Whether you want it for working at the office or watching movies at home, most of us have some reason to keep a laptop in our life, but even the slimmer and more streamlined models can be a little bit bulky. And while a tablet can remedy that issue somewhat, they aren’t going to offer the same level of power and versatility that you’d get from a conventional laptop.
An 11 inch laptop is one of the best choices, but there’s plenty of junk here. If you want to find the real jewels, look no further. HotRate has researched the issue extensively and come up with 10 of the best 11 inch laptop models available today. We’ll even provide you with a primer on how to shop for a smaller laptop.
- 10 Best 11 Inch Laptops in 2020
- 1. Lenovo Chromebook C330 11.6-Inch Convertible PC
- 2. Apple MacBook Air MJVM2LL/A 11.6-Inch laptop
- 3. Samsung Chromebook 3, 11.6-Inch
- 4. Dell Inspiron 3000 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop
- 5. Acer High Performance 11.6 Inch HD Laptop
- 6. HP 11.6 Inch Chromebook Laptop
- 7. ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02 11.6-Inch Laptop
- 8. Dell Inspiron i3162-0003BLU 11.6-Inch Laptop
- 9. Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga 11E
- 10. ASUS VivoBook L203MA 11.6-Inch
- 11 Inch Laptop Buyer’s Guide
10 Best 11 Inch Laptops in 2020
1. Lenovo Chromebook C330 11.6-Inch Convertible PC
Chromebook and 2 in 1 are two of the most buzzy phrases in consumer electronics today, but Lenovo have managed to combine them together into a laptop that's both budget conscious and surprisingly effective. The presence of the Chrome OS ensures that you'll have lightweight performance in addition to a lightweight frame, and the additional security options that come in a Chromebook can be of great benefit to younger and older laptop users.
And the presence of Chrome OS also means better battery performance. The touchscreen hasn't been neglected either. It's bright and vibrant enough to use effectively outdoors, and it's very responsive to the touch screen gestures.
2. Apple MacBook Air MJVM2LL/A 11.6-Inch laptop
The Air takes everything that's great about an Apple Macbook and shrinks it down to a size only slightly larger than the typical tablet. And while Apple is known for their luxury level prices, the Apple MacBook Air is actually a relatively affordable 11-inch laptop to boot. The presence of a Core i5 processor is actually pretty impressive for the reasonable asking cost, and the integrated Intel HD graphics card is actually better than the average.
Even the hard drive on the Macbook Air is pretty respectably sized for the price. It's not the largest storage space, but it should be more than capable for most of the work you'd want to accomplish on such a small laptop. And the trademark Apple design is on full display here. If you've spent years getting used to the unique wrinkles of Mac OS, this 11 inch laptop will feel just like coming home again.
3. Samsung Chromebook 3, 11.6-Inch
If you've been reading this list wincing at the costs, have no fear. The Samsung Chromebook 3 is available for well under a hundred dollars, but it manages to squeeze a great deal of efficiency out of the specs here thanks to the fact that it runs on the Chrome OS. This is easily one of the best 11 inch laptops for students - able to maintain multiple tabs at once while also being a solid choice for entertainment.
Further enhancing its value on campus is the durability of the design. While we don't recommend dropping the Samsung Chromebook on purpose, it's designed to take a beating and continue to run like new. The keyboard is even fully waterproofed to prevent disaster in the case of accidental spills. The hinge allows the screen to sit perpendicular to your desk or inclined at 180 degrees.
4. Dell Inspiron 3000 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop
Dell takes a somewhat out of the ordinary decision by fashioning a two in one touch screen 11 inch laptop that runs on Windows 10. The appeal to users who like more customization with their laptop is clear, but this is also one of the best 11 inch laptops if you're looking for an entertainment device. Video and music streaming were clearly a high priority here, as Dell has packed in both a crisp display and a pretty impressive stereo system.
The storage capacity here may be a little light, but you have a lot of cost and space effective solutions available to you since this 11 inch laptop comes with both USB ports and a slot for an SD card. But this clearly isn't a laptop where the touch screen was a secondary consideration. You can easily shift between different standing configurations with a smooth flip.
5. Acer High Performance 11.6 Inch HD Laptop
The Acer high performance runs on Windows 10 just like the Dell Inspiron 3000, but this 11-inch laptop takes a more conventional approach to laptop design. The Intel HD graphics card is partnered with an Intel Celeron central processor for a decent level of mid-range performance.
