Even today, looking for the best 11 inch laptop with a decent performance and not many drawbacks is not that easy. One would think that with the advancement of technology and miniaturization of devices that happens every year, we should have no issues trying to land a small sized laptop comfortable enough for us to run our applications without any issues on the go.
Technology is still lacking behind and fitting performance, battery life and overall top quality on a small sized laptop is still very challenging so you’re going to have to do A LOT of research if you want a laptop comfortable enough to run your application without affecting how productive you are with it or how much you enjoy using it.
The truth is…
If you are looking for a laptop for simple web browsing and typing, you can just go ahead and purchase the first cheap notebook or Chromebook you see on the store for 200$ but you might end up with pretty bad quality keyboards, awful displays and even then some of them will start to slow down significantly when you start throwing a some multitasking.
The worst part is…
The market is still full of 11 inch laptops ranging from chromebooks, touchscreen and convertible laptops, premium laptops and some manufacturers have dozens of models just for 11 inch laptops. In other words you’re not going to have an easy time going through them to find the best deals.
The Good News is..
You need to look no further, like every post written here, I’ve included a list of the best 11 inch laptops out there along with a complete guide on how to buy or pick the best one yourself.
Top 7 Best 11 inch Laptops 2017
Whether you are looking for a 11 inch laptop with a decent keyboard for long sessions of typing, writing, coding, a touchscreen for entertainment or simple games and one for just simply reading or web browsing without issues , you should find a suitable laptop for you from this short list. I’ve included budget laptops for the most part ( there’s no point in overpaying for an 11 inch laptop ) and divide them into traditional laptops and touchscreen laptops. Just keep scrolling down until you find something that you find useful. Make sure you consider the negatives from them , none of them is perfect.
Convertible 11 inch Laptops
There’s more fun coming from convertible laptops that are 11.6” and since their quite popular the choices are astronomical. Lenovo itself has around 5 or 6 different versions of 11.6” laptops for you to choose and Dell doesn’t fall behind either. I cut it down to the most reliable and worth paying money for.
CPU: Intel Core m3-6Y30, up to 1.6 GHz Processor | RAM: 4GB DDR3L | Storage: 500GB HDD | GPU:Intel HD Graphics 515 | Display: 11.6 Inch HD (1366×768 pixels) LED-Lit Touchscreen Display $299
The Dell strikes the right balance between performance , portability and price for all of your basic computing tasks. The recent models are highly configurable too should your budget not allow to for the highest performance settings presented here.
Let’s start with the positives:
The Intel Core m3, the mobile version of the well known core i3, is one of the fastest processors 11 inch laptops today can have. Surely you can find 11 inch laptops with core i3 or even core i5 (these are much faster) but then the price will be doubled and if you’re just limited to web browsing, word editing, videos and other basic needs then there’s no need to overspend on those as you’ll get about the same performance with the core i3 mobile version for basic computing.
It also comes with 4GB RAM , a must have for those who are used to heavy multitasking without having any lagging issues or having the computer stop responding when going overboard with too many web browsing tabs. This nice addition will allow you to have a video streaming tab and a dozen other web browsing tabs while word editing at the same time with no problems.
It also offer you about the same storage capacity high end laptops of bigger size do : 500 GB . The technology however is not as fast as what most high end laptops today but if you ever think you need the latest technology( a solid state driver) to increase the overall performance, you can safely do the upgrade yourself with this model.
Lastly, both the keyboard and touchpad quality are decent. There should be no complaints when using either. The keyboard has enough travel distance for fast typing and the touchpad is responsive enough for you to safely browse around the web without any discomfort.
On the negative there are two issues with this model: the battery and the display.
Actually despite the performance ( having great storage and core i series processor) and being an energy sucking convertible touchscreen laptop , the battery life isn’t that bad: 6 hours while remaining quite portable too.
However the display isn’t great compared to other notebooks of the same size. Although the resolution is pretty much the same as any 11 inch laptop out there, nearly every department be it brightness levels or color accuracy falls around average. But unless you plan on doing some image editing with it, at that price you really couldn’t ask for more than what’s actually important for 11 inch laptops: portability and performance.
Overall the dell is a great convertible laptop giving you enough performance and portability and comfortable typing experience for the size and price it offers.
