In the unending quest to make technology lighter and smaller, the laptop has shrunk in recent years to give rise to a new category; the ultraportable laptop.
Weighing as little as two pounds, these mini computers pack a whole lot of functionality into a very small area of real estate.
In this article, we uncover the 5 best 11-inch laptops on the current market with our in-depth reviews.
We also give you the 11-inch laptop answers that you need to make an educated buying decision.
Best 11 inch Laptop Overall: Lenovo Chromebook C330
The Lenovo Chromebook C330 is an extremely adaptable and lightweight device that allows you to do your work in tent, tablet, tent and stand mode.
It boots up very quickly and operates the very user-friendly Chrome operating system. It is around an inch thick and extremely lightweight.
The Chromebook 330 comes with touch screen capability. You also get a long battery life and built-in virus protection.
The Lenovo Chromebook C330 does not provide you with a very high resolution display, resulting in a rather dull view.
The overall performance of the device is not outstanding. Also, the plastic build of the C330 is not as robust as some of the other mini laptops that we reviewed.
The screen bezel is a little too large, making the screen seem smaller than it actually is.
The Lenovo Chromebook C330 represents tremendous value for money, coming in well under $300.
That makes this a very viable second computer for web browsing, watching the occasional video and doing some document creation.
This is a very small laptop, which makes it extremely easy to carry around with you. You get some pretty good connectivity options with this laptop.
You get a single USB-C 3.0 port, a USB-A 3.0 port, a full-size HDMI connection, and a DisplayPort port to allow for connection of a range of external displays. There is also a full-size SD card reader and a combination audio jack.
The touchpad is large, covering the entire screen.
However, there is no right button available. That means that you will have to use a two-finger to bring up the menu.
The two downward-facing speakers on the Lenovo Chromebook C330 deliver a pretty good, but not outstanding, quality of sound.
The Lenovo Chromebook C330 is a sharp priced ultraportable laptop.
For the money, you get a good level of performance, impressive battery life, a lot of adaptability and a lightweight, very compact design.
This is your best option for a second laptop to allow you to get your work done on the run!
Runner Up - ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02
The ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02 is a sleek, sturdy mini laptop that was designed to take the spills and knocks that come with classroom usage.
It is also an ideal laptop for busy moms who have pre-schoolers around.
The spill-resistant keyboard can withstand those inevitable accidents that could otherwise spell disaster for your computer.
The ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02 is not an overly powerful computer, so you shouldn’t look for it to do much beyond wordprocessing and internet browsing.
The ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02 is powered by a 1.6-GHz Intel Celeron N3060 processor along with 4GB of built-in RAM.
This will provide everyday functionality but will not power you through more demanding tasks such as playing games or watching long videos.
However, this computer impresses with its long battery life (up to 10 hours), sturdy build and kid-proofing features.
The ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02 has a 180-degree hinge that allows you to fully open the device. This enhances the viewing experience, especially in a classroom setting.
It also features 15 percent larger keyboard keys, along with 2mm key travel for faster processing (this compares to a standard of 3mm). Rubber frames and bumpers also enhance the ruggedness of this travel laptop.
This mini laptop features a 360-degree WIFI antenna featuring latest generation 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi. This provides for a stronger wifi reception no matter where you happen to be.
Built-in HDMI, USB ports, and an SD card reader also support sharing across multiple platforms.
The ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02 has an impressive 11.6-inch HD anti-glare display with a wide viewing angle to maximize your viewing experience.
The glossy screen finish also enhances image clarity.
The ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02 is the best mini laptop we have yet come across for a classroom application.
It is also a good choice for stay at home moms or anyone else who isn’t going to demand too much in the way of performance but who wants to keep their device safe when the kids have those unavoidable spills.
Honorable Mention: Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga
The Lenovo Yoga Thinkpad 11E delivers that rare combination of petite size and sturdy construction.
That makes it a smart choice for the user who’s device will be in for the odd knock. This mini laptop protects itself with scratch-resistant glass.
The hinges on this machine are also reinforced for extra durability.
This ultraportable laptop has been designed with what is known as a shapeshifting design. It allows for four positions: Display, Laptop, Tablet, and Tent.
The Lenovo Yoga Thinkpad 11E is not a gaming laptop.
