7 Best 12-Inch Laptops in 2022

By Robin Owens 22 days ago, Hardware

High-quality but inexpensive 12-inch laptops.

best 12 inch laptop

A small laptop doesn’t necessarily imply worse efficiency. In this review, I will go over efficient 12-inch laptop models that have amazing characteristics and will please you with decent quality and portable dimensions.

Top 12 Inch Laptops to Buy

  1. MacBook Air 13-inch - Our Choice
  2. Microsoft Surface Pro 7 - Microsoft
  3. ASUS ZenBook - Asus laptop
  4. Lenovo Miix - Lenovo notebook
  5. Microsoft Surface Laptop - Microsoft lightweight laptop
  6. Lenovo Chromebook - Lenovo compact laptop
  7. ASUS ZenBook - Asus laptop computer

It will be a challenge to find a 12 inch laptop for those on a tight budget since the majority of models belongs to the high price category. But I have managed to cover a few of such options in the following review.

1. MacBook Air 13-inch

Our Choice
macbook air laptop

CPU: Intel Core i5 | GPU: Thunderbolt 3 | RAM: 8 GB | Storage: 256 GB | Display: 13.3-inch | Weight: 2.8 pound

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⊕ Camera quality
⊕ Doesn’t weigh much
⊕ Butterfly keyboard
⊕ Retina display
⊖ Webcam is 720p

The 2022 MacBook Air is an ideal 12 inch screen laptop. Among its benefits are an amazing screen, a quad-core processor, optimal dimensions and physical keys that are nice for any typing task. The only “touch” button is the fingerprint sensor and the touchpad. According to different criteria, the onboard graphics are as excellent as discrete graphics from several years ago. On the inside, there are standard scissor switches while on the outside – butterfly keyboard, meaning this laptop has the Magic Keyboard identical to that of the 16-inch MacBook Pro. The new Magic Keyboard boasts a scissor mechanism with an enhanced design and 1mm of key travel.

2. Microsoft Surface Pro 7

Matte black 12-inch laptop
microsoft pro 7 laptop

CPU: Intel Core i7 | GPU: Intel HD Graphics 615 | RAM: 16 GB | Storage: 256 GB | Display: 12.3-inch | Weight: 1.70 pound

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⊕ Lightweight
⊕ Decent battery life
⊕ Keyboard and pen
⊕ Wi-Fi 6 support
⊖ Doesn’t differ much from Pro 6

This universal 12 inch notebook impresses users with the ability to be turned into a tablet for convenient typing, drawing, writing, working or non-intense gaming processes. With the 10th Gen Intel Core Processor, this thin and lightweight model is speedier than Surface Pro 6. The clip-on keyboard and the Surface Pen Stylus (both should be bought separately) were enhanced in comparison with the Pro 6.

3. ASUS ZenBook

13.3” FHD wideview 12-inch laptop
asus wideview laptop

CPU: Intel Core i7-8565U | GPU: Intel HD Graphics 620 | RAM: 16 GB | Storage: 512 GB | Display: 13.3-inch | Weight: 2.6 pound

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⊕ Sturdy and robust
⊕ Remarkable battery life
⊕ One-of-a-kind ErgoLift design
⊕ Extremely thin bezels
⊖ For its price, the specifications could be better

The ZenBook 13 is truly robust and sturdy, which is proven by brutal tests carried out in rough environmental conditions, as well as physical vibration and shock tests meant to imitate rigorous everyday use. The model boasts a one-of-a-kind ErgoLift design – a genius engineering invention aimed at automatic tilting of the keyboard to achieve a convenient typing position. Besides, such a design contributes to enhanced audio and cooling performance. Among the other benefits of this 12 inch screen laptop are Windows 10 Professional and hardware TPM security.

4. Lenovo Miix

FHD touchscreen 12-inch laptop
lenovo lightweight laptop

CPU: Qualcomm | GPU: DDR4 SDRAM | RAM: 4 GB | Storage: 128 GB | Display: 12.3-inch | Weight: 1.69 pound

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⊕ Budget option
⊕ Doesn’t weigh much
⊕ Nice design
⊕ Silicone Gel Case featured
⊖ Could be speedier

What makes the Lenovo Miix 630 the best 12 inch laptop is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor (up to 2.2GHz) enabling it to operate up to 20 hours on a single charge. During the entire day, you can work with the laptop and do not worry about the battery running low. Thanks to the 4GB RAM and huge 128GB SSD, you will have sufficient space for all your files, as well as a lightning-fast performance of games and applications – no need to wait too long for them to load.

5. Microsoft Surface Laptop

Inexpensive 12-inch laptop
microsoft matte black laptop

CPU: Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y | GPU: Intel HD Graphics 615 | RAM: 16 GB | Storage: 256 GB | Display: 13.5-inch | Weight: 2.79 pound

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⊕ Slim and lightweight
⊕ Remarkable build quality
⊕ Enhanced speed
⊕ USB-C and USB-A ports
⊖ Unsatisfactory face recognition

The Surface Laptop 3 is admired for slim and lightweight design, enhanced speed, battery life and overall efficiency. This 12 inch laptop is sold in two sizes (a vivid 13.5” or 15” touchscreen), a selection of colors and two refined keyboard finishes. I wouldn’t call it the best model in terms of the screen quality, speed, price. But its specifications combined are likely to provide you with the smooth operation for whatever task you are involved in.

