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You won’t get the same speedy performance as you do with an SSD, but there’s something to be said for lots of storage space. Some laptops pair a small SSD with a larger hard drive, but that’s seldom seen among ultraportables. Given thin designs, most makers of ultraportables have phased out bulky hard drives altogether at this point.
In fact, there are few reasons why you should buy a MacBook Pro at all right now — that’s how good this small laptop is. Speaking of being on the go, battery life is paramount when selecting the best small laptop for you. Some people literally don’t have enough time to sit down by a plug and wait for their laptop to charge. And if you work long hours, you are going to want a computer that can last the duration of your workday. Finding one with at least ten hours of battery life is a good baseline, because more than likely, with non-stop use, a 10-hour battery life will more likely be closer to eight hours, depending on your settings and usage patterns.
This means that you won’t have access to traditional Windows software, so if that’s central to how you work and play, a Chromebook isn’t for you. And considering that computers of this type can be extraordinarily affordable (most cost $500 or less), you could outfit your family with several Chromebooks for what you’d pay for just one high-end Windows 10 ultraportable. Entry-level ultraportables make solid systems for younger family members to use for homework or watching movies around the house, since they are both highly portable and relatively inexpensive. Value is a big factor in this category, as plenty of budget ultraportables can entice you with a low price. If you’re not careful, you may find yourself let down by a system that’s only a bargain because its manufacturer cut too many corners.
Some have mobile broadband cards, which are capable of using cellular frequencies to access the Internet so WiFi access is not needed. Netbooks typically have less powerful hardware than larger laptop computers and do not include an optical disc drive that contemporaneous laptops often had. Netbooks were some of the first machines to substitute a solid-state storage devices instead of a hard drive, as these were smaller, required less power, and were more shock-resistant.
Plus, this powerful laptop model’s keyboard uses scissor-style switches under the keycaps, rather than the much-derided butterfly-style switch. You pay for it, though — base price for the 16-inch model of this premium laptop is $2,399. A mini laptop is essentially a laptop which weighs as little as about 3 pounds with a screen size of around 10 inches. This makes them ideal for users who would want to carry them around in a bag or in hand held pouches for long duration. Mini laptops provide most input features like keyboard, USB ports, and touch pad. At a moderate price point, the customizable HP Stream 11 Pro G5 notebook PC offers a big boost on features and a lot of choices for configuring your build.
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Standard models typically range from 13.3-inch to 17.3-inch screens, but even the smallest devices may be too big for your liking. It sounds like you need a tiny machine, and we’re here to help you find the best mini laptops on the market. Our biggest complaint is that the computer only has one USB-C port.
Chrome has notably limited options for photo, video, and audio editing software, as well as for text editors used in programming. The size of a mini PC prevents much expansion, but you can upgrade the storage and the memory on most models, and sometimes the CPU. Instead of a dedicated graphics card, you’re usually stuck with integrated graphics, so don’t expect a mini PC to have enough power to play many modern games. The mini PCs we recommend in this guide can’t handle gaming beyond simple titles such as Minecraft or Hearthstone. You can add an external graphics dock if a mini PC supports Thunderbolt 3, but such docks tend to be large and expensive. But unlike ultrabooks or most all-in-ones, mini PCs are easy to upgrade if you want to add more memory or storage, and they have all the ports you need to connect two or three monitors and your favorite keyboard, mouse, and webcam.
Beyond that, this is a 2-in-1 computer which means the laptop converts into a tablet, albeit a heavy tablet at just over four pounds. The keyboard is described as “quite comfortable for long typing sessions,” according to our expert and from a design standpoint, we really dig the USB ports in the corners of the laptop. Considering portability, this laptop has a 14-inch display with results in a small footprint.
We wanted to make it simple to find the best small laptops by showing you what we look for in a mini laptop and how we evaluate the best products. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know before buying your new laptop, and our favorite models for sale right now. Plus, if you’re looking for a great deal on a new laptop, then check out our guide to the best laptop deals. We’ve also got a separate shopping guide for students looking for the best laptops for college students.