Are you an engineering student who requires a laptop not just for heavy CAD software, but also for your favorite 3D video games? Are you an accountant who works 8 hours a day using heavy software like SAP, but also loves to watch videos and TV shows during your break?
Are you a network administrator who needs a fast laptop to manage office Intranets while running various network traffic monitoring tools and optimization apps on your machine?
If you’re in a similar situation described above, then you’re probably thinking of buying a MacBook laptop. However, what if there are much better deals out there for the best 14-inch gaming laptops this year?
Also, what if you don’t know the right processor strength for your particular needs? Which graphic card is best suited for heavy computing work and gaming?
There are many more things that you need to consider before finally deciding on which laptop to buy. If you’re in such a confusing situation, then we’re here to give you a deeper insight into the best 14-inch laptop models, so you can go ahead and make an informed decision.
Okay, let’s get started, so you can buy the ideal laptop for your needs and preferences.
1. Razer Blade (Best 14-inch Gaming Laptop)
Aside from the beautiful 4K HD display that’s equipped with the Razer Blade, this 14-inch laptop can generate immense power. Its hardware components are top-notch, and its affordable price makes this machine an interesting find.
What I Like
Its 7th generation “HQ”-category processor is still a strong CPU. Its clock speed can turbo all the way up to 3.8GHz, which is sufficient for many resource-hungry office programs, media applications, and games.
Similar to the best 14-inch laptops in this list, the thin and light Razer Blade also has 16GB RAM, which can be upgraded up to 32GB.
This machine’s NVIDIA GTX 1060 is still among the most power-efficient video cards in the market today.
Its high-quality battery pack is integrated with efficient power management features, which means you can rely on the Razer Blade to provide optimum performance even with prolonged use.
What I Don’t Like
Laptops equipped with 7th Generation CPUs are getting old, especially with the release of 8th Generation models. Although it can still efficiently run many programs at the moment, it might just be a matter of time before it gets totally outdated, especially when you think about the AI applications and virtual reality games that are now hitting the market.
Some buyers claim that this model has faulty fans. Many of them specifically complained about the noise from its fans, which they noticed gets louder during heavy CPU usage. Some users also complained about the limited upgrade options that come with the Razer Blade.
Editors’ Rating: 8.5/10
If you like to live life on the go, the ASUS ZenBook Flip is just the laptop you need. It is the ideal combination of power combines with compactness. Here’s what you need to know about it.
What I like
The best part about this laptop is that it is a convertible touchscreen model which means whether you want to work on the presentation or watch a movie from your sofa on a lazy Sunday or from the recliner at the airport, you can do it with the utmost ease.
That is because you can go from a laptop mode to tent mode and to a tab mode within a matter of seconds with its 360-degree rotatable hinge.
Plus, the laptop weighs just 3.3lbs which means you will barely feel the weight of it whether you opt to carry it in your hands or in a laptop bag.
But that’s not all. It is packed with power as well and can run pretty much any software you need or multiple tabs without a hitch.
For that, the laptop is equipped with a and Intel Core i7-8565U processor which clocks at 3.4GHz making it one of the fastest processors ina 14-inch laptop.
Now team that up with a whopping 16GB RAM and the laptop allows for seamless multitasking so whether it is work or play there is no stopping you now.
Talking about playing, the laptop also supports most the gaming titles including Fortnite and PUBG since it comes with an NVIDIA GeForce MX150 with a 2GB RAM (you want to play games at the highest settings and this graphics card allows you just that with most games).
Furthermore, adding to the speed is the 512 GB PCIe SSD and since the display has an anti-glare coating, you can be at your laptop all day long without your eyes going red.
The IPS Full-HD display captures colors and brightness really well so watching movies is a surreal experience or even making presentations visually appealing becomes easy.
Lastly, even with all the power, the laptop gives you 10-11 hours of battery life which should be good enough to last an entire day but if you run out battery charging it to 60% takes a mere 49 minutes.
What I Don’t Like
The speakers of the laptop are a tad disappointing so if you are streaming Netflix or playing games you will want a good headset to make the most of the display and controls.
It can also heat up when used to full potential but nothing that should ring alarm bells.
