If you’re looking for the smallest Chromebooks on the market, you’re in for a really big treat. (Heh. See what I did there?)
In this review, we’ll go over the 8 absolute tiniest Chromebooks you can buy. And of course, I’ve only selected the best of the best. There are a ton of reasons why you’d want a mini laptop. This list contains some brief overview information, pros/cons, and overall thoughts on 8 different models. And they’re all…pretty tiny. At least relatively compared to other laptops you can buy that are a huge brick to carry around with you.
What a pain they are. Boy oh boy.
Last updated: 5/2/17.
So, why would you ever want a smaller Chromebook?
Personally, I’d rather have my laptop compact and my desktop big. And that’s kind of the setup I have now. I have an 11.6’’ Acer CB3-131, which works wonderfully amazing for my purposes. I’m a writer. I’m an editor. I’m a spontaneous, weird person who likes to work in varying environments. One day I’ll be hammered in work at home. The next day I’ll be typing at a cafe. I like having a smaller computer because it’s a lot easier to lug around.
I like the lightweight portability of having a smaller device overall. Not to mention the functionality, portability, and the convenience of it just “fitting” wherever I need it to be- on a desk, in a folder, or even just holding it barehanded. It just works. As for my desktop, that’s where I do all my sit-down work that requires a lot clicking and typing, such as making images or coding. I could do it on the laptop, but it’s much easier on a desktop with a big screen. It’s not the Chromebook’s fault. It’s just laptops in general.
But then again, this review isn’t about laptops versus desktops. And let’s stop talking about me. Let’s talk about you on your quest to find the perfectly-sized Chromebook.
Whether you need a mobile Chromebook for travel, portability, entertainment, school, or just plain work (like me), you can check out the following laptops in this list. I’ll briefly review each one with my personal thoughts and if anything looks tempting, you can check it out and browse, compare, and do whatever else you need to do before you hit that “add to cart” button and feel that familiar rush. Oh yeah.
How’s that sound?
Let’s get reviewing and “size” them up. (Sorry, can’t help it.)
The 8 absolute best and smallest Chromebooks you can buy
1. Asus Chromebook Flip
This is probably the most popular convertible Chromebook in existence. If you don’t know what a convertible is, it’s where it can transform from a tablet into a laptop, and vice versa. It looks something like this:
The Asus Flip is a tiny Chromebook, weighing a mere 2.0 pounds with a screen size of just 10.1 inches. That’s like a mini laptop- almost like a netbook. The dimensions are just 10.4’’ x 7.2’’ x 0.6’’. That’s crazy thin. Picture it. It’s just like a netbook. (But don’t call it netbook, or else you’ll get bitten by virtual, somewhat demeaning words).
The Asus Flip has a Rockchip 3288-C Quad Core processor clocked at 1.8GHz along with 4GB of RAM. It was also one of the first Chromebooks ever to get Android apps on it. The CPU isn’t an Intel, but it still has 4 cores to power through your daily tasks. It’s enough power under the hood to handle basic to advanced processes without a hitch. It also has enough RAM to multitask as well, which means you can be typing up a document while listening to music while watching a movie in split screen mode (kinda like I’m doing). The Flip can handle it. It even has enough power for some light gaming as well.
If you’re into games, you should know that you’ll probably be able to play all the games on the Play store. But, if you want to install Linux or Crouton on your device, it’ll be a no-go. Why would you want to install Linux/Crouton? You’ll need it to play some games and such. Or if you just want to dual boot with an additional operating system (OS). As of now, Intel processors are the only CPUs that can do so with well-documented tutorials on the web. However, if you don’t plan to mod or tweak your system, then don’t worry about this. Just disregard this paragraph. For most users, this shouldn’t matter.
- Tiny footprint
- Quad Core CPU
- Ultra thin
- Convertible laptop
- Switches between laptop/tablet mode instantly
- Touchscreen input
- One of the most popular and best overall Chromebooks
- Runs most apps with excellent, seamless integration
- Slightly outdated since Flip 2 has been released
- Doesn’t use an Intel CPU (good or bad, depending on if you want to install Linux on your Chromebook)
- Small screen compared to other models in the same dimension range (about 1.5” less)
Overall thoughts: The Flip is a still a very nice buy and has some amazing technology built into a very compact package. It’ll probably be my next buy, to be honest. The Flip 2 is nice, but the original can’t be beaten.
Noteworthy of mention: Asus recently released the Flip 2, which is bigger and faster. But that depends on what you’re looking for.
2. Samsung Chromebook 3
The Samsung 3 is based on Samsung’s best-selling Chromebook- cleverly named the Samsung Chromebook 2. It’s decently powerful and has a very professional look to it. The frame and lid are both charcoal black and it even has a spill-proof keyboard. Definitely geared towards work professionals.
