As times have moved on, laptops have become sleeker and leaner, with makers fitting in more features and greater power in lesser space.
In this era of the dominion of Ultrabooks and convertibles, small laptops are quite the rage among contemporary audiences.
Inside the compact body of small mini laptops is a world full of possibilities. Yes, you cannot expect gaming-grade steam or infinite storage options in these mini devices.
But you are certain to experience unparalleled convenience and immense portability. In this latest guide on small mini laptops 2021, let’s explore these ambitious computers that deliver more in less.
We’ll also present a list of some of the best picks in the marketplace today.
- For Whom Are Mini Laptops Designed?
- Where Can You Use Small Laptops?
- Our Picks: 10 Best Mini Laptops 2021 (1o-11 inches)
- 1. Lenovo IdeaPad 3 11 Chromebook
- 2. ASUS Laptop L210 Mini Laptop
- 3. Microsoft Surface Go 3 Small Laptop
- 4. Acer Chromebook Spin 311 Small Laptop
- 5. ASUS Chromebook CX1 Mini Laptop
- 6. Lenovo Chromebook C330 2-in-1 Mini laptop
- 7. HP Chromebook 11-inch Laptop
- 8. HP Stream 11 Small Laptop
- 9. ASUS Chromebook Detachable CM3 10-inch
- 10. Samsung Chromebook 4 11-inch Laptop
- Does it make Sense to Purchase an 11” Laptop?
- Configuration and Features: What to Expect in a Mini Laptop
- Final Words
For Whom Are Mini Laptops Designed?
When it comes to mini laptops, you cannot expect them to please one and all. Most of them come with low-powered processors (e.g., Intel Celeron) that are well-suited to everyday needs like surfing the internet or streaming Netflix but not designed for intensive tasks.
The storage options on 11-inch laptops can also get somewhat limited with few devices exceeding 64GB of storage. So, if you’re an ardent gamer looking for a gaming partner with blazing speeds and immersive screens, these laptops aren’t your cup of tea.
Likewise, if you are a creative professional with tons of photo/video editing to get through during the day, you might find these laptops lacking.
So, for whom are 11-inch laptops designed? They cater directly to students and mobile professionals who want the freedom to work from anywhere, without a massive machine bogging them down to a workstation.
They are also good picks for those scouting for budget convertibles to attend to daily computing tasks such as taking notes, watching movies, or checking e-mail.
Where Can You Use Small Laptops?
When you’re out laptop-shopping, the choices can be overwhelming. Here are some situations when your purchase decision can safely sway in favor of 8″ – 11” laptops:
- Classroom: Take notes, doodle, and work on presentations for academic or training-related projects
- Travel: An 11” laptop is compact and lightweight enough to become the ideal travel companion on public transport, airplanes, automobiles, etc.
- Mobile Workstation: Use an 11-inch laptop to share decks and documents with colleagues, read work-related papers, and keep abreast with your e-mail from outside the office premises
- A Second Laptop: Another good role for an 11” laptop is to become your second laptop for life on the go. If you have a heavy-duty, full-purpose laptop already, you can opt for this as a secondary device to take along when you are on the run
- Household: 11-inch laptops make good choices for children at home, entertainment in the form of videos and movies, and kitchen companions
Our Picks: 10 Best Mini Laptops 2021 (1o-11 inches)
Best Mini Laptop – Recommended Specs
|Processor||Intel Celeron N4000|
|Graphics||Intel Integrated Graphics|
|Memory||4GB LPDDR4 RAM|
|Display||10″ – 11.6″ HD Touchscreen|
|Weight||Under 3 lbs.|
|Battery||Up to 12 Hours|
If you do decide to buy an 11 Inch laptop, keep in mind that you are likely to be compromising on processing power and storage space. Some of these devices also have cramped keyboards and a poor screen resolution.
However, you’ll be getting yourself a versatile machine that’s affordable, lightweight, and perfect for lugging along on a busy day.
1. Lenovo IdeaPad 3 11 Chromebook
If you are on the lookout for a compact and highly portable device that can support your work through and through, the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 11 Chromebook is an option that tops the list.
The device comes pre-programmed with Google account for seamless sign-up and usage.
It is also integrated with a range of collaborative tools with G-suite.
The device is powered by the Intel Celeron N4020 Processor with Intel UHD Graphics 600 for optimal performance without any complications.
This slim and lightweight device runs on the Chrome OS that boots up in seconds and updates automatically without any complications.
Besides that, the IdeaPad 3 11 is further integrated with 64GB eMMC flash storage and 4GB RAM for the ultimate responsiveness and productivity.