The backlit display promises a resolution of 1366 x 768, and it's accompanied by ComfyView technology which does one of the best jobs of avoiding glare and reflections. This 11-inch laptop promises an HDMI port in addition to both a USB 3.0 and a USB 2.0 port. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are both built in.
6. HP 11.6 Inch Chromebook Laptop
Even for a Chromebook, this HP 11.6-inch laptop is one of the best deals around. The 1366 x 768 11 inch display will provide a decent level of clarity for most users, and the battery life of over half a day is truly exceptional even when compared to the best lightweight 11 inch laptops.
Apart from that, this is business as usual for the micro budget 11 inch model: an Intel Celeron matched with an Intel HD graphics card and an incredibly small hard drive that expects much of your storage space to come from the cloud. But that's not necessarily a bad thing, and this is quite possibly the best value anywhere.
7. ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02 11.6-Inch Laptop
Looking for a petite computer that can take a beating? This ASUS Chromebook is definitely among your best choices. The keyboard is fully spill resistant, and it's reinforced by rubber guards and firm grips so even clumsier users don't need to worry about this 11.6-inch laptop. And if the worst happens, this laptop is designed to sustain a fall from four feet.
The 180 degree rotating screen makes it easy to swap between getting work done and vegging out in front of your favorite TV show or movie. This is clearly built with students in mind, and the sturdy design means it's even appropriate for the K-12 crowd.
8. Dell Inspiron i3162-0003BLU 11.6-Inch Laptop
The Dell Inspiron is a pretty by the books laptop in terms of design, but we prefer to think of it more as reliable than boring. It sports a Celeron processor, an Intel graphics card, and a decent price tag to match,and the blue design is a nice change from the boring black that's so prevalent.
But this is primarily a laptop that's designed to facilitate your needs quickly and responsively. The USB 3.0 connection offers data transfer speeds up to twice that of 2.0 protocol. And listening to music and watching movies will feel better with MaxxAudio Pro.
9. Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga 11E
With its sleek design and the seamless ability to switch between tablet and laptop modes, the Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga is one of the coolest consumer devices on the market. The screen itself is glare resistant, backlit, and designed to look great even from wide angles.
Navigating the Yoga is a breeze too. The touch screen is highly responsive, and the keyboard feels better than those you'd find on most computers within this price range. The wireless connection here is steady and stable, so you'll get reliable service just about anywhere.
10. ASUS VivoBook L203MA 11.6-Inch
A glance at the ASUS VivoBook will reveal specs that will seem familiar to anyone who's sought out the best ultraportable laptops, but it's in good company, and it does make some breaks from the formula. The N4000 processor is a step up from all but the best small sized computers.
The latest Wi-Fi format is on display here, providing users with a reliably steady and dependable connection to their wireless internet. With its sleek design, this model is more lightweight than plenty of other machines on the market, and the durable hinge rotates at 180 degrees.
11 Inch Laptop Buyer’s Guide
The average laptop is 15 inches, and laptops of those size tend to dominate the market. Far rarer are 11 inch laptops, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some great models around. If you want the best 11 inch laptop, you should keep your expectations in check. Specs and features aren’t going to be able to compete with a larger laptop in general, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth your time. We’ll focus our guide to specs and features on the limitations you should expect when shopping for an 11 inch laptop.
A smaller form factor means that there’s less space for internals, and that’s going to have an impact on practically all the specs. But where that lack of space really hits hard is with the central processor. As the brain of laptops, the central processor is the most important piece of hardware.
As far as most 11 inch laptops are concerned, you can usually expect an Intel Celeron processor, which represents Intel’s low end central processors. Once you start to approach the higher price points for the best 11 inch laptops, you’ll start to see Intel Core series processors. If fast performance is a top concern for you, look for models in the Core series.
If you’re looking to do photo and video editing or gaming, we’d definitely say the graphics processor should be a top consideration. But when shopping even for the best 11 inch laptops, you shouldn’t be expecting to play much more than mobile or indie games. For the sake of space and budget, every 11 inch laptop tends to use an Intel HD graphics card. That means they have to share RAM with the central processor. Settling for an Intel HD card is just a sacrifice you’ll have to make for the advantages that come with an 11 inch laptop.