Weighing in at just 2.5 pounds, it’s one definitely on the lighter side. It has a form factor of 11.4’’ x 8.0’’ x 0.7’’ with a screen size of 11.6’’. It’s powered by an Intel N3050 processor with 4GB of RAM. This isn’t anything to gloat over, but it has enough power to get things done. The screen is also anti-reflective with an “image enhancer” built-in.
- Looks super professional
- Spill-proof keyboard
- Small form factor
- Powered by an Intel CPU, which means Linux can be installed
- Durable frame
- Looks expensive (and it kinda is)
- On the pricier side
- Has some compatibility issues with Microsoft Office Online as reported by customers
Overall thoughts: If you’re a working professional, or you just want to look like one, go for the Samsung 3. It’s small, decently powerful, and definitely portable at 2.5 pounds. It’s like professionalism that fits in a thin laptop sleeve.
See the Samsung 3 on amazon.
3. Asus C201PA-DS02
The C201 by Asus is basically like the Flip, but without the Flip.
Okay. Let me rephrase that.
It performs and looks like the Flip in laptop mode.
It has a Rockchip CPU clocked at 1.8GHz with 4GB of RAM and 16GB of memory. It measures 11.3 inches in length and just 7.6 inches in width. Its profile is only 0.7 inches, which makes it on par with the rest of the Chromebooks on this list. Now that’s tiny. But the best part? It weighs just a mere 2 pounds, which means it’s amazingly portable with this near-nothing light weight. You can carry it from class-to-class, home-to-work, or just out-and-about. With such a low weight, you can bring it with you and get stuff done anywhere you go. With ease.
But, how does the C201 compare to the Flip? It doesn’t have the touchscreen capability as the Flip, so it functions just like a regular laptop. This is perfect if you don’t need the whole fancy touchscreen capability, and you don’t want (or have any need) for a tablet, but you want everything else the Flip has to offer. This is your machine. It’s basically a slimmed-down version of the Flip. A simpler version.
You can do some decent multitasking with its 4GB of RAM, and you have a processor powerful enough to handle basic to moderate tasks. I’d say it’s a perfect Chromebook for someone new to them, or just want a cheap, easy to use laptop.
- Basic and simple Chromebook
- Weighs only 2 pounds
- Nice and thin profile
- Powerful processor
- Plenty of RAM for multitasking
- For those who don’t need anything fancy
- Rockchip CPU may be a drawback if you plan to install Linux (same with the Asus Flip)
- No upgrade options available if you’re looking to beef it up
Overall thoughts: A basic Chromebook with no fluff. Just a keyboard and trackpad (or a USB keyboard/mouse). It works. It gets the job done. And the compact footprint will take up less space in your method of transportation than a college-sized textbook. It’s pretty much a standard laptop running Chrome OS without any bloat.
Nothing fancy. All business.
See the Asus C201 on amazon.
4. Acer CB3-131-C3SZ
Next up, we have the Acer CB3-131. I’m a little biased to put this one on the list, but it’s the laptop I’m currently using and honestly, I’m lovin’ it.
It weighs just 2.4 pounds, which makes it super light compared to many other ones available today. You can easily carry it by hand from place to place like a textbook under your armpit, or even hold it like a briefcase. I found that it also fits perfectly in even the smallest of backpacks, so students should have no problem transporting this around school. It barely fits in a generic 11-inch tablet sleeve I ordered. Given that tablets have thin profiles, it’s amazing that this thing even fits. (Words of wisdom: tablet sleeves are cheaper than laptop sleeves- save yourself some cash if it fits).
The dimensions are just a mere 11.6’’ x 8.0’’ x 0.7’’. This doesn’t have a footprint smaller than the Asus Flip, but for a bigger screen, it’s still a tiny Chromebook relative to other models and the general laptop market itself. With an 11.6 inch screen, it’s pretty within the range for standard screen size (on the smaller side). They usually come in 11.6’’, 13.3’’, 14’’, and 15’’ screens. So make no mistake about it, you’re getting almost zero footprint.
It’s powered by an Intel Celeron N2840 CPU at 2.16GHz and comes with 2GB of RAM. You also have the option to upgrade the RAM to 4GB and double the storage to 32GB. You get a nice patterned aluminum cover in moonstone white, along with an IPS screen (fancy talk for multi-angle viewing).
And trust me, it’s a strong computer. I’ve done nearly everything I do on a Windows desktop with this Chromebook. Everything from working on documents, excel sheets, watching movies, listening to music, playing games, research, and even some image editing. This thing can handle it. I have the basic 2GB RAM/16GB storage and it only slows down if I’m trying to make it slow down. Otherwise, it can handle all my tasks without any lag. If I had to choice, I’d have gotten the upgraded 4GB/32GB option for even more power so I can do some more heavy gaming.
This little workhorse has treated me well, and although I only have good things to say about it, I’ll try to dig up some things I didn’t particularly like about it below.