- It comes with a powerful processor and 16GB RAM for multitasking
- The 2GB dedicated graphics card supports most games
- Recharges to 60% in just 49-minutes
- It can be converted into a tablet or used in tent mode whenever needed
- It can heat up when used for long hours
- Speakers are not that great
#3: Acer Spin 3
If you are looking for a convertible laptop on a budget, the Acer Spin 3 could be exactly what you need and is one of the newest laptops on the market (and already a best-seller).
What I like
Apart from costing you less than $1000, one of the best things about this laptop is that it also offers you the comfort of working or enjoy your favorite TV series anywhere and anytime.
That is because this is another excellent convertible laptop allowing you to use in laptop mode when working, in tent mode for movies and a tablet mode for when you would like to do away with the hassles of a mouse and a keyboard.
It also weighs about 3.7lbs and will easily fit into any backpack or laptop bag thanks to its compact and thin design which also give it an attractive finish.
Another thing I love about this laptop is that at under $1000, it delivers a power-packed performance since it has an 8th Gen i7-8565U processor. And it is pretty damn quick as it clocks at 4.6GHz making it the fastest on the list.
But processor speed alone isn’t enough. That is why the laptop also has a 16GB RAM and a 512GB SSD so your laptop will not crash even if you were to run multiple programs at once and boots instantly.
There is also a Full-HD IPS display so you can expect your movie and gaming experience to be visually engaging and you can view your movies or work all day long since it has a 12-hour battery backup.
Accompanying the good display are the decent speakers. Though I would say headsets would be still ideal in case you happen to forget them, using the speakers once in a while should be fine.
Also, if you do not want to work your fingers too much to navigate around, you also get a rechargeable stylus that can be conveniently put away into the laptop when not needed.
What I Don’t Like
First and foremost, the laptop isn’t as powerful as the ASUS Zenbook Flip especially since it only features an integrated graphics card which does not support high-end gaming.
The fan can get really loud when the laptop is in use for a long time which can be slightly annoying.
But even with those cons, since you get a convertible laptop for less than $1000, I would call it a steal.
- It is available for less than $1000
- You can use it is a tent, laptop or tablet mode
- Comes with an i7 processor and 16GB RAM
- The 512GB SSD ensures quicker boot while providing you good storage space
- It is lightweight and compact and thus easy to carry around
- The fan can get noisy when used for a longer time
- It has an integrated graphics card
#4: HP CF0014DX 2019 (For Budget Buyers)
If you are talking about laptops, HP is going to make almsot every list since it is one of the best laptop brands in 2019 and has been amongst the top 2-3 for quite a few years now.
So what makes the HP CF0014DX 2019 such a good choice except for its really low price? Let’s find out.
What I like
The best feature of this laptop is it that it is one of the very few laptops in the budget category to boast of an SSD. Yup, the laptop comes with a 128GB SSD.
Now, while this might be low on space since you will be installing your OS on it as well, it sure does pack a punch in the speed department giving you boost time HDD laptops cannot.
It also has a good i3 processor which along with the 8GB RAM can help you perform most everyday tasks with ease. This includes making presentations on MS Word and Excel, watching movies, streaming shows/sports and browsing the internet.
It also has a 1366 x 768 HD resolution backlit display and while it is no Full-HD, it sure gets the job done. Also, unlike most cheaper laptop this comes installed with Windows 10.
What I Don’t Like
On the downsides, it has an integrated graphics card and also does not have the most powerful of processors but then again don’t forget, it costs less than $400.
Also, you might run low on space since it has only 128GB so make sure you take regular backups and remove unwanted files and folders.
It is not Full-HD and also provides just 5- hours of battery backup which means you will need to carry your charger around all the time.
- Comes with a 128GB SSD that gives it excellent speed
- It will cost you less than $400
- The i3 processor and 8GB RAM are good enough for basic computing tasks
- Display and speakers are good considering it is a low costing laptop
- Poor battery life
- Lacks storage
- Not the most powerful of laptops which limits its use
- Does not have a Full-HD display
Buying Guide to Finding the Best 14-Inch Laptop
It’s important to understand what a laptop must have in order to be considered a good laptop. Let’s look at these features in detail:
Intel processor and model family
One of the toughest choices to make while buying a laptop is to decide on the processor and the model family of the laptop. However, among all the factors, the processor and its family matter the most when it comes to buying a good laptop.
