Thanks to the advancement of the world of electronics, there are many mini laptops available on the market today. These might be small in size, but they don’t lack in efficiency and functionality.
If you’re not a fan of carrying around heavy and large bags and backpacks everywhere you go, then a thin and lightweight laptop is the right choice for you.
They come in different sizes and shapes, but generally, they weigh up to 3 pounds and have 10-inch size screens. This makes them a perfect compact and pocket-friendly portables; you can easily fit in your handbag or a small backpack when going to work or travel.
If you’re looking to buy a portable computer for work studying, or entertainment, you’re in the right place. We prepared a review of the top six best mini laptops of 2020.
1. Asus C100PA – Chromebook Flip
This extremely lightweight Asus Chromebook Flip is a convertible. You can flip its screen and use it as a notebook, A stand, A tent, or a tablet. The keyboard is not detachable, but you can fold it any way you want, making it convenient for use.
The slick and silver finish gives this Chromebook an exquisite aesthetic. Its aluminum metal body makes it strong and sturdy.
It has an embedded Office editor, so if you’re looking for a small computer for work, this would be an excellent choice for you.
Since it only weighs two pounds, you will not have a feeling like you’re carrying a laptop in your pack or bag.
– Multi-touch touchscreen
– Quad-core processor
– 4 GB of RAM
– 16 GB Solid State Storage
– Chromebook Operating System
– Very lightweight, convenient for both students and professionals;
– Extra-long battery life, the whole day might pass by without having to recharge it;
– It features HDMI, USB, and Wi-Fi radio ports;
– Good quality chassis.
– It only has 16 GB of storage options, so the hard drives might underperform;
– It doesn’t have a CD or DVD drive;
– Cannot install standard MS Office;
– It has a 1280×800 pixel display; therefore, it doesn’t have the best possible resolution.
2. Asus Transformer Book T100HA
Another great convertible, but unlike the previous Asus, the Asus Transformer Book has magnet hinges allowing the screen and the keyboard to detach and connect with ease.
It’s super thin and light – only 0.72 inch and 2.28 pounds, making it pack and ready. With its incredibly long battery life, up to 12 hours, you don’t have to worry about forgetting its charger.
Plus, with the fast charge technology, your mini portable will be ready for work and play in just two hours.
– Intel Atom x5 Z8500 Quad-Core processor;
– 4GB of RAM
– 64GB SSD
– Windows 10
– Intel HD Graphics
– Super thin and lightweight which makes it easily portable;
– Long battery life, 80% charge for up to 10 hours use;
– With the fast charge technology, it takes only 2 hours to charge;
– With its integrated Intel HD Graphics, it offers smooth and energy-efficient media playback, video processing, and image editing;
– Detachable screen;
– With only 64GB of storage, after installing the OS, there won’t be much of RAM left to work with;
– The keyboard is not meant for extended use, because it’s quite small which can be very tiring for your hands;
– Not the best screen resolution, only 1280×800 pixels.
3. Samsung Chromebook 3 10” (10 inch)
With its Chromebook 3, Samsung delivers a very usable and functioning machine while still maintaining a relatively low price.
If you’re not looking for a laptop that will endure a lot of demanding work, but something great for travel so you can browse or watch media files, this mini option is the right choice for you.
Its 11.6-inch screen is a bit larger than typical mini laptops, but it’s quite light and easily portable. Besides, the battery can run up to 11 hours, making it perfect for travel and long flights.
– 1366×768 Pixels Screen Resolution
– Intel Celeron N3050 processor
– 4 GB of RAM
– Chrome OS
– It has a water-resistant keyboard, and sturdy body, making it road-ready and family-friendly;
– Its matte display allows you to use it wherever you want, shade or sunshine, it’s anti-reflective and won’t glare;
– With its weight of less than three pounds, this laptop is very portable;
– It has HDMI output, so you can connect it to your TV and watch media on the big screen;
– Very long battery life, up to 11 hours of use without charging.
– It doesn’t have a touchscreen;
– It only has 16 GB of a solid-state hard drive;
– Low megapixel model camera.
4. Lenovo IdeaPad Miix 310
Another great convertible, Lenovo IdeaPad Miix 310 is excellent for those who are always on the move and need a reliable computer.
It offers the right blend of battery life, performance, and above all, portability.
Thanks to its thicker hinge, opening the screen of this 2-in-1 makes the keyboard slightly elevated for easy-to-type on. Detaching the screen and switching to tablet mode is quite effortless thanks to its magnetic mechanism.
The overall weight of both the tablet and the keyboard is about 2.20 pounds. Combined with its compact size, it makes it very easy to carry around.
– Intel Atom Processor
– 64 GB storage
– Integrated front and rear webcams
– Windows 10
– Long battery life, up to ten hours which is perfect for your on-the-go lifestyle;
– It’s extremely lightweight, which makes it very portable;
– IPS display feature, with great color depth and making it suitable for creating art;
– With its micro HDMI port, you can watch media on a larger screen;
– You can install various Windows software, such as Office 365.