- Super affordable- budget friendly for what you get
- White coloring is very appealing (in my personal opinion)
- IPS screen actually works and looks crisp and clear
- Wide viewing angles
- Thin profile and small body
- Fast and works well for light multitasking
- Play store compatible
- Decent Intel CPU
- One of the best-selling and most popular Chromebooks for good reason
- With the base model only having 2GB of RAM, it starts to slow down when you simultaneously run many apps
- The webcam always seems to be grainy
- Trackpad doesn’t always register clicks- can be very fidgety at times
- Small screen requires getting used to
Overall thoughts: The pros heavily outweigh the cons and it’s the one I use and trust daily. I’ve gotten my hands on all types of models, but this is the one I always go back to. It’s simple, basic, and just works. There’s no fancy software or tech built-in. If you want something that just does what it’s supposed to, then go for this.
Check out the Acer CB3-131 on amazon.
5. Dell 11 XDGJH
The Dell 11 Chromebook sports an 11.6” screen with some nice features. For starters, it has a 2.1GHz Intel Celeron processor and 2GB of RAM. There’s also an option to upgrade to 4GB if you’re a heavy multitasker. It weighs just over 2.7 pounds and has dimensions of 11.6” x 8.6” x 0.8”. That’s a little bigger than most of the other models on this list, but it’s still relatively small overall.
However, the main selling points of this Chromebook are the little features that Dell built into it.
First, the Dell 11 is tough. It clears military standards for durability and has undergone multiple tests to achieve this- including drop tests, temperature, humidity, shock, vibration, weather, water, and more. To achieve this certification means the Dell 11 is a rugged Chromebook, which makes it perfect for those who plan to bring their Chromebook with them wherever they go. And judging by you reading this article, you’re probably one of them.
The frame and body of the laptop are also rubberized to withstand shock and drops as well, which makes it bump-proof.
It also has a touchscreen so you can interact with your fingers, but Dell didn’t stop there. The screen is made with Corning Gorilla Glass NBT, just like the HP 11 G5 on this list (coming up next). This means it can handle your fingers, or pens, without getting scratched. The keyboard is also waterproof as well as the touchpad, which means you can spill your orange juice on this laptop and simply wipe it off. They’re both completely water resistant so the water will simply trench and drain.
It comes with an 180 degree LCD display, which lets the entire display lay flat on the same plane as the body. This is useful for making group work a lot easier, which is a plus for students as adjusting the screen to show something off is a lot easier.
There’s also dual microphones built-in along with front-facing speakers which make communication a lot clearer. Your voice will project directly into the microphones and the sound comes out directly at you as well. This makes using voice-over-Internet or webcam applications like Skype or Google Hangouts much clearer and easier to communicate.
You get all this in a nice little package. The Dell 11 Chromebook is built for both professionals and students in mind.
- Durable, military standard Chromebook
- Dual microphones for clear sound
- Front-facing speakers for louder audio
- Scratch-resistant touchscreen
- 180-degree display
- Perfect for those who need to bring a laptop wherever they go
- Trackpad isn’t as sensitive as other models
- Heavier and larger size compared to others on this list
Overall thoughts: The Dell 11 is a unique Chromebook in its own right. The military standards make this one tough laptop, but those added protective features make it heavier and bulkier overall. It’s really a tradeoff. If you’re always moving and need a laptop, this is probably something you should consider as it’s durable, but not overly huge.
Check out the Dell 11 on amazon.
6. HP 11 G5
The HP 11 G5 is a lesser known model that’s pretty much unheard of. It’s powered by an Intel Celeron processor, which is a Duo Core CPU that’s well-known in the budget laptop world. It also has a touchscreen, which is quite rare since it’s not a convertible. And even better? The screen is scratch-resistant as it’s made by Corning Gorilla Glass like the Dell 11 (previous laptop), so you can use your stylus, pen, pencil, or finger on the screen and not worry about putting some nasty scratches all over your Chromebook’s screen.
It weighs just 2.5 pounds and measures 11.3’’ x 8.1’’ x 0.7’’ with an 11.6’’ display. It’s easy to carry around and has a super thin profile. This is perfect for those want a touchscreen, but don’t want a convertible. It fits the niche.
- Touchscreen capable
- Gorilla Glass scratch-resistant display
- Durable frame
- Basic computer that gets the job done
- Weighs slightly heavier than competing models
- Duo Core CPU doesn’t offer the same performance as Quad Cores
Overall thoughts: Grab this if you want a Chromebook with a touchscreen that’s easily portable, and you don’t need any other features included- you just want a basic laptop that’s easy to use for basic tasks.
Check out the HP G5 on amazon here.
7. Lenovo N22
The N22 by Lenovo has a lot of the same features as the Dell 11, but it comes with a few key differences. First, let’s talk specs.
