The 10 Best 11-inch Laptops - 2020 Review

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IN THIS POST

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1. Best Overall: HP ProBook X360 11

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2. Lenovo Chromebook C330

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3. Best Casual Gaming: Dell Inspiron 11 3195

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4. Best 11-inch: Apple MacBook Air

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5. Budget: Samsung Chromebook 4

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6. Best Rugged: ASUS Chromebook

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7. Best Battery: Lenovo N22

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8. Lightweight: ASUS Chromebook C223

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9. Microsoft Surface Go

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10. Acer Chromebook Spin 311

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Is an 11-inch Laptop the right Choice for You?

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Three Things an 11-inch Laptop Can Do

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Three Things an 11-inch Laptop Cannot Do

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The computing industry is locked into a never-ending arms race. Every year brings a new generation of innovation, with faster processors and larger memory.

 

The thing is, unless you are a hardcore gamer looking to run the latest titles at 60 FPS, you don’t really need all that power. Today’s budget PCs have more than sufficient specs to carry you smoothly through most casual tasks without breaking a sweat.

 

Whether it is checking emails or working on a presentation, a decent 11-inch laptop is all that you need. Small enough to be carried around your home and office easily, yet large enough to work without squinting, an 11-inch laptop is the right balance of feature and utility.

 

But which are the best 11-inch laptops? Let’s find out.

 

              HP ProBook x360 11

                            Best Overall

 

Hey, doesn’t it say 11.6 inches? You see, 11-inch laptop sounds a lot more catchy than 11.6-inch, and companies market the laptops this way. In practice, the screen size is half an inch more than 11 inches, though it doesn’t make that much of a difference.

 

Now, the HP Probook X360 11 is a 2-in1 touchscreen laptop that works surprisingly well. Unlike many other hybrid models in the market, it runs a full-fledged Windows 10 OS and is backed by a proper 128 GB SSD, not the low capacity eMMC you would usually get at this size.

 

While this does make it heavier than plain 11-inch laptops, this hybrid computer is still significantly lighter and more portable than a normal-sized laptop, while still possessing sufficient power to rival their performance.

 

Its capability to double up as a tablet is only the icing on the cake; you can carry the HP x360 around like a tablet, watching movies, and listening to music, only to settle down with a keyboard when you need to work with a document.

 

Key Features
  • Intel Core Celeron N4100 Processor
  • Intel HD Graphics 600
  • 11.6” (1366×768) Touchscreen display
Specifications
  • Screen Size: 11.6-inch
  • RAM: 4GB DDR4 RAM
  • Battery Life: 11 hours
  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Storage: 128 GB SSD
  • Weight: 4.6lbs
Pros
  • Both touch and keyboard support

  • 128GB storage

  • One of the few Windows 10 options in this category

Cons
  • Heavier than other laptops in this category

  • Lacks a stylus

  • Much pricier than simple laptops

Chromebooks have recently emerged as popular choices in the budget segment in recent years. A large number of manufacturers ranging from ASUS, Lenovo, and even Samsung, have released their own 11-inch Chromebook variants.

 

What makes Lenovo’s offering better than the competition?

 

One word. ARM.

 

You see, unlike the stripped-down versions of Intel and AMD chips that are sported by most laptops in this range, the Lenovo Chromebook C330 is powered by a specialized ARM processor from MediaTek.

 

The chip is optimized to give much better performance when running apps downloaded from the Google Playstore, which, in a hybrid laptop, are going to be most of the apps you use.

 

Apart from that, its features are comparable to any of the better 11-inch models. The Chrome OS is well known for its smooth functioning on minimal hardware, and the 4GB RAM is sufficient in this regard, even if it is DDR3, not DDR4.

 

Lenovo has also taken care to provide a variety of ports, including a high-speed USB 3.0 port, USB-C, HDMI, and a micro SD card reader.

