery life. They are particularly suitable for schoolchildren and students.

Best Mini Laptops

Acer Chromebook R11

Acer Chromebook R11
99 Reviews
Acer Chromebook R11
  • 11. 6″ HD IPS 10-point multi-touch screen (1366 x 768)
  • 4GB of DDR3L Onboard Memory and 32GB eMMC
  • 802. 11ac WiFi featuring 2×2 MIMO technology (Dual-Band 2….
  • Up to 10 Hours Battery Life, 1-USB 3. 0 port, 1-USB 2. 0…
  • Intel Celeron N3060 Dual-Core Processor (Up to 2. 48GHz)

The Chromebook R 11 from Acer is an 11.6 inch HD netbook. It is characterized above all by its multi-touch display – this makes it particularly flexible to use. The netbook is very flat (19 mm), has a long battery life (up to 10 hours) and fast WiFi.

An integrated virus protection ensures additional security. The operating system is Chromebook R11, which provides access to many apps. This means that you can work, surf and stream without any problems while on the go.

HP Stream 11.6-inch HD Laptop

HP Stream 11.6-inch HD Laptop
2,186 Reviews
HP Stream 11.6-inch HD Laptop
  • STUDY, STREAM, SHARE: Between home, school and work, you…
  • KEEP YOUR PROJECTS SAFE: Experience peace of mind that comes…
  • OFFICE 365 FOR ONE YEAR: Get full access to Microsoft Excel,…
  • PROCESSOR: Intel(R) Celeron(R) N4000 Processor, Dual-Core,…
  • DISPLAY: 11.6-inch diagonal HD AntiGlare WLED-backlit…

Samsung Electronics XE500C13 Chromebook

Samsung Electronics XE500C13 Chromebook
1,961 Reviews
Samsung Electronics XE500C13 Chromebook
  • Up to 11 hours battery life on a single charge
  • Built in security Features ensure you’re protected from…
  • 11.6 inches HD anti reflective Display
  • Spill resistant keyboard protects against accidental Damage
  • Intel Celeron N3060 Processor with 2G Memory and 16GB…

Acer Swift 3 SF314-55G-78U1

Acer Swift 3 SF314-55G-78U1
81 Reviews
Acer Swift 3 SF314-55G-78U1
  • 8th Generation Intel Core i7 8565u Processor (Up to 4….
  • 14″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS widescreen LED backlit Display…
  • Back lit keyboard, Intel Wireless AC 9560 802. 11AC Gigabit…
  • 1 USB Type C ports USB 3. 1 Gen 2 (up to 10 Gaps)…
  • Windows 10 Home & 4 cell Li Ion (3220 mAh) battery, Up to 12…

Simbans TangoTab 10 Inch 2-in-1 Laptop

 Our Pick
Simbans TangoTab 10 Inch 2-in-1 Laptop
1,721 Reviews
Simbans TangoTab 10 Inch 2-in-1 Laptop
  • 3 FREE BONUS ITEMS INCLUDED – A high-quality detachable…
  • PRE-INSTALLED OFFICE APPS – The tablet comes with Microsoft…
  • PREMIUM 10 INCH TABLET with SUPERIOR CPU – High Power…
  • HIGH RESOLUTION SCREEN, LARGE DISK and TV CONNECTIVITY – The…
  • WORRY FREE PURCHASE – Comes with 1-year warranty and…

Jumper Windows 10 Laptop 13.3 Inch

 Our Pick
Jumper Windows 10 Laptop 13.3 Inch
1,560 Reviews
Jumper Windows 10 Laptop 13.3 Inch
  • 💖【Office 365 for One Year】: If Your Office cannot be…
  • 👑【13.3-inch HD IPS Screen】: Offers 1920 x 1080…
  • 💰【4GB RAM and 64GB ROM】—4GB DDR3 Smoothly Run Your…
  • 🌞【Windows 10 Home OS】—Offers More Powerful…
  • 👍【12 Months Warranty】—Jumper is Committed to…

Frequently Asked Questions: Mini Laptops

What is a mini laptop?

A mini laptop is an extra small and light notebook that you can easily take with you anywhere and easily stowed away.

Mini laptops are usually offered relatively inexpensively.

This is possible because the hardware built into it is less powerful than in other computers. In contrast to tablets, mini laptops have a keyboard. Therefore it is also possible to write longer texts.

The keyboard can be variably connected to some models or removed as required. These are 2-in-1 mini laptops – convertible or detachable.

How does a mini laptop differ from a netbook and a notebook?

The difference between mini laptops and laptops is – as the name suggests – a question of size.

Mini laptops are small notebooks, typically between 10 “and 12”, some are smaller. The term netbook is mostly used as a synonym for mini laptop.

The terms subnotebook or ultrabook also usually refer to small laptops.

If the screen diagonal is over 15 inches at the latest, it is referred to as a normal notebook.

Mini laptops are small notebooks that usually have a screen diagonal of 25 to 30 cm.

How big is a mini laptop?

Most of the mini laptops on offer have a display diagonal of either 10.1 inches or 11.6 inches.

