Lenovo 11.6″ Chromebook C330
Last updated date: January 9, 2020
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We looked at the top Mini Laptop and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Mini Laptop you should buy.
For a mini laptop that operates most closely to a full-sized one, look at the Lenovo 11.6" Chromebook C330. You'll get many of the features without the high price. But it does run via the Google Chrome operating system, which means you'll need to get your apps through the Google Play store. In our analysis of 90 expert reviews, the Lenovo Lenovo 11.6" Chromebook C330 placed 1st when we looked at the top 9 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.
Editor's Note November 18, 2019:
Checkout The Best Mini Laptop for a detailed review of all the top mini laptop.
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From The Manufacturer
Faster, simpler, and more secure, the Lenovo Chromebook C330 brings the latest Chromebook features to you in a sleek, stylish, and durable Blizzard White convertible design. Offering the latest multimedia in high-definition, this convertible Chromebook features a 10-point touchscreen IPS display for easy viewing in tent, tablet, stand, or laptop mode. Never slowing down and always up to date, the Lenovo Chromebook C330 offers the latest in digital security while delivering perfect day-to-day performance via powerful processing with integrated graphics, eMMC storage, and DDR3 memory—all with up to 10 hours of battery life.
Overall Product Rankings
An Overview On Mini Laptop
If you haven’t shopped for a laptop lately, you may not realize the many options now available. You don’t have to choose between one expensive laptop or another. But if you’re just writing college papers or doing presentations, there’s an easier way. You can find a mini laptop that will do the job without the expense.
In large part, this is thanks to Google. Chromebooks have created an entire market. These lightweight laptops started out as limited, but they seem to improve with each generation. Instead of being the laptop you buy for your child or use as a backup, they now can be your main laptop. Best of all, they won’t break your budget.
But you’ll need to understand their limitations before you buy. If you’re a gamer or video editor, you may find the processors on many of these laptops lacking. That doesn’t mean you can’t find a mini laptop that will handle all your needs. You may need to shop around a little, though. As you compare more expensive laptops, are the extra features worth it?
Mini laptops are, by their very nature, smaller than other laptops. That means you may be looking at a smaller screen. Molly Thornberg, technology and parenting blogger at Digital Mom Blog, advises consumers to look closely at the screen size they’ll need before investing in a smaller laptop.
“Mini laptops typically have screen sizes ranging from six inches to 12 inches,” Thornberg says.
In some cases, a smaller screen won’t be a problem. Having a smaller screen is, after all, a trade-off for having a more portable laptop to cart around. But smaller screens can be frustrating. If you’re editing pictures or designing a PowerPoint presentation, that smaller surface area can be a challenge. Keep that in mind before making a buying decision.
You’ll also probably need to plan on relying on your headphones for sound. Mini laptops limit speaker power, so you won’t be able to set it up for background music at your next party. But if you’re like many consumers, you rely on headphones or speakers for sound anyway, so this may not be an issue.
But there are many benefits to a mini laptop. Some have a design that lets you easily switch them from laptop to tablet mode. Flip the screen around, and the switchover is instant. You can also set some mini laptops up in “tent mode,” which is best when streaming your favorite TV show or a movie.
As mini laptops have advanced, manufacturers are adding features. In fact, it’s getting harder to tell the difference. You can find mini laptops that have Windows if you prefer that over the Chrome operating system. You’ll also have access to the same apps you’d find on a standard laptop, including the Microsoft Office suite. For many people, a mini laptop will be more than sufficient to meet their daily computing needs.
DWYM Fun Fact
If you don’t know much about Google Chromebooks, you may not realize that the operating system is a version of Linux. The same goes for Android. Both took the Linux kernel and expanded on it to create the operating system used on many devices around the world. Linux is an open-source operating system that has been around since the ’90s. It’s used in many Internet of things-type devices, including refrigerators and thermostats. If you have a computer without an operating system, you can get Linux for free. But it’s most popular with software developers who are coming up with operating systems for devices.
The Mini Laptop Buying Guide
- A smaller laptop doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice too much on screen. If screen size is important to you, you’ll prefer the Lenovo 11.6″ Chromebook C330, which provides plenty of viewing space.
- The screens on the Lenovo 11.6″ Chromebook C330, RCA 7″ Voyager Pro and Lenovo 11.6″ Flex 11 also include touchscreen functionality. If you plan to spin your screen around to use it as a tablet, that’s an especially important feature.
- The Lenovo 11.6″ Chromebook C330 and Lenovo 11.6″ Flex 11 also operate in something called “tent mode,” which makes streaming video much easier.
- On any laptop, the keyboard is essential. Unlike desktop computers, you’ll be relying on the built-in keyboard. The Lenovo 11.6″ Chromebook C330 has highly responsive keys, making typing a breeze. The keyboard on the Lenovo 11.6″ Flex 11 is ergonomic, and the mouse pad has been redesigned to be more responsive.