Key Features
  • MediaTek MT8173C Processor
  • PowerVR SGX543 Graphics
  • 11.6” (1366×768) Touchscreen display
Specifications
  • Screen Size: 11.6-inch
  • RAM: 4GB DDR3
  • Battery Life10 hours
  • Operating System: Chrome OS
  • Storage: 64GB eMMC
  • Weight: 2.6lbs
Pros
  • ARM processor optimized for Google apps

  • Lightweight

  • USB 3.0 port

Cons
  • Does not support Windows 10

  • The processor performs poorly at multitasking

  • Slower DDR3 RAM

      Dell Inspiron 11 3195

                      Best Casual Gaming

 

Now, let us get one thing clear: the 11-inch category isn’t really meant for gaming. No matter how much you splurge, no laptop in this range is going to play the latest AAA titles.

 

That said, the Dell Inspiron 3195 is the closest you will get to a gaming laptop in the 11-inch variety. The games will be a little older, and less graphically taxing, but they would run, which is more than that can be said about its peers.

 

This improved performance is possible thanks to the powerful AMD A9 processor, with its Radeon R5 graphics that is vastly superior to Intel HD graphics.

 

Complementing this capable hardware is a much better keyboard layout. Most 11-inch laptops tend to stuff the keyboard with miscellaneous buttons that make it rather cramped. The Dell Inspiron 3195 offloads many keys to the side of the laptop instead, giving a much cleaner layout that helps not only in gaming but also in other keyboard intensive tasks.

 

The only drawback is that the processor is also more power-hungry, reducing the battery life to a little under 8 hours, as compared to 11 hours boasted by other ultrabooks.

Key Features
  • AMD A9-9420e Processor
  • Radeon R5 Graphics
  • 11.6” (1366×768) Touchscreen Display
Specifications
  • Screen Size: 11.6-inch
  • RAM: 4GB DDR4
  • Battery Life: 8 hours
  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Storage: 64GB eMMC
  • Weight: 4.49lbs
Pros
  • Powerful AMD A9 processor

  • Improved graphics performance

  • More expansive keyboard layout

  • Faster DDR4 RAM

Cons
  • Heavier than other 11-inch laptops

  • Less battery life than other models

  • Does not have SSD storage

        Apple MacBook Air

                       Best 11-inch Laptop

 

If you are willing to shell for it, there is no better 11-inch laptop you can get than the Apple MacBook Air. With its 4th Gen Intel Core i5 processor, this device handily beats the competition on the hardware front.

 

The only drawback is the cost; you can easily get a decent Chromebook at half its price. Still, if you are only going with an 11-inch laptop for portability, but do not want to sacrifice on performance, then this is the laptop for you.

 

It weighs only 2.48 lbs despite having a 128GB SSD instead of the eMMC usually found at this size. The Intel HD 5000 graphics are good enough for most tasks other than gaming, but then, you don’t buy an Apple device for gaming.

 

The only drawback when compared to other 11-inch models is the lack of a touchscreen since most models in this size are hybrid computers that can double up as a tablet. Having DDR4 RAM would have been nice as well, but the superior performance of the i5 processor more than makes up for it in most productivity tasks.

Key Features
  • Intel Core i5-4th Gen Processor
  • Intel HD 5000 Graphics
  • 11.6” (1366×768) LED Display
Specifications
  • Screen Size: 11.6-inch
  • RAM: 4GB DDR3 RAM
  • Battery Life: 9 hours
  • Operating System: Mac OS X
  • Storage: 128GB SDD
  • Weight: 2.48lbs
Pros
  • The most powerful processor in this size

  • High capacity SSD storage

  • Lightweight compared to other SSD models

Cons
  • Does not have a touchscreen

  • More expensive than other 11-inch laptops

  • Weaker battery support

                         Budget Pick

 

Looking through the specs, you might question why this wasn’t given a better rank. After all, it isn’t every day that you find an 11-inch laptop with DDR4 RAM coupled with a battery backup of 12.5 hours.

 

The only reason for pulling it down is the poor display quality and lack of outstanding features – while it does many things well, it cannot be called the best in any of them.

 

That being said, for the price, the Samsung Chromebook 4 is a very cost-efficient machine. The Intel Celeron processor coupled with the DDR4 RAM gives a very smooth performance, especially as it runs the lean Chrome OS instead of the bloated Windows 10.

 

The storage at 64GB is just enough for applications and documents, and the battery backup is more than sufficient to power you through the whole day.