When we speak of processors, the first things that come to mind are “Core i3”, “Core i5” and “Core i7”. If you do a bit more in-depth research, you might have encountered terms like “Core i5-8250U”, “Core i7-8570H” and so on. So, let’s figure out what these mean.
Core i3 CPUs generally have four cores. For more resource-hungry applications and video games, you’re recommended to focus on Core i5 and Core i7 laptops.
Most Core i5 CPUs consists of six cores and eight to twelve threads, making it far superior to Core i3 processors. The higher the number of cores and threads of a CPU, the more efficient it is at handling heavier processing tasks.
Almost all Core i5 CPUs also come with Turbo Boost and Hyper-Threading. Hyper-Threading basically creates virtual cores, which can increase processing capacity when needed. On the other hand, Turbo Boost is a feature that was developed to increase CPU clock speed when required. Both are essential if you want a laptop that seamlessly runs heavy software in parallel with resource-hungry games.
Core i7 CPUs generally have specifications similar to Core i5 processors. Many of these models usually have six cores and eight to twelve threads. However, the Turbo and clock speed capacities of Intel Core i7 processors are faster than Core i5 CPUs, but the difference is not dramatic. This simply means some Core i5 models might be more reasonable options in some instances over various i7 CPUs.
Next comes the family of a processor. In the model name of an Intel CPU, its family comes after the core specification. For example, in “Core i7-8570H”, the 8570H indicates the generation of the laptop. The first digit of the family code (“8” in this example) tells us that it belongs to the 8th generation family. Currently, we are in the 8th generation era and awaiting the 9th generation.
Generally speaking, the higher the generation of an Intel CPU, the better its processor speed, power, and capacity. With this, many of the best 14-inch laptops for heavy compute tasks and resource-hungry games are machines that are equipped with 8th generation Intel CPUs.
Moreover, the last letter in our example (“H”) represents the series of an Intel processor family. “U”-category processors are generally ill-advised for high-level use, though it’s still fast enough for moderate tasks.
“H”-category Intel processors are widely popular for high-level gaming and heavy compute tasks. These consume more battery power than other Intel CPUs, but can generally give the best performance.
These Intel CPUs are superseded by “G”-category processors, which are by far the most superior CPUs from Intel at the moment. However, as you well know, premium technology comes at a much higher price.
Lastly, processor speed matters a lot as well. Speed is usually indicated by the GHz (Gigahertz) value in the CPU model name. A good processor for heavy parallel 3D gaming and heavy compute-extensive tasks generally offers a speed of at least 3.2 GHz or higher.
When it comes to video cards, laptops differ from desktops. The reason is that most laptops come with integrated graphics. This means graphics processing and rendering capabilities are integrated into the CPU. For parallel 3D gaming and heavy computing tasks, this is a drawback since a laptop with integrated graphics won’t be able to comply with the standard requirements of such applications.
To resolve this problem, laptops with dedicated video cards are now available in the market. The best video card for laptops at the moment is the NVIDIA GTX 1080ti.
These portable gaming machines can be used to efficiently perform 3D graphics rendering, play virtual reality games, train AI models and even to mine crypto. There are other more inexpensive options, such as the GTX 1070, 1060 and lesser, which are decent when it comes to running moderate games and compute-extensive tasks.
Intel and NVIDIA’s top competitor is AMD. However, there are not too many 14-inch laptops with the latest Ryzen CPUs and Vega video card models. Units with these components are generally bigger, heavier and more expensive than its Intel and NVIDIA counterparts.
Another thing to consider is the memory capacity of a video card. This is measured in GB (Gigabytes). A laptop with a 4+GB video card is generally sufficient for office productivity and gaming. 8 to 12GB models are also available, but these cost a lot more.
RAM (Random Access Memory)
RAM is where the operating system and installed programs store data required during runtime. This is to access it faster than storing it in a hard disk or a flash drive.
It’s essential to have sufficient RAM resources, especially considering that many 3D and virtual reality games, video editing and rendering tasks, office productivity tools, other software products, and even peripheral hardware devices today require lots of RAM.
