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Thinner Lighter Better

Best 12-inch laptops and 2-in-1s in 2019 – small and punchy mini notebooks

By Andrei Girbea - @ andreigirbea , updated on November 29, 2019

You should consider one of the available 12-inch laptops out there if you’re looking for a good-quality mini computer these days, and we’ll discuss the available options in this detailed guide.

That’s especially the case if you’re after fast hardware, premium builds and modern features, as otherwise, if you’re on a tight budget, you’d be better off with one of the well-balanced 11-inchers which we cover in this separate article. That’s because there aren’t many affordable 12-inchers anymore, as most of the options in this class targeting a higher price-tier, with a few exceptions.

With that in mind, we’ve split the devices we’re going to cover into two main sections, based on their type:

It’s also important to add that this is not just a superficial article like the many others you can find online. We’ve been reviewing compact laptops for more than 10 years now, both here on TLBHD.com and on Ultrabookreview.com, and we have hands-on experience with most of the devices mentioned here. I’ve also used a 12-inch laptop as my main driver for many years in the past, and while I have switched to the Dell XPS 13 in recent years, which is a compact 13-incher, I still think many 12-inchers provide that sweet balance between size, weight, and features you might look for in an ultraportable.

Convertible 12/12.5 inch mini laptops

Most 12-inch options pack touchscreens these days and are available in some sort of a convertible form-factor. At the same time, you get to choose between two main formats: tablets with detachable keyboard folios, and 2-in-1 convertibles with 360-degree screens. The former are good for desk use and excellent as tablets, but not that practical on the lap, while the latter are great laptops, but not as practical in tablet mode, due to their increased thickness and weight.

As you’ll see down below, most options fall into the first category, with only a few 12-inch convertibles still available.

Microsoft Surface Pro – the all-rounder

Microsoft’s Surface Pro is still the go-to in this class, despite the fact that is started to show its age. The later iteration at the time of this update, the Surface Pro 7, is just an incremental improvement of its predecessors with updated hardware, better wireless and finally, a long-awaited USB-C port. Microsoft’s newer Surface Pro X, on the other hand, is much slimmer, smaller and overall a more modern design.

Even so, it’s impossible to fault this in terms of quality. Magnesium is used for the entire construction, and a 12.3-inch 3:2 high-resolution screen occupies the front-face of this tablet, albeit with fairly large bezels by today’s standards. A pen can be bought as extra, for inking and drawing of this screen while for laptop use Microsoft offers a matching keyboard folio available in a few different colors, an excellent typer with illumination and an Alcantara-like finishing.

Hardware-wise, the Surface Pro 7 is built on an Intel 10th gen platform with improved performance and graphics power over the previous generations. The base Core i3 models are fanless and perfectly quiet, while the higher-tier configurations require a fan to keep cool.

Performance-wise, all these variants will easily handle everyday tasks, with the i5/i7 variants able to tackle more demanding loads as well. Microsoft still offers the base-model with just 4 GB of RAM, though, and I’d recommend staying away from it, that’s hardly enough even for daily use. Instead, go with an 8 GB configuration, or even one of the 16 GB variants if within your budget, as prices ramp up quickly once you spec this tablet up.

In fact, pricing is the major aspect that would keep most of you away from a Surface Pro. The base model starts at $799, but that’s without the keyboard folio or the pen, which go for an extra $200 combined. You’ll have to pay $999 for the i5/8GB variant with still very little storage, while a top-specced variant quickly goes to $2000 and beyond. Microsoft offers bundles and discounts on these MSRP prices, as well as various discounts for students/veterans, etc. , so you’ll want to take advantage of them if you’re into the Surface Pro.

Samsung Galaxy Book2 – best for creators

This is a very similar product to the Microsoft Surface Pro and primarily an option for graphics artists, creators and those who need good-quality pen-support on their Windows tablet. The Galaxy Book2 gets a Galaxy Pen that doesn’t require a battery and offers improved precision and lower latency than the Surface Pen, bringing the experience closer to the iPad Pro and its Apple pen. It also gets an awesome AMOLED high-resolution display, with excellent contrast and punchy colors.

Hardware-wise, this is available in two options, with either Intel Core or Qualcomm Snapdragon hardware. The Qualcomm option is especially interesting, although the Book2 is not as capable as a Windows computer in this variant, because it’s based on a Qualcomm processor. That means most apps will work fine, but you’ll run into compatibility issues and poor-performance with some older or specialized software. We’re not going to get in-depth here, just google “Windows 10 or Qualcomm problems” for more details.

On the other hand, there are specific benefits to having an ARM hardware platform inside: improved efficiency and battery life, always-on connectivity and included LTE, which are all missing from the Surface Pro.

Much like the Surface Pro, the Galaxy Book2 is not an affordable product by any means. It starts at $999 for the Qualcomm variant, with the Pen and keyboard folio included, but that’s still for just a 4 GB RAM /128 GB SSD configuration. The Intel variant, on the other hand, is listed at $1299 and up, but you’ll find both significantly discounted online. Follow this link for updated configurations and prices.

12-inch Chromebooks – simpler every day notebooks

Chromebooks are a different breed of computers. They’re based on a simple and secure operating system called ChromeOS, and they’re excellent for browsing, video streaming, text-editing, email and so on. In fact, they’re much snappier and easier to use than a Windows notebook with these daily chores, as you’ll find out from this guide that better explains what to expect from a Chromebook.

On the other hand, these are not meant to run the specialized software you get for Windows. They can run certain Windows/Linux apps, but with a sacrifice in performance and compatibility issues, so don’t get one of these if you need a computer for specific work/school applications that only work on Windows, or for playing games.