CPU: Intel Pentium processor 4405Y (2074) dual-core processor | RAM: 4GB DDR3L | Storage: 128GB solid state drive (SSD) | GPU:Intel HD Graphics 515 | Display: 11.6 inch Full HD(1920 x 1080)10-point Multi Touch IPS
For those dissapointed with the two drawbacks of the dell or most 11 inch laptops really: battery life and display. There’s an exact match that excels at both of these departments but you’ll have to pay more than just money for it.
The display is full HD, more resolution than most 11.6 inch laptops out there while also having an IPS panel. Both of these will increase the color space and brightness levels while giving you better viewing angles when using your laptop as a tablet mode. Even then it may not be as color accurate as other laptops but it does have great brightness levels far more than the average 11 inch laptop does.
On the other hand, the battery life this time will be enough to go out for the day with a single charge: 9 hours. Which is impressive despite it’s energy draining high quality touchscreen display and its weight is merely 2.36lb.
Unfortunately, the keyboard although responsive and of decent quality has a few keys have been shrinked in size so it may take up a while to get used to it. Luckily, the touchPad has no issues and performs just as good as any other laptop.
The Lenovo y710 jpwever does not give you the best processor out of this list nor one of the best around the market. Though it’s a Pentium processor generally superceded by celeron and core i3 processors, it’s speed and performance is quite good and above many celeron processors.
If you are not a heavy multitasker this should give you a decent performance with word editing and other basic tasks you may have as well as having a dozen tabs open before it starts to slow down.
However it does have a better storage technology than most 11.6 inch laptops, a solid state driver, which will increase the performance of just about any application by loading and reading files many times faster. It will also contribute to make your laptop less noisy and imp prove the battery life. Most importantly, you still get the recommended amount of ram 4GB to make sure you do not bottleneck when multitasking .
3. Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga 11E (2017)
CPU: Intel N3150 Quad-Core 1.6GHz processor (1678) | RAM: 8GB DDR3 memory | Storage: 128GB Solid State Drive | GPU:Intel HD Graphics
| Display: 11.6″ HD LED-backlit Touchscreen IPS display with 1366 x 768 resolution
Ports: 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x Combo Headphone/Mic Jack, 1 x RJ-45, 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet, 4-in-1 Media Card Reader (MMC, SD, SDHC, SDXC),
This is another premium laptop that is nearly as good as laptops of bigger size in terms of performance, connectivity and portability .
Though pretty much the same brand and type (it’s also a convertible touchscreen laptop), you get a bit better viewing experience (not full HD) due to IPS for better viewing angles and more accurate colors.
The performance might be quite tricky to evaluate. The Celeron processor shown here according to benchmark tests is not as fast as the Pentium offered by the more expensive Lenovo Y710 according to submitted benchmark tests shown on CPU Benchmark.
However being a celeron processor (which is the ideal choice for ultrabooks of this size) with a decent clock speed should pose no problems for multitasking especially due to the fact that this model doesn’t have 4GB for RAM like the most laptops here do, including the lenovo shown above or the dell, it goes up to 8GB RAM. You might be able to throw some light photo editing with no problems with it too and having far more tabs open when web browsing with it.
On top of that, it also comes with a solid state drive giving you an even better advantage and performance across all of your applications as well as improving your boot up times and how fast your applications take to start/read/load files.
If the price however seems a bit high for you, you can always buy the version that comes with 4GB RAM here save nearly a hundred bucks and do the upgrade yourself later if you see the need to.
As for the design it’s described by reviewers around the web as “military grade” due to its reinforced hinges and ruggedized built. If this is for a student or anyone constantly on the move, then this becomes a huge advantage to increase its lifespan from all the constant jostling of being on the outside all day.
The keyboard and touchpad is of decent quality as well. Keys are chiclet and well spaced for comfortable typing and the touchpad is smooth and responsive in all its functions: swipe, zoom, click and simple cursor movement.
As a bonus you get a wide array of ports compared to other options shown in the description despite not being a traditional laptop. This perk comes with the small caveat of being a little heavy for a 11.6 inch laptop: 3.5 lb compared to other premium laptops which stay below 3lb.
The only major drawback, again, is the fact that you are not getting the same speed from the processors the dell or the lenovo shown above offer but its enough to carry office users, students and your basic applications without being slowed down by performance thanks to the addition of more RAM and the SSD it comes with.