Key Features
  • Intel Celeron N4000 Processor
  • Intel UHD 600
  • 11.6” Display
Specifications
  • Screen Size: 11.6-inch
  • RAM: 4GB DDR4
  • Battery Life: 12.5 hours
  • Operating System: Chrome OS
  • Storage: 64GB eMMC
  • Weight: 4.5lbs
Pros
  • Faster DDR4 RAM

  • 12.5 hours of battery life

  • Military-grade durability

Cons
  • Heavier than usual for this size

  • Only 64GB of eMMC storage

  • Poorer screen quality

Best Rugged

This is the laptop for all the clumsy and absent-minded people out there. Dropped your laptop? No problem. Spilled coffee all over the keyboard? We got you. Put it in with all those hard and pointy things in your bag? Don’t worry.

 

This ASUS Chromebook has been built with ruggedness in mind. Be it a plastic guard to protect from scratches or reinforced rubber to shake off bumps and nasty falls, everything about this laptop screams sturdy.

 

Special attention has been paid to the keyboard as well, with widely spaced keys for a more comfortable typing along with a spill-resistant construction to keep it going through 66cc of liquid spillovers.

 

But all these features come at the cost of the technical components of the laptop. The Intel Celeron with its HD 400 graphics is not capable of any heavy lifting and is mostly suited for casual use only.

 

This simplicity is further emphasized by the mere 32GB of eMMC storage (there is also a 16GB version, which we wouldn’t recommend at all), which is only enough for documents and core software.

 

But all said and done, the ASUS Chromebook is a solid option for a student looking for a sturdy partner for surfing the internet and completing projects.

Key Features
  • Intel Celeron N3060 Processor
  • Intel HD 400 Graphics
  • 11.6” (1366×768 Anti-Glare HD Display
Specifications
  • Screen Size: 11.6-inch
  • RAM: 4GB DDR4
  • Battery Life: 10 hours
  • Operating System: Chrome OS
  • Storage: 32GB eMMC
  • Weight: 2.65lbs
Pros
  • Spill and scratch-resistant

  • Very durable with reinforced rubber guards

  • Anti-Glare display

Cons
  • Only 32GB eMMC storage

  • Low-performance processor

  • Slow DDR3 RAM

              Lenovo N22

                       Best Battery Life

 

In a segment where battery life ranges from 8 to 10 hours at most, the Lenovo N22 offers a whopping 14 hours of power backup. This can easily last you throughout the whole day on a single charge.

 

Obviously, this makes it a good choice for those people who expect to find themselves in commute a lot or just want to spend the whole day at the coffee shop without bothering to bring along a charger.

 

Apart from the stellar battery is a pretty standard machine for this category. The Intel Celeron processor, while a little on the weaker side, is still sufficient to deal with most casual applications with ease. The anti-glare display is a nice touch, along with the 64GB storage, which is the upper end for eMMC drives.

 

The keyboard can feel a little cramped at times, however, owing to a larger number of buttons than are typical of this category. Also, if you rely on an Ethernet connection to connect your laptop to the internet, prepare to be disappointed, as this laptop only supports Wi-Fi.

Key Features
  • Intel Celeron N3050 Processor
  • Intel HD Graphics
  • 11.6” (1366×768) HD Anti-glare Display
Specifications
  • Screen Size: 11.6-inch
  • RAM: 4GB DDR3
  • Battery Life: 14 hours
  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Storage: 64GB eMMC
  • Weight: 2.8lbs
Pros
  • 14 hours of battery life

  • Anti-glare display

  • Windows 10 OS

Cons
  • Low power processor and graphics

  • Slower DDR3 RAM

  • Lacks an Ethernet port

                       Most Lightweight

 

If portability is all that you are looking for, then it doesn’t get more portable than this. The ASUS Chromebook C223 is the slimmest and most lightweight laptop in the 11-inch category, with a footprint smaller than an A4 sheet paper.

 

But that does not mean it is as fragile as one; like the ASUS C202SA, this model too is built to shrug off small bumps and impacts without damage thanks to a rubber-lined frame. The screen is also anti-glare, which is a surprise at this price point.

 

As far as specs go, it is nothing to write home about, with a simple entry-level processor and integrated graphics that can just get the job done. For a 11-inch laptop though, the hardware is sufficient, as you shouldn’t be using this device for more than surfing the internet or sending emails.