Bottom point, the average user that spends most of its time on the Internet will get an excellent value with these. There are many good Chromebooks out there, of various types and sizes, and we’ve gathered and compared them in this detailed article, while down below we’ve only listed those with a 12-inch touchscreen:

  • Asus Chromebook C302CA – available for around $400 – a 12-inch convertible with an FHD IPS touchscreen, premium metallic build and backlit keyboard. It’s a slightly older model and only available with 4 GB of RAM (which is Ok for a Chromebook, thanks to their lighter and better-optimized software), but still competitive these days and aggressively priced. Check out our full review for more details.
  • Samsung Chromebook Plus – available for around $420 – another 12-inch convertible based on fanless Core M hardware, but with a 16:10 IPS display, non-backlit keyboard, and smaller 39 Wh battery. A fair alternative if the C302CA is not available in your region.
  • Samsung Chromebook Pro – available for around $500 – still a 12-inch convertible, but with a slimmer and lighter construction and a nicer 3:2 screen with EMR support and a built-in pen.
  • HP Chromebook 12 X360 – available for around $350 – an affordable alternative to the Samsung Plus, with a 3:2 HD+ touchscreen and convertible form-factor, backlit keyboard and 40Wh battery. It’s based on a lower-tier Pentium hardware platform, thus is not as snappy as the other options with multitasking, hence the lower price.
  • Google Pixel Slate – available from $500 and up – a 12-inch tablet, similar to the Surface Pro or the Galaxy Book2. It’s a Google product with an excellently made magnesium shell, a high resolution 3:2 screen with EMR pen support, 47Wh battery and capable hardware. In fact, this is one of the few Chromebooks you can spec with up to 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of SSD storage. The keyboard folio and pen are not included by default, and cost extra.
  • Google Pixelbook – available from $900 and up – a 12-inch convertible, like the Asus C302CA or the Samsung Pro, but with a much nicer build, keyboard, and 3:2 high-resolution display. It can also be specced with the same RAM and storage options as the Pixel Slate, but it’s an expensive product for what it is, so not for everyone. I’d recommend this to power users and those who plan to runΒ  Windows/Linux apps alongside the regular ChromeOS capabilities.

Follow the links for more details on each product, user review, updated prices and the option to get one for yourselves.

Some of the 12-inch Chromebooks above

Some of the 12-inch Chromebooks above: Asus C302CA, Samsung Pro and Google Pixelbook

 

HP Envy X2, Elite X2 and Pro X2

HP offers a trio of 12-inch Windows tablets.

The Envy X2 is available in two variants: a Qualcomm based product with long battery, LTE and always-on connectivity, just like the Samsung Galaxy Book2, as well as an Intel Core M powered version. You can find the former for around $500-$600 at this point, with the keyboard being included, which is not a bad deal for such a device, but keep in mind its capabilities are limited when compared to an Intel/AMD based Windows computer.

The Core M variant is available from $850, without the keyboard, so swims in waters where the Surface Pro is still king.

The Pro X2 is a business alternative of the Envy, available in more configurations and with extra security options. It gets a smaller screen with thicker bezels and a smaller battery, among others.

The Elite X2 is the newest addition to HP’s offer and the most compact and most powerful of the three. It’s based on higher-performance Intel Core U hardware with SSD storage and a 47 Wh battery, gets the same security options of the Pro X1, but it’s also very expensive, starting at around $1500 at the time of this update.

You’ll find more about all these on HP’s website or on Amazon.

The HP X2 Windows tablets: Envy, Pro and Elite, from left to right

Dell Latitude 5000 and 7000 2-in-1

Dell offers two business tablets very similar to HP Elite above: the same 12.3″ 3:2 1920 x 1280 px displays, same business features, and the same hardware specs (Core U processors, up to 16 GB of RAM, SSD storage).

The difference between the two lines is minimal and hides in the details. The Latitude 5290 is available in a darker shade, gets a slightly flatter keyboard dock, a 42 Wh battery and is available with lower-tier specs, while the Latitude 7200 is more configurable and gets a smaller 28 Wh battery. You’ll find more about these two on Dell’s website or on Amazon.

Dell’s Latitude 5000 and 7000 2in1s

The classics – clamshell 12-inchers

There are still a few simple, classic 12-inch notebooks left and we’ll talk about the best ones in this section. For what is worth, though, most OEMs go with 13-inch chassis these days for their best devices, and we’ve covered these options in a separate article on Ultrabookreview.com . For the most part, I’d recommend going with one of those instead, you’ll get better designs, improved performance and slightly larger screens in similarly sized packages.

Apple MacBook

The Apple MacBook is perhaps the only significantly different 12-inch notebook without a direct pier within 13-inch models, but it’s also an older product with distinct particularities that won’t cater to everyone.

That’s because this is a fairly expensive product primarily designed with portability in mind. It’s compact, thin and lightweight, it packs a nice screen and lasts for around 6-7 hours of daily use on a charge, but it’s only powerful enough for basic everyday tasks. Used lightly, it will do fine. Pushed, it will choke.

My main nits with MacBook are the keyboard and the IO, though. The keys are Apple’s Butterfly design, with short travel and known reliability issues.Β As for the ports, well, there’s only one, a USB TypeC connector on the left edge, used for charging the device, transferring data, outputting video and connecting peripherals, with the help of dongles and docks. None are included in the pack.

The base version of the MacBook 12, which includes a fanless Core M processor, 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD, sells for under $700 these days, if you can still find in stocks. That’s competitive for what this product is, just make sure it’s capable enough for your needs and you can live with its quirky particularities. Follow this link for more details and potential discounts.