It will only allow you to play the most basic of games. There is also no DVD drive on this laptop.
The Chromebook version of the mini laptop does not provide you with an ethernet port.
The glossy screen surface of the Thinkpad 11E makes it difficult to see under direct sunlight.
The Lenovo Yoga Thinkpad 11E notebook provides you with an Intel Celeron N4100 processor and 4GBg of memory.
This gives it an average power rating as far as mini laptops go.
The battery life on this device is a little over 7 hours.
That is not the best we have come across, but it is still pretty good for an 11-inch laptop.
The Lenovo Yoga Thinkpad 11E travel laptop has an impressively high ability to withstand heat, humidity, vibration, and dust.
The chiclet-style keys are well spaced to lessen the problem of hitting double keys.
The rounded corners and rubber bumper add to the robustness of this mini laptop.
There are two Thinkpad 11E versions.
The Windows version provides you with an additional Gigabit-Ethernet port. However, the Chromebook version does not come with an ethernet port at all. The display on this device is 11.6 inches.
The resolution is 1366×768 pixels.
You get a good level of brightness on both models, but the contrast and black value are better on the Chromebook version. The IPS display ensures that you will be able to view the screen from any angle.
The hard drive on this mini laptop is from Toshiba and has a capacity of 500 GB that runs with 7,200 revolutions per minute. This is impressive, being about 25 percent faster than a 5,400 rpm hard drive.
The Lenovo Yoga travel laptop is the most robust of the mini laptops that we have reviewed.
In terms of performance, it is pretty standard, providing a decent level of functionality, but with no standout performance features.
However, if you need a device that’s as rugged as you are, then the Lenovo Yoga is the model for you.
Honorable Mention: HP Stream Laptop
The HP Stream 11 Laptop is a very impressive mini laptop that is available at what can only be described as a ridiculously low price point.
For less than two hundred dollars, you get a very impressive battery life along with pretty decent speed, performance, and functionality.
The display on the HP Stream 11 is not very good, being rather dull and washed out.
The webcam on this travel laptop is also not very good.
Powering the HP Stream 11 is an Intel Celeron N4000 processor, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of eMMC storage and an Intel UHD 600 GPU.
This gives a decent but not overly impressive performance capacity. However, for the money that you pay, it gives you more than you would expect.
The HP Stream 11 is very lightweight and compact. It weighs in at just 2.5 pounds, with dimensions of 11.8 x 8.1 x 0.7 inches.
The HP Stream 11 provides you with all the ports you need for connectivity including a security lock slot, one USB 2.0 port, and a headphone jack on the left.
On the right, there is a microSD card slot, one USB 3.1 port, and an HDMI port. The only thing that is missing is a USB-Type C port.
This laptop provides you with a 3.7 x 2.1-inch touchpad. This is rather small, but the touchpad is soft and responsive. The battery life on this model hads been tested to average at 9 hours and 19 minutes. This is very impressive, being more than some laptops that cost four times the money!
The HP Stream 11 does a good job of dissipating heat.
The HP Stream 11 is a remarkably low priced ultraportable laptop that still delivers a very decent level of performance.
For the money, the battery life is outstanding.
The two major negatives of this device are a washed out screen and the poor performing webcam.
However if those features are not an issue for you, then this little beauty is a terrific investment.
Lenovo 11.6" HD IPS Touchscreen 2-in-1 Chromebook
The Lenovo 11.6″ HD IPS Touchscreen 2-in-1 Chromebook is an impressive budget priced mini laptop that comes with some impressive features.
These include an energy-efficient LED backlight and some pretty decent performance specs.
You get a MediaTek MT8173C Quadcore Centraal Processing Unit that delivers clock speeds of 1.3 GHz, and a maximum boost speed of 2.1 GHz.
The Lenovo 11.6″ HD IPS Touchscreen 2-in-1 Chromebook has a very compact keyboard that can be difficult to get used to.
More than one user has also reported that some of the keys stopped responding after just a few months of use.
The Blizzard White convertible design of the Lenovo 11.6″ HD IPS Touchscreen 2-in-1 Chromebook is smart and sleek, delivering a fast, simple and secure performance.
This shapeshifter mini laptop can be configured for viewing in four positions: tent, tablet, laptop, and stand.
This laptop will handle all of your daily computing needs.
