How To Choose A Mini Laptop As Your New Computer

choose a mini laptop

A mini laptop is a slightly smaller computer than a laptop. It’s a contradiction, but it can no longer be ignored that personal computers around the world are getting smaller and smaller while at the same time gaining size in terms of functionality. Investing in a mini laptop will be a great decision if you want to get the most out of your computer and value mobility. 

Before, buying a mini laptop was a waste of money and time because it would be obsolete in 1-2 years. Furthermore, they came with very little storage and RAM and a lackluster screen. Manufacturers have worked on it, and today we see mini-laptops with excellent performance. So, in this article, we will show how to choose a mini laptop.

Last updated on 2022-10-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

How To Choose A Mini Laptop

So, here are things you need to consider before buying a mini laptop.

1. Design

choose a mini laptop design

The first to look at when choosing a mini laptop is design. We believe that it is a laptop of no more than 13 inches. In this way, the 15.4-inch and 17-inch models would be the normal laptops in use, and everything below 15.4 inches could be considered.

However, a 14-inch laptop (there are some) is in “no man’s land” because 1.4 inches less is not an abysmal size difference either. However, the change from 13 inches to 15.4 is noticeable, so I will put ” 13.4 inches ” as the limit.

It is clarified the definition of a mini laptop. Let’s go with the design. Here we must refer to the thickness of the equipment, and it is unsightly to buy a mini laptop that is “fat” but small. This thing is to maintain the “harmony” in the dimensions, so the idea is that the laptop has a decent thickness.

What thickness is recommended? Let’s start with the thinnest on the market: the Microsoft Surface Pro X with 7.3 mm thickness. Logically, this is an exception, so you have to find an “average thickness” that serves as a guide: between 10 and 15 mm thick is ideal.

What is the problem with mini-laptops with thickness? Its price is high, even though it comes with a thousand exciting technologies. The cheapest models slightly exceed 15 mm, but we can reassure you that up to 20 mm is an acceptable thickness.

Tips:

  • Note if the screen bezels/frames are thin; the more, the merrier!
  • The maximum thickness I would recommend is 17mm, but if your budget doesn’t allow it, you can find mini-laptops with 18mm at a very low price.
  • The weight should not exceed 1.5KG because we move less than 13.4 inches; I recommend 1.4 KG at most.

2. Screen size, technology, and resolution

choose a mini laptop screen

Closely related to the design, we find the size of the screen, and we remember again that it must be a maximum of 13.4 inches. Some of you will not agree with me and consider 14-inch computers as mini laptops, but it is impossible to agree on everything.

You can find many different screen sizes :

  • There are mini-laptops from 10 to 11.6 inches, although with less powerful processors.
  • From 12.3 inches, the serious proposals begin; yes, from the hand of the Microsoft Surface.

What technologies and resolutions do we find in a mini laptop? Well, we usually find the following:

  1. Panel:
    • IPS
    • OLED
  2. Technology :
    • Pixel Sense (Microsoft).
    • Retina (Apple).
    • Tactile.
  3. Resolution :
    • HD+ (1366 x 912).
    • 1536 x 1024 pixels.
    • Full HD.
    • WUXGA (1920 x 1200).
    • 2736 x 1824 pixels.
    • 3000 x 2000 pixels.

Interestingly, the mini-notebook offers us excellent screens, but at the cost of a lot of power under the chassis. However, many users will pay more attention to the screen than to the processor because it is already assumed that its size complicates things.

3. Processor with integrated graphics

choose a mini laptop processor

Most options are x86 processors with integrated graphics, with the abundance of Intel Celeron or Pentium Gold standing out. If we go to the high range, we will see the low consumption Intel Core and those for professional use.

And AMD? There is very little supply of AMD Ryzen processors in mini laptops, finding more Ryzen 7 4700U than Ryzen 5 or 3. Manufacturers opt for Intel for the low end, although AMD has more presence when we go up to the high ranges with the Ryzen 7. Even so, the offer is still lacking.

Except for specific cases, we will not see dedicated graphics cards but processors with integrated graphics or APU in the case of AMD. We recommend you go up in size for those interested in dedicated GPUs because the most we will see in 13.4 inches will be a GTX 1650.

