Best 12 inch laptop 2022 | Windows Central

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central

12 inch laptop
Windows Central

12-inch laptops are somewhat rare compared to more standard 13- and 15-inch laptops, but that doesn’t mean they’re bad. In fact, 12-inch laptops can be said to be one of the best options out there if you need something very lightweight and portable, as they are lighter and smaller than larger devices. On top of that, many of them still offer great performance, ensuring that you don’t have to sacrifice a smooth user experience just to slim down. There are many such excellent 12-inch devices on the market, but the Surface Pro 7 Plus is our favorite. Between powerful specs, a beautiful display, and excellent battery life, the Surface Pro 7+ stands as the king of the best 12-inch laptops.

Better overall: Surface Pro 7 Plus

Surface Pro 7 2021 Led

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central

Since the latest Surface Pro 8 uses a 13-inch panel, 12-inch form factor enthusiasts should opt for the excellent Surface Pro 7 Plus. It’s essentially an enhanced version of the original Surface Pro 7 that features a wide range of high-performance specs to choose from, including 11th generation Intel processors, powerful Intel Xe memory, up to 32GB of DDR4 memory, and up to 1 terabytes of SSD storage. The 2736 x 1824 touchscreen is also great, offering a wide color gamut, strong contrast, and an abundance of brightness. Another great feature of the Surface Pro 7 Plus is its excellent maximum battery life of 15 hours, ensuring that you won’t need to charge your laptop as often. In terms of connectivity, you get Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0 and (optionally) 4G LTE connectivity.

The design of the Surface Pro 7 Plus is great, although it’s a bit dated compared to what you’ll get with the Surface Pro 8. Little On the thick side, but the Alcantara keyboard that you can (and should) get with the device feels amazingly comfortable and fun to use. When it comes to ports, you get a USB-A port, a USB-C port, a microSD card slot, a Surface Connect+ port, and 3.5mm audio. The lack of Thunderbolt is unfortunate, but for a 12-inch laptop, that’s still a very respectable choice of ports. In the end, the Surface Pro 7 Plus is an excellent device that we highly recommend to fans of the 12-inch laptop.


  • Excellent specifications
  • nice offer
  • Great battery life
  • LTE option
  • Alcantara keyboard is exceptional


  • The edges are a bit thick
  • no thunderbolt

better overall

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

Surface Pro 7 Plus

The best 12-inch Surface Pro

Between its excellent hardware, beautiful display, and top-notch battery life, the Surface Pro 7 Plus is undoubtedly the best 12-inch Surface Pro available.

Second place: Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable

Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Review

Source: Windows Central

If you’re not a fan of the Surface Pro 7 Plus but want something that offers a similar experience, look no further than the Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable. Like the Surface Pro 7 Plus, a plethora of 11th-generation Intel CPUs are available with the device, and other great options like Intel Xe graphics, 16GB DDR4 memory, and a 1TB SSD can also be chosen. FHD+ 1920×1280 isn’t quite as sharp as the panel on the Surface Pro, but it still has excellent color, contrast, and an impressive 400 nits of brightness. The device has a good battery life of 11 hours and is also equipped with Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1 and (optionally) 4G LTE.

In terms of design, the Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable is sleek and clean, with narrow bezels, a built-in kickstand, and a “peach leather” matte finish. Ports on the device include one Thunderbolt 4 slot, one USB-C port, and 3.5mm audio. Although there is no SD card reader of some kind he is It’s disappointing that the inclusion of Thunderbolt 4 gives the ThinkPad X12 an edge over the Surface Pro 7 Plus when it comes to connecting peripherals. Overall, the Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable is a great alternative to the Surface Pro 7 Plus that you should choose if you want thinner bezels and Thunderbolt 4 support.


  • Excellent specifications
  • nice offer
  • LTE option
  • Cool design
  • Thunderbolt 4 . port


  • No SD card reader
  • FHD+ is the only display option

Second place

Thinkpad X12 Detachable

Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable

Great alternative

The Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable is a solid alternative to the Surface Pro 7 Plus with thinner bezels and Thunderbolt, but it’s a lower-resolution display and no SD card reader.

