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Best 11-inch Laptop in 2020 for Portability and Performance

laptop keyboard - best 11 inch laptop

As more of us than ever are working from home, the need for a lightweight and portable laptop is increasing. Gone are the days when bigger was better, it’s now the era of the 11-inch laptop. These smaller computers are the perfect companion for remote working, and make packing up the home office easier than ever. If you’re ready – after several months of home working – to trade in your bulky, old laptop for a smaller, more portable model, you’ll want to know which is the best 11-inch laptop, right? And, you might even wonder, whether choosing a smaller laptop means compromising on features, spec, and performance?

Well, that’s where we come in.

We’ve found the 7 best 11-inch laptops on the market right now. And, we’ve reviewed each one, based on performance, storage, speed, and price range. We’ve also given you a help-to-buy guide, so you know what to look for in an 11-inch laptop, and what you can expect from a model of this size.

Are you ready to upgrade and downsize? Well, let’s get going!

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Person using laptop - best 11 inch laptop
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Buying Guide for the Best 11-inch Laptop

When it comes to finding the best 11-inch laptop, you’ll first need to know what to look for in terms of speed, storage, and performance. Much of this will be down to personal preference, and what exactly you’ll be using the laptop for.

Now you know a bit more about what to expect from the best 11-inch laptop, let’s take a closer look at our top 7 models!

 

Top 7 Best 11 Inch Laptops 2020: Ultraportable & Lightweight

We’ve chosen the following 7 models to review as the best 11-inch laptops on the market right now:

  • ASUS Chromebook C223
  • HP Stream 11
  • Lenovo IdeaPad 3
  • ASUS Vivobook E203
  • Dell Inspiron 11 3000 Chromebook
  • Acer Chromebook Spin 311
  • Lenovo IdeaPad Flex Chromebook

 

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ASUS Chromebook C223

The first laptop we’ll review is the ASUS Chromebook C223. This is an incredibly lightweight and compact device, with an 11.6-inch screen and weighing less than 1KG in total. It’s actually slimmer than any other 11.6-inch Chromebook and smaller than an A4 piece of paper. In fact, we reckon you’d hardly notice this in your bag!

The processor in this laptop is Intel Dual-Core Celeron, which promises speed, and excellent performance both when online and using the pre-loaded Chrome apps. This is a definite bonus in our eyes. Some smaller sized laptops are lacking in terms of high-speed processors. This certainly isn’t the case for the ASUS Chromebook, so you can breeze through your workload easily.

This incredibly lightweight laptop is also equipped with 4GB RAM, the minimum you can expect from a laptop these days. This might not sound like a lot, particularly in comparison to high-end, larger laptop models. However, this is still a decent amount of RAM, and will still ensure your laptop performs at more than a reasonable speed. In terms of storage, this laptop comes with 32GB eMMC which is a decent amount for the price. If looking for more, you can always buy an external hard drive to store work, images, and other important files, without slowing down your device.

In terms of battery life, this ASUS model is extremely efficient. You can expect up to 10-hours battery life on full-charge, so no need to worry about being caught short of battery during the working day!

The display might be smaller on the 11.6-inch screen, but it is by no means worse off for it. With extra-slim bezels and anti-glare, the display on this screen gives a crisp, clear, and vibrant picture. Impressive for such a small and compact Chromebook.

Additional features on this portable laptop include an HD front-camera and ergonomic design keyboard. Not only that, but the keyboard is also spill-resistant giving you peace of mind over any accidental morning coffee splashes!

  • 4GB RAM
  • Intel Dual-Core Celeron Processor 2 ghz – 2.4 ghz
  • Ergonomic, spill-resistant keyboard
  • Up to 10-hour battery life

Overview
We’re impressed with the ASUS Chromebook C223, and think it is a strong contender for the best 11-inch laptop on the market right now. In terms of the price range, this is certainly on the lower end, but by no means lower in performance or quality. Would we recommend it? Definitely!