6. Lenovo Chromebook

Budget 12-inch laptop
lenovo c340 laptop

CPU: Intel Celeron N4000 | GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 600 | RAM: 4 GB | Storage: 64 GB | Display: 11.6-inch | Weight: 2.6 pound

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⊕ Speedy
⊕ Budget option
⊕ User-friendly
⊕ Doesn’t weigh much
⊖ Problems with Wi-Fi connectivity

The Lenovo Chromebook C340-11 is often called the best 12 inch laptop due to the 10-hour battery life, amazing speed and nice-looking high definition touchscreen that enables users to click or drag files straight on the screen. With its full keyboard, numeric keypad and 1.4 mm key travel distance, a convenient typing process is guaranteed. To begin using the laptop, simply log in with your Google account. Thanks to the decent battery life, feel free to take your Chromebook and carry it with you throughout the day.

7. ASUS ZenBook

Ultra-slim 12-inch laptop
asus ultra-slim laptop

CPU: Intel Core i5-8265u | GPU: Intel UHD | RAM: 8 GB | Storage: 512 GB | Display: 13.3-inch | Weight: 2.5 pound

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⊕ Looks elegant
⊕ Doesn’t weigh much
⊕ Compact
⊕ Incredibly portable design
⊖ Disappointing camera quality

ASUS ZenBook 13 is notable for extreme efficiency, light weight, portable and thin design. Considering its price category, this model is one of the speediest 12 inch laptop computers. It takes several seconds to turn the laptop on and off. Microsoft Office programs and other applications are loaded in the blink of an eye. You are bound to enjoy its 15-hour battery life and practically weightless 2.5lbs all-metal chassis. Feel free to bring this laptop with you wherever you go.

Image Name Features  
macbook air laptop
MacBook Air 13-inch
Our choice
  • CPU: Intel Core i5
  • GPU: Thunderbolt 3
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Storage: 256 GB
microsoft pro 7 laptop
Microsoft Surface Pro 7
Battery life
  • CPU: Intel Core i7
  • GPU: Intel HD Graphics 615
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • Storage: 256 GB
asus zenbook laptop
ASUS ZenBook
Asus laptop
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-8565U
  • GPU: Intel HD Graphics 620
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • Storage: 512 GB

How to Choose the Best 12 Inch Laptop?

best 12 inch laptop

The first thing you need to know about 12-inch laptops is that they are quite rare on the nowadays’ market. The majority of manufacturers tend to concentrate on several standard sizes. The closest size to a 12-inch model is 11.6 inches. Laptops with such dimensions are referred to as 11-inch ones. But in reality, they should be called laptops under 12 inches (not 11). You can also find good 13-inch laptops.

What If I Don’t Want a Touch Screen Laptop?

12-inch laptops are characterized mostly by the presence of touch screens and 2-in-1 designs. It doesn’t matter if they have a 360-degree hinge or a detachable keyboard, such models can be typically used both a laptop and a tablet. Being almost as portable as an ultrabook, the touch feature is highly relevant. The smaller the screen, the better it is for a touch display when you have to tap icons on the application or take notes with a stylus.

But all these frills won’t come in handy for everyone. Office workers are unlikely to use touch screen applications often. Besides, if you find typing with a keyboard more convenient, the touch display will be useless for you. In case you are after a more widespread clamshell design, pay attention to older 12-inch HP EliteBook models that have no touch screen. Still, if the touch feature has no significance for you, I suggest that you opt for a 15-inch laptop or larger.

best 12 inch laptop

Quick Tips

Take into account the following parameters when searching for the best 12 inch laptop:

  • 12.5 to 14-inch screens provide the most optimal combination of portability and usability. If you aren’t a frequent traveler, invest in a bigger model. As for smaller models, e.g., 11-inch laptops, they are perfect for children.
  • In case you are willing to pay more than $600, settle for these minimum specifications: Core i5 CPU, 1920 x 1080 screen, 8GB of RAM SSD Storage instead of a hard drive.
  • 8+ hours of battery life will do if you are going to bring the laptop with you outside.
  • A 2-in-1 laptop (either a bendback or detachable) is a wonderful option for those who need both a tablet and laptop at the same time. There are many Asus laptops of this kind in the market. If it is irrelevant to you, a traditional clamshell laptop is a go-to option.
  • Chromebooks are ideal for children and students. Their feature-sets are extending at a fast pace. Windows laptops and MacBooks are no less efficient. The main question here is what OS you prefer to work with.

The Weight

The weight is important to make sure that the laptop doesn’t cause you discomfort when you are carrying it around with you. Obviously, a 12 inch laptop isn’t meant for hardcore gaming and highly demanding tasks. But it is an optimal choice for surfing the net, working in Microsoft Office, reading electronic books and responding to e-mails. Sometimes, 12-inch laptops greatly serve for overall home use, entertainment and studying purposes. On this list, you will find Windows 10 laptops along with Chromebooks. Each model offers a decent battery life.


  • • Which is the slimmest laptop?

The 8.98mm Acer Swift 7 is the thinnest laptop in the world at the moment.

  • • Is a 13- or 15-inch laptop better?

13-inch laptops please users with nice graphics capabilities. Speaking of GPU, the size is relevant here. A bigger model is able to comprise more GPU and offer more space for GPU cooling. In case you are after sufficient GPU, pay attention to 15-inch laptops that will satisfy gaming needs as well.

  • • What is the smallest size of a laptop?

A typical mini laptop features a weight of 3 pounds (2kgs) and a display of approximately 10 inches.

  • • What is the lightest most powerful laptop?

The Acer Swift 7 is the best lightweight laptop in the world. The fans of Apple who require portability should go for the MacBook Air laptop.