12-inch business ultraportables: Lenovo ThinkPad X280, Dell Latitude 12 5000/7000

Both Lenovo and Dell have recently moved towards the 13-inch segment with their prime business ultrabooks, but you can still find the 12-inch models in stores.

These have a few things in common: 12.5″ displays, competitive Core U hardware with good amounts of RAM/Storage, business features, proper IO, nice keyboards and fairly compact, sturdy and light shells, at around 2.6 – 2.8 lbs. Keep in mind you’ll actually find both smaller and lighter options with larger screens these days, many under 2.2 lbs / 1 kilo.

It’s also important to note that unlike the 12-inch hybrids that get 16:10 or 3:2 displays, these laptops only get 16:9 screens with rather mediocre IPS panels. That means midling contrast, brightness and colors, and even poor resolution. Lenovo at least offers an FHD touch panel for the X280, but Dell only offers HD matte IPS screens on the Latitude 5290 and 7290.

On top of that, none of these is available with the latest Intel 10th gen hardware, and won’t get further updated since the move to those 13-inch models aforementioned (Thinkpad X390 and Latitude 7300).

These aspect do translate in competitive pricing, though. If you can accept the lower resolution screens, the 12-inch Latitudes are excellently built, excellent typers, solid performers and last for a long while on a charge, thanks to their big batteries: 68 Wh on the Latitude 5290 and 60 Wh on the Latitude 7290. The ThinkPad X280 doesn’t trail very far behind either with its 48 Wh battery, and gets the more competitive screen option and pricing.

Follow these links for updates on configurations, availability, and prices at the time you’re reading this article: Dell Latitude 12 5000, Dell Latitude 12 7000 and Lenovo ThinkPad X280.

!2 Inch Business Laptops: Dell latitude 5000 and 7000, Lenovo ThinkPad X280

Wrap-up

That’s about it with my list of recommended 12-inch laptops.

These days there aren’t as many laptops in this class, especially in the affordable sub-800 dollars price category. Most manufacturers migrated their cheap entries towards the smaller 11.6-inch class, and kept the 12-inchers as their more premium options, with high-end features and powerful hardware specs which don’t come cheap.

Thus, if you’re looking for more affordable mini laptops, you should also check out at my detailed list of recommended 11.6-inchers. And if you’re just after a compact and portable laptop and don’t mind something with a 13/14-inch screen, go through this list of the best ultrabooks you can buy these days.

As for this post, I’m going to constantly update it each couple of weeks, so be sure to check it out periodically. Also, feel free to post your opinions, remarks, and questions in the comments section below, I’m around to reply and help out if I can.

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Andrei Girbea, aka "Mike", Editor-in-Chief at TLBHD.com. I absolutely hate carrying around heavy stuff, that's why I'm fond of mini-laptops and portable computers. I'm primarily using such devices and have been testing them for many years now. Get in touch in the comments section below.

98 Comments

  1. stephanie joy macapanas

    April 9, 2010 at 11:13 am

    hello…am presently here in riyadh,ksa.this month i want to buy netbook,13.3″ or 15.3″.am still confused what to buy.just affordable less than 300US$.for office use & personal.help me whats good & proven and tested in the markets.pls.reply

    • Mike

      April 9, 2010 at 11:43 am

      Stephanie, I’d love to help you, but i don’t think you can get anything bigger than 10 inches right now for 300 US $ . IF you want a 13 incher, i would suggest going on ebay or something like that and shop for an used device. Still, that’s kind of risky, It would be wise to try and get some extra bucks and go for a new device.

  2. Jack

    April 10, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    I am looking to buy a good lightweight netbook at around 12″ screen size, and Asus UL20A seems almost perfect. I would love to get another 2-3 hrs of battery life so that I can use it for 10+ hrs a day w/o charging. Since Asus UL20A has been out for 5+ months, should I wait for the next update? How often do they update the netbook product lines?

    • Mike

      April 12, 2010 at 3:46 am

      Jack, I don’t think you’ll see an update on this line too soon, that’s because intel plans to update their ULV lines and the first processor should be available in Q3 2010. Add 1-2 months for Asus to implement the new platform and you’ll probably end with a new 12 incher by Ocotber – November, or even later…

  3. Angel_Dust

    April 27, 2010 at 5:53 am

    Hi… was almost settled on the Asus 1201N with Ion1 till I saw your link on the Asus UL20A. Have some basic queries which would really help me decide which one to buy…budgets upto 550$.

    1.Which one is better purely for graphics Ion1 or Ion2 with Optimus tech? heard that there is/will be an upgrade on the 1201N with the Ion2? I Dont really worry bout battery life (3-4 hrs is fine) my main considerations are portability and processing/gaming/graphics/multitasking power and seems the upgrade to 1201N wont ahve a dul core processor. How do I deceide?

    2. Given my considerations above im confused bout the Asus UL20A. Is the processor (also a dual core) and graphics card better than the 1021N? Basically is it a faster better option than the one you help me decide in the 1st question?
    3. What is PineTrail?

    Sorry for the bother, but im pretty confused. Tks!

    • Mike

      April 27, 2010 at 6:35 am

      Angel, first, PineTrail is the name of the hardware used for netbooks these days, with processor like the n450, n470, etc.

      As for your questions.

      1. The Ion2 will be better. For now, the only 12 inch device announced with it on board and a dual-core atom (N500) – yet to be launched, is the Asus 1215N . It should be unveiled in June and should reach stores by July-August. You can read more about it in here: https://tlbhd.com/asus-eee-pc-1215n-dual-core-atom-new-ion-and-optimus-3387/
      2. Yes, the processor on the Ul20A is definitely faster that on the 1201N and also faster than what the future 1215N would have to offer. So, in terms of everyday performance and multitasking, the Ul20A will be better. In terms of graphics, the 1215N wins though. Both will be able to play 1080p content (and 720p flash), but the one with ION will be better in games (not by much and don’t expect too much out of it, but will be better). However, you do have to wait a couple of months for the 1215N and we don’t know how much is it going to cost.