It is also backed with 11.6” HD display with 768p screen resolution. The device is available in the Onyx Black color.
2. ASUS Laptop L210 Mini Laptop
Compact laptops with high functionalities are hard to find. Don’t worry though because the ASUS Laptop L210 is here to suffice all your needs.
The device is perfect for students and business professionals who are consistently on the go and need a laptop for minimal work requirements.
The device is powered by the Intel Celeron N4020 Processor with up to 2.8GHz clock speed.
As for the display, it is equipped with a compact and ultrathin 11.6” HD display with narrow bezels and 768p screen resolution for everyday usage.
Coming to the storage and memory, the ASUS L210 is integrated with 4GB RAM and 64GB eMMC storage for smoother user experience unlike anything else around.
It also runs on the Windows 10 in S mode for seamless multitasking without any interruptions. It is designed with a slim and portable design, which is 0.7” thin and weighs around 2.2 lbs.
3. Microsoft Surface Go 3 Small Laptop
Microsoft has time and time stood out with their innovative launches and Surface Go 3 is one of them. This portable, touchscreen convertible laptop is everything you need to complete your everyday tasks and other constructive work. This is a Windows 11 powered device, equipped with all the latest functionalities.
The device is powered by up to 10th Gen Intel Core i3-10100Y processor for the ultimate responsiveness. It is equipped with a 10.5” PixelSense display with 1280p screen resolution and a 10-point multi-touch display.
It also comes with the additional Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection to secure the display in case you drop it.
The Surface Go 3 is also integrated with up to 128GB SSD of storage with up to 8GB RAM for the ultimate responsiveness and seamless performance. The overall device is designed with the staple magnesium casing and the sleek and modern platinum color.
4. Acer Chromebook Spin 311 Small Laptop
A 360-degree hinge design, a lightweight chassis of 2.62lbs, and a vivid HD display with In-Plane Switching set apart the Acer Chromebook Spin 311 convertible laptop.
One of the most flexible 11” devices in the market, this one supports four modes of usage: notebook, display, tent and tablet.
Powered by an Intel Celeron N4000 CPU, 4GB RAM, and 64GB of storage, this Chromebook offers an additional 100GB of space on Google Drive.
This ensures you can comfortably stock all your important documents even though the inbuilt storage of this computer is limited. With up to ten hours of battery backup, you are good to go for most of the workday.
On the display front, things are quite promising, with an HD monitor, Corning Gorilla Glass protection, and image auto rotation. The touch display is antimicrobial too, which can be a blessing for present-day professionals who need to work in shared environments.
Related Post: The 10 Best 13-inch Laptops for 2021
5. ASUS Chromebook CX1 Mini Laptop
The ASUS Chromebook CX1 is a public favorite among students and lightweight work enthusiasts. The device comes with a transparent silver color and features a durable build like no other.
Also, the laptop is powered by the latest Intel Celeron N3350 Processor and Intel UHD graphics.
The standout feature is the fact that the device is designed with the Military grade standard MIL- STD 810H US and weighs at 2.65lbs.
The device is equipped with a 11.6” display with up to 12 hours battery life. Also, the laptop features a combination of 32GB eMMC of storage and 4GB RAM.
If you are concerned about the performance and responsiveness, the device lives up to all the standards, especially with the Chrome OS. Also, the built-in offline storage with the 12-month Google One trial safekeeps all your important files and documents.
6. Lenovo Chromebook C330 2-in-1 Mini laptop
Run by ARM processor optimized for Google apps
Lighter on both your pocket and your shoulders, the Lenovo Chromebook C330 2-in-1 convertible laptop is a good choice for an 11” laptop under $300. It weighs only 2.6lbs which makes it among the lightest on this list.
The highlight of this laptop is its MediaTek MT8173C processor—an ARM processor that’s optimized to run apps on Google Play Store. It can run up to 2.1GHz. You can find a palpable difference when you use apps on an ARM processor as opposed to, say, an Intel.
While this Chromebook offers 4GB RAM which is fairly standard for this range, it comes with 64GB of storage space. This is quite rare—not to forget, impressive—for computers in this price bucket. (The additional 100GB space on Google Drive is valid here too.) The unplugged usage you can expect from this machine is about 10 hours.
Let’s talk about the display and graphics. Things are reasonably standard with an FHD touchscreen and a resolution of 1366 x 768. That’s the resolution you can expect from most 11” laptops in the under-$300 range, but to its merit, the display still looks sharp and pleasant.