The smallest laptops available have a screen diagonal of 7 inches, while smaller computers tend to be referred to as handhelds.

At the top, the boundary to the normal notebook is fluid or a matter of interpretation. A 13 inch netbook should still pass as a mini laptop.

The vast majority of mini laptops are therefore smaller than A4 blocks and can be easily carried with one hand. According to the manufacturer, the laptop minis on offer weigh between 0.5 and 1.5 kilograms.

Is there a mini laptop with a CD or DVD drive?

The small, light mini slim laptops are designed for compactness and mobility, which is why the optical drives are omitted.

Should you still need a CD, DVD or Blu-ray drive or a CD, DVD or Blu-ray burner, you can buy external versions and connect them via USB.

Which mini laptop is suitable for students?

Basically, mini laptops are the perfect compromise for students. On the one hand, they are small enough that you can easily take them with you to school or campus – an ideal small laptop for university.

On the other hand, they also offer you a keyboard to write properly, several USB ports, for example to exchange data and also to connect HDMI or at least VGA outputs monitor for the presentation on the projector.

If portability is the most important criterion for you, you should choose a very small model. In this case, of course, the keyboard is also smaller, which could make typing a little more difficult.

In addition, you simply have to think about which of the above features you need, whether you want to use the computer in tablet mode or not and how many hours of battery life you need.

Are mini laptops suitable for gamers?

Mini laptops are usually not designed for gaming. Of course, it depends on the specific hardware, but the slim subnotebooks cannot keep up with larger gaming laptops or even gaming PCs.

Mini games and light gaming on the go are often already possible.

Due to the light and compact design and the low price, the light, small notebooks are suitable for students and schoolchildren as well as for children in general as an educational entry-level and learning device.

However, due to their performance, the mini laptops are rather unsuitable for gaming.

Are mini laptops suitable for kids?

Mini laptops are also great for kids 7-14 years old to learn how to use computers. Because they are smaller and weigh less, the lightweight laptops are much easier for the children to carry.

Their lower price also makes them perfect entry-level devices and suitable for children’s hands. With the appropriate tools, you can ensure that the little ones cannot visit websites that are harmful to minors.

Are there mini laptops with LTE?

For a surcharge, you can also get some netbooks with an LTE or WiFi version. This enables you to use the Internet via the cellular network even where you cannot receive WiFi.

All you have to do is insert a SIM card into the existing SIM card slot. Depending on the frequency of use, you should get a prepaid card or maybe a data plan.

What alternatives are there to a mini laptop?

If a mini laptop is too small for you, you can use a larger notebook or – if the laptop does not have to be mobile – a desktop PC.

If you don’t necessarily need a keyboard, a tablet is also suitable for you.

Types of Mini Laptops

With mini laptops you basically have three options:

  • Standard mini laptop
  • 2 in 1 convertible
  • 2 in 1 detachable

The term mini laptop is in itself rather special. It is mainly defined by the size of the notebook. They can best be divided into a standard version and a detachable version, which can be converted into a tablet.

In the following, we will take a closer look at the properties as well as the advantages and disadvantages of the three types.

Standard Mini Laptop: Advantages & Disadvantages

These are simply solid, small-format laptops. The standard netbooks often offer better hardware and equipment than e.g. Detachables.

Their construction is also more robust, but they are often a little heavier and less compact. They are also easier to upgrade.

Advantages

  • Often better equipment
  • Better upgradeable

Disadvantages

  • Less compact or mobile
  • Mostly no touch screen
  • Cannot be used as a tablet

Unlike the other two variants, you cannot use this laptop as a tablet, and it usually doesn’t have a touchscreen either.

2-in-1 Convertible Mini Laptop: Advantages & Disadvantages

Devices that can be used both as mini laptops and tablets are usually referred to as either 2 in 1 notebook or convertible.

With these devices you can choose depending on your mood: small laptop or tablet. Various mechanisms are used for the change.

The slightly more common variant has a 360 degree hinge. This allows you to fold the display back so far that its back rests on the underside of the rest of the computer.

So you can use the laptop with touchscreen like a slightly thicker tablet.

Advantages

  • Mini notebook with touchscreen and pen input
  • Flexibility: laptop and quasi-tablet
  • Better hardware than Detachable

Disadvantages

  • Less mobile than detachable
  • Keyboard can be damaged more easily
  • The folding mechanism must be stable
  • With this variant, the focus is clearly on the laptop.

Another advantage of many 2 in 1 devices is that you can often make handwritten notes, sketches or illustrations with a stylus.

The construction may be less robust. On the one hand, the keyboard lies directly on the table in tablet mode and is therefore more likely to be damaged; on the other hand, the 360 ​​degree hinge has to be well made to withstand the load in the long term.

2-in-1 Detachable Mini Laptop: Advantages & Disadvantages

In the second variant of the hybrid device, most of the hardware is installed behind the screen.

In principle, it is a tablet that can be docked to a keyboard if necessary, turning it into a mini notebook with a touchscreen.

This variant is basically called Detacahble, but, confusingly, often also goes by the name Convertible in retail.

The big advantage of them is that you can use them as full-fledged, slim tablets, making them particularly easy to transport.