      Hope i helped. Also, check the Guide in here for more answers to your potential questions: https://tlbhd.com/netbook-buying-guide-v2.pdf Or reply if you still are confused πŸ™‚

  4. Sasha

    May 9, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    Hey.. i realy like the asus ul20a I want to buy it for studing and light gaming(world of warcraft) but i need it to be very light in some reviews people mention that it weights more than 3.3 lbs with the battery. So is it realy 3.3 lbs? and wil there be a better 12 incher to suit my needs in the next couple of month?

  5. Mikkel trestrail

    July 16, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    hi need some help. Trying to decide between the asus ul 20a ame the toshiba t215. Performance, keyboard ame sound are important to me as i am blind. I really like the t215. I also read about the upcoming ul 20at. Should i wait? Oh i will be using it for school ame scanning me text

  6. Amy

    August 11, 2010 at 9:47 am

    Hi, Mike. Do you still think the Asus UL20A is best affordable 12 incher available? I’m trying to decide between the Asus UL20A and UL30A…unless there’s something else you’d recommend more now? Thanks!!!

    • Mike

      August 11, 2010 at 11:46 am

      I do Amy, but there will be some updates pretty soon. For instance, we’re waiting for the updated versions of the UL20A, the UL20FT : https://tlbhd.com/asups-ul20ft-improved-12-incher-with-better-performance-3643/ . Also, there’s the updated version of the 1201N, called 1215N : https://tlbhd.com/asus-eee-pc-1215n-review-power-in-a-compact-sleek-body-4092/ . Both of them should be available in early September (but delays may occur). And while I did test the 1215N, I did not have the chance to play with the UL20VT. So if you can wait, well… You should. If not, the UL20A is just fine (Be aware that the new version will be more powerful, but also probably 10-20% more expensive, while offering less battery life and being hotter – however, these are now only suppositions based on experience, so take them with grain and salt). Hope I helped.

  7. Amy

    August 11, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    Awesome, thanks Mike. This is very helpful, and I can definitely wait for the updated versions to come out. Also, do you expect an updated version of the UL30A to come out any time soon?

    • Mike

      August 12, 2010 at 1:59 am

      There is already the UL30VT you can check out, which is ul30A with better graphics. Or, the UL30JT which i tested in my other site: http://allabouteeepc.com/asus-ul30jt-13-incher-with-extra-muscles-and-good-autonomy/ . that one is already available in some parts of the world, but not yet in the US. This one is the update, with core i5 CPU and even more improved graphics. But will be pricier. I will let you guys know when these hit the States, so be sure to subscribe to keep in touch :p

  8. Amy

    August 21, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    Hi, Mike…Amy again. Last question (for now): If you were in the markiet for a 12 or 13 inch laptop for school and battery life and weight/size were two of your top priorities but you also wanted a decent amount of memory and power, what would you buy? I’ll primarily be using it for MS Office and the Internet. Price is a factor but not top priority. I’d prefer to pay less than $600. Thanks so much!!

    • Mike

      August 21, 2010 at 2:59 pm

      Well, for sure I would buy something with Intel ULV inside, if you want battery life and power. Something with an SU7300 processor and 2-4 GB of memory should do fine, like the UL20A. Or even better, something with Core i3, like the UL20FT (which just became available at Amazon and got a nice review. See this link: https://tlbhd.com/asus-ul20ft-new-12-inch-notebook-brings-extra-power-4505/ ). There will be others, soon, but mainly in the 11.6 inch class. As for 13 inchers, the UL30A, UL30VT (with better graphics, but more expensive) or Toshiba T135 , these would be my picks right now and I believe within your budget.

      Anyway, once you settled for a couple of models, go on google and search “Model Review” and look for more details in those texts. Sites like engadget.com, cnet.com, trustedreviews.com, notebookreviews.com , those are all trustful sources. And this one, of course, only I didn’t have the chance to actually play with all these machines πŸ˜›

  9. Friend

    August 30, 2010 at 7:10 am

    MSI Wind12 U230 with AMD inside

    U230 comes with a dual-core Atom Neo – WTF ?! IS ATOM NEO ?

    Asus UL20A – best affordable 12 incher – my review of the Asus UL20A

    Inside you’ll find the dual-core Intel SU7300 processor, Nvidia GMA4500 graphics, 2 GB of RAM, 250 GB HDD and Wi-Fi N/Bluetoot – WTF !! DUDE typos all over the place NVIDIA GMA4500 ?!!! seriously ?

    • Mike

      August 30, 2010 at 12:05 pm

      @Friend Hmm, you’re so right. Thanks for pointing those to me, such mistakes are unpardonable πŸ™

  10. Bostjan

    October 18, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    Hello to all,

    I just wanted to ask if you happen to know, that spare parts for the HP TM2 won’t be available until 2015?!? Dou you know if that is true?
    I’ve jsut read an Amazon.de site obout one of this netbooks and one customer had a problem and HP support told him that. I’m just wondering if this could actualy be true.

    • Mike

      October 19, 2010 at 11:45 am

      don’t know anything about that…

  11. digitalart

    October 22, 2010 at 9:40 am

    Hello,

    I would like to buy a netbook :).
    Main reasons and wishes are:
    – 11, 12 or maybe 13 inch screen
    – to be mobile at least 4h
    – to run Photoshop CS4
    – to use it with my digital SLR as preview tool and for timelapse photos
    – 720p screen resolution
    – if possible to run Premiere CS4 for simple operations and smaller video files

    ..now from reading this page I see 1215N and UL20FT as candidates..

    please help, I have real problems selecting one πŸ™‚

    Thank you.