The Lenovo Chromebook C330 lags a little behind in device support. You get a single USB 3.0 port and one USB-C port (along with an HDMI and micro-SD card reader). This enables you to connect to a few devices and peripherals, but you might miss the multiple ports offered by picks like #2 if collaboration is high on your agenda.
Lenovo has swiftly carved a sound reputation in the laptop marketplace. With this 11-inch laptop, it brings to the table portability, speed, and the quintessential adaptability of the Chrome OS. It is an excellent option particularly if you are on a small budget.
|Lenovo Chromebook C330 Specs|
|Display||11-inch FHD IPS Touch|
|Operating System||Chrome OS|
|Battery Life||Up to 10 Hours|
7. HP Chromebook 11-inch Laptop
For the users who do rely on Chromebooks, you wouldn’t regret spending your coins on the HP Chromebook.
This one is hands down one of the absolute best options, both in terms of the design and the kind of output that you can expect in terms of the performance.
This lightweight and durable Chromebook from HP is everything you need for smoother performance and all-day productivity, especially when you are on the go.
The device is powered by the MediaTek – MT8183 processor with a full-sized keyboard for unmatched user experience.
It also features the integrated graphics for crisp visuals and uninterrupted performance throughout the day. You also wouldn’t have to worry about your battery life when using this device as it assured extended battery life throughout the day. The Chromebook is integrated with 32 eMMC flash storage with 4GB RAM for smoother multitasking.
8. HP Stream 11 Small Laptop
Driven by an Intel Celeron N4000 processor, 4GB RAM, 32GB of storage, and Windows 10 Home in S Mode, this is one nifty computer for day to day activities.
Moreover, this 3.67lbs laptop can run unplugged for nine hours and fifteen minutes.
HP has loaded this offering with Office 365 Personal as well as 1TB of storage on OneDrive (for one year). If you need to work in shared environments, you will particularly love the Bios recovery and protection that keeps the computer secure.
9. ASUS Chromebook Detachable CM3 10-inch
Another popular and compact Chromebook from ASUS worth including in the list is the ASUS Chromebook Detachable CM3.
This one is unlike anything else that you’d come across, especially due to the range of powerful processors and functionalities with the octa-core ARM MediaTek 8183 Processor with up to 2.0 Ghz clock speed.
This detachable laptop is further equipped with a 10.5” touchscreen display with 1200p screen resolution and 16:10 aspect ratio.
The detachable keyboard and the stand cover are included in the overall purchase. The ultimate flex of this device is how lightweight yet durable the construction is.
The ASUS Chromebook Detachable CM3 is further integrated with a 64GB eMMC storage with 4GB RAM for the ultimate user experience. It does feature a responsive touchscreen interface with stylus support. It is also integrated with Chrome OS.
10. Samsung Chromebook 4 11-inch Laptop
Chromebooks are currently dominating the market, so when it comes to listing out popular 11-inch laptops, the Samsung Chromebook 4 11-inch Laptop deserves a special place in the list.
This compact and resistant device is perfect for business and personal use, depending on the overall performance and the hands-on experience that you get.
This compact and lightweight device features the military-grade design with ultra-fast connectivity via Gigabit Wi-Fi for seamless data transfer without any interruptions in between.
Also, the device is equipped with a 11.6” display and is backed with Intel UHD graphics for crisp and clear visuals.
The device is powered by the latest Intel Celeron Processor N4020 for the ultimate responsiveness and seamless multitasking. Also, it is supported by 12.5 hours of battery life and features a Platinum Titan design.
Does it make Sense to Purchase an 11” Laptop?
Since an 11” notebook looks diminutive, it is easy to be skeptical about its functionality. How useful, really, can so tiny a computer be? Is it a wise decision to invest in one of these laptops when the marketplace is flooded with 15.6” and 17” computers?
Short answer: Yes! An 11” laptop can be very flexible and highly functional, much of its utility emanating from its lightweight build, travel-friendliness, and easy portability. Not only do these machines occupy very little space, but they can also attend to standard computing tasks on a shoestring budget ($200–$300).
Broadly speaking, an 11” computer can be useful if you are a:
- Traveler: Frequent travelers require compact laptops that don’t take up much space in their luggage. An 11” notebook fits the description to a T.
- Businessperson: If you need to frequently travel for meetings or have to work in public transport, you need a sleek notebook.
- Student: Going from one spot on the campus to another, juggling between classes and the cafeteria, and unwinding to a movie in the dorm are all possible with an 11” computer.
- Budget-watcher: Most notebooks in this bucket are affordable. You can find an excellent pick for a little more than $200.
- Average computer user: If your daily computing needs are not very intensive and involve tasks like checking your e-mail and taking notes on the word processor, you can get by just fine with an 11” computer. That way, you save both money and space in your rucksack/table!
