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Apple refitted its keyboards in 2019 and the MacBook Pro uses the same scissor switches which are really great in terms of travel and tactility. Our tester pushed the battery to 18 hours of 4K streaming at max brightness. Apple’s ever-expanding catalog of ARM-compatible apps makes this a solid buy for professionals, creators, and gamers. All that comes with some compromise since the laptop itself weighs almost five pounds. The design of the laptop hasn’t really evolved much over the years, which may be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your tastes. The discrete GPU also sucks up battery life like crazy, so if you’re on the go, you’ll want to stay close to an outlet.

Most people want a screen that’s large enough so they won’t be squinting when trying to read an email or research a topic, but people have different preferences when it comes to portability. Some people want a laptop that’s as lightweight and portable as possible, while others are going to keep the unit stationary for the most part, and only move it around the house occasionally. You will find conflicting information on this, but the best answer is, not really. That means they don’t like to be all the way empty or all the way full. Leaving a laptop plugged in will usually leave your battery all the way full.

In most instances, you should still stick to a gaming PC in a Mini-ITX case if you’re looking for something small, because such a PC will have better cooling, cost less to build, and be easier to upgrade later on. If you’re more concerned about portability, a gaming laptop is a better option. The HP ProDesk 405 G6 shares the ProDesk 400 G6’s design and port layout but uses AMD Ryzen processors instead of Intel Core processors. The version with a Ryzen 5 Pro 4650GE should offer about the same processor performance as an Intel Core i5–based mini PC but much faster integrated-graphics performance, which is better for Fortnite and other less-demanding and older games. But like many AMD Ryzen systems, the ProDesk 405 G6 is frequently out of stock, which might be a problem if you can’t afford to wait. Also make sure not to buy the version based on the Ryzen 5 Pro 3400GE or 3350GE, both of which are a generation older and don’t perform as well.

Processor performance is stepped up some from the 2019 version, too, thanks to the addition of a 10th-gen Intel Core i7 processor. This is partnered with more powerful Intel Iris Plus integrated graphics as well, giving you a little extra speed for photo and video editing and casual gaming. While bigger can be better, many people prefer to buy lighter, more powerful laptops for work or entertainment use. A mini laptop can easily provide the computing power you need without all the bulk.

The processing power, display resolution, and storage capacities are usually lower on inexpensive ultraportables, and the construction can be on the flimsy side. But it’s more expensive than the M1 Mac mini, it’s likely to receive fewer macOS updates in the future, and the integrated Intel GPU isn’t nearly as good for 4K multi-monitor setups as the M1 Mac mini’s graphics processing is. Despite its larger size, the Mac mini actually comes with fewer ports than most of the Windows mini PCs we tested .

Those upgrades make a big difference in the day-to-day usability of the computer. At the CES 2021 virtual trade show, Zotac announced the Magnus One gaming mini PC, which offers 10th-generation Intel processors and a GeForce RTX 3070 GPU. A handful of other powerful bare-bones gaming mini PCs exist, but most of them come from smaller companies like ASRock and Zotac and have shorter warranties and worse support. They’re also harder to find and to buy, and their makers haven’t always updated them to use the newest processors and GPUs. The Mac mini is one of the larger mini PCs we tested, at 7.7 by 7.7 inches and 1.4 inches high.

Furthermore, with a 2736 x 1824 resolution, you’re going to be experiencing little to no glare. Instead, the screen has a high contrast and this will keep your eyes relaxed when you have to use your laptops for long periods of time throughout the day. In this guide, we’ve rated and reviewed seven of the best mini laptops money can buy. You may want a laptop with a good-quality webcam, and you can also find webcams that support features like face tracking or facial recognition. Examine all of the devices you plan on connecting to your laptop—mice, headphones, speakers, monitors—and make sure the laptop has compatible ports for each of your devices. Some laptops will have an SSD (solid-state drive), some will have an HDD , and some will even have both an SSD and an HDD.