CPU:Intel Celeron N3060 Dual-Core Processor 1.6GHz | RAM: 4GB DDR3L-1600 SDRAM | Storage: 32GB eMMC flash memory | GPU:Intel HD Graphics 400| Display: Touchscreen HD LED Display (1366 x768) 243
If your budget is limited and you still want a convertible laptop without having too many drawbacks that most 11 inch laptops have convertibles, consider this model by HP.
The display remains average, still having the same resolution as almost every other 11 inch laptop and no IPS panel. Nothing to complain about for the price just yet.
However, the performance is a slower than the Lenovo shown above and doesn’t have the 8GB RAM nor the storage capacity to make up for it. It still has an SDD but this is one is used for mobile technology but nonetheless it will give you extreme fast boot up times despite its small size capacity, i’m talking about seconds to turn it on and get back to work.If you find this model too slow for you you can go ahead and do the upgrade to bump it to 8GB RAM to give you a better multitasking experience.
The storage unfortunately can’t be upgraded, very few 11inch laptops allow you to do so, but it does have an SD Card reader for you to just plug it in and make it act as your extra internal hard drive.
The keyboard and trackpad remain high quality, luckily. It’s a full size keyboard with well spaced keys, good feedback and key travel. The touchpad is smaller compared to other laptops but it does offer you with the same quality as other laptops shown here do.
On the flip side, the battery life is good but nothing to write home about: 6 hours while remaining more portable than the a few other convertibles: 3.0lb.
In summary, this is the best choice for those who still want a convertible while being on a budget. Provided you don’t multitask quite frequently the performance shouldn’t affect your productivity if you find it does an upgrade to 8GB RAM might just do the trick.
Traditional 11 inch Laptops
Traditional laptops are for the most part more affordable than convertibles. So if you are on a budget and you can deal with not having a touchscreen you can land better performance and overall quality than convertible laptops. You also get a few other benefits: longer battery life and more connectivity while being a lot cheaper for the same performance convertible offer.
5. HP Stream 11
CPU: Intel Celeron N3060 1.6GHz, dual-core Processor | RAM: 4 GB DDR3L SDRAM Memory | Storage: 32 GB eMMC | GPU:Intel HD Graphics 400
| Display: 11.6″ diagonal HD sva Anti-Glare wled-backlit (1366 x 768)
The HP is one of the most popular laptops on the market for those looking for a portable 11 inch laptop up to basic tasks without too many hiccups while being probably the most affordable option among them.
Although the performance specs are quite low you still get to play around with all of your apps for productivity and fast web browsing. Keep in mind you won’t be label to upgrade the RAM. Make sure you keep your expectations low if you are used to heavily multitask as in your desktop or bigger laptop, this is more of a productivity laptop rather than entertainment.
As mentioned before, you can deal with the low storage capacity as well by using an SD Card reader or the cloud and still get the fast boot up times of its flash storage.
The display quality is average for most 11 inch laptops out there but it’s worth mentioning it also comes with an anti glare finish to protect your eyes from reflective areas and not interrupt your work by seeing your reflection on the screen.
The keyboard remains of top quality, users report no issues typing for hours with it but the touchPad has a fuzzy functionality, it might not register correctly what you do with it, nothing an external mouse can’t fix plus you get plenty of ports with a traditional laptop like this one: x 2USB ports, HDMI port for external display, the SD Card Reader and the headphone jack.
Lastly, the battery life is a bit higher than average due to not having a touchScreen nor the fastest processor: 6-8 hours while staying very portable at 2.7 lb.
In summary despite the drawbacks, this still is a quite useful machine for productivity especially for students, office workers and those looking for entertainment with web browsing and movies and nothing else. All for the lowest price on this list. Among the 11 inch “windows” laptop community you won’t find a better deal even in 2017.
CPU: Intel Quad-Core Atom Z8350 1.44 GHz (Turbo to 1.92 GHz)| RAM: 4 GB DDR3L SDRAM | Storage: 32 GB eMMC | GPU:Intel HD Graphics 400
| Display: 11.6” 1366 x 768 pixels
Lastly, for those looking for a “windows” machine that is both portable and with an even longer battery life. The ASUS will give you what you just need as long as you can deal with the performance it offers.
It’s hard to find windows laptop near this size that offer great portability and battery life at the same time, the only way to achieve this is to cut down on performance and any other bells and whistles that some come along with. The ASUS does just that and also offers you with the lowest price for 11 inch windows laptops out there along with HP Stream.