    • Mike

      October 23, 2010 at 3:33 am

      Premiere and Photoshop will get any Atom powered machine down to their knees.

      The ul20FT would be OK. If you can go for a bigger 13.3 incher, than i suggest the Asus ul35JC , especially if you’ll find the Core i5 version. However, that will go for around 800 bucks, so i’m not sure if you’re willing to spend that kind of money… But for those Adobe programs, you’ll need at least a Core i3 CPU to run decently on a mini laptop.

  12. Momo

    October 29, 2010 at 6:03 am

    Hi!

    I really want to but a new mini laptop and consider a 12″ as an ideal size (big enough). Ive earlier had a Asus eee 1000H and im pretty unhappy with the small atom processor. I only my computer for smaller normal day tasks but would love to have a good processor and graphic on it so it could be ideal for video an streaming without turning slow. From what i can see Asus eee 1215N and the UL20FT are the best candidates, and i can get them for 700$ and 770$ in Norway. Imnot sure how it will be with warranty if i buy from abroad. My question is, what computer do ou recommend if you take price and hardware/processor for consideration.

    Sincerely, very unpatient buyer

    • Mike

      October 30, 2010 at 1:51 pm

      Momo, if you need power, you can go for that 12 inch UL30VT. Or even better, a 13.3 incher like the UL35JC

  13. Momo

    October 29, 2010 at 6:06 am

    And btw if you have any laptops in 11-13″ you would like to recommend more (taken the processor/graphics and price to consideration) im fully open for that πŸ™‚

  14. Momo

    October 30, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    Any better if i upgrade a 1215N with 1GB extra RAM? (total approx 2,72GB)

  15. s stern

    November 4, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    am used to macs and the comfort of their keyboard (i have a 13 inch ibook.
    does your top 12 inch asus ‘netbook’ have a full sized or at least comfortable keyboard.

    • Mike

      November 5, 2010 at 11:18 am

      @s Stern : none of the devices in here have a better keyboard than the Macs unfortunately. The chiclet on that Asus 12 incher is nice, but still feels quite flimpsy when compared to the one on Macbooks

  16. s stern

    November 4, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    followup to above question. am fast typist but have some arthritis in fingers

  17. Kuentos

    November 29, 2010 at 3:05 am

    For just a lightweight backup to my desktop and 15″laptop, I was considering the Asus 1215N with the new Nvidia ION. I would mostly do web surfing, some photo editing and some light editing with video and FTPing photos and small 2-minute video clips. But after reading your review on the Asus UL20FT I’m now considering this laptop.

    My requirements are that as a journalist I need to have my camera and laptop 24hr. Most of my heavy photo and video editing would be done on my desktop or my larger laptop, but I just need a SMALLER laptop that offers decent performance for smaller assignments. I thought about the 13inch laptops, but then I may as well carry my 15inch laptop brick.

    What are your thoughts on the 2 laptops? Or do you have another suggested laptop in the 12inch range.

  18. Andre S.

    December 4, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    Greetings.
    Nicely and simply laid out infos here.
    I have an HP DV2 with Radeon HD3200, the pioneer of performance netbooks for some time now, and I think it actually delivered on its premise of afftordable fast (relatively speaking) net/notebook. Yeah, it has its limitations, but hey, what did you expect from a computer this size (not to mention price)?
    Now I want something even better. could you help suggesting some net/notebook 11-13″ wide, with some fast graphics and processor, screen specs that’s friendly to the eyes (I read A LOT, from blogs to textbooks to comics), excelling built-in speakers (I listen to music while reading), as lightweight as possible (I travel a lot too, can’t be helped), preferably keyboard as ergonomic as possible (I also write) and that comes in other color than black. Pardon me if this is asking too much, but from what I read, I like the way you said your words. If you don’t feel like detailing, please just mention/list the brand(s), series and price(s) and I’d research alone. It would be very helpful. Thanks.

    • Mike

      January 1, 2011 at 8:16 am

      Hey Andre, sry for not answering your comment, it probably slipped my attention. It’s hard to recommend anything without knowing what kind of budget you have in mind. Please contact me by mail (there’s a contact link in the menu on top of the site) and I’ll gladly help you. Also, the posts on 11.6 and 12 inch devices are up to date here on the site and they should help you. Once again sry for not answering before.

  19. Bill

    December 23, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    Makes no sense to post if the author is so inconsiderate as to not answer any questions from his readers. Just simply an inconsiderate person!!

    • Mike

      December 24, 2010 at 3:24 am

      Bill, I’m trying to answer all of the questions, however some might slip unanswered from time to time…

  20. Mehron

    December 24, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Hi
    im a student. i don’t want to play game or edit pic or videos. just ofice software and some other software help analyzing information. other hand i don’t want to buy cheap one because i have to had it long time. which do yo think is better in 11.6 or 12 inches. thanks

    • Mike

      December 28, 2010 at 3:48 am

      Mehron, see the post above for my opinions and also the other one on the 11.6 inchers here on the site

  21. Liz

    December 30, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    I received for Christmas the Asus UL20FT and love this this laptop. I would like to upgrade the memory to the maximum, however I can’t find in any of the info cars that came with my laptop which specific type of memory I need to use. Can you help me with which type and the maximum?

    • Mike

      January 1, 2011 at 8:12 am

      @Liz try and see what type of memory you have installed right now on your machine and get another identical module. I do not have the UL20FT myself so I can’t check it out for you πŸ™

  22. Andre S.

    December 31, 2010 at 9:29 am

    Curious. It seemed that virtually every question here was answered, except for mine and the one before.
    Well, keep up the good work anyway, Mike.