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HP Stream 11

Whether you want the best 11-inch laptop for work, school, or general day-to-day use, the HP Stream 11 is a tough contender.

Built with an Intel Celeron processor, this lightweight, slimline laptop performs extremely well. Especially when you take into consideration the surprisingly low price-tag on this model. Also included in the current price (correct at the time of writing), is also a 1-year subscription of Microsoft 365. This really is an excellent choice for anybody looking for a compact work laptop or a Windows device suited for schoolwork and studies.

When it comes to built-in storage, the HP Stream is lacking slightly. With only 2GB RAM, this laptop relies on the boost of an SD card. This is a shame, as the device offers so much in terms of features and additional packages. However, even if you fork out the extra cost of an SD card, this laptop still works out far cheaper than other 11-inch models on the market. So, it’s really down to personal preference as to whether you mind using an external memory card as opposed to built-in.

It’s worth noting here, that another package included with this laptop at current, is 1TB of OneDrive memory. So, if you’re looking for a laptop right now, this is certainly another selling point. However, you will need to check the small print as to what happens at the end of the 12 months when your free OneDrive subscription ends.

Additional features on this slimline laptop include two front-facing speakers and HP webcam. So, fully equipped for those all-important Team meetings when you’re working from home. The battery life on this little laptop is also impressive. You can expect up to 13-hours on a full charge, so more than enough for a couple of days work without plugging in – not bad!

In terms of design, we can’t fault the HP Stream 11. It has a brushed effect across the casing, and sleek, smooth curves, which really does give this lower-budget laptop an expensive finish and feel.

  • Intel Celeron Processor
  • 2GB RAM + SD card capacity
  • 1 year 1TB OneDrive storage + Microsoft 365 subscriptions included in the cost
  • Up to 13-hour battery life

Overview
In comparison to more expensive models, the HP Stream 11 might feel a little simple. It doesn’t have the bells and whistles that other models have, and it relies quite heavily on external memory. However, it really is an absolute bargain for the price. And, if you use your laptop for mainly admin tasks or schoolwork, the HP Stream 11 will get the job done fast.

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Lenovo IdeaPad 3

A flexible and convertible option in the running for the best 11-inch laptop is the Lenovo IdeaPad 3. This handy Chromebook is far from simple in terms of functionality which makes it a popular choice on our list.

With an Intel Celeron Processor and 4GB RAM, the internal workings of this laptop are much like other models on our list. But what makes the Lenovo IdeaPad stand out is the additional 32GB eMMC built-in flash storage. It gives this device the edge in terms of performance and guarantees a faster response time when it comes to boot-up and the smooth running of Chrome OS applications. You also get built-in anti-virus protection, so your device is protected straight out of the box.

The design of this model is fairly simple in looks – but that’s all. With a matt-black finish, the look is understated, but that’s before you see that this laptop folds out entirely to be used in multiple different convenient positions. It’s this feature that makes the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 a popular choice for those working in creative fields. Plus, it is perfect for collaborating and sharing screens.

One of the additional features we enjoy about the Lenovo IdeaPad is the high definition 11-inch screen. The resolution is clear and vibrant, even on smaller screen size. This model also gives out HD audio from two stereo speakers, so expect crystal clear sound too.

If we were to say anything about the Lenovo IdeaPad that we felt was lacking, it would have to be the ports. Whilst this model does come with 2 USB ports, which we can’t knock, it has no HDMI. Whilst this might not be crucial for everyone, those using this laptop for work might think otherwise. An HDMI port is now considered a basic addition on a laptop, and it’s a shame the Lenovo doesn’t offer it.

  • Intel Celeron Processor
  • 4GB RAM + 32GB eMMC
  • Flexible Screen
  • Up to 10-hours battery life

Overview
There is much to be said for the Lenovo Ideapad, and it is certainly the best 11-inch laptop if you need a device that offers a more versatile way of working. In terms of technology, we like the additional 32GB of built-in flash storage. This guarantees a better performance and will keep your laptop running at a decent speed.