This makes sense because of the following:

  • Little space to refrigerate.
  • The CPUs used are usually low power, so efficiency prevails and not high performance.
  • The target audience for these laptops is not usually gamers.

4. SSD and RAM

choose a mini laptop ram

The appearance of M.2 SSDs was great news for this segment because it allowed manufacturers to equip their laptops with high-capacity SSDs without resorting to 2.5-inch ones. Also, these SSDs have higher transfer speeds than HDDs.

Since we will buy a mini laptop, choose one that comes with a PCIe SSD (with 3.0, you will have plenty), and that brings an extra M.2 slot if it can be for future expansion. The latter is more complicated if it is impossible to go to higher capacities.

Turning to RAM, good sense takes us from 8 GB due to the number of resources that applications consume today. If you can opt for a team with 16 GB, perfect; if not, we will be able to expand it in the future, so it would be good if it brought an extra slot. If there is no extra slot, don’t worry, you can always buy more memory and replace it.

5. Keyboard

choose a mini laptop keyboard

The size of the keys on a laptop keyboard helps you to type accurately because the amount of space between each key is directly proportional to your typing speed. You will want a full-size keyboard for a mini laptop, particularly if you plan to type long documents. The best choice is a laptop with 11.6 inches screen size that offers a full-size keyboard.

To increase accuracy in typing, it is beneficial to use a keyboard with keys that are concave rather than flat because the curved shape allows fingertips to locate the key center without looking at the keyboard.

When buying a mini laptop, examine the keyboard for keys you feel are essential for your line of work. For example, if you write a lot or need to manipulate text on your computer, you may want navigation keys like End, Home, Page Up, and Page Down.

Though most laptop keyboards include the Function (Fn) key and another key to produce a modified character, many laptops have keys that only function as F1–F12. If you are a programmer and prefer having direct access to these keys for coding purposes, you should consider purchasing a keyboard that allows you to do this.

6. Ports

choose a mini laptop ports

Another consequence of mini laptops is fewer ports on the sides of the laptop, although everything is solved with a HUB. To avoid unplugging any of the devices, you might want to connect to your mini laptop, make sure that it has enough USB ports. This will allow you to plug in your USB pen drive without disconnecting your printer.

Of course, there are certain requirements that your mini laptop should meet :

  • Have USB-C, whether for charging or not.
  • Jack.
  • RJ45.
  • HDMI or DisplayPort.

With a simple HUB in a USB-C port, all kinds of ports can be extended, including HDMI or RJ45, to connect via LAN.

7. Battery Life

choose a mini laptop battery

When purchasing a mini laptop, it is essential to consider that they may not always have a power source available to charge them. To ensure uninterrupted use while traveling or otherwise, buy a mini laptop that uses its battery efficiently.

Keep in mind that many processes are running in the background on a highly configured mini laptop, which can significantly drain its battery. It is best to purchase a mini laptop configured with a low-power processor so that it does not need to be plugged in during most of its use.

FAQs

What is the difference between a mini laptop and a regular laptop?

Compared to mainstream laptops, mini laptops have a smaller hardware footprint. Still, they are not always fully equipped with all the maintenance options a professional may need, such as high-capacity storage and a long-lasting battery. If your job or hobbies require high performance, the mini laptop is not your best choice. If you are looking for portability and low costs, mini laptops are wonderful. 

Are laptops better than tablets?

Laptops and tablets are different in many ways: laptops usually have a larger storage capacity and more robust functionality, while tablets are better for portability and cost-effectiveness. Yet, in some cases, a laptop’s touchscreen can be used as a tablet by using the 180°/360° hinge.

Conclusion

In this era, everyone is using computers. Some are using bigger computers, and some are using small laptops. When we think about it, we choose a laptop as a computer. 

We may not need a laptop with an internet connection and design most of the time. So, mini laptops seem to be more appropriate for us. We need it for carrying our documents and working on the go. 

The specs can vary for different users, but some of the basic features we want from this kind of computer are lightweight because mini laptops are very light in weight.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you find this information helpful.

For any doubts, “contact us through the comments sections, and I’ll be happy to answer any questions.

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