10 Best Small Laptops

Wally Nowinski
editor

Our experts used the PerfectRec decision engine to comb through our laptop database and find the best small laptops available in 2024. Here are our top picks.

Our criteria for the best small laptops:

  • Screen Size: We limited the screen size to 13-14" to balance portability and size.
  • Portability: We placed some emphasis on weight because lighter laptops tend to be smaller.
To consider others factors, try the PerfectRec decision engine to get your personalized laptop recommendation
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10 Best Small Laptops

1
ASUS 13.3”

Zenbook S 13

BEST RATING
Portability:
4.9
General: A-, Gaming/AI: B, Eng/Design: A-
Size: 13.3"
Overall Performance: Good
Portability: Very thin, very light
Battery: Very Good




Expert Summary
The ASUS Zenbook S 13 is a premium, lightweight laptop, making it highly portable and suitable for on-the-go use, especially with its long battery life. With a midrange price, you're getting solid build quality, a vivid OLED touchscreen, and excellent heat management. It has an Intel i7-1355U processor paired with 32GB RAM, which will handle general use very efficiently. Its Intel Iris Xe graphics are fine for casual gaming and moderate creative tasks, but might fall short for intensive 3D rendering or engineering software. The laptop offers a good selection of ports, including Thunderbolt 4, and a comfortable backlit keyboard, although it lacks an Ethernet port and an option for hardware upgrades due to having no available RAM or storage slots.
Pros
  • Thin and lightweight design
  • High-resolution OLED display
  • Large color gamut coverage
  • Excellent portability score
  • Backlit keyboard with fingerprint reader
Cons
  • No dedicated number pad
  • Not suitable for hardware ray tracing
  • Limited engineering performance
  • No touchscreen option
2
BEST RATING
Build Quality:
5.0
General: A-, Gaming/AI: B+, Eng/Design: A-
Size: 14.2"
Overall Performance: Very Good
Portability: Thin, light
Battery: Excellent




Pros
  • Top-notch build quality
  • Excellent battery life
  • Powerful Apple M2 Pro processor
  • Vibrant, high-resolution display
  • Superior speaker and webcam quality
Cons
  • Heavier than many competitors
  • Limited port variety
  • No touchscreen capability
  • No hardware ray tracing
3
Apple 13.6”

MacBook Air (2022)

BEST RATING
Build Quality:
5.0
General: A-, Gaming/AI: B, Eng/Design: A-
Size: 13.6"
Overall Performance: Good
Portability: Very thin, very light
Battery: Excellent




Expert Summary
The Apple MacBook Air (2022) is priced in the upper midrange category and features a 13.6-inch IPS display, 512GB of storage, and 24GB of RAM, powered by the Apple M2 chip with a 10-core GPU. Its battery life is robust, allowing up to 15 hours of typical usage. The sleek design at just 0.44 inches thick and a weight of 2.7 pounds makes it highly portable. It runs MacOS and has a fanless design which ensures silent operation. The laptop does not cater to intensive gaming, but its high-quality build and strong performance are well-suited for general use and some creative tasks. The backlit keyboard adds comfort and the inclusion of a fingerprint reader ensures security. It does not feature a touchscreen, hardware ray tracing, or DLSS technology, but it supports USB-C charging and Thunderbolt connectivity.
Pros
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Silent, fanless operation
  • High screen color accuracy
  • Long battery life
  • Backlit keyboard and fingerprint reader
Cons
  • No touchscreen available
  • Limited port variety
  • No facial recognition
  • Moderate 3D performance
4
Framework 13.5”

Laptop 13 (2023)

BEST RATING
Portability:
4.7
General: A-, Gaming/AI: B, Eng/Design: A-
Size: 13.5"
Overall Performance: Very Good
Portability: Thin, very light
Battery: Good




Pros
  • Repairable and customizable
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Excellent general performance
  • Very good build quality
  • High screen pixel density
Cons
  • Limited GPU for 3D tasks
  • No hardware ray tracing support
  • No touchscreen
  • Moderate fast motion screen performance
5
Apple 13.6”

MacBook Air (2022)

BEST RATING
Build Quality:
5.0
General: A, Gaming/AI: B, Eng/Design: A-
Size: 13.6"
Overall Performance: Good
Portability: Very thin, very light
Battery: Excellent




Expert Summary
The Apple MacBook Air (2022) is an excellent selection for general use with its silent operation, high-quality keyboard, and robust build. It is highly portable due to its lightweight design and has a long battery life. The display produces sharp and accurate colors but lacks touchscreen capabilities. This machine is equipped with an M2 chip and is superb for daily tasks, though it won't be ideal for intensive gaming or the most demanding engineering applications. It doesn't come cheap, but it offers a premium experience suitable for professionals seeking a balance between performance and mobility.
Pros
  • Excellent portability, light and thin
  • Silent operation with no fan noise
  • Great screen quality with high resolution
  • Very good battery life for typical use
  • High-quality webcam and speakers
Cons
  • Moderate performance for 3D and engineering tasks
  • Lacks compatibility with some professional software
  • No available slots for RAM or storage upgrades
  • Limited port selection, no HDMI or Ethernet
6
Apple 13.6”

MacBook Air (2022)