 

Its storage capacity is rather limited too, with just 32GB of eMMC memory. The battery support is good though, lasting about 10 hours during simple usage on the lowest brightness.

 

Overall, this ASUS Chromebook is an excellent entry-level laptop for a student with a tight budget, with the added bonus of being as lightweight and easy to carry as a mobile.

Key Features
  • Intel Celeron N3350 Processor
  • Intel HD 500 Graphics
  • 11.6” (1366×768) HD Anti-glare Display
Specifications
  • Screen Size: 11.6-inch
  • RAM: 4GB DDR3
  • Battery Life: 10 hours
  • Operating System: Chrome OS
  • Storage: 32GB eMMC
  • Weight: 2.2lbs
Pros
  • Lightest laptop on the market

  • Quite inexpensive

  • Rubber wrapped frame for increased durability

Cons
  • Low storage

  • Entry-level processor

  • Slower DDR3 RAM

                    Best Digital Painting

 

Okay, we cheated a little here. The Microsoft Surface Go is only 10-inches, not 11 (or 11.6, as is the case with others in this category). This is also why the device is so lightweight – taking off about 2 inches from its dimension greatly reduces the footprint.

 

But we are still going to include it in this lineup as it has a good reason for its peculiarities: it is a tablet made for digital painting. And just as an aside – if you are interested in other laptops for drawing, check out our Best Laptops for drawing Review.

 

Each of the 10 inches of the Microsoft Surface Go is composed of high-resolution PixelSense technology, with incredible touch sensitivity. To put it simply, the screen of the Surface Go is meant to be drawn and written on.

 

And yet, it is a fully functioning laptop too. With a decent Intel Pentium processor and 8GB of RAM, the laptop runs Windows 10 like a charm. And thanks to the highly crisp and sharp resolution, watching movies or playing light games on the device is an experience.

 

The only thing holding the Microsoft Surface Go back are the smaller than the standard size and a high price-tag, making it an attractive option only for those looking to dabble in digital art and perform in casual computing tasks at once.

Key Features
  • Intel Pentium Gold Processor
  • Intel UHD Graphics
  • 10” (1800×1200) HD Display
Specifications
  • Screen Size: 10-inch
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Battery Life: 9 hours
  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Storage: 128GB SSD
  • Weight: 1.15lbs
Pros
  • Highly sensitive touchscreen

  • 8GB of RAM

  • Super lightweight at just 1.15 lbs

Cons
  • Smaller than 11-inches

  • The keyboard is a bit cramped

  • Expensive for the size

                            Most Flexible

While this device has earned the last rank on our list, it is certainly not the least. With 4GB of DDR4 RAM and a sturdy Corning Gorilla glass display, the Acer Spin 311 is an excellent Chromebook for any user.

 

Its most interesting feature is the 360-degree hinge that gives a surprisingly versatile level of flexibility to the laptop, allowing it to function in four different modes.

 

Hardware-wise, it is quite decent, with a middling amount of storage, average processor, and good battery life. The only factor working against it is the price; there are a lot of Chromebooks in the market with comparable specs but a more budget-friendly price.

 

Still, if you like the idea of a convertible laptop that can be flexed about to any configuration, this 11-inch laptop might be a great choice for you.

Key Features
  • Intel Celeron N4000 Processor
  • Intel UHD 600 Graphics
  • 11.6” touchscreen Display
Specifications
  • Screen Size: 11.6-inch
  • RAM: 4GB DDR4
  • Battery Life: 10 hours
  • Operating System: Chrome OS
  • Storage: 64GB eMMC
  • Weight: 2.62lbs
Pros
  • Faster DDR4 RAM

  • Gorilla glass display

  • Flexible convertible laptop

Cons
  • Screen resolution is low

  • Only 64GB of eMMC storage

  • More expensive than other Chromebooks

Is an 11-inch Laptop the Right Choice for You?

There is a reason laptops come in so many categories and size ranges. Depending on your intended use case, you might make better use of some types than others.

11-inch laptops, for example, are meant for casual users looking for an ultra-portable computer. It cannot replace your powerful home computer that you play the latest games on or the office workhorse you use for coding.

