In the budget category, ASUS has more tricks up its sleeve. Their 1015E-DS01 mini-laptop has a 10.1-inch screen, a Celeron 847 1.1GHz processor, 3 USB ports (one of which is USB 3.0), and Windows 8 preinstalled. While it unfortunately lacks a touchscreen, it still offers a lot of value for the price of $295 and is certainly one of the best mini laptops of all time. Its super-compact design means that you can easily take it with you on your travels, and with a weight of around 2.8 pounds it won’t put any strain on your muscles either. It also has fantastic battery life with up to 7.5 hours of operation. Overall it’s nice if you’re looking for a small, humble machine that can do most everyday tasks.
While Gateway isn’t the most popular brand of PCs today, they still produce some great performers for a low price. Their new LT41P04u mini laptop features Windows 8, a Celeron N2805 1.46GHz processor, Intel HD graphics, a battery life of up to 5 hours, and a sharp, simple design. All in all, these are pretty standard specs for its price of $329.99, but something that stands out among everything else is the fact that its 10.1-inch screen is also a touchscreen, which complements Windows 8 quite nicely. Touch ability is normally something you wouldn’t expect from such a cheap mini laptop, so this is a nice bonus from Gateway.
With mini laptops, HP has always offered a nice balance between speed, quality, and cost. Their Pavilion DM1 laptop series has been updated more than once over the years and their latest iteration includes a few nifty features like the AMD E2-1800 APU at 1.7GHz, Windows 8 preinstalled, and Radeon HD 7340 discrete-class graphics. These specs combined with the laptop’s slim and lightweight design already makes it worth its price of $399.99. But as icing on the cake, every Pavilion DM1-4310nr also includes two years of free T-Mobile 4G connectivity. This means that for two years, you’ll be able to connect your laptop to the Internet no matter where you are, even away from any Wi-fi hotspots.
For those who don’t desire having tablet/laptop hybrid functionality, ASUS also offers their VivoBook series. The X200CA model includes Windows 8 (freely upgradeable to Windows 8.1) as well as an 11.6-inch touchscreen. The fact that it has a touchscreen is rather novel considering that this mini laptop retails for only $299; its low price makes it one of the best mini laptops you can buy if you’re on a tight budget. The hardware isn’t exactly the beefiest with a 1.5GHz Intel Celeron 1007U, but for basic functionality like web browsing, watching streaming media such as Netflix or YouTube, or using Microsoft Office, it’s more than adequate and will perform quite well.