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ASUS Vivobook E203

Another popular ASUS model that makes it onto our list of best 11-inch laptops is the ASUS Vivobook E203. This compact laptop holds far more than it looks, and might be the most stylish on our list.

What attracts us most to the ASUS Vivobook is the storage potential in such a small device. ASUS knew, when designing this model with 4GB RAM, that it would have competitor models out-performing it. Now, 4GB is by no means too little random access memory for a laptop. Plenty of laptops run efficiently with 4GB RAM, but the higher the RAM the better the performance. Of course, additional storage would take the pressure away from the RAM – and that’s exactly what ASUS did.

Yes, a bonus feature of this laptop, is the added 64GB eMMC (built-in multimedia card storage), plus 500GB of free web storage. This is a nice addition in a laptop that, at the time of writing, comes in under £200. It will also mean the performance rates higher than models of a similar spec.

The processor on the ASUS Vivobook is Intel Celeron, similar to other models on our list. This ASUS model also comes with Windows 10 preinstalled and has Microsoft 365 included too. Again, these two features alone make this a good choice of work laptop. Plus, it’s ready to go right out of the box.

Additional features on the ASUS Vivobook E203 that are worth mentioning are Bluetooth connectivity, plus long battery life of 10-hours from a full charge.

Of course, we did say this ASUS model is also one of the more on our list, and we weren’t lying. This laptop is extremely slim, lightweight, and comes with a subtle geometric pattern on the clamshell lid – nice!

  • Intel Celeron Processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB eMMC + 500GB free online storage
  • Microsoft 365 included

Overview
We’re really impressed with the ASUS Vivobook E203, and think it might be high up there for the winner of the best 11-inch laptop! Why? Well, the additional storage is a huge factor, plus the addition of Microsoft 365 makes this laptop extremely good value for money.

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Dell Inspiron 11 3000 Chromebook

This nifty little model by Dell is fast becoming a popular choice in the fight for the best 11-inch laptop – and for good reason too.

The Dell Inspiron 11 3000 Chromebook is built to last – and aimed at those looking for a simple laptop that is essentially child-proof. With its impact resistant lid and rounded edges, the design might sound chunky and unappealing. In actual fact, this little laptop will suffer through the worst of accidental drops, and spills (that spill-resistant keyboard will always come in handy), all whilst remaining easy on the eyes, and lightweight too.

The technology in this 11-inch laptop is, again, perfect for basic use for schoolwork or studying. Think browsing the web, creating documents, and streaming TV and music. Whilst we might be using the term ‘basic’ here, don’t be fooled into thinking this Chromebook is only capable of the bare minimum. The Intel Celeron CPU makes this a surprisingly speedy device. With instant start-up and shut-down, and the efficient running of built-in Chrome OS apps, this isn’t a sluggish laptop.

In terms of storage, the Dell Inspiron 11 3000 Chromebook comes with 4GB RAM, plus 16GB eMMC. So, plenty of internal space for saving movies, TV shows, or more importantly, work and documents.

We’re also impressed with the additional features on this model too. These include two handy USB ports, HDMI port, and anti-glare technology on the 11.6-inch display. Plus up to 10-hours battery life – not bad at all!

  • Intel Celeron Processor
  • Drop-resistant design + spill resistant keyboard
  • 4GB RAM + 16GB eMMC storage
  • Up to 10-hours battery life

Overview
Overall, we’re really impressed by this 11-inch Chromebook by Dell. It not only makes a great choice of laptop for kids with its portable size and child-proof design. It also has all the features of an extremely usable and functional device, from extra USB ports to additional internal memory. Good stuff by Dell!

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Acer Chromebook Spin 311

One of the best 11-inch laptops on our list today is the Acer Chromebook Spin 311. Whilst it is a little pricer than other models on our list, this 11-inch laptop has the ability to work as a tablet, and adapt to be the device you need through work or day-to-day life.

