Best 12 inch laptops in 2014 – small, but punchy

Andrei Girbea August 9, 2014 Tops 94 Comments

I’ve been using a 12 inch laptop as my main daily driver for a few years now and I’m confident devices in this class offer a proper balance between power and portability. And that’s because 12 inch laptops (with 12.1″ , 12.5″ or similar sized screens) are compact and light enough to easily carry around, but also “spacious” enough to pack a decent keyboard, enough ports and powerful hardware.

Over the past years, there used to be two types of 12 inch laptops on the market: the affordable options, with decent features, but low-power hardware, and the premium ones, with almost anything you’d want, but pricey.

In the meantime, that has somewhat changed, as most of the once affordable 12 inchers have been discontinued, or were pushed towards the smaller 11.6 inch standard, as those slightly more compact devices are cheaper to manufacture. At the same time, the premium entries have grown mostly towards the 13.3 inch standard.

Thus, while we’re going to talk about the remaining 12 inchers in this article, you need to check out my post on 11.6 inch laptops and tablets, this list of compact and affordable Chromebooks if you’re looking for some good budget options, or this other post on the 13.3 inch ultrabooks and ultra-portable laptops available today, if you want a larger range of products to choose from. But not before going through this post, of course, as you came here looking for a 12 inch laptop after all.

The convertible 12/12.5 inch mini laptops

While there are a few standard, classic laptops in this segment, most 12 inch notebooks these days pack touchscreens and some sort of a convertible form factor, which allows us to use them as regular laptops, as tablets, or as different things in between. On top of that, most of the devices mentioned in this chapter are slim, light and powerful enough to bear the “ultrabook” branding, and you can find out more about ultrabooks from my other mobile-technology focused website, Ultrabookreview.com .

Lenovo ThinkPad Twist – the “affordable” option

Not many manufacturers ofer 12 inch devices anymore these days, but Lenovo actually has a bunch of them in stores. The most affordable is the Lenovo ThinkPad Twist, which is in fact a hybrid ultrabook, or in other words and sleek and fancy tablet PC. It comes with a convertible screen that rotates to 180 degrees around its mid single-contact-point hinge, much like what we’ve seen on older tablet PCs several years ago. This way, the Twist can be used as a regular laptop, or as a tablet, when rotating the screen and having it lie flat.

There’s a bright IPS HD touchscreen on this ThinkPad, covered by Gorilla Glass, the famous Lenovo Accutype keyboard, a trackpad with independent buttons and the also famous TrackPoint, all tucked inside a solid body (weighs about 3.5 pounds) with a magnesium alloy frame. Hardware wise, Lenovo offers a large array of configurations for this laptop, with Ivy Bridge Core i3/i5 or i7 ULV processors, up to 8 GB of RAM and a few different storage options (HDDs or SSDs). And there’s not much you’re going to miss when it comes to the ports around the sides or the connectivity options, although a cellular modem is not available for this unit.

There is however one potential deal-breaker: the Twist packs a rather small battery and it will only last for about 4 hours of everyday use on a charge. That could be addressed by a future Haswell update, but for the time being, I haven’t heard anything about it.

Even so, if you’re after a strong, compact and fairly priced hybrid, the ThinkPad Twist should be on your list. The average config (Core i5 CPU, 4GB RAM, 500 GB HDD) sells right now for around $750 dollars on Amazon, with some hefty discounts applied, while the other different configurations are several tens of dollars cheaper or more expensive. See the link for more details.

Lenovo ThinkPad Twist - fairly priced convertible tablet

Lenovo ThinkPad Twist – a fairly priced convertible 12 incher

Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga – the business hybrid

The ThinkPad Yoga takes the business hybrid concept even further.

While still thin (0.75″) and light (3.5 lbs), the ThinkPad Yoga packs a few extras not available on the Twist. For instance, there’s a digitizer embedded withing the screen, and a matching pen is tucked inside its place within the body. And speaking of the screen, we do have a Full HD IPS panel on this laptop, with a non-glare finishing. It’s still somewhat glossy, but not as reflective as most glass-covered touchscreens.

Then, the Yoga runs on Intel Haswell hardware, with Core i5 and i7 processors to choose from and up to 256 GB SSDs. And it packs a larger 47 Wh battery, which allows it to run for 6-7 hours of daily use on a charge, a clear improvement over the Twist.