An 11-inch laptop is your go-to for working on spreadsheets and the like, along with listening to some music or watching an occasional movie. Budget-friendly and portable, you can carry it with you in scenarios you would otherwise use your phone in; composing emails, watching videos, etc.

The screen size is an upgrade from your usual 7-inch touchscreen of a mobile device, and the addition of the keyboard helps in typing without cramping your fingers. The processor is also a definite leg-up from mobile chips, being capable of running larger applications and multitasking smoothly.

Three Things that an 11-inch Laptop Can Do

1. WEB SURFING

For bloggers researching their articles or students looking up coursework, an 11-inch laptop is perfect for their needs. Though it’s not because web surfing is a particularly lightweight activity; a browser like Google Chrome can gobble up 2-3GB of RAM, maybe even more depending on the number of open tabs.

Pick any of the laptops we have outlined, however, and web surfing is going to be a breeze. And thanks to the small screen size and light-weight, the laptop is portable enough to carry anywhere, saving you from having to spend hours squinting on the tiny screen of your mobile.

 

2. OFFICE WORK

Let’s face it. The only reason you are getting hold of an ultra-portable laptop is to be able to sit down to work in every nook and cranny of your home. In that respect, an 11-inch laptop will certainly not disappoint you.

Every application of the productivity suite – be it making a presentation or typing up a document – works without a fuss on these systems. 11-inch is just large enough to be able to work on large projects without feeling cramped for space, and the specs are sufficient to meet the demands placed by such programs.

If you are tired of tapping out emails on the tiny touch screen of your phone, then an 11-inch laptop is exactly what you need.

 

3. WATCHING VIDEOS & LISTENING TO MUSIC

While an 11-inch laptop is primarily geared toward carrying out simple productivity tasks, that does not mean you cannot have any fun with it. Every laptop we have listed above has sufficiently powerful specs to play high-definition videos without any issues, or play music.

The screen size, while smaller than most contemporary laptops, is definitely an upgrade from your mobile phone, without losing out on portability and ease of handling. You can carry your 11-inch laptop in a proper handbag, and catch a movie or two during commute.

 

Three Things that an 11-inch Laptop Cannot Do

1. GAMING

As any obsessive gamer will tell you, video games call for top-notch hardware. Getting hold of a laptop that can play the latest games without noticeable lag will set you back significantly, to say nothing of the extra screen size necessary to enjoy them.

That is why 11-inch laptops are poorly suited for gaming. Sure, you can unwind with an occasional session of pinball or solitaire, but that’s just about it.

 

The microprocessors (and the RAM) powering these machines are generally the low power versions of their usual desktop counterparts, and as such are quite limited in their performance. If you want the option of gaming on your laptop, you are better off with a 15-inch laptop with integrated graphics.

 

2. PHOTO AND VIDEO EDITING

Just like gaming, working with images and videos needs a fast processor and a powerful graphics card. In addition, large amounts of RAM (16GB or more) are needed to run most photo editing applications (like Photoshop).

It goes without saying that your humble 11-inch laptop isn’t capable of these feats. At most, you can fire up the paint program to make small edits, but anything more feature-rich will probably not function at all.

This makes 11-inch laptops a poor choice for digital artists or social media influencers who need access to high-end photo and video editing tools.

3. DATA STORAGE

If you are one of those people who spend years building up a movie library on their computer, this might not be the laptop for you. To cut down on the weight, the 11-inch category uses eMMC storage with a maximum storage of 64 GB, which is just enough for documents, software, and occasional music.

While there are variants with higher capacity SSD or even HDD drives, they are not recommended due to the extra weight that defeats the purpose of an ultraportable laptop. In case you really need more storage, you should consider going for a larger laptop instead. 

But if you are okay with all of the limitations but also great features 11-inch laptops have, then this list will have many options such as our Top Pick the HP ProBook X360 or if you’re looking to spend the least amount of money, the Samsung Chromebook 4 is a great budget pick.

 

Do you know about a great 11-inch laptop that wasn’t mentioned on our list? If so, we’d love for you to share with our audience by contacting us!

 

Happy laptop hunting!

 

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