The N22 has 4GB of RAM and an Intel 1.6GHz processor. It’s not exactly a strong CPU, but it works. It also has enough RAM for multitasking ability. It comes with a standard 16GB of memory with no upgrade options. It has an 11.6” IPS display.
Now, let’s go over some of the features the N22 has similar that are similar to the Dell 11.
It has many durability features in mind. You can tell it’s built for those who aren’t too delicate with their electronics, or simply don’t have the time to be. Some of this includes specialized reinforced hinges around moving hinges, a water-resistant keyboard and touchpad, anti-peel keys (prevents wear and scratches and improves grip), a thicker cover and frame around the display, and even shock absorbers around the corners for drops and bumps. It’s a well-built Chromebook.
And now let’s go over what makes this unique compared to other laptops here.
It has a rotatable camera, which means the webcam is not always facing you. You can rotate it all the way around which lets you capture images and video in the direction you’re facing. For example, students performing an act or giving a presentation. Or recording an interview. Or capturing a lecture. This is one of the few Chromebooks with a rotatable camera. The microphone is also built into the rotation device so the sound input is also coming from the direction the webcam is pointing.
Lenovo has also built the N22 with a fanless design, which means there are absolutely no vents on this laptop. This helps keeps debris and dust from entering the Chromebook and keeps the internals clean.
It also has a very nice and effective anti-glare screen to reduce glare under florescent lights, windows, and even low sunlight outdoors. This helps reduce eyestrain for working professionals and students alike.
It weighs 2.7 pounds and has dimensions of 11.8” x 8.2” x 0.9” which makes this one of the larger Chromebooks on this list, but it’s also loaded with features that make this very versatile. However, if you compare this to other models with similar features, this is relatively small.
- Rugged design and durable
- Anti-glare screen
- Rotatable webcam
- IPS display
- Fanless design
- Spill-proof keyboard and touchpad
- Processor could be faster
- Heavier and bulkier than “normal” durability Chromebooks
- No upgrade options
Overall thoughts: The Lenovo N22 is a very special and unique laptop. You get a lot of features packed into a compact device. If you do a lot of work with your laptop that makes it subject to damage and you need something portable, then this would be a solid choice.
Check out the Lenovo N22 on amazon here.
8. Acer R11
The Acer R11 is also a convertible much like the Asus Flip. It has a slightly larger screen and more powerful components under the hood. You get an Intel N3150 Quad Core CPU clocked at 1.6GHz with Turbo Boost up to 2.08GHz along with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. You can also get a mini version at 2GB/16GB as well.
The R11 is a decent competitor to the Flip, as it’s pretty much based on the same technology, but just has more power. It comes in handy when you’re running multiple apps, as the Intel CPU really shines when under heavy load. It also has a multi-touch display that supports up to every single one of your fingers on the screen. That’s right. All 10 of your fingers can be swiping, pinching, or whatever other gesture you may have to perform and the R11 will register it.
Here’s a quick video of it in action demonstrating the tablet/laptop mode and touchscreen:
It weighs just 2.8 pounds and has dimensions of 11.6’’ x 8.0’’ x 0.8’’ with an 11.6-inch screen. You really get a lot in a compact package with this laptop. It’s a touchscreen tablet and laptop with the ability to run Android apps and has a whopping 32GB of storage with multitasking power and a fast processor. And it’s small, tiny, and weighs less than 3 pounds. It’s a mini Chromebook with a big bite. Literally no joke.
- Convertible (if you’re into that)
- Tablet mode works like a charm
- Whopping powerful Intel CPU
- Turbo Boost technology- power when you need it
- Super thin profile for what it is
- Upgrade options
- Larger screen than the Asus Flip by over an inch
- On the pricier side
- Less popular due to the R13
Overall thoughts: The R11 is like the Chromebook that got overshadowed by the R13. I think it’s still an excellent machine when I got to play with it and it performed very well. Both the tablet mode and laptop mode were a pleasure to use.
I also have a full review about you may want to read. You may also want to check out the R13- a slightly larger version with even more power. But are you willing to sacrifice portability for performance? Heh.
Did you find yours?
And…there you have it. A list of the smallest, tiniest, and mini Chromebooks on the market all available for you to ogle over. Any of these should fit nicely in whatever you’re carrying them in, or even in your bare hands. They’re all pretty lightweight and have the most compact form factors possible for a Chromebook. So, look no further. You have the best of the best lineup right in front of you, so finding the right one should be a lot easier, or at least somewhat simpler to find.
The hard part is choosing which one. Yikes. That’s always the hardest part though, isn’t it? Heh. All of these are very appealing choices, and picking is tough.
If you need a touchscreen, but don’t need a two-in-one, then go for the HP 11 G5.
Want more? Didn’t get enough? I also have a table with more dimensions of all the popular models for your convenience as well if you’re up for it.