With a 360 degree, hinge the Acer Chromebook can fold completely in half, allowing you to use your device in the most convenient way. The 11-inch screen is a perfect tablet size, smaller than an A4 piece of paper. So, it’s not only extremely portable, but it can be used to work, study, or take notes anywhere.

In terms of other functions (although we’d say this one alone is pretty impressive), this Chromebook has concave keycaps. This provides higher accuracy when typing, reducing mistakes and providing a more comfortable user experience.

So, we know that the Acer Chromebook aces the functionality side of things, but what about the technology? Well, this Chromebook runs on Chrome OS. So you can expect a speedy start-up, and absolutely zero trouble running multiple Chrome applications, and a simple, yet effective interface system.

This Chromebook is also equipped with a powerful 2 GHz Octa-Core processor and 4GB RAM. The only downside to this model is that it has less internal storage than other models. However, with a USB C port, you can easily plug in an external hard drive or flash drive to boost your storage that bit extra.

Additional features on this extremely portable Chromebook includes Bluetooth and HDR webcam. Plus, enjoy a long battery life of 10-hours on a full charge. Unlike other popular Chromebooks, such as the Samsung Chromebook – which is currently unavailable to buy new in the UK – this model doesn’t have an HDMI port. You can use a converter, but for some, this might be an inconvenience.

  • Octa-Core Processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • Convertible 360-degree hinge
  • Up to 10-hours battery life

Overview
The convertible aspect of this Chromebook is certainly appealing and makes it a convenient device for on-the-go working. However, the lack of additional storage and HDMI port does let this device down slightly. Whilst it is still in the running for the best 11-inch laptop, we feel that the lack of additional features isn’t quite worth the 360-degree hinge. But, again, this will be down to personal preference and what you need out of your 11-inch laptop in terms of usability and functions.

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Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 3 Chromebook

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex is similar to its Acer Chromebook competitor. However, there are additional features on this model that we think makes it stand out from the rest.

Again, the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex is a 2 in 1 laptop and tablet design, combined with responsive touch-screen technology. This particular model comes with three modes; tablet for note-taking, laptop for every-day working, and tent mode for sharing. This feature is, understandably becoming more popular. We get the benefit of owning both a laptop and tablet, without committing to more than one device, and whilst storing our data all in one place.

Most people’s concerns with a laptop of this design are durability. Well, you needn’t worry about that with the Lenovo. It is solidly built, without feeling bulky. In fact, it is a surprisingly lightweight device and so portability is still a major plus-side to this particular model. The only thing we would say about the Lenovo is that whilst it doesn’t feel bulky, it does look on the chunky side. The corners of the Lenovo are quite square, unlike the smooth edges of the Acer Chromebook. It gives the Lenovo an old-fashioned look about it, despite its futuristic 360-degree function.

In terms of technology, the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex also comes with Intel Celeron Processor, Chrome OS, and 4GB RAM. This is pretty standard for an 11-inch model, but we do get a 64GB hard-disk, which gives more room for storage and will also add to the speedy performance that this device already displays. You can expect this laptop to boot-up instantly, and run multiple Chrome applications easily and efficiently too. Another bonus with Lenovo devices is that they come with anti-virus software built-in. So, you can set to work knowing that your new laptop is protected from the get-go.

One thing that the Lenovo Flex does have that impressed us, is a full menu of ports. This is obviously a must-have for those who are planning on using their 11-inch laptop for work purposes. This model, in particular, has 2 USB-C ports, an HDMI port and headphone jack. It also has Bluetooth connectivity should you need it to.

Productivity shouldn’t be an issue on this device with up to 10-hours battery life on a full charge, even when using the converted modes.