– Its webcams are not of the best quality;
– The screen is made of plastic, so you need to be extra careful;
– It doesn’t have the fastest processing speed.
5. Lenovo IdeaPad 100s
Another Lenovo IdeaPad model for all of those with the limited budget and space in your backpack.
This attractive and small Notepad is highly functional and definitely represents good value for money in the mini portable laptop sector.
It has a smooth matte finish and comes in red, blue, white, and gray. Its 2.20 pounds and 11.6-inch display make it great for taking it with you and watching YouTube and browsing the Internet.
It might not have the color saturation or brightness of a more expensive competitor. Still, you can watch this display at almost any angle.
– Intel Atom Z3735F CPU
– 2 GB of RAM
– 32 GB Hard Drive
– Windows 10
– Intel HD Graphics
– Built-in Webcam
– Nearly 10 hours of battery life, perfect for students or long hours at work;
– It has a good number of ports; a pair of USB 2 ports, HDMI, audio jack, and micro SD card reader;
– A well responsive touchpad, with separate left and right-click buttons
– Free Office 365 with 1TB of cloud storage;
– Very lightweight, modern, and elegant-looking laptop.
– It has 32GB eMMC flash memory, which is not nearly enough after installing Windows 10 OS;
– The keyboard feels flimsy, and it flexes while typing;
– The speakers are on the bottom, so the sound will depend a lot on the surface the IdeaPad is on;
– Low-quality webcam, with almost no focus;
– Slightly reflective display.
6. Acer Aspire Switch 10
Acer Aspire Switch 10 is another detachable 2-in-1 mini laptop. It can be folded in the A tent mode, A stand mode, tablet, and the display can be attached to the keyboard in the opposite direction as well. It can also be completely detached from the keyboard.
For this price point, the display resolution on this Acer Switch is quite impressive.
It has magnetic hinges with quite a strong pull, so you can detach the screen into a tablet mode with ease, and reattach it again. The strong magnets will keep the two components together firmly.
With its 2.6-pounds weight and 10-inch screen, this mini-computer comes in handy when on the road.
– Intel Atom Z3735F CPU
– 2 GB of RAM
– 32 GB Hard Drive
– Windows 8.1 Home Edition
– 10-Inch Touchscreen
– Microsoft Office 365 Personal 1-Year Subscription
– It has a bright screen with good color contrast, perfect for photographers;
– It has a fair amount of ports, including HDMI port, micro USB port, and a micro USD card slot;
– Versatile mounting feature, making it perfect for couch surfing, read the news during breakfast, and professional work;
– Extremely responsive touchscreen;
– Decent battery life, up to 8 hours of use.
– The screen is quite a bit heavier than the keyboard, so if you push it all the way back the laptop will be top-heavy and flip over;
– It’s made of plastic, including the hinges, so you may find it not being sturdy enough for your taste;
– The screen is not matte but glossy, which looks nice, but it’s not as practical, it reflects the light quite easily.
7. Dell Inspiron 11 3000
This small convertible is maybe the most powerful machine on our list, with the largest amount of storage space. Dell Inspirion 11 3000 can be folded in different modes, including tablet and the A tent mode.
It has a touchscreen which makes it perfect for browsing from the comfort of your couch. It is highly responsive, but doesn’t have the best resolution, so it might not be the right choice for gaming.
The only downside of this computer is short battery life, it holds only up to 4 hours of use.
– Intel Core i3-4030U Processor
– 4 GB DDR3
– 500 GB 5400 rpm Hard Drive
– Windows 8.1
– It has a good overall performance, so you can run more powerful software on this 2-in-1;
– High quality speakers, excellent for watching movies;
– A lot of storage space;
– Short battery life;
– A bit weaker resolution of only 1366 x 768 pixels.
FAQ for buyers of 10 inch Laptops
How to Make a Smart Choice When Purchasing a Portable Laptop
Looking at all the specific features when purchasing a laptop can be quite overwhelming. Before everything else, you need to consider your budget and what you plan to use it for.
We prepared a quick guide on what to look for and how to make a smart choice when buying a laptop.
Step #1. What’s your budget?
The market is saturated with full-featured models available for under $500. Black Friday and other shopping holidays might drive those prices even lower. However, when buying a cheap laptop, you need to be prepared that the lower price will compromise on other features, most often on the CPU.
So, if you need a laptop for simpler tasks such as checking email or word processing, you will do just fine with a cheaper machine.
If your budget is $1000 or higher, you can expect almost all the cutting-edge features a modern laptop world can offer.
Step #2. Which Operating System Do I Need?
The majority of laptops you’ll run across in most stores will have Windows 10. Its more expensive alternative, ranging about $1000 and more, would be MacBook, and the cheaper alternative to Windows would be a Chromebook.
Depending on your needs, you can target one of these three OS. If you need a laptop for watching movies, write text documents, and emails, the Chrome OS could be just fine.