The specifications are just about the same as the HP Stream: 32GB eMMC for storage, 4GB RAM and the same display without any extra features..
However, the processor is of the lowest technology used for ultrabooks in this size, this is what makes this laptop have both the portability and the long battery life that none of the above offer while still offering you a decent price.
You don’t have to completely disregard it because of its processor though, if you are willing to cut down your multitasking and not having several windows applications open at the same time and no more than 10 tabs when web browsing you shouldn’t have issues with it.
On the flip side you get +10 hours of battery life along with 2.2lb of weight for you to carry around everywhere and having access to it at all times. You also get the perk of having a lot of connectivity: x2 USB, Micro SD Card Reader (for increased storage), a mini HDMI (for external displays) and a headphone jack.
Overall, this configuration and price makes it extremely convenient for those who travel quiet a lot and do not plan on bringing a premium laptop around their trip, kids who do not need high end games to play around with and students and office workers on a budget who need the portability to do their assignments or their web browsing just about anywhere and anytime.
Even in 2017, the MacBook air remains the best 11 inch laptop even though it’s been discontinued.
The performance is top notch: intel core i5 and 8GB RAM and can even hold 128GB of a PCIe based SDD , the latest technology among solid state drivers to give you extremely fast boot up times and better performance across all of your applications. The battery is +9 hours and it merely weights 2.7lb.
While there are other 11 inch laptops with similar features, they are just not worth the money. They are either too heavy to carry around and have pretty bad battery lives. The air also comes with one of the best (if not the best) keyboards not only among 11 inch laptops but among all ultra-books. Plus it’s so thin it can easily fit into any bag you may have.
It’s a shame it’s been discontinued, not all is lost however. You can still get a refurbished one from amazon the advantage of buying one is the fact that you may get some warranty while using it. And if you ever get tired of it, you can always resell it online as there are hundreds around the web willing to buy one even now.
Is it worth buying a certified refurbished? My answer is yes, there’s no replacement for the Air as far as 11 inch laptops go today. Perhaps the new MacBook, however, its a bit bigger by 1 inch and lacks the number of ports the Air offers plus it’s way more expensive. Without a doubt, it would have been on the top of this list if still was available.
How To Buy The Best 11 inch Laptop
What makes buying the best 11 inch laptop difficult is the fact that the processors, the amount of RAM and storage devices used are unheard of due to the fact that most consumers are used to renowned names for processors, higher RAM and storage capacities as well as better design coming from bigger laptops. Nevertheless everything you need to know is described here.
What can you do with an 11 inch laptop?
Actually before going through the recommended specs, you should have an idea of what an 11 inch laptop is capable of. Long story short you can’t expect to do heavy video or photo editing with it, run 3D designing software or 3D games with it even though they may have SSD for storage, intel core processors,etc. Certainly you won’t find one with a dedicated graphics card either.
You should rather focus on getting the best performance for everyday tasks which include watching videos, word processing, web browsing with several tabs open, possibly light image editing, programming and anything else that doesn’t require heavy graphics.
Picking up a processor for 11 inch notebooks is the trickiest part. Why? they can have a lot of different technologies and labels you may have never seen or know about especially those designed for mobile devices and Chromebooks. It’s really hard to figure out which one is faster too. Here’s a quick rundown:
These are designed for mobile and embedded devices: cell phones, TVs or anything that consumes low power from processors. But today they have found their way to tablets and laptops and their performance and design has been improved over time. Even then, they are still the rock bottom for CPU performance. Only useful for those on an extreme budget and not dealing with intensive tasks or heavy multitasking.
The celerons are just atom processor but because of their high performance and improved technology especially designed for tablets and laptops, they are now branded as “celerons”. They produce less heat and their technology is still improving over time. They remain quite useful for devices that are targeted for those on a budget. Virtually all celerons you see will perform better than any processor labeled as “atom”. They also give you long battery lives (sine they don’t consume too much power) and their performance can sometimes be on par with entry level core series.
These are the old processors a few of us were used to in the good old days. They are pretty much the same technology as the core i5, i3, i7 we see today but without the extra functionality: hyper threading, turbo boost and any other jargon those have along their labels. They can perform just as good as celerons and sometimes even better. You should always consult a benchmark testing site to have a more accurate answer on which is faster.
Intel Core i3
This is the starting processor of the modern series we see all over the place along with the core i5, core i7. They only have two cores and do not have the “turbo boost” or “hyper threading” the higher end processors boast. Later generation can outclass the pentium and celerons in terms of performance or speed but consume too much power therefore decreasing battery life significantly.