Best mid-range: Surface Laptop Go

Surface Laptop Go Hero3 Logo

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central

People looking for something that delivers powerful performance at a lower price point than the Surface Pro 7 Plus or Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable will love the Surface Laptop Go. This mid-range device features a 10th Gen Intel i5-1035G1 solid CPU, Intel UHD graphics, up to 16GB of DDR4 memory, and up to 256GB of SSD storage (64GB of slower eMMC is also available if… you want to save as much as possible.). The max battery life of 13 hours is fantastic, and the inclusion of both Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 means you can enjoy excellent modern connectivity. The 1536 x 1024 screen isn’t the sharpest, but it still looks good thanks to its strong color, contrast, and 400 nits brightness.

The Surface Laptop Go’s design is incredibly thin and lightweight, making it a great choice for people who want an ultra-portable device. You also get a powerful array of ports, including a USB-C port, a USB-A port, Surface Connect, and 3.5mm audio. The bezels on the Surface Laptop Go are also very small, giving the device a very clean look. At the end of the day, you won’t find a better 12-inch device on the market than this one if you’re looking for powerful performance and affordable price in one value-packed package.


  • strong performance
  • nice offer
  • Portable design
  • Great battery life
  • And at very reasonable prices


  • Not performing the best options
  • The show could be more intense
  • No LTE or Thunderbolt

Best mid-range

Surface Laptop Go

Surface Laptop Go

Ultra load option

The Surface Laptop Go has powerful specifications, an easy-to-carry design, and an affordable price, making it our mid-range favorite.

Best budget: HP Chromebook x360 12

HP Chromebook x360 12

Source: HP

While we prefer Windows hardware here at Windows Central (the name!), it’s impossible to deny the incredible value Chromebooks offer if you need something as simple and affordable as possible. ChromeOS is an incredibly lightweight operating system that works well on low-spec devices, and one of the best out there is the HP Chromebook x360 12-inch. With 64GB eMMC storage, this laptop performs well when completing simple tasks like browsing the web or writing documents. You won’t be able to do much else with it, but for the ultra-low price the laptop sells for, it’s not unexpected. The 1366×768 screen is nothing special, but it’s enough for basic work, and the 13-14 hours of battery life is great. Note that you only get Wi-Fi 5 with this laptop, although you still get Bluetooth 5.0.

Design-wise, the HP Chromebook x360 12 is very simple. It’s not elegant by any means, but it’s solidly built, which isn’t always the case with Chromebooks and other budget devices. You get a good port selection consisting of a USB-A port and a dual USB-C port, which is great if you have a lot of peripheral accessories to connect. In the end, the HP Chromebook x360 12 is an excellent budget-friendly device that you should pick if you need something as affordable as possible.


  • More affordable
  • ChromeOS is lightweight
  • decent display
  • Great battery life
  • Good choice of port


  • Much lower performance than other options
  • No Wi-Fi 6, Thunderbolt, or LTE
  • There are no configuration options

best budget

HP Chromebook x360 12

HP Chromebook x360 12

Budget Excellence

People who need something as simple and affordable as possible should look forward to the HP Chromebook x360 12. The incredibly low price and enough performance for the basics make it a great choice.


Although 12-inch laptops are not as popular as other devices, they are nonetheless one of the best types of laptops you can get if you need a device that is small and lightweight, yet still performs well. There are many excellent 12-inch laptops available in the market right now, but our favorite is the Surface Pro 7 Plus due to its excellent specs, performance, great screen, and top-notch battery life. It has just about everything you would want in a 12-inch laptop, and we can’t recommend it enough as the best 12-inch laptop.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable is a powerful alternative to the Surface Pro 7 Plus, which offers the same performance, thinner bezels, and Thunderbolt support with a less sharp screen and no SD card reader as a trade-off. It’s an excellent device to match the Surface Pro, and if Microsoft’s offering doesn’t pique your interest, Lenovo is definitely worth considering.

There’s also the Surface Laptop Go and the HP Chromebook x360 12, both great devices on a budget. The Surface Laptop Go is perfect for people who need a high-performance yet affordable option, while the HP Chromebook provides enough power for simple tasks like writing documents on the cheap. If none of these options suit your needs, be sure to check out our roundup of the best Windows laptops for additional options.

Credits – The team that worked on this guide


Brendan Lowry A writer at Windows Central and a graduate of the University of Auckland with a keen passion for video games, which he has been a fan of since childhood. You’ll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage of everything on Xbox and PC. follow him Twitter.

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