  • Intel Celeron Processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • Convertible 360 hinges + touchscreen
  • 2x USB + HMDI port

Overview
We don’t love the look of the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex as much as other laptops on our list. But having said that, this model certainly makes up for it in terms of technology. With a speedy processor and plenty of internal storage, this is still one of the best 11-inch laptops on the market. We also love that this flexible model comes with an HDMI port – a must-have feature on our eyes.

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Person using laptop
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What’s the best 11-inch Laptop?

Of the seven models we reviewed, the best 11-inch laptop has to be the ASUS Vivobook E203. This model is extremely good value for money when you consider the technology and features it holds. We’re talking about Microsoft 365 being included in its current price. Plus the additional 64GB eMMC which will drastically improve its speed and performance. Particularly in comparison to other models with similar specs and in a similar price range. Not only that, but this laptop looks, and feels far more expensive than it is. And we all know that a quality feel is important when it comes to buying new technology!

Of course, one laptop that always comes up when discussing the best smaller-size laptops is the Apple Macbook Air. Unfortunately, this model is now discontinued, but it was potentially one of the most popular 11-inch laptops on the market up until last year. This model came with an unprecedented 128GB memory on it – far more than most Windows models on the market today. It also ran at high speeds despite it’s extremely slim, and lightweight design. The Macbook Air is still a popular model in terms of laptops. However, they come in at a minimum of 13-inches – and cost far more than any of the devices we’ve reviewed in this article.

 

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Which is the best basic laptop?

The best basic laptop, if you’re looking for a model that will suffice for children, or for schoolwork, has to be the Dell Chromebook 11 3000. As we’ve said earlier in the article, this laptop couldn’t be more childproof, with a drop-resistant design and spill-proof keyboard. Having said that, it still offers numerous features that make it a fully-functional and well-performing laptop. At the time of writing, the Dell Chromebook 11 3000 is coming in at well under £200, which is an absolute steal for a device with these specs.

Slim laptop side profile - best 11 inch laptop
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If you’re looking for the best basic laptop for work or studies – something a little more stylish and a little less child-friendly, we’d still recommend the ASUS Vivo E203.

What is the Standard Size of a Laptop Screen?

The standard size of a laptop screen is between 13-15-inches on average. However, the 11-inch screen is slowly becoming more popular due to its portability. Plus the fact that you can, if necessary, pop a laptop of this size straight into your bag. As more of us rely on remote working, a portable laptop is a complete benefit. Particularly as smaller models now come with the same HD resolution and storage as larger models.

To Conclude

As always, new technology is always being brought out, which can make committing to a laptop a tough choice to make! The models we have listed here today are the best on the market at current and offer the features and functions that we consider to be the most useful and beneficial to you as the user.

We hope that this article has helped you choose the best 11-inch laptop, and given you some insight as to what to consider whilst shopping around.

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FAQ

There are certain basic specifications you can expect from a laptop of this size, and these include:

Memory or RAM

When you look at buying a laptop of any size, you want to consider the size of the memory – also known as RAM. This stands for ‘Random Access Memory’ and is responsible for all the processes that your laptop carries out when in use. As a general rule, the higher the ram, the faster your laptop can complete the processes. Which, of course, leads to a better overall performance from your device. When looking for the best 11-inch laptop, we recommend looking for a model with 4GB RAM at the minimum.

In an ideal world, you want to look for a device that has around 8GB RAM. However, many smaller laptops come with around 4GB RAM – even the best 11-inch laptop. This is largely due to the fact that smaller devices are built for smaller tasks, and are generally not required to perform in the same way as a larger laptop or PC.

CPU (Central Processing Unit)

If you’re looking for the best 11-inch laptop, you want to make sure you’re looking for a processor that is Intel Celeron. This will be the most common CPU in a smaller laptop as it is reliable but extremely affordable. Occasionally, some models will have Intel Core CPUS’s, although this is more common larger, or high-end laptops.