BEST RATING
Build Quality:
5.0
General: A-, Gaming/AI: B, Eng/Design: A-
Size: 13.6"
Overall Performance: Good
Portability: Very thin, very light
Battery: Excellent




Expert Summary
The Apple MacBook Air (2022) has a premium build quality and is priced in the upper midrange. It features 1TB storage, 16GB RAM, and utilizes the Apple M2 processor, providing very good general-use performance and silent operation due to its fanless design. The integrated M2 GPU accommodates some engineering tasks but might not be ideal for intensive 3D or machine learning workloads. The 13.6-inch IPS display has a resolution higher than Full HD but is not touch-enabled. It offers excellent portability at 2.7 pounds and has a lengthy battery life suitable for all-day use. It runs on MacOS and connectivity includes two USB-C/Thunderbolt ports and USB-C charging, but no support for traditional USB or HDMI without adapters. Suitable for general use, everyday multitasking, and light engineering work, but not aimed at intensive gaming or the most demanding engineering software.
Pros
  • Lightweight and slim design
  • High-resolution, color-accurate screen
  • Silent, fanless operation
  • Best-in-class keyboard and trackpad
  • High build quality
Cons
  • Average 3D/machine learning performance
  • Higher price point
  • No touchscreen
  • Limited port variety
7
Acer 14”

Swift 14

BEST RATING
Portability:
4.7
General: A-, Gaming/AI: B, Eng/Design: B+
Size: 14"
Overall Performance: Good
Portability: Thin, very light
Battery: Good




Expert Summary
The Acer Swift 14 is a mid-range laptop with good performance for everyday tasks and some more demanding applications, thanks to its Intel i7 processor and 16 GB of RAM. It has a high-resolution display, making it suitable for those who appreciate sharp visuals. The laptop is reasonably light and thin, enhancing portability, but this can mean shorter battery life compared to others, which might be a concern if you need to work for long periods away from a power source. It doesn't have a dedicated graphics card, so while okay for casual gaming, it's not ideal for high-end gaming or intensive 3D work. The Acer Swift 14 runs on Windows 11 Home, offering the latest features and security updates.
Pros
  • Midrange price
  • High-resolution display
  • Powerful Intel i7 CPU
  • Windows 11 Home included
  • Sleek design
Cons
  • Average battery size
  • Limited port selection
  • Moderate weight
  • No dedicated GPU
8
ASUS 13.3”

Zenbook Flip S13

BEST RATING
Portability:
4.8
General: B+, Gaming/AI: B, Eng/Design: B+
Size: 13.3"
Overall Performance: Fair
Portability: Very thin, very light
Battery: Very Good




Pros
  • Convertible to tablet mode
  • High-resolution OLED touchscreen
  • Excellent portability score
  • Good build and heat management
  • Backlit keyboard and fingerprint reader
Cons
  • Fair 3D/machine learning performance
  • Limited to integrated graphics
  • No available RAM or storage slots
  • No Ethernet or hardware ray tracing
9
Acer 14”

Swift Go 14

BEST RATING
Portability:
4.7
General: A-, Gaming/AI: B, Eng/Design: A-
Size: 14"
Overall Performance: Good
Portability: Thin, very light
Battery: Good




Expert Summary
The Acer Swift Go 14 is a midrange-priced laptop with a 14-inch OLED screen featuring a resolution higher than Full HD and a 90Hz refresh rate which is good for smoother visuals. It has an Intel i7 processor with integrated graphics good for everyday tasks and light gaming but may not handle intensive 3D rendering or engineering simulations as well as devices with dedicated graphics cards. The laptop includes 512GB of storage and 16GB of RAM which is ample for general use and multitasking. It's also fairly lightweight and portable with a decent battery life for typical use. With its backlit keyboard and fingerprint reader, it offers convenience and security, making it suitable for general use and on-the-go productivity. However, it might not be the best option for gamers or professionals in need of more powerful performance for demanding applications.
Pros
  • High screen resolution and color accuracy
  • Powerful Intel i7 processor for performance
  • Lightweight and slim for portability
  • Good build and heat management quality
  • Multiple USB-C and Thunderbolt ports
Cons
  • Average battery life only
  • No dedicated number pad on keyboard
  • Speakers and webcam are only fair quality
  • No hardware ray tracing or DLSS
10
BEST RATING
Build Quality:
5.0
General: A-, Gaming/AI: B, Eng/Design: A-
Size: 14.2"
Overall Performance: Good
Portability: Thin, light
Battery: Excellent




Expert Summary
The Apple MacBook Pro 14 (Late 2023) is an upper midrange laptop offering a high-resolution Mini LED screen, a powerful Apple M3 processor with integrated GPU, and a long 17-hour battery life. It excels in general use and has a high-quality build, keyboard, webcam, and speakers. While it can handle 3D and engineering tasks, its performance there is adequate rather than exceptional. Its 8 GB of RAM and 1024 GB of storage are suitable for many users, though not for the most intensive tasks. It's relatively lightweight and portable, but this also means it might not have the expansive connectivity options of larger laptops.
Pros
  • High-resolution, bright screen
  • Excellent battery life
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Outstanding build quality
  • Backlit keyboard and fingerprint reader
Cons
  • Limited RAM and storage upgradeability
  • No touchscreen or HDMI port
  • No Ethernet or available storage slots
  • Only two USB-C ports