For a while, the 12-inch laptops were not even a category, since the proper laptop size starts from 13 inches. But now they have outrun larger laptops, providing sufficient firepower in a compact package. Plus, at this size, your options wide open compared to the smaller 11-inch laptops. So, if you want to replace your older weighty machine with a slim and portable notebook, we are here with the best 12 inch laptop appearing on the market. Though astonishingly slim and lightweight, yet the performance is phenomenal.
The one solid reason to go for a 12-inch laptop is portability. Besides, to choose the right laptop, focus on what your typical daily tasks are. If you are mostly sending emails, then power does not matter for you. On the other hand, if you want to run memory-intensive software, then look for a laptop with a powerful configuration. Anyway, all the laptops that you will find here are chosen after proper research in order to carry out all your demands. Let’s take a look at our top contenders.
Best 12 Inch Laptops 2021
- Microsoft Surface Pro – Best Powerful
- Samsung Galaxy Book 12 – Best Affordable
- Apple MacBook 12 – Editor’s Choice
- Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Runner Up
- ASUS ZenBook 3– Best for Professionals
- Huawei MateBook E Signature – Best for Creators
- Dell Latitude 12 – Best for College Students
- Samsung Chromebook Plus V2 – Best 2 in 1
Our Top 3 Picks
1. Surface Pro
Display: 12.3″ (2736×1824)
2. Galaxy Book 12
Display: 12″ (2160×1440)
3. MacBook 12
Display: 12″ (2304×1440)
Interesting Facts about the Best 12 Inch Laptop
Before going to the detailed reviews, we would like to tell you some interesting and important facts about mini laptops that most users wanted to know.
What’s the Point of Picking a 12-inch Laptop?
As we have already mentioned that the best selling point of a 12-inch laptop is portability. All the laptops that you will find here are light in weight and come with a slim profile just like the Android 11-inch tablet. To be honest, they are more closer in size to a tablet than a full laptop. So, why choose a laptop instead of a tablet? Because the 1 inch makes a considerable difference in performance and configuration.
The 11-inch tablet cannot give you 8GB of RAM, however, the 12-inch laptop does. Plus, most of the laptops at this size are 2-in-1, so you can use them as a tablet as well. Along with this, they are packed with a new and powerful processor for next-level performance. Now, if we go towards the storage capacity, then certainly the laptop is a winner again since it can give you up to 512GB SSD. Hence, the 1-inch makes a clear increase in specs and makes the laptop worthy enough to spend on.
Moreover, if you compare a 12-inch laptop with a larger laptop like 15 or 17 inches, then here personal preference and the needs of your work matters the most. If you are a traveler or portability is your utmost requirement, then certainly a 12-inch laptop is the right choice for you. On the other hand, if your work demands a powerful configuration or you are a gamer, well you should not expect this from a laptop with such a small profile.
What are the Potential Downsides of 12-inch Laptops?
You may know that everything comes with a price, the same is the case here. First of all, you will pay dear for the compact and smaller profile notebook. Although you can find the best 12 inch laptop under 500, for a high-end machine in this size you have to spend more. Mostly, you will spend more on a portable laptop while getting lower specs. However, at the same or lower price you will get a higher configuration in larger laptops. In addition, most 12-inch laptops are not upgradable. So, when you buy one of these machines, you will have the same internal configuration for the notebook’s entire life.
Now, that you know the bright and downside of 12-inch laptops, and you are still interested in them, let’s begin the hunt for your portable and premium hardware.
Best 12 Inch Laptop 2021 Reviews
1. Microsoft Surface Pro
Are you looking for the best 12 inch 2 in 1 laptop? Let’s dive straight into Microsoft Surface Pro that comes with a powerful configuration and great display. The build material is magnesium, so durability is pretty decent. Plus, it comes with two Type Cover that is black and platinum, which are the best so far. However, the Type Covers are sold separately. Since Surface Pro is a 2-in-1 laptop, so you can use it as a laptop, tablet and studio by just changing the position of the kickstand.
Microsoft Surface Pro sports 12.3 inches display with the resolution of 2736 x 1824 for next level picture quality. Along with this, the screen is sufficiently bright and colorful. Plus, the color accuracy is nearly perfect, so watching your content on Surface Pro’s screen is a pure delight. More, it comes with a wide option of configuration, so keeping your budget in mind chooses such a configuration that suits your work. You can have from Intel Core M to Intel Core i7 processor, 4GB to 16GB of RAM and 128GB to 1TB SSD.
With 1.73 pounds weight and 7.9 x 11.5 x 0.33 inches dimensions, the portability of Microsoft Surface Pro is significant. But ports for secondary connections are not much appreciable. Since the left side comes with an audio jack only, and the right side houses a Mini DisplayPort and a USB 3.0 port. Happily, it comes with an SD card slot which you can see on the backside. Above all else, the over 10 hours battery juice is plentiful for a laptop with a touchscreen display and amazingly smaller profile.