  23. Liz

    January 1, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    Mike opened it up and all I was able to get was a series of numbers. I ran the numbers through Google along with keywords, DDR memory ram,.. however no hits. Unfortunately no sticker for model or speed. Any other ideals would greatly be appreciated.

    • Mike

      January 1, 2011 at 4:59 pm

      Liz, can you please take a photo of the RAM module inside and send it to me via email? mike at netbooklive dot net . I’ll try and help you based on that. Or at least send me those numbers written on the module .

  24. Liz

    January 2, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    Mike thank your so much for your help!:) I was able to online get Crucial Memory to scan my new laptop and identify the memory as 2GB PC3-8500 1066MHz DDR3 204-Pin SO-DIMM. Crucial scan further indicates that I have 2 slots (which I new) and that I can install up to 8Gb (which I didn’t know).

    Do you know if my new Asus UL20FT will recognize 8Gb of installed ram? I tried to check Asus web site, but I can’t find my laptop listed.

    • Mike

      January 3, 2011 at 8:54 am

      Hey Liz, what you found out is correct. There are 2 memory slots in the UL20FT and it can use up to 8 GB of memory. However, I believe a 2x 2 GB kit would be enough for most tasks.

      As for the memory, I advice getting DDR3 1066 MHz modules, exactly as the one installed inside. Brand shouldn’t really matter.

      However, other Asus products are known for some problems with RAM upgrade. Now, I couldn’t find anything about this on the UL20FT, but it’s important to know that they exist. This post should tell you more: https://tlbhd.com/upgrade-memory-on-asus-1018p-and-asus-1215n-4595/

      Unfortunately I cannot recommend any memory that will for sure work, but like I said, i would go for a DDR3 1066 MHz Dual-channel kit and make sure you buy it from a proper place, that will allow 30 days money back guarantee just in case it won’t work (although chances for that are actually slim, but it’s wise to be safe πŸ˜› )

      • Team MeowMix

        April 18, 2011 at 3:54 pm

        Mike, can you site your sources for this claim? I actually bit the bullet, and purchased the UL20ft with the intentions of moving my currently owned 8gb DDR3 1333 mhz modules over to the ul20ft.

        Everywhere online claims 4gb max, but I can’t help but just assume (read: hope) that the spec charts are indicating what the previous refresh [UL20a] was capable of. My 1333 modules downclock to 1066 in my current HP DM1z, BUT isn’t dual-channel.

        I guess my question is two parts:

        1) I’m betting 8gb works in the UL20ft, but I’m curious as you how you came to your own conclusion.

        2) Is the UL20ft DUAL-CHANNEL capable?

        Thanks Mike! You’ve done great replying to so many inquisitors!

      • Mike

        April 18, 2011 at 6:34 pm

        please tell me what CPU exactly you have on your ul20ft so i can check on Intel’s site

  25. Liz

    January 3, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    Mike is the link broken?…… it says I need a password.

  26. Ruth

    January 11, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    Hey, i saw you are recommending the best mini laptops to buy? just want to know can you update and now comment on which one is best? i want a fast one and one that will be able to handle programs like photoshop?

    • Mike

      January 11, 2011 at 4:04 pm

      Ruth, the post is up to date for the moment, Changes will happen in the next months, but for now, these are the best choices in my opinion

  27. Liz

    January 13, 2011 at 11:09 am

    I have the Asus UL20FT with CS5 Photoshop and Adobe Premiere Elements and I use it as my grab-and-go laptop when I don’t really want to take my larger and much heavier laptop. Though my Asus is not meant to my primary laptop, it does a very good job when I just need to something lightweight and still need to edit photos out in the field.

    Hope this helps.

  28. Liz

    January 13, 2011 at 11:14 am

    I should have mentioned I did upgrade my Asus UL20FT to 4Gb of memory. I would however like to upgrade the HD to the Seagate Momentus XT ST95005620AS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache 2.5″ SATA 3.0Gb/s with NCQ Solid State Hybrid Drive,.. I’m not afraid of changing out he HD myself, but transfering the old image to the new HD I think that might be a harder task for me to do on my own.

  29. AJIT

    January 27, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    why have you missed on 12 inch ASUS 1215T AND 1215P?

    • Mike

      January 28, 2011 at 2:48 am

      @AJIT There wil be a major update on this post soon. I haven’t miss those but they aren’t selling all over the globe and I’m not really sure they are actually worth included here.

  30. JAZM

    January 30, 2011 at 11:49 am

    I’m looking forward to the new post,. will it be on 12″ line of laptops?

  31. Ahmad

    February 1, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Hey Mike. Is the Asus VX6 a worthy upgrade over the 1215N? I am looking to buy something by the end of April. Do you think anything will change by then?

    • Mike

      February 1, 2011 at 4:32 pm

      It’s the same in terms of hardware. Only a few things differ so i would say no, but hey, if you got the money and want the fancy stuff, why not

  32. Ahmad

    February 1, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    Thanks Mike. Quick follow up. Are we looking at something new and exciting come May?

    • Mike

      February 1, 2011 at 6:06 pm

      Yea, we should see new devices with AMD inside starting from March. Stay tuned for updates

  33. jigsaw

    February 9, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    There are some fascinating time limits on this article but I don’t know if I see all of them heart to heart. There may be some validity but I will take maintain opinion until I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we want extra! Added to FeedBurner as effectively

  34. Suz

    February 20, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    Hey Mike. I’m also thinking about buying the asus vx6. But it would be awful if a few months later was released a 12 inch netbook with i3 processor and nvidia grafics in the same pricerange. Should I wait? Will Asus launch a 12 incher with the above specs soon?