A word of caution: you might be disappointed with an 11” laptop if you plan on intensive endeavors like Photoshop or other multimedia editing.
Since most of these machines use entry-level CPUs and have minimal RAM and storage, you will not be able to accomplish such tasks satisfactorily.
Also, the screen real estate can be a limiting factor if your primary interaction with the laptop is movie-watching, gaming, or browsing through photo albums.
In fact, stocking much multimedia content on these laptops is difficult in the first place; you will rely heavily on cloud-based storage.
Configuration and Features: What to Expect in a Mini Laptop
An 11” computer might sound as if it can offer only minimal features and a skeletal configuration. But as it turns out, many 11” laptops now offer decent specs for standard computing pursuits. While surveying your options, you should ensure that the following are in place:
- Processing power: Laptops in this space operate on processors like Intel Celeron, AMD A9, Intel X5, etc. These are not too powerful per se, but suffice for everyday pursuits like browsing the internet, working on documents, checking e-mail, or playing back multimedia content.
Additionally, look for at least 4GB RAM and 32GB of storage. You will need this to guarantee smooth day-to-day functioning without running into delays and lags. (Note: Finding SSD options in these laptops is a rarity; most of them offer traditional hard drives. This also tends to add to the bulk of the machine while depriving a discerning user of the rapid read/write speeds that an SSD can offer.)
- HD display: Most computers offer HD displays with a reasonably pleasing rendition of colors and details. Aim to get a screen resolution of at least 1366 x 768 so that you can view your content without distortion. Remember, though, your experience is unlikely to be too immersive, simply because an 11” screen has limited space in which to showcase your content.
- Battery backup: This is a critical consideration for 11” laptops. Most users desire unplugged usage from compact computers. When you carry this notebook along on travels, vacations, meetings, etc., you do not wish to be tethered to a charging station. It is straightforward to find an 11” laptop with battery backup upwards of nine hours. Some products can even run on one charge for more than 12 hours.
- Durable but lightweight construction: An important determinant of portability, the overall construction of an 11” notebook can make or break the deal. You want a sturdily built machine that can withstand the rigors of travel.
But along with this, you also want the chassis to be slim and lightweight so that you can slip the laptop into a backpack and get going. Most 11” laptops try to keep their weight in the 3–5lbs range while a thickness of 1” or less is preferred.
Also, if you can find military-grade construction that is tested against different altitudes, temperatures, vibrations, etc., you can get immense peace of mind. Some 11” notebooks also permit multi-mode usage such as tablet, tent, etc. This comes in handy for frequent travelers who need to work out of cramped airplane seats.
- Connectivity options: Since you are likely to be out and about a lot with an 11” computer, it makes sense to check the availability of USB ports and internet connections. An array of USB ports, including USB 3.1 and USB 2.0, will allow you to connect your devices and peripherals like keyboards, mice, storage devices, etc. The usual Wi-Fi standard available in modern 11” machines is 802.11ac or Gigabit Wi-Fi.
Besides the above, you can also find 11” notebooks with bonus features. For instance, some laptops offer Google Assistant to let you operate the system with voice commands, effectively speeding things up.
Some others provide high-speed Gigabit Wi-Fi to keep you connected to the internet. A few laptops in this space also offer additional storage options on cloud-based platforms.
The bottom line is that just because you are investing in a compact, budget-friendly notebook, you should not be okay with cutting too many corners.
It is possible to find a well-rounded machine that belies its price and form factor by going the extra mile for different audiences.
So, that was our go-to list of some of the best 11-inch laptops 2021 that will justify every penny you put in towards their financing. While Chromebooks evidently rule the roost, with Acer, ASUS, Lenovo, Dell and Samsung offering exemplary models, VivoBooks pose a decent alternative.
When purchasing an 11 inch laptop, it is crucial to have your priorities in place. Carefully evaluate the main functions you will demand from your computer.
For instance, you would be ill-advised to get an 11” laptop for gaming or image editing. But it would be a wonderful tool for note-taking, household-entertainment, and internet browsing. Also, consider if you need greater storage space, longer battery life, or a higher number of USB ports.
Most options will offer you similar processing power, display and graphics, and wireless connectivity.
The durability of the build also matters a great deal, for you shouldn’t splurge on a laptop that looks super stylish and weighs just about nothing but cannot withstand the vagaries of exhausting lifestyles.
A well-informed purchase decision will hold you in good stead even when the laptop is rather rugged after months of use.
So, which of these Mini laptops are you planning to bring home?