2. Samsung Galaxy Book 12”
The Samsung Galaxy Book is a detachable machine engineered for performance and comes with a gorgeous display. Since the keyboard is included, so you can use it as a laptop. However, setting up the right viewing angle is somehow complicated. Even when you set it in the most laptop-like position, using it in your lap is troublesome, as the display shakes when you type on the keyboard. Anyway, if you use it on a flat surface, the backlit keyboard offers decent inputs. Unfortunately, this shortcoming is obvious in all the 2-in-1 and detachable laptops.
The QHD display of the Galaxy Book produces the most detailed and realistic pictures you have seen on the best 12 inch laptop. Plus, if you have HDR video content, happily it can produce a strong range of colors. Also, the Galaxy Book covers a breathtaking 205 percent of sRGB color spectrum and the screen emits 342 nits of brightness. Armed with 3.1GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB SSD, it can accomplish most of your tasks. Along with this, you can connect Samsung Book to your smartphone (only Samsung) via Samsung Flow for sharing files wirelessly.
The Galaxy Book weighs 1.58 pounds and measures 11.4 x 7.8 x 0.29 inches, so carrying it around is super convenient. Although the ports are not in a wide range they are admirable considering the profile. The audio jack and the two USB Type-C ports are located on the right side, while the SIM tray sits on the left side. In addition, the marketing battery power is up to 11 hours but depending on the usage pattern battery power may vary. On the bright side, the battery can get back up to a full charge in less than 3 hours.
3. Apple MacBook 12
Apple MacBook, the best 12 inch laptop 2021 is a compact machine that delivers rich pictures and offers a long battery life. Although it falls in the category of mini-laptops with the anodized-aluminum body, the MacBook is super sturdy. Along with this, with the all-new keyboard, you can type even faster despite the shallow 0.5mm key travel. Likewise, the spacious touchpad is precise and responsive. Plus, it comes with a Force Click feature for numerous time-saving activities.
The gorgeous 12 inches Retina display with the resolution of 2304 x 1440 is definitely admirable. Every image appears rich and detailed on the screen, and we wish if MacBook Air also sports this screen. Plus, the viewing angle is astonishingly 178 degrees, so picture quality does not disrupt if you view it from the axis. More, armed with 1.3GHz Intel Core i5 processor,Inel HD graphics 515, 8GB of RAM and 512GB SSD, the MacBook 12 offers powerhouse performance. Besides, the speakers deliver stunning audio quality with clear vocals, even at peak volume.
The Apple MacBook 12 is the lightest MacBook ever since it weighs only 2 pounds and measures 11 x 7.7 x 0.14-0.52 inches. So, if you are looking for a powerful notebook with extreme portability, no one can beat MacBook 12. However, it features only a single USB-C port which some users won’t like. But it’s versatile and allows you to do anything you want like charging, data transfer and video output. On top of that, up to 10 hours of battery life allows you to carry it around without worrying about the charging station.
4. New Microsoft Surface Pro 7
Surface Pro 7 is a new addition to the Microsoft Surface family. It comes with the latest CPU and modern ports, but you have to spend more for the newer additions. The design is similar to the predecessors and the build material is magnesium. Available in black and platinum Type Cover, you can choose your favorite color. You can see a shiny Microsoft logo on the back of the kickstand. Plus, the kickstand extends to 165 degrees allowing you to use the Pro 7 in a studio mode, laptop and a tablet mode.
The best 12 inch laptop with the resolution of 2736 x 1824 delivers stunning pictures. Plus, the PixelSense touch screen display makes it an excellent option for artists. Along with this, the screen is not only detailed but extremely bright as well. Also, you can skip the detachable mouse and keyboard if the touchscreen is enough for you since it is fairly responsive. In addition, sporting an Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM and 256GB SSD, multitasking won’t be an issue for you.
With 1.74 pounds weight and 12.7 x 9.1 x 1.9 inches dimensions, Surface Pro 7 is an excellent traveling buddy. Although it does not come with a wide range ports but on the bright side USB-C has finally arrived to the Surface laptops. Along with USB-C, the right side house a USB 3.1 Type-A and a magnetic Surface Connect port for charging. Simultaneously, on the left side, you will see an audio jack only, whereas a microSD card slot sits behind the kickstand. Besides, the powerful Microsoft Surface Pro 7 laptop can last for over 7 hours.
5. ASUS ZenBook 3
The ASUS ZenBook 3 is a super-thin laptop with a gorgeous display and speedy performance. With the Royal Blue color, it is the most attractive notebook you have seen. Even the keys are navy blue and the gold backlight makes them more attractive. Speaking of the typing experience, the keys offer 0.8mm key travel ( though shallow but more than 0.5mm of MacBook) for comfortable typing. Similarly, the touchpad gives precise and smooth navigation. In addition, the aluminum alloy chassis makes ZenBook 3 strong and durable.
The 12.5 inches Full HD IPS display of the ASUS ZenBook 3 provides sharp and detailed images. Plus, the color accuracy is appreciable, and the panel is sufficiently bright hitting 309 nits. Along with this, the 178 degrees viewing angle is pretty wide. Equipped with an Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM and 512GB SSD, the best 12 inch laptop 2021 is not only stylish but powerful as well. Besides, the copper-alloy heat pipes and liquid-crystal polymer fan keep the system cool.