    Keep up the great work.

    SUZ

    • Mike

      February 21, 2011 at 1:18 am

      I wish I’d know Suz. No rumors about such a 12 incher yet. There’s the Ul20FT already on the market with Core I3/I5 processors but without the graphics, so it really depends if you plan on playing games or not…

  35. Suz

    February 20, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    Ohh and the vx6 has B&O ICE speakers plus two usb 3.0
    But then again it’s 200 dollars more in price…hmmmm……

  36. Napz Almario

    March 8, 2011 at 3:03 am

    thank you for this Mike. it really helps. am planning to buy a new one @ 12-13 inches with best specs coz am working more on SEO so there were lots of software need to be installed. budget price is 20-28K. what can u suggest? right now am using Lenovo but its only 1GB. better if i could find a 4gb. i’l go for Lenovo, Toshiba, or HP if there is.

    • Mike

      March 8, 2011 at 5:36 pm

      napz, 20-28K what? pls state an USD budget

  37. Frank

    March 28, 2011 at 7:51 am

    Cant decide between the Asus 1215N (1.8ghz atom dual core) or the Ul20FT which has a 1.2ghz processor.
    How is this a faster processor then the 1.8ghz?
    Id like a 12inch laptop for use in everyday tasks and the occasional game here and there. But more for business use and some multitasking. Which would you prefer mike?

    • Mike

      March 28, 2011 at 11:17 am

      Frank, the ul20Ft seems better for you. There is quite a big difference in terms of everyday speed between the two and if you won’t play any games than there’s no point going for the device with ION

  38. Frank

    March 28, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    After research, in Australia the ul20FT isnt available, so would the 1215N still be ok for my usage mike?

    • Mike

      March 28, 2011 at 1:05 pm

      Well… I wouldn’t go for it and better wait for the Asus 1215B (search for the review here on the site) or any of the other devices with AMD Zacate on board. There are a couple of 11.6 inchers already available, like the vaio yb, hp pavilion dm1, lenovo ideapad s205 and lenovo thinkpad x120e. Those offer overall better performances than the 1215N and come with good graphics and battery life as well. Don’t know which one of those are available Down Under but you should check… Of course, in terms of CPU none are as good as the Ul20FT though but should be enough for most everyday tasks.

  39. Frank

    March 28, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    Thanks for that mike, unfortunatly all the units u listed arent available here in aussie, which means i prob be waiting forever for the 1215B. so im prob gonna have to just take my chance with the 1215N or maybe even the VX6. Is performance really that bad on these units, like i wouldnt be playing any full on 3d games, its more for just multitasking and doing invoices on the go.
    If u really think its not worth it, il just wait until something else hopefully pops up in the 12inch range???

  40. Frank

    March 28, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Hi mike, what do you think of the MSI u270. Because that has the AMD Zacate and That is available in aussie but just a matter of finding one! πŸ™‚

    • Mike

      March 28, 2011 at 6:45 pm

      That one should do… however i would look for more reviews of it before buying. Haven’t seen that many poping along and although hardware platform is the same, there are those little details that make all the difference, like screen, battery, build quality.

      Not, the 1215N ain’t bad at all. However, when I had my test unit, I had problems with 1080p clips and games. That was an rearly sample and drivers were defective at that time. Not sure if this has changed in the meantime but I do believe it did… Still, based entirely on my expeirence with both the 1215n and the 1215B, my money are on the later. Not to mention that it’s cheaper as well. The 1215B though ain’t yet available but was announced for April in Europe and US. So should reach you as well in the next months.

  41. Drathale

    April 1, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    ASUS 1215 T is a very good affordable 12 inch laptop- stating from my own use.
    It certainly deserves a review.

    • Mike

      April 1, 2011 at 3:20 pm

      Didn’t have the chance to ever get my hands on this one so there’s nothing I can say about it πŸ™

  42. Gaby

    April 1, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    Hi Mike!!
    I think you are doing and amazing job, by using all your knolewdge and experience to help us πŸ˜€ Congratulations about that!
    I would like to make you a quick question, i want to buy a netbook and i want it to fast: wich one of this would you recommend me? HP DM1-3090 or ASUS 1215B? or another one that you consider that is about that price, but always with AMD.
    Thank you so much πŸ˜‰ and congrats again!

    • Mike

      April 1, 2011 at 3:19 pm

      Gaby, both of them are very good so I would go for the one you like best and can find cheaper

  43. Varun Thakkar

    April 7, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    Hey Mike, I heard that the real model 1215B is deprived of a LAN port. Is it true?

    • Mike

      April 12, 2011 at 1:41 pm

      Not from what i know

  44. Andre

    May 7, 2011 at 5:52 am

    I am wondering if there are portable laptops/netbooks with internal optical (DVD drive) available other than sky-highly priced Vaio entries.

    And on another topic entirely, which is the largest (maybe around 12-13 inch) AND lightest portable laptop/netbook available? Which, among them, comes with dedicated graphics?

    Thanks for your kind response.