The most popular choice of operating system for an 11 inch laptop is Chrome OS. That’s a natural choice. Chrome OS is a purely cloud based platform, and that means a much lighter load on your central processor. Since producing an 11 inch laptop means making sacrifices in terms of specs, Chrome OS can provide the extra boost that can make all the difference.
The main disadvantage of Chrome, though, is that it’s a very closed environment. There isn’t a whole lot of customization available; and for those that want more control over how their 11 .6-inch laptop works, a laptop that runs Windows 10 or Mac OS is going to be your top choice. The former are pretty readily available. The latter, less so. The only laptop on our list that runs on Mac OS is the Macbook Air.
There is a third option. Linux requires a bit more technical expertise, but it allows a level of personal customization, great security, and speeds. It’s also completely free and can be booted from a thumb drive. It’s not going to be for everyone, but those with the will to push forward might find it to be the best choice for an 11 inch laptop.
One of the best advantages of smaller laptops is that you can take them with you when you travel. But if you’re going to be out and about with your laptop, the battery is going to be a big deal. Fortunately, the smaller size and less powerful specs that come in 11 inch laptops means that they use significantly less power than larger laptops. You can generally look forward to a battery life of around 10 hours or more with 11.6 inch laptops.
You shouldn’t get an 11.6-inch laptop expecting to be streaming the latest streaming video at 4K resolution, but for most users, a 4K resolution isn’t going to be necessary. The smaller 11.6-inch screen means that there’s diminishing returns the more megapixels you pack in. Most 11.6-inch displays are going to promise a resolution of 1366 x 768. That’s significantly less than Full HD resolution but still better than the prior high definition standard of 720p.
Many 11.6 inch displays will also come with anti-glare and anti-reflective coatings. If you plan on traveling a lot with your laptop, this might be worth the investment. These screens make it much easier to read from the screen even in brightly lit environments.
Random Access Memory, generally shortened to RAM, is always an important consideration when shopping for a laptop because it can really help your computer processor work at its best. RAM is no less important for 11.6 inch computers, but the amount of RAM you have access to will be a bit more limited.
For most laptops we recommend on HotRate, a RAM of 4 GB is the bare minimum we suggest for readers. But in the world of the 11.6 inch computer, it’s likely all you’re going to get. But that’s not such a bad thing. There’s a point where more RAM isn’t going to have any noticeable effect, and that bar is pretty low for Celeron processors. Many laptops allow you to upgrade the RAM pretty easily if you decide you need a boost.
Storage capacity is another spec that takes a really hit on smaller laptops. In many cases (particularly with Chromebook models) the expectation is that you’ll be storing most of your photos, videos, and files in the cloud. Others may let you get 128 or even 256 GB solid state drives, but these are the exception more than the rule.
Fortunately, an issue with storage is even easier to fix than RAM. You can simply get a flash drive or get and SD card and use them as backup hard drives in most cases. And while it’s not the best solution, modern portable storage devices are more prevalent and reliable than ever before. We’ve already put together a guide to the best external hard drives of 2020.
If you’re looking to get a more compact laptop, form factor is likely going to be a big issue for you. And while there isn’t typically that much variance in terms of dimensions and weight, the difference of a pound can mean a big difference if you’re looking to take your computer with you on a long trip. And if you’re looking to get a smaller computer for a kid, form factor will want to be one of the best factors to pay attention to.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Best 12 Inch Laptop?
If you’re looking for the best raw performance, it’s hard to ignore the Apple MacBook Air. This is the laptop you want to get if you’re looking for a smaller machine that still offers some serious performance. And even not taking Apple’s high pricing into consideration, this 11.6 inch laptop is a great deal.
How Big is a 11.6 Inch Laptop Screen?
When measuring a laptop screen, the length is measured from corner to corner. So an 11.6 inch screen will sport a width of 10.11 inches and a height of 5.69 inches. All told, that accounts for a total area of 57.50 square inches for a laptop with an 11.6 inch screen.
What is the Best Laptop For Travel?
We’re in love with the HP highlighted above. You can get over 12 hours on a single charge of the battery, and this laptop is available for barely over a hundred dollars. It’s one of the best deals around, but it’s an especially great choice if you want something to travel with.
An 11″ laptop isn’t going to be the right choice for everyone, but these laptops do serve a valuable role in the space between traditional laptops and tablets. And with some of these laptops available for barely more than a hundred dollars, they’re available to just about everyone. Our guide above should fill you in on everything you should expect from hardware and features as well as some of the best 13 inch laptops on the market in 2020.