12 Best 11.6″ Laptops in 2017

There was a time when laptops were considered quite beastly. It was not uncommon for a portable PC to weigh more than a couple of textbooks and be built like a tank. They were not necessarily svelte. Well, times have changed considerably, and laptops have slimmed down along with the components inside them. While there are many sizes to choose from when shopping for a new laptop, smaller ones tend to hold a special place in consumers hearts. That means we won’t be looking at those monstrous 17-inch machines this time around.

We are going to focus on finding the best 11.6 laptop to suit your needs, and as you might suspect, there are hundreds to choose from. Whether you need something for work or a little convertible for on the go, we have you covered with 12 of the best laptops in this range.

Top Ten 11.6″ Laptops Ultimate Table

DesignNameResolutionStorageRating (1-5)
  1. Apple MacBook Air MJVM2LL/A 11.6-Inch laptop HD+ 128GB/256GB 4.6
  2. ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02 11.6″ Ruggedized and Water Resistant Design with 180 Degree HD+ 32GB 4.4
  3. 2017 Premium High Performance Samsung 11.6-inch Chromebook HD+ 16GB 4.4
  4. 2017 New Premium Edition Lenovo N22 11.6-inch High Performance Laptop Notebook HD+ 32GB 4.3
  5. ASUS C201PA-DS02 11.6 inch Chromebook HD+ 16GB 4.2
6. Acer Chromebook CB3-131-C3SZ 11.6-Inch Laptop HD+ 16GB 4.1
7. ASUS E200HA Portable Lightweight 11.6-inch Intel Quad-Core Laptop HD+ 32GB 3.9
8. Dell Inspiron i3000-10099SLV 11.6 Inch Touchscreen 2-in-1 Laptop FHD Varies 3.6
  9. 2017 Hp X360 11.6″ 2-in-1 Convertible Premium HD Laptop HD+ 32GB 3.6
  10. 2017 Lenovo 110s Premium Built High Performance 11.6 inch HD Laptop HD+ 32GB 3.6
  11. Lenovo Thinkpad Flagship High Performance 11.6″ HD Laptop PC HD+ 128GB 3.5
  12. 2017 Dell Inspiron 11.6″ Touchscreen 2 in 1 Laptop PC HD+ 32GB 3.3

Buying Tips

These laptops may be small, but many are just as powerful as the big boys. You don’t have to compromise when downsizing, but you should keep a few things in mind before you buy.

Resolution

When you decide to purchase a smaller laptop, there are going to be a few drawbacks. They do not tend to be quite as powerful as their larger brethren due to space constraints. The displays are also small, but that can actually be an unexpected perk depending on the resolution since those pixels won’t be stretched out as much as they would on a larger panel.

For our list, we are going to focus on three types of resolution with HD, HD+ and FHD.

  1. HD+ – Most machines will have a resolution on our list will have a resolution of HD+ which may be new to some.
  2. HD – Regular old HD is a resolution of 1,280 x 720, so HD+ is “slightly” higher than that. It is a step down from FHD as well.
  3. FHD – FHD has a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080, which is the standard for many TVs and smartphones around the globe, and something your eyes will be used to.

The Guts

Under the hood, the main two components that drive your laptop are the processor and memory.

  • Processor – You won’t get much done without a decent processor but wrapping your head around them can be tricky for newcomers. These can range wildly from AMD processors to Intel chips or mobile-based SoC’s although Intel’s are the most common and run from the i3 to the top-tier i7 processor. Luckily for you, the majority of the picks on our list of the are of the Intel variety.

To keep things simple, check the clock speed and amount of cores on the chip. Dual-core is not going to cut it for any real gaming but will work fine for light use while quad-core and octa-core are the next steps up. In a nutshell, the cores combined with clock speed equate to power.

  • RAM – As for the RAM or memory, think of it like resolution, the more the better. 4GB is on the low end to standard depending on your usage while 8GB and up will handle most tasks with ease when combined with a quick chip. Storage capacity or Gigabytes are important as well although you simply need to follow the bigger, the better trend when it comes to GB’s.

Extras

Once you figure out what you want under the hood and from your display, it’s time to think about those extras. In this 11.6-inch range, those would include things like touchscreen displays, USB Type-C ports, and options like backlit keyboards. Do you plan on using your laptop in the sun or rooms with lots of glare? If so, a matte display can be your new best friend. Think about your needs and what you can’t live without and your buying decision should become simple.