And then there’s the form factor. The Yoga’s screen flips 360 degrees over its hinges, towards the back, thus you get a few different modes for you to use this, besides the classic tablet and laptops ones. I’m not a big fan of this approach, because it leaves the keyboard exposed in tablet mode, but Lenovo found a smart way to block the keys completely in this case, as you’ll see from the video below.

All in all, the ThinkPad Yoga is a versatile convertible, powerful and long lasting. All these don’t come cheap though, as this laptop starts at around $1300 and the top configurations will quickly get even more expensive.

Dell XPS 12 – the stylish ultrabook

The Dell XPS 12 is another great device in this category. It comes with a Full HD IPS touchscreen, Intel ULV hardware inside (either Haswell or Ivy Bridge platforms), good keyboard and all the standard goodies (although there’s no SD card slot on this one).

Unlike other convertible ultrabooks though, on the Dell XPS the screen rotates inside its own frame, and the entire solution feels imh more robust than any of the others I’ve seen. Besides that, the XPS 12 is one of the most beautiful and solid built ultrabooks on the market. However, the battery life on the Ivy Bridge isn’t impressive, averaging around 4.5 hours of everyday use. The Haswell upgrade performs better, going for 6+ hours of use on a charge.

On top of these, the Dell XPS 12 is well priced for what it has to offer. The Haswell version starts at $999, while the base IvyBridge model starts at $899, with an Intel Core i5 processor, 4 GB of RAM and a 128 GB SSD.  And of course, you can find all of these slightly discounted online.

Dell XPS 12 - a solid and beautiful convertible ultrabook

Dell XPS 12 – a solid and beautiful convertible ultrabook

Toshiba Satellite U925T

The Toshiba U925T is another 12.5-inch tablet/laptop hybrid with a slightly different design, as its screen slides and folds on top of the body when used in tablet mode, or the other way around when used as a laptop. The entire mechanism feels a bit flimsy and you’ll need some time to actually get used to how it should work without breaking it.

Other than that, the entire laptop looks alright, despite its weird form factor, but having the screen always exposed like that doesn’t make me very comfortable, although it is covered by a layer of protective glass.

What else? Well, the hardware inside this Toshiba is standard, with Intel Ivy Bridge processors and SSD storage. The keyboard is alright, while the trackpad is way too small. The screen is also rather bad, especially when compared to that awesome display on the Dell XPS 12, with only HD ready resolution. And given that it can’t bend forward, you might have problems viewing the content on it. And then there’s the battery life, around 4 hours of daily use, which is once again short of impressive.

So are you willing to spend around $900 for all these (or even less)? Well, you could and you’d get yourself an unique looking device, but different is not necessarily better, that’s why I do feel that your money could be better spent on other similar devices.

Toshiba U920T hybrid ultrabook - different, but not necesarily better

Toshiba U920T hybrid ultrabook – different, but not necesarily better

The Panasonic Toughbook C2

Last but not necessarily least in this category comes the ToughBook C2 from Panasonic, a truly rugged 12.5 inch laptop built for the harsher of conditions.

The rugged Panasonic Toughbook C2

The rugged Panasonic Toughbook C2

Hardware wise, this is a tablet PC built on Intel’s latest mobile hardware solution, like the ThinkPad X230 Convertible tablet mentioned earlier. It comes with a bright IPS toushcreen and a pen, LTE modem embedded, decent keyboard and 10+ hours of battery life with an extra battery.

Hardware and software aside though, the Toughbook C2 is a beast. Its magnesium frame and chassis is designed to last, and the laptop can survive falls from around 2 m high, is waterproof, dust-proof and so on. You can even step on it and it won’t care. And then come all the security software and hardware features built into this machine.

Of course, it’s obvious that this is not a laptop meant for the average Joe, it’s meant for those who need a tough business laptop in the most difficult conditions, like in the Arctics, in mines, on constructions sites or Oil rigs. And those in fact will not mind paying $3000 or more for the Panasonic ToughBook C2, as they get an awesome product with 3 year warranty and Panasonic’s unbeatable customer support. See Panasonic’s website for more details on this unit.

The classics – old style 12 inch laptops

If you’re after a simple, classic business 12 inch machine, you should know that there aren’t many left out these, but I’ve gathered the few available in this chapter, and I’m going to tell you a few things about each one of them.

Lenovo ThinkPad X240

This is Lenovo’s latest business ultra-portable, succeeding the X230 and the X220 before it (which is the laptop I’ve been using for the last 2 years).