Intel Core m3
Core m processors have the same technology as the Core i series. The M just stands for mobile which translates to lower performance (speed) and lower video quality. However unlike the core i series, these do not require a fan to function properly. As a result, they much better battery life.
What about core i5 core i7?
Don’t worry you won’t find many of them at this size and if you do battery life would be abysmal and the price not worth paying for 11 inch laptops. They consume far more power for their hefty increase in performance and not very useful for the kind of applications users run on 11 inch laptops.
Which is faster?
Here’s a quick breakdown: atom < pentium ~ celeron ~ core m3 < core i3 < core i5 < core i7
A few tips:
- Don’t be fooled by clock speeds. Even if they do have the same clock speeds, the technology itself makes a processor run better than the other. For Example a core i3 processor will generally be faster than lower end processors regardless of clock speed. Always use benchmark studies for a better comparison..
- Do not settle for pentium or atom processors unless you are on a extreme budget. Generally celeron and core m3 are both much more efficient and more useful for 11 inch laptops.
To get the best performance out of your 11 inch laptop, try your best to get one with 4GB RAM. Otherwise, 2GB RAM laptops will give you a hard time multitasking even with basic apps.
On the other hand if you plan on working with image editing apps or even video editing then a 8GB RAM laptop is a must but you are unlikely to find those these days that easily plus you would also need a higher quality processor making buying an 11inch laptop too expensive to consider.
However a laptop with 8GB RAM would be ideal anyways not only in terms of performance but it’ll also be future proof for you to dwelve into other applications later on.
Do note that some laptops come with the RAM soldered to the motherboard which means you won’t be able to upgrade them later on. Choose the one you can afford, hopefully the higher RAM laptop.
This is the most difficult decision when buying an 11inch laptop. 11 inch laptops for the most part use eMMMC as their storage device and they can only hold data up to 64GB.
However there are quite a few laptops offering far more than that : 128GB and even 500 GB. These require a different technology (SSD and HDD )making the laptop more expensive and sometimes heavier with less battery life.
How do you deal with this?
Just use a cloud storage service (if your laptop doesn’t come with one) or an external device if you ever happen to run out of storage. Alternatively, you can buy a SD Card and plug it in your laptop indefinitely as your new extra “storage device”.
Weight is highly dependent on the performance your laptop will have. The lowest end laptops with Atom Processors and 2GB RAM will generally have not only great battery lives but also be feather weight but if you value a quick and speedy workflow along with quite a lot of multitasking, then you’re definitely not going to go for that.]
Just try to strike the right balance for your purposes. Definitely avoid anything way above 3lb, it defeats the whole purpose of buying an 11 inch laptop in the first place.
The battery life of ultrabooks and 11 inch laptops generally depends on how much space available there is to fit in one, the processor & the display configurations being used.
A Core M3 processor will drain far more energy than a Pentium or Celeron (give you around 5 hours most likely). But you can always play with screen brightness levels and power modes in Windows to get a bit a more.
Just keep in mind the higher your processor speed the less the battery life it can maintain. If you stick with lower end processors then you’ll have far too much battery life to worry about configurations.
The MacBook Air which is discontinued was famous for its battery life going up beyond 10 hours and not having a lower end processor, the reason was the display , the second most energy draining feature, which was of low resolution and not as good as other laptops near its price.
Probably the biggest issue when it comes to 11 inch laptops, a full size keyboard will just not fit on one. The numerical keypad is gone but today for general typing and word editing, 11 inch laptop’s keyboard are just fine. However you still need to look out for quality and how the keys are positioned or how big each key is (they might be different as what you are used to )since manufacturers play around with its design to try and fit one in.
You are not going to find full HD 11 inch laptops that easily and cheap.The HD+ resolution most offer shouldn’t pose any problems however.
Since you will not find dedicated graphics card among 11 inch laptops, 3d games and 3d modeling and any other application that relies on high quality 3D Images are out of the question. If you do want better graphics overall you should opt for higher end CPUs they offer better quality integrated graphics cards than lower end processors, that’s all you can do about it.
If you really need quite a lot of ports, perhaps for a Camera, Videos or other external peripherals you may have then traditional latpos (not convertibles) will give you more ports than the tablets do.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please let us know in the comments below.