    • Mike

      May 7, 2011 at 8:09 am

      Andre, you’ll hardly find any 12 incher with DVD unit these days and also anything with dedicated graphics (except for the 1215N – sort of – and the Dell Alienware M11X) . You’ll have to go to 13.3 or even 14.1 devices to find these for an affordable price

  45. Fh

    June 14, 2011 at 10:51 am

    Hi Mike. Opposite to your recommendation above in your 1215B review you say it tops the N. Which is the better choice? Thanks

    • Mike

      June 15, 2011 at 9:38 am

      yea, i should fix that. Like I said in the review , the 1215N is theoretically slightly faster on paper, but in practice the 1215B performed better, because of the graphic bottlenecks of the Atom + ION architecture. I will write a post that will explain the differences between these two pretty soon, but if you guys have any more questions, just leave a comment or contact me by email

  46. Nicmazza87

    September 20, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    hi, love your reviews
    i am looking for the right netbook. i will use it manly to browse, writing and watching movies on a hd tv. I was going to buy an ul20ft but i read on many reviews that a 1215b is better suited for watching movies because of its discrete graphics, what do you think?
    Another question: which model of the 1215b has the 1.66 cpu and which one has the 1.0 one? i live in italy, in case its something country-based
    thanks

    • Mike

      September 22, 2011 at 1:49 pm

      e AMD The 1215B can play 1080P movies smoothly, while the UL20Ft cannot.

      Also, on the 1215B, i would ge tthe version with the AMD E350 APU clocked at 1.66 Ghz. The version with the AMD C-50 APU is clocked at 1.0 GHz and also has poorer graphics, as this processor is developed for smaller 10 inch devices.

  47. Andre

    September 27, 2011 at 5:21 am

    Man that U260 design is sooooo funky! Love it! But what’s with battery life (only 4 hrs)? It isn’t like it sports a discrete graphics there…

    The Series 4 is rather nice also, although not as drool-inducing as Series 9.

    What about the rumored orange, new and faster Lambo VX6? Is there any new news?

    Which one in 11.1-12.5 inch range that comes (or soon comes!) with great graphics?

    But for now, I’d just stick to Asus UL20FT. Best one all around.

    Thanks and kudos!

    • Mike

      September 27, 2011 at 9:00 am

      No word on the new VX6X but I do know Asus is working on new 12 inchers, including the UX21 and some others. So stay tuned

  48. Bruno Dantas

    March 8, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Any word about the Asus 1225 series?

    • Mike

      March 12, 2012 at 12:22 am

      The new Asus 1225 laptops are actually 11.6 inchers now, and you can read my reviews of the two in the dedicated section (see the menu on top of this page)

  49. Vivek Kumar

    May 22, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    Dear

    Can you review or give comments regarding HP Pro book 4230s? Whatever I have seen on HP website seems to be impressive. Although about 1 year old now, I feel that is also a good alternative to all these mentioned above.

  50. Tina

    May 31, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    I am looking for mini laptop
    My brother has recommended me Asus
    My desire that it s comfortable to carry and I think I just use it for playing game or entertain but not net book ^__^

    Could you recommend me anything else?

    Thank you for future ^__*

    • Mike

      June 1, 2012 at 2:08 pm

      TIne, the post above is upo to date and thois are my recommendation. You can also see my post on the Top 11.6 inch mini laptops, you can find it on the front page of this website.

  51. gaurav

    July 6, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    hii mike…i want to buy samsung series 3 mini laptop 12.5 inch..But i am little scared as i heard i3 processor not go well with small screen..is it true?
    also Amd processor i headr they got heating problem too

    • Mike

      July 10, 2012 at 1:56 pm

      I wouldn’t say that. I don’t get what you are trying to say with the Core I3s not going well with Small screens, but these processors are fast and will work fine on any of these small laptops or bigger ones.

      As for AMD APUs, I didn’t encountered overheating problems when using them

  52. natalia

    January 15, 2013 at 8:32 am

    Hi Mike, I would like to buy a 12 inch laptop, my budget is $550. I spotted this Dell Inspiron 14z and the HP Folio 13-1029wm. Which one is better? Please advice me.

  53. HJay

    April 6, 2014 at 11:28 pm

    “I’ve been using a 12 inch laptop as my main daily driver”……. I thought drivers sat behind the wheel of a car..? In what way is a 12 inch laptop a driver?

    Speak the Queen’s English, there’s a good chap!

  54. Alkasel

    July 6, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    Hi!
    I would link to buy a pc for handwriting.
    Therefore, I’d like to know if these pc have resistive or capacitive touchscreen. Or is ips a type of touchscreen different from the previous? and if it’s the case, is ips touchscreen good for handwriting, as much as resistive touchscreen?

    Lastly, when you say “the battery last for about x hours of everyday use” what do you mean with “every day use”? using pc with wi-fi on, medium brightness etc?

    thank you very much

  55. Vlad

    August 21, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    Running a 12.5″ HP Elitebook 2570p with an upgraded CPU (i7-3740QM instead of i5-3360M), upgraded storage (256GB SSD + 2TB HDD in optical caddy), upgraded RAM (incoming 16GB 2133 CL11 RAM), and the option of external GPU through ExpressCard.
    Food for thought.

  56. jaff

    July 3, 2016 at 2:19 am

    Hi Mike… I am a programmer, and a part time unit trust consultant.. I am torn between gettting a thinkpad yoga 260 vs yoga 900s.. The thinkpad is due to good keyboard while the 900s is due to screen and weight factor.. The laptop would primarily use for the unit trust works.. Interested in getting your opinion on which would you choose..if you’re in my situation…

  57. confuse

    January 5, 2017 at 10:27 am

    hi there,

    too many product in the market nowadays and it making us consumer prove to making a wrong choice. i really need an upgraded for my HP Pavilion 360x 11-u019tu. i used in for office tasks, surfing internet & watching movies etc.

    i need a suggestion on latest product below 12 inch laptop/2 in 2s/ultrabook which had enthernet port like my hp. i dont wanna carry around ethernet doogle and lost it when i need it the most.

    although it is a little bulky but HP 11 inch 360x grow on me due to the fact it has a lot of ports & easy to carry around.

  58. Muhammad Hassan

    January 8, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    what about razer blade stealth

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