You are also able to connect to other devices by way of the available ports: USB-C, Micro SD, and USB 3.0.
The battery life on this device is rated at 10 hours, which is extremely impressive for a computer at this price range.
The Lenovo 11.6″ HD IPS Touchscreen 2-in-1 Chromebook is well priced, easy to use, comes with built-in virus protection and keeps going for longer with an impressive battery life.
Ultraportable Laptops FAQ
How much does an average 11-inch laptop weigh?
The weight of an 11-inch laptop will vary from 2.0 pounds to 4.0 pounds.
The lightest 11-inch laptop on the market is the Macbook Air 11, which comes in at just under two pounds.
Toshiba notebooks in this size range weigh between 3.0-3.5 pounds.
Can you play newer games on 11-inch laptop?
No, you probably will not be able to play newer games on an 11-ich laptop.
What the laptop makes up for in portability and convenience, it lacks in terms of firepower.
The majority of 11-inch laptops are powered by Intel Celeron or Intel Pentium processors.
These processors are extremely low powered, lacking the energy needed to power the demands of today’s high-end games.
Can you watch movies on an 11-inch laptop?
Yes, you can watch movies on an 11-inch laptop.
However, the lack of power of the CPU may cause lagging which will impact on your viewing experience.
Because of the lack of storage on an 11-inch laptop, you shouldn’t store movies on your ultra-portable laptop.
Do you really need a touch screen on your laptop?
No, you do not need a touch screen on your laptop.
This functionality comes with both advantages and disadvantages.
On the plus side, a touch screen adds a whole new level of scrolling convenience.
This can be especially beneficial for children, who find it more natural to reach out and touch than to operate through a keyboard.
On the negative side, a touchscreen will add a huge demand to your battery power. This is the case even if you don’t actually use the feature very often.
That’s because it takes a lot of extra energy simply to support the capacitive screen.
As a guide, you will lose about 25 percent of your battery power by adding a touchscreen to your laptop.
While it’s true that a touchscreen can be a handy addition to an app, there are very few, if any, apps out there where touchscreen functionality also enhances performance.
On top of that, you’ve got the finger smears on the screen to contend with.
What features are compromised on an 11-inch laptop?
A laptop is a condensed version of a PC, with less powerful componentry and all of the inner workings compressed into a small space.
The ultra-portable laptop is a condensed version of a standard laptop.
So, when you buy an 11-inch laptop you are, in effect, getting a condensed version of a condensed version.
That means that there are going to be some major compromises in comparison to either a PC or a standard laptop.
The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is going to be a lot smaller and a lot less powerful.
Many 11-inch laptops use either an Intel Celeron or an Intel Pentium processor.
You also get a lot less storage capacity than you would on either a PC or a standard laptop. The third big compromise is with regard to battery life.
What features should I look for to get the best 11-inch laptop?
The most important feature when it comes to performance on an ultra-portable laptop is the CPU. If you are after speed of processing, you will want a device that has an Intel Core i5 or Core l7 processor.
In terms of memory, try to find a model that provides you with 8 GB, though the majority will limit you to 4.
You should also look for the best graphics processor you can get. Most of them use integrated graphics, such as the HD Graphics 620 from Intel.
This will allow you to stream media and do most other things, but if you are wanting to do some serious gaming, it won’t meet your demands.
If you want to do some gaming, looking for a discrete graphics chip, such as the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070.
Your ultra-portable laptop should have a Solid State Drive (SSD). A storage capacity of 256 SSD GB is standard on 11-inch laptops.
This should be sufficient for most users.
When it comes to screen resolution, the standard resolution on mid-level 11-inch laptops is 1366 x 768.
Many people find the dual functionality of an ultra-portable laptop that flips into a tablet to be very useful, so this is a feature to look out for. The clever use of hinges and a swivel design permit you to fold the screen so that it can be used without the keyboard.
Ultraportable laptops offer an unprecedented level of portability and convenience.
And, while they will never match a standard laptop in terms of power and energy capability, the best small laptops are able to provide a decent level of functionality.
In this article, we have revealed the best compact laptops in today’s market.
The best ultraportable laptop out there right now is the Lenovo Chromebook C330.
A close runner up is the ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02.
Rounding out our top 3 best travel laptops is the Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga.
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