Microsoft 13.5″ Surface Laptop 2
Last updated date: November 2, 2021
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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.
Update as November 29, 2021:
Checkout The Best Mini Laptop for a detailed review of all the top mini laptop.
Elegant is the best word to describe this mini laptop. It's thin and weighs just over 2 pounds for easy transport when working on the go. The casing is aluminum, which means you can depend on the laptop holding up under consistent use.
In our analysis of 87 expert reviews, the Microsoft 13.5" Surface Laptop 2 placed 9th when we looked at the top 14 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.
From The Manufacturer
Go beyond the traditional and think in color with the new, next-generation Surface Forks. Sleek and light, with improved speed and performance, and rich tone-on-tone colors to complement your style. Slip it in your bag and make every day easier, a touch more luxurious, and more productive – now with the latest 8th Generation Intel Core processor for faster multitasking. Disclaimers: Sold separately. 1 Surface Laptop 2: Up to 14.5 hours of local video playback. Testing conducted by Microsoft in September 2018 using preproduction Intel Core i5, 256GB, 8 GB RAM device. Testing consisted of full battery discharge during local video playback. All settings were default except: Wi-Fi was associated with a network and Auto-Brightness disabled. Battery life varies significantly with settings, usage, and other factors. 2 Colors available on selected models only. Available colors may vary by store, market, and configuration. 4 System software uses significant storage space. Available storage is subject to change based on system software updates and apps usage. 1GB = 1 billion bytes. 5 Cortana is available in select global markets; experience may vary by region and device. 6 Based on average times; battery life varies significantly with settings, usage, and other factors.
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Our Expert Consultant
Technology and parenting blogger
Molly Thornberg is a professional writer, creative and mom to four kids, living her best life outside of Dallas, Texas. With a love for all things tech, she is passionate about helping parents raise kids in the digital age. She writes about technology, parenting and humor on her blog Digital Mom Blog.
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.
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 an 11.6-inch laptop, which provides plenty of viewing space.
- The screen on the RCA 7″ Voyager Pro also includes touchscreen functionality. If you plan to spin your screen around to use it as a tablet, that’s an especially important feature.
- Some models 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. Some models have highly responsive keys, making typing a breeze.
- Even if you rely on headphones for sound, it can be nice to have a laptop with decent speakers. Look for one that provides impressive audio, even at a low volume. With many mini laptops, you’ll likely find the audio distorts as you increase the volume.
- 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 some mini laptops apart is that they run Windows 10. If you aren’t a fan of the Chrome or Android operating systems, this may be a big decider. With some models, 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. Others come with Google Chrome installed.
- Consider a mini laptop that includes MediaTek SoC, which is designed to improve Android compatibility. This will give you access to the many apps available in the Google Play store.
- Don’t forget about 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. Surprisingly, you can find mini laptops that bust the stereotypes by providing a more than 12-hour battery life out of the box. Compare this to the four-hour battery power of the RCA 7″ Voyager Pro. That difference can show you how valuable all-day battery power is.
- Look for a quick-charging feature, which 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. Some mini laptops offer 64 GB. With the RCA 7″ Voyager Pro you only get 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.
- Laptop manufacturers seem to consistently look for ways to reduce the number of ports to keep things simple. Some mini laptops come with USB-C, USB-A and HDMI ports. With certain models, you get a USB, Type-C and HDMI port, as well as a 4-in-1 card reader. The RCA 7″ Voyager Pro has 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 RCA 7″ Voyager Pro has a built-in 720p webcam.
- 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 1.3 GHz quad-core processor on the RCA 7″ Voyager Pro works fine for basic games and video streaming. You may want to look for a model that runs cool, which means you won’t have a cooling fan. This helps keep things nice and quiet.
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