With only 2 pounds weight and 11.7 x 7.5 x 0.5 inches dimensions, the ASUS ZenBook 3 is extremely portable. Obviously, you should not expect a wide range of ports from such a slim laptop. So, you will have only a 3.5mm audio jack and a single USB Type-C port used for both charging and data, thanks to the mini dock included in the box. Furthermore, up to 9 hours of battery life is plentiful for a slim and powerful notebook like ASUS ZenBook 3. On top of that, the built-in fingerprint sensor is an additional pleasure.
6. Huawei MateBook Signature
The Huawei MateBook signature is a stylish 2-in-1 laptop with an excellent display. The body is made up of aluminum, and when you add the keyboard it converts from 2-in-1 into a high-end laptop. Speaking of the Chiclet keyboard, the key travel is 1.6mm and requires 52 grams of actuation force. So, it offers a comfortable typing experience. However, with no spacing between the keys, typing in the initial days will be a bit disappointing. Happily, the touchpad is offensive and accurately accepts multitouch gestures.
The main selling point of the MateBook is the display. The best 12 inch laptop with 2k screen and 84% screen-to-body ratio gives you next-level visual experience. Along with this, the panel is super bright emitting up to 367 nits. Armed with Intel Core m5 processor 6th generation, 4GB of RAM and 128GB hard drive, not only the display but the performance is equally appreciable. Besides, the stereo speakers deliver excellent sound quality, though it lacks the bass this hallmark is common in almost all the 2-in-1 laptops.
Weighing only 1.41 pounds and measuring 10.97 x 7.6 x 0.27 inches, the portability of the MateBook signature is the best in class. Unfortunately, it sports only a single USB 3.1 Type-C port for charging, data transfer and video output. Although one can’t expect a wide range of ports from such a slim laptop, at least it should have a separate charging port. On the bright side, it is the first 2-in-1 laptop that comes with a fingerprint sensor, and it works great. Moreover, up to 9 hours of battery life makes MateBook Signature worthy enough to spend on.
7. Dell Latitude 12
Are you looking for a 2-in-1 laptop that is tougher and more secure for your business? Let’s dive into Dell Latitude 12 7000. According to the manufacturer, it’s their thinnest laptop. Plus, the magnesium alloy body makes it extremely durable, since the Latitude 12 is MIL-SPEC 810G certified. More, it gives you the option to choose one of the two detachable keyboards, either the rigid slim keyboard (included) or the optional magnetic folio keyboard (sold separately). Both the keyboards offer acceptable typing experience.
The best part of the Dell Latitude is the bright and true to life display. The 12.3 inches display with the resolution of 2880 x 1920 delivers superb images. Plus, the screen covers a wide range of colors and awesomely hits 377 nits of brightness. In addition, with Intel Core i5 CPU, integrated Intel HD graphics 615, 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD, this little buddy gives a powerhouse performance. Plus, the front-facing stereo speaker provides ear-pleasing sound quality. However, at peak volume the sound quality gets distorted.
Dell Latitude, the best 12 inch laptop weighs 1.5 pounds and measures 8.2 x 10.8 x 0.3 inches. So, working on the go won’t be an issue for you. Although it does not come with tons of ports, yet adaptive compared to the other convertible laptops. You will have two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 3, so both of them can be used for charging, video output and data transfer. In addition, it includes a USB Type-A adapter dongle if you want to connect your old devices. The only thing which will disappoint you is the short battery life of over 5 hours which may not be enough for some users.
8. Samsung Chromebook Plus V2
The Samsung Chromebook Plus V2 coming up next is one of the finest 2 in 1 laptop with amazing portability and noticeable set of internal features. Samsung is a reliable manufacturer, whether we take their smart phone in perspective or laptops, clearly they never compromise on providing quality performance. The Samsung Chromebook Plus V2 is greatly durable with a strong build quality and is super easy to carry along side on business and family trips.
Samsung Chromebook Plus V2 comes with a 12.2 inches of FHD (Full high definition, 1920 x 1080) resolutions display screen, that works surprisingly well with accurate colors and enough details. Playing low end games or watching movies and seasons on this compact display, you will love the details provided with vibrant and glossy colors. You may found the bezels around display slightly thin.
Speaking about the performance Samsung Chromebook Plus V2, for day to day tasks like web surfing, emailing, making PowerPoint presentations, working with excel sheets, and low end games, the Chromebook Plus V2 works perfectly fines with its Intel Celeron 3965Y processor, 4GB of RAM storage for multitasking, and Intel Integrated Graphics 615 with 64GB of eMMC storage to hold your files. Furthermore, the laptop comes with a built pen and dual camera (13MP camera to capture scenes when switched to tablet mode).
This page includes the best 12 inch laptops money can buy in 2021. Everything you need to know regarding small and portable laptops is explained here. We hope that you will find it helpful and choose such a laptop that takes your work to the next level. Since every day a new laptop is launched, so we shall be also updating our list. Thus, keep visiting to stay updated. Also, if you have any suggestions or reservations, please let us know in the comment section below. Good luck!