Man using small laptop - best 11 inch laptop
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The CPU is responsible for the performance and works with the RAM to compute the data and complete the actions on your laptop when in use. It’s fair to say that if you spend a lot of money on a laptop, it will have a better processor. An example of this would be the Macbook Air which is an extremely high-performing laptop with an Intel Core i5 processor, but that comes at a much higher cost than other 11-inch laptops on the market.

 

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Storage or Hard Drive

In general, smaller laptops such as the 11-inch models we’re looking at in this article will have a smaller amount of storage. Of course, the higher the storage on your laptop, the more files, music, photos, and data you can store on it. Most models come with built-in storage using SSD, or quite often eMMC, which are essentially memory cards within the components of your device. When looking for the best 11-inch laptop, we recommend looking for storage of around 32GB. You might be able to get 64GB on some of the higher-end models, but you can expect to pay more if so.

Nowadays, however, storage isn’t only built-in. If you have a laptop with smaller storage, you can increase that by using OneDrive, external hard drives, or even flash drives. This is actually extremely beneficial, because the more data you store on your laptop, the more you can slow it down. So, taking advantage of online storage such as OneDrive, or the Cloud is sometimes the best – and most secure – way to save your data and files.

Woman using USB port on laptop
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Connections & Ports

When buying an 11-inch laptop – or any size for that matter – you want to consider the connectivity options and ports. We recommend choosing a model that has a least one USB 3.0 port. All this means is that your device will be compatible with almost all other devices.  This includes charging cables and flash drives, which are a must-have for most people.

We also recommend, where possible to choose a laptop with an HDMI port, if you’re looking to hook it up to the TV, or games console. An HMDI port is generally a standard for most devices now, but don’t assume every model will have it as unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

Other useful connections are SD card slots – a chance to increase the memory on your device again if necessary – and headphone jack.

In terms of connectivity, it goes without saying that the best 11-inch laptop will be Wi-Fi compatible. We say aim for Wi-Fi 5 which ensures a decent and stable connection. You might also want to look for Bluetooth connectivity if you aim to connect your laptop to Smart Home devices such as Amazon Alexa.

 

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Battery Life

Perhaps one of the most crucial factors to consider when looking for the best 11-inch laptop is battery life. If you’re going to be using your laptop running on battery for work or studying for the full day, we recommend looking for a battery life of up to 10-hours where possible. This gives you some wiggle room when it comes to using high-power programs such as watching videos, or live streams without leaving yourself out of power.

Frustrated laptop user
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Luckily, battery life is generally less of an issue on 11-inch laptops. This is due to the fact that the screens are smaller, which means they tend to use less power. But, again, its good to consider what you will be using your laptop for and to work out how much power you’ll get through if you’re using it out and about. If you purchase a convertible model with touchscreen, bare in mind this will affect how long your battery lasts day-to-day too.

Screen Resolution

Screen resolution is another factor to consider when buying an 11-inch laptop. The best models will come with UHD, for this might not be within your price range. Generally speaking, we recommend going for a 1080p, High Definition (HD), or if your budget permits, Ultra HD.

When it comes to working out screen resolution, think of it as the higher the number of pixels, the higher the resolution. This means a more vibrant, clearer image on the screen, and when watching TV shows and movies too. Whether this is an important factor or not will depend on what you use your laptop for. Anyone working in the creative industry or running apps such as Photoshop may want a higher resolution. Those using it for creating documents or studying might feel this is less important.

Speakers & Sound

When looking for the best 11-inch laptop, this is perhaps the least important factor to consider. A couple of the models we have reviewed come with HD – high definition – speakers. This isn’t always the case on smaller laptops, but hey, if you can get it then why not.

Bluetooth speaker - best 11-inch laptop
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Unless you’re committing to a high budget or looking for a laptop specifically with high-end speakers, you will generally get the same quality sound coming from most models. Of course, many of us now have wireless speakers. So, it’s easy to connect your device to a sound system to play music if necessary.

 

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