Apple MacBook is a more expensive alternative for people with similar needs, with the added bonus of excellent battery life, solid design, faster CPU, and a number of built-in apps for managing your media collection. High-end MacBooks are great for media content creators.
A Windows machine offers access to the biggest number of software. Therefore, it gives you the most flexibility when purchasing a laptop.
Step #3. What’s the Ideal Size?
Most of you who are looking for a general-purpose laptop would usually opt for the ones that are about 3 pounds in weight and 0.5-inch thick.
Most laptops that come in these sizes are 2-in-1 convertible models with Windows or Chrome OS. These usually have smaller displays of 10-11 inches; they are very lightweight and great for carrying around.
Step #4. What CPU do I need?
With a price range of $1000 or higher, most portables will have high-end CPU models such as Intel Core i5 or i7, and sometimes AMD’s Ryzen 5 or 7. This indicates that they have up to 7 processor cores that will run faster and allow you to run two sets of software simultaneously.
On the other hand, most budget laptops typically have Intel’s Celeron, Core i3, or Pentium processors. These usually have two or three cores. Regardless of the laptop’s core number, they are meant to generate less heat and use less power than desktop computers.
For day-to-day tasks, lightweight Intel CPU laptops which consume about 15 watts of power, will do just fine. For gaming, however, you will need a computer featuring a higher power CPU.
Step #5. How Much Memory and Storage Will I Need?
You should consider laptops with a minimum of 256GB of storage space. This will allow you to install bigger apps like Microsoft Office and still have enough room for other OS requirements.
However, if you have a lot of media to store such as movies, music, and photos, you should gun for those with 512GB minimum.
While SSD stores your data, the laptop’s RAM or system memory works together with the processor to run apps and makes it possible for a computer to multitask. You should go for 8GB or 16GB of memory to make sure that more advanced apps will have access to enough memory.
However, most budget computers with Windows 10 or Chrome OS come with 4GB of memory, which can be quite limiting and sluggish, especially if you like browsing with multiple tabs open at the same time.
Step #6. How Much Battery Life Will Be Enough?
Again, it all depends on what you’re planning to do on your laptop. Gaming tends to drain the battery quite quickly. Besides, laptops with a more powerful CPU won’t last more than 8 hours or 10 hours at best.
Battery life is usually tested by playing a video file nonstop without the wireless connection and at 50% of screen brightness. When buying a laptop, you should compare these tests with the type of task you plan to run on it, because laptops adapt the power use to the workload.
Step #7. What Kind of Connectivity Will I Need?
If you only plan to use the keyboard, touchpad, and touchscreen, then you’ll only need to plug in the power cord, and you’ll only rely on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections, which every portable laptop has.
You should gun for Wi-Fi 6 or 802.11ax, which is the latest standard. Some budget laptops might still offer older standards, such as 802.11b/g/n. Steer clear of those since those will likely result in less reliable connection and lower speed.
Step #8. What Kind of Graphics Will I Need?
If you need a computer for gaming, you will need a better graphics processor.
The majority of the mini laptops from our list are budget-computers, that come with the standard Intel HD graphics cards. These are great when traveling, browsing, and working as long as you don’t have to do any demanding tasks on them such as media editing.
However, if you want your portable to be able to run more complex projects and even games, like Red Dead Redemption, you will need to invest in a better independent card.
Step #9. Which Mini Laptop or Tablet is Best?
If you’re in the market looking to buy a new mini laptop or tablet, go through our top 7 picks and you’ll unquestionably find a perfect match. If you’re still uncertain, here are some pointers that could be useful.
If you’re in search for a more basic and business-oriented models, shoot for any of the first four models on our list. The Asus models are extremely lightweight and road-friendly. They both have a great battery life allowing you to spend long hours at work or at home on the couch, without being restricted to the nearest outlet.
Additionally, the second Asus model, the Asus Transformer, has an outstanding amount of power for a small machine. It can run even some games without a glitch. For college students and casual use, the Samsung model would be an ideal choice.
The No. 4 on our list is the charming Lenovo IdeaPad Miix 310. This model is fantastic for long trips, and all of you who love to binge-watch Netflix shows. It can last impressive ten hours with a single charge.
Everybody who needs a bit better performance in their mini portables should focus on the next three models on our best-picks list. With a very adaptable 2-in-1 practicality, attractive design, and really decent performance, these models are excellent on-the-go computers.
To Wrap It Up
Whether you’re a student, professional, gamer, or an entry-level user, you might consider different features when purchasing a mini portable 2-in-1 laptop. Hopefully, with the small guide and an overview of the six best 10-inch laptops we provided, you will be able to make a smart pick based on your needs.
Suppose you plan to use your lightweight portable for work or education purposes and carry it around without the possibility of recharging it. In that case, you should opt for those with longer battery life and invest in a slightly better processor.
On the other hand, if you plan to use it for watching videos, gaming, or entertainment, your primary focus should be on good audio quality and excellent resolution.