Aesthetically, this is a simple and classy machine, with a matte rugged exterior. It’s designed to withstand the daily hassle characteristic to business environments and tested against different parameters, like vibrations, high humidity, dust and others. Now, this is not something you can take in a mine or at a building site, it’s still mostly a laptop for indoor use, but it’s stronger and more reliable than most others.

All these were achieved without sacrificing portability. The ThinkPad X240 is compact and weighs just around 3 pounds, but is a bit thicker than other ultrabooks, with a 0.9 inches height, mainly because it has to accommodate a large selection of full-sized ports. There’s also an embedded 3 Cell battery (23Wh) inside the case, plus room for an extra one, with up to 6 more cells(72Wh). According to Lenovo, the X240 with the largest battery combo can go for 17 hours on a charge, in practice you should expect around 12 or so, but that’s still impressive.

Moving on, I should also mention the screen options for this ThinkPad. The base model gets a matte 1366 x 768 TN panel, but you also get a similar resolution IPS panel or a Full HD non-glare option, plus two Touch Versions for all these IPS models, if you’re interested in them.

Last but not least, the ThinkPad X240 packs Intel Haswell hardware, with Core i3/i5 or i7 ULV processors and optional vPro support, up to 8 GB of RAM and various types of storage drives (including mSATA modules support). And to make the bundle complete, you also get Wi-Fi AC, a fingerprint-reader and a 4G/LTE modem (again, as an option).

OK, all these being said, we should finally talk about the prices. However, given the multitude of options, I’ll tell you that the X240 starts at around $900 these days and if you want to create your own configuration, you can play with this tool on Lenovo’s website.

Dell Latitude E7240

This is Dell’s business 12 incher. Like the Lenovo above, it also packs a 12.5 inch screen and a rugged, heavily tested body, ready for a tough corporate life. It’s also available in a multitude of configurations, both when it comes to the screens (HD and FHD resolutions, matte or touch) and to the hardware options. And of course, the Latitude E7240 does pack the latest Intel Haswell platform, with up to Core i7 processors with vPro, up to 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB SSDs for storage.

The E7240 is also compact and thin, tipping the scales just under 3 pounds. And it bundles a fingerprint-reader, the optional 3G/4G modem and most of the needed ports on the sides (with some extras that are not available on the X240).

In other words, these two business laptops are fairly similar in many ways. Of course, they don’t look the same and pack slightly different and keyboards and trackpads. I for one do find the ThinkPad more appealing and the AccuType keyboard more comfortable to use, but you might see things different. On the other hand, I do appreciate the multitude of accessories available for this Latitude, including slice batteries and docking units, which can prove quite useful.

Bottom point, Dell put up a great 12 inch ultrabook with the Latitude E7240. However, it is significantly more expensive than the Thinkpad X240, starting at around $1150 for what Lenovo asks less than $900. And frankly, I don’t see why anyone would pay that much for this Latitude, when the X240 is just as good and much more affordable. So Dell, a word of advice: work on your pricings if you want our hard earned bucks with this little fellow.

Wrap-up

Ok, that’s about it with my list of recommended 12 inch laptops, for now.

Like I already said, these days you don’t get as many laptops in this class as you used to, especially in the affordable sub 800 dollars price category. Most manufacturers migrated their cheap entries towards the smaller 11.6 inch class, while the premium 12 inchers got slightly bigger 12.5 inch screens, but do pack solid performances and sleek looks, alongside quite hefty price tags. And I believe that we’ll be seeing even less 12 inch mini laptops in the future.

In the end, if you’re looking for more affordable mini laptops, i would also suggest taking a look at the list of recommended 11.6 inch devices. And if you’re just after a compact and portable laptop, you might also want to check out my list of the best ultrabooks you can buy these days.

As for this post, I’m going to be constantly update it each couple of weeks, so be sure to check it out periodically for changes.  Also, feel free to add your comments, remarks and questions below and I’ll be around to reply.

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About The Author

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.

94 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: http://www.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: http://www.tlbhd.com/netbook-buying-guide-v2.pdf Or reply if you still are confused :)

  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 : http://www.tlbhd.com/asups-ul20ft-improved-12-incher-with-better-performance-3643/ . Also, there’s the updated version of the 1201N, called 1215N : http://www.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: http://www.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 :P

  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 :(

  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 :)

    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 :)

  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 :(

  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: http://www.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 :P )

      • 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! :)

    • 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 :(

  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 :D 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 ;) 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

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