- Even if you rely on headphones for sound, it can be nice to have a laptop with decent speakers. The Lenovo 11.6″ Chromebook C330 provides impressive audio, even at a low volume. With many other mini laptops, you’ll likely find the audio distorts as you increase the volume, but not the Lenovo 11.6″ Chromebook C330.
- Each mini-laptop comes preinstalled with software, from the operating system that runs everything to the apps you can access. Thornberg notes that software is a personal choice.
“Choose an OS that you are familiar with and enjoy using,” Thornberg advises. “Determine which programs will be installed on your computer, what files will be stored locally and how much storage the OS will require.”
- One thing that sets the HP Stream 11.6″ Laptop and Lenovo 11.6″ Flex 11 apart is that they both run Windows 10. If you aren’t a fan of the Chrome or Android operating systems, this may be a big decider. With the HP Stream 11.6″ Laptop, you’ll also get a full year of Office 365 for free. RCA 7″ Voyager Pro comes with Android 5.0 Lollipop, which brings its own unique set of useful apps. The Lenovo 11.6″ Chromebook C330 comes with Google Chrome installed.
- The Lenovo 11.6″ Chromebook C330 includes MediaTek SoC, designed to improve Android compatibility. This will give you access to the many apps available in the Google Play store.
- The Lenovo 11.6″ Chromebook C330 also comes with virus protection. This may or may not be a dealmaker, though, since you can find virus protection at little to no extra expense.
- Laptops have always challenged consumers with battery life. They usually start out strong and dwindle with use. Mini laptops can be especially problematic in this area. The HP Stream 11.6″ Laptop busts the stereotypes by providing a more than 12-hour battery life out of the box. Lenovo 11.6″ Chromebook C330 also impresses, offering an 11-hour battery life. Compare this to the four-hour battery power of the RCA 7″ Voyager Pro and the two-hour life of the Lenovo 11.6″ Flex 11. That difference can show you how valuable all-day battery power is.
- The battery on the Lenovo 11.6″ Flex 11 may last only two hours, but that’s after 15 minutes of charging. This quick-charging feature can come in handy for the traveler, as long as you have access to power outlets wherever you go.
- Although mini laptops are appealing due to their attractiveness, they do vary in price. The most affordable mini laptop you’ll find is the RCA 7″ Voyager Pro, which is smaller than other mini laptops but very inexpensive.
- Storage doesn’t come into play as much as it used to, thanks to cloud options. But if you want to store documents, videos and images on your laptop, you’ll need to look for one that offers space for it. The Lenovo 11.6″ Chromebook C330 and Lenovo 11.6″ Flex 11 offer the most, at 64 GB. With the HP Stream 11.6″ Laptop, you get 32 GB, and the RCA 7″ Voyager Pro offers only 16 GB. But the RCA 7″ Voyager Pro gives you the option of a microSD card for extra storage.
- Since portability is one of the biggest draws of mini laptops, it’s important to pay attention to weight and size. The RCA 7″ Voyager Pro is the lightest, at only 1.1 pounds. But the Lenovo 11.6″ Chromebook C330 and Lenovo 11.6″ Flex 11 come in at less than 3 pounds, making them worth considering. The HP Stream 11.6″ Laptop, the heaviest, is still fairly lightweight, at only 4.4 pounds.
- Laptop manufacturers seem to consistently look for ways to reduce the number of ports to keep things simple. The Lenovo 11.6″ Chromebook C330 comes with USB-C, USB-A and HDMI ports. With the Lenovo 11.6″ Flex 11, you get a USB, Type-C and HDMI port, as well as a 4-in-1 card reader. The RCA 7″ Voyager Pro and HP Stream 11.6″ Laptop have one USB port each.
- Mini laptops sacrifice DVD-Rom drives for simplicity. But this isn’t unique to mini laptops. Today’s larger-size laptops also lack this feature. If you think you’ll at least occasionally need to use a CD or DVD, make sure you purchase an external optical drive that will connect to one of your USB ports.
- You may not think about it at the time of purchase, but eventually, you might want the convenience of a webcam. The Lenovo 11.6″ Chromebook C330 and RCA 7″ Voyager Pro have built-in 720p webcams.
- If you’re a gamer, you may find most mini laptops limiting. But for most everything else, today’s mini laptops can easily keep up. The Lenovo 11.6″ Chromebook C330 has a 2.1 GHz MediaTek processor, while the Lenovo 11.6″ Flex 11 features an Intel Celeron quad core processor. The 1.3 GHz quad-core processor on the RCA 7″ Voyager Pro works fine for basic games and video streaming. One of the best things about the Celeron N4000 on the HP Stream 11.6″ Laptop is that it runs cool, which means you won’t have a cooling fan. This helps keep things nice and quiet.