Is an 11-Inch Laptop Too Small? (9 Use Cases Compared)

Is an 11-Inch Laptop Too Small? (9 Use Cases Compared)

The size of a laptop plays a key role in determining the comfort, efficiency, and overall user experience.

One common question that arises while choosing a laptop is whether an 11-inch laptop is too small. 

To be fair, the suitability of an 11-inch laptop depends on individual needs and preferences. But in some cases, you must put your personal preferences aside and consider the practical requirements and limitations of the device.

Moving forward, we’ll explore 9 different use cases for an 11-inch laptop to help you make an informed decision. So let’s get into it!

Also Read Guide on 11.6 Inch vs 14 Inch Laptop (10 things to consider)

Is an 11-Inch Laptop Too Small?

An 11-inch laptop can be incompatible for some tasks while being the ideal fit for others.

Over here, we aim to explore 9 use cases to determine if an 11-Inch laptop is too small according to each scenario.

1- For College/University

11 inch laptop for College and University
11 inch laptop for College and University

An 11-inch laptop has a small display, which may not be much of a problem if you plan to use it for attending online classes, taking notes, or casual streaming only.

However, if you’re taking a course that involves design work, data analysis, coding, or extensive working on documents and spreadsheets, an 11-Inch laptop may not provide enough screen real estate for you. If your studies involve extensive typing, the compact keyboard size of an 11-inch laptop can potentially hinder your typing speed and productivity too.

But overall, an 11-Inch laptop may suit college/university students who have average computing needs and prioritize portability.

2- For Entertainment

11 inch laptop for entertainment
11 inch laptop for entertainment

While you can use an 11-Inch laptop for entertainment without any issue, the experience will not be as immersive and engaging as it should be. 

If you want to enjoy TV shows or movies to the fullest, we recommend buying a 13 or 15 inch laptop. Larger displays make it easier to appreciate the visual content in its true sense without compromising on the details of the multimedia content. 

However, one advantage of smaller laptops is their long battery life, which can make them an excellent choice for uninterrupted entertainment. So if you’re looking for a portable entertainment partner, an 11-inch laptop can be the right choice for you.

3- For Gaming

11 inch laptop for Gaming
11 inch laptop for Gaming

An 11-inch laptop is certainly not a good fit for gaming. A good gaming laptop features powerful processors and hardware, which is hard to accommodate in a compact 11-Inch device. The display of small laptops, including the 11-Inch models, provides no support for the high quality graphics of demanding titles either.

In short, an 11-Inch laptop isn’t capable of handling the demands of modern games. For smooth gameplay and better visual quality, consider getting a 15″ – 17″ laptop because an 11-Inch model may not provide the sufficient display space or processing power necessary for an immersive gaming experience

4- For Programming/Coding

11 inch laptop for programming and coding
11 inch laptop for programming and coding

While it is technically possible to code on an 11-Inch laptop, it is better to go for a larger screen. Since programming involves working with multiple windows, documents, and code editors, the screen of an 11″ laptop falls short in accommodating all of that. 

While you can solve the screen space issue by connecting an external monitor, the compact keyboard of an 11-inch laptop may feel cramped and less comfortable, especially when working for long hours. Even if you’re looking for a device that supports coding on the go, don’t settle for less than a 13″ device. 

As per our analysis, the limited screen space of an 11-inch laptop may not provide the ideal coding environment and hinder productivity instead.

5- For Photo Editing

11 inch laptop for photo editing
11 inch laptop for photo editing

A photo editing process involves working with intricate details and making fine adjustments on the images. The lack of screen space on an 11-Inch laptop hinders your ability to see the nuances in the images, makes it hard to navigate the complex interface of photo editing software, and limits efficiency. 

A larger screen, in contrast, offers better visual clarity and accuracy. Besides, it also provides a higher quality display with accurate color reproduction, which is critical for precise color calibration. Therefore, an 11-Inch laptop is not considered suitable for photo editing.

6- For Video Editing

11 inch laptop for video editing
11 inch laptop for video editing

Just like photo editing, video editing is a complex process that involves a lot of attention to detail. It requires the use of power hungry software, which 11-Inch laptops are generally not capable of handling. 

A larger screen makes it easier to work with timelines, editing panels, and detailed video previews. In contrast, the smaller screen of an 11-inch laptop may not provide the visual clarity required to accurately assess the quality, color grading, and overall composition of the footage.

If you deal with video editing frequently, go for a laptop with a larger display, preferably 15 inches or more.

The suitability of an 11-inch laptop for work or business depends on the specific workflow requirements. For some people, such as those associated with frequent travels and basic computing needs, it may be an ideal choice. 

7- For Business People

11 inch laptop for business people
11 inch laptop for business people

However, if you require extensive multitasking or work with complex spreadsheets or presentations, a larger screen size may prove a better choice for a comfortable and efficient workspace. 

All in all, the small screen size of an 11-inch laptop may be a limitation for certain business tasks, especially if you need to work with multiple windows or applications simultaneously.

8- For Music Production

11 inch laptop for music production
11 inch laptop for music production

Most music production software feature extensive interfaces with numerous controls, plugins, and visual elements, which can be difficult to control and adjust on a small screen. The small screen space doesn’t offer room to comfortably manipulate waveforms and effects either.

For detailed audio editing and efficient music production, you need a spacious workspace that provides precise control over audio editing tools and other parameters. Keeping in view these factors, we do not recommend an 11-Inch laptop for a task as complex as music production. 

9- For Travellers

11 inch laptop for travellers
11 inch laptop for travellers

If there’s a perfect laptop size choice for travellers, it’s gotta be the 11-inch models. They provide maximum portability along with an extended battery life that allows you to work or stay connected on the go.

An 11-inch laptop fits into backpacks or carry-on luggages easily, allowing you to save space for other items. In addition to its space saving nature, 11-Inch laptops are generally quite lightweight, which makes it a breeze to carry them around. 

However, at the end of the day, the suitability of an 11-inch laptop for travellers depends on individual needs and preferences. 


How big is an 11 inch laptop?

The size of a laptop typically refers to the size of its diagonal display. An 11 inch laptop measures 11 inches from one corner to another, when measured diagonally. With an 11 inch display, these laptops are small, lightweight, and made to fit into compact spaces easily. 

Are 11 inch laptops good for travellers?

Yes, 11 inch laptops are an excellent choice for travellers as they provide the most portability as compared to any other laptop size. They offer a long battery life due to their energy efficient components and are easy to maneuver and use in compact spaces, making them ideal for travellers who need to stay productive on the go.

Is 11 inches too small to work?

The suitability of an 11-inch laptop for work varies depending on the specific needs and preferences of the user. For some types of use, such as web browsing, writing, email, or basic office tasks, an 11-inch laptop works well. But for more complex tasks like coding, photo/video editing, etc., you may want to consider a larger laptop, such as those in the 13 – 15 inch range. 


When deciding on a laptop, it is important to strike a balance between the screen size, portability, performance, and ergonomic factors like keyboard comfort.

We have discussed 9 different use cases of an 11-inch laptop, comparing advantages and limitations.

But ultimately, it all comes down to evaluating the specific requirements of your work or lifestyle to make the right choice according to your needs and preferences.

About Author

About Rose Bennett

Hey, laptop enthusiasts! I'm Rose Bennett, your laptop aficionado at Hailing from the vibrant streets of New York, I infuse my articles with a blend of city flair and tech expertise. Let's navigate the laptop landscape together, where my insights become your compass. Join me in exploring the world of laptops, making informed decisions a breeze.

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