Advantages

  • Flexibility: quasi-laptop and tablet
  • Touchscreen and pen input
  • Maximum mobility with a pure tablet

Disadvantages

  • Less powerful
  • Lower battery life
  • Focus on tablet and not on laptop

Since most of the hardware has to find space in the tablet part, the devices are sometimes less powerful than the other two variants.

The battery is also less powerful for reasons of space. Basically, the tablet function is more pronounced in this variant.

Mini Laptop: Purchase Criteria

In the following we will show you what to look for when buying a mini laptop. This will make it easier for you to get an overview and decide on a suitable and effective device.

In summary, these are the following criteria:

  • Type & Size
  • Battery
  • Display
  • Processor
  • RAM
  • Operating System
  • Hard Disk

Below you can read what the respective criteria are all about and find out why it makes sense for you to purchase a device with this function or not.

Type & Size

You can decide whether you prefer to use a standard mini laptop or a 2 in 1 convertible or 2 in 1 detachable.

The two most common sizes of mini laptops are 10.1 inches and 11.6 inches. Of course there are also smaller and larger notebooks. Larger versions make work easier because there is space for more screen space and a slightly larger keyboard. However, they are more difficult to transport.

Battery

Since you want to operate mobile devices even when there is no power source, the battery life is very important.

Netbooks are less powerful than normal laptops, which is why their batteries often last even longer.

The stated battery life ranges from 4 to 12 hours. Many of the built-in batteries only have two cells. If you need more runtime, then look around for models with more cells. However, these are also heavier.

Display

The best netbooks offer you a full HD resolution (1920 × 1200), which is perfectly enough for this screen size. You can get other versions with WXGA (1366 x 768) or HD (10280 x 800) resolution.

If you want to use your small laptop even in less than ideal lighting conditions, your display should have a brightness of around 200 cd / m².

If you plan to work outside often, a matte display is highly recommended.

Processor

Many subnotebooks have the energy-saving processors of the Intel Atom series, which are particularly suitable for mobile devices. However, you can also often find Intel Celeron and Intel Pentium CPUs.

Did you know that autostart software programs can slow down your laptop enormously?

Limit yourself to a few programs at the same time. Skype, Dropbox, Drive, antivirus program and more in the autostart slow down your netbook.

It is best to only start the programs that you want to use immediately or without which the start is not possible. The main memory of mostly 2 GB in particular fills up extremely quickly, which then leads to “jerking”.

Also look at the clock speed (in GHz) as well as the number of cores and possibly a turbo boost. If you want a certain level of performance, mini laptops with quad-core processors are also available.

RAM

Main memory is especially important if you want to run several applications in parallel. It is often lower with mini laptops than with others. Many netbooks only offer 2 GB of RAM.

However, high-quality models come with a decent 8 GB of RAM. In the middle are mini notebooks with 4 GB of RAM.

Operating System

The current mini laptops are usually delivered with Windows 10 Home (64 bit) or Chrome OS. However, if you wish, you will also find individual offers without an operating system, with Linux or with Windows 7. Cheap 7 inch laptops often run with Android.

The Apple subnotebooks MacBook Air are operated with iOS and the Google Chromebook is equipped with the Linux distribution Chrome OS.

Hard Disk

Many mini laptops have an eMMC memory. This is a flash memory that is slower and cheaper than the memory of SSD notebooks.

However, the more expensive mini notebooks with SSD are best. You will also find some with a classic hard drive (HDD). Most memories have a total hard drive capacity of 32 or 64 gigabytes. However, there are also devices with 128 gigabytes.

Facts about Mini Laptops

How do I install an operating system on a mini laptop?

The operating system is typically preinstalled. If it becomes necessary to set up the system again, some notebooks offer recovery partitions.

In the boot menu you can then choose whether you want to repair or reinstall Windows in recovery mode.

However, if you want or have to install an operating system completely manually, then with mini laptops you need a bootable USB stick with an image of the operating system. You can find appropriate instructions on the Internet.

Why is my mini laptop so slow?

You can’t compare netbooks with normal laptops. They are designed as very compact and rather inexpensive models. Components such as the processor, memory or graphics processor are weaker here.

That is why you can usually neither execute countless tasks in parallel with the devices, nor run particularly compute-intensive tasks such as video coding or new games. This then leads to delays. The actual performance naturally depends on your model.

If your device is fundamentally slowing down than before, you could try deleting a few applications first.

Although mini laptops are now more powerful than they used to be, you cannot use them like larger computers. Too many tasks at once can quickly lead to delays.

Which mini laptop accessories are available?

There are of course many accessories available for small, light notebooks. For better transport, you can get mini laptop bags, backpacks, cases or sleeves.

If you don’t get along well with the touchpad, a mini or laptop mouse makes a lot of sense.

External (Bluetooth) mini laptop speakers for mobile music enjoyment or cooling pads for mini laptops are also worth considering.

In order to be able to work more comfortably on the go and when traveling, you can finally get a mini laptop table or laptop stand.

Last product update on 2021-06-18 | Source: Amazon Affiliate