Top 5 Best 11.6″ Laptop Reviews

1. Apple MacBook Air MJVM2LL/A 11.6-Inch laptop

While not the fastest kid on the block, the 11.6-inch model of the MacBook Air has been a fan favorite for a couple of years now. The laptop has an 11.6-inch LED-backlit widescreen display with a resolution of 1,366 x 768. That’s referred to as HD+ on our chart, but will be sharper than usual due to the small form factor. Gaming will only be so-so however with an Intel HD Graphics 6000 chip handling the graphics capabilities.

When we peek under the hood of the MacBook Air MJVM2LL/A, we find a decent amount of horsepower due in part to the optimized Core i5 which 3MB of shared L3 cache. The 4GB of RAM gives it a nice boost as well, while the storage is listed at 128GB or 256GB depending on how much you want to spend. Both options are solid state drives, so you will get fast loading times and transfer speeds.

The MacBook Air doesn’t have the luxury of the Touch Bar found on its big brother, but the multi-touch trackpad does have full gesture support. It’s thin and light living up to its moniker measuring  11.8” x 7.56”  x 0.68” and weighs in at only 2.4 lbs. Other options to note include a couple of USB 3.0 ports, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and a battery rated at around 9 hours with light to normal usage.

2. ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02 Laptop

ASUS is responsible for some of the top selling laptops around, but the C202SA-YS02 Chromebook tends to slip under the radar due to its size. Like the rest of the machines on our best 11.6 laptop list, the Chromebook is thin and has the popular resolution known as HD+. It won’t take up much space in a bag or tote, and it can also resist spills if any liquid gets near the keyboard. It happens to the best of us.

The C202SA still gets its power from an Intel chip, but it’s not the i-series. Instead, you will get the Celeron N3060 with a 2M cache and a clock speed of up to 2.48GHz. The RAM is better than average however with 4GB of DDR3 under the hood. The OS limits you to a degree when it comes to apps or games, and the same can be said of the storage with 16GB of Flash storage. On a positive note, the battery life is great and the 180-degree hinge allows you to use it in a wide variety of positions. It’s a good little media machine and a great laptop for school use or travel.

3. Samsung Premium Performance Chromebook

The second Chromebook to grace us with its presence comes from Samsung. It’s a bit of a step down from the flexible laptop from ASUS but has similar specifications with an Intel Celeron N3050 and 16GB of storage. That said, you will get a solid state drive on this one which is a major step up over Flash storage. The 11.6-inch matte display carries a resolution of 1,366 x 768 with LED backlighting.

When it comes to memory, you will have to make due with 2GB of DDR3 SDRAM which should be more than enough for light gaming, browsing, and general use. Like to video chat? This is a great laptop for that thanks to the 720p HD webcam and its diminutive size. As for that, it is in the MacBook Air class weighing in at 2.54 lbs and measuring 11.37” x 8.04 x 0.7”. Other features to keep in mind on this one include Bluetooth 4.0, a microSD card reader, an HDMI port, and two USB ports.

4. Lenovo N22 High-Performance Laptop0

Each year manufacturers roll out new laptops, and the N22 is one of Lenovo’s first minis of the year. The 11.6-inch display will provide a sharp picture with a resolution of 1,366 x 768, and you won’t have to worry about the sun if you use this one outdoors with an anti-glare display. The same can be said for splashes and spill with a sealed touchpad and water resistant keyboard.

As mentioned, even the best 11.6 laptop from Lenovo, Apple or anyone else will have some drawbacks. That usually comes under the hood, and you will get a lopsided combo with this one. The processor is far from the fastest as it is the dual-core Intel Celeron N3050 with a clock sp0eed between 1.6GHz and 2.16GHz. It does have more RAM than most on our list however at 4GB, and the 32GB of Flash storage is nothing to scoff at either.

Even though this is a new model, you still get Bluetooth 4.0 which is a couple of step downs from what most modern smartphones have these days. It will do that job though, and the same can be said for the rest of the connectivity options including a media card reader, HDMI, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, and next-gen 802.11AC Gigabit Wi-Fi.

5. ASUS C201PA-DS02 Chromebook

If you are still with us and haven’t chosen from one of our top four picks, you may have started to notice a trend. That’s the fact that Chromebooks are extremely popular. The OS may be limited somewhat, but there is something to be said for a sleek laptop that works as advertised and does not break the bank.

The ASUS C201PA-DS02 has a processor from Rockchip under the hood. It is listed as a quad-core processor clocked at 1.8GHz which puts it on par or a step ahead of some of those Celeron chips. The rest of the pop comes from 4GB of RAM while the storage is listed at 16GB but will be speedy as it is a solid state drive. All the usual connectivity options are present on this one although it is available in more colors than the rest with Navy Blue, Pearl White and Rose Gold.