Even if you have a strong processor that’s complemented by a powerful dedicated graphics card, this won’t be enough if you have low RAM resources.
RAM is also measured in GB (Gigabytes). RAM follows a simple rule: More RAM is generally better, especially if you intend to simultaneously run lots of applications. Normally, 4+GB RAM resources are sufficient for most software products and peripheral hardware devices today, as long as you don’t run too many programs and use too many external devices all at once.
However, keep in mind that many of the latest 3D video games require at least 6GB RAM or more. Also, remember that a good laptop, in general, has four RAM module slots. This allows you to add more RAM to your laptop when required. 16GB RAM is essentially sufficient for heavier synchronous tasks.
Data Storage Capacity / ROM (Read-Only Memory)
Another essential attribute to consider in your search for the best 14-inch laptop is the data storage capacity of its hard disk drive. Many of the latest video games and office productivity tools require lots of data storage space. The most recent Windows 10 OS version also requires lots of data storage space, and that’s on top of the required space for its virtual memory or paging file system.
A 500GB hard disk is normally sufficient for general purposes. However, keep in mind that CAD applications, video rendering, image editing programs, and 3D video games require lots of disk space for its scratch disk, aside from the installation space these software products need to function properly. Also, if you intend to store lots of videos and photos in your 14-inch laptop, then you should opt for 1+TB hard disks.
Another thing to keep in mind is the speed of the hard disk. SSDs (solid-state disks) are generally faster than regular storage drives. An M2 SATA port and NVM technology are integrated into some laptops to provide blazing fast read and write speeds, which can essentially speed up your operating system and applications during runtime. A 512GB SSD is recommended if you can fit in into your budget.
As with almost any other product, the reputation and credibility of its manufacturer matter a lot when searching for the best 14-inch laptop.
You’re advised to choose manufacturers that continue to deliver high-quality products with top-notch reviews from buyers all around the world at reasonable prices. So, let’s look at some of the popular laptop brands today:
With a score of 90/100 from Laptop Magazine, they claim that Dell stands out as one of the best laptop manufacturers in the market today. If you want a high-quality 14-inch laptop, then you might want to look at the latest offers from Dell. Even if you need an affordable model, Dell produces decent laptops with good specifications at reasonable prices.
Dell laptops are known for their durable and visually appealing designs. The XPS line is a hit among many users worldwide, making it among the best ones in the market today.
Apple is a market giant when it comes to selling mobile devices, computers, and other tech gadgets. Their laptops are a testament to the quality that Apple produces. If you need a laptop with exquisite design and high-level performance, then Apple’s MacBook could probably be the right product for you.
However, keep in mind that aside from the availability of third party applications for gaming and office productivity tools, many users claim Apple laptops aren’t as good as some of the latest Windows laptops today when it comes to gaming, especially the models in this list.
HP has raised the bar by improving the quality and design of their recent laptops. The Spectre x360 is one of their finest designs to-date, which greatly helped them build their reputation as a world-class manufacturer of portable computing devices. However, most of their laptop models in the market at the moment are much bigger ones than those in this list.
There are other features in a 14-inch laptop that might not directly affect the technical performance of your operating system and applications, but nonetheless – these are still crucial factors that can greatly impact your overall experience.
One of these factors is battery life. Let’s say you have a laptop with a strong 8th generation processor, 16GB RAM, and a GTX 1080 graphic card. Such a laptop will, for obvious reasons, consume a lot of power, and will thereby require a lot of charging.
Low-quality batteries tend to break after a small amount of time, especially with consistent heavy use. Changing batteries time and again is obviously a huge burden on the user. So, don’t forget to keep an eye out for 14-inch laptops with high-quality batteries.
Another feature that matters is the weight of a 14-inch laptop. You wouldn’t want to carry around a 14-inch model that weighs as much as a 17-inch one, would you? With this, always remember that the best 14-inch laptop should also be lightweight and easy to carry around.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: Should I buy a 7th generation processor if I don’t want to spend a lot on an 8th gen model?
A: If you plan on upgrading your laptop in the next 5 years, then you can buy the 7th generation processor model. By that time, it would most likely be outdated.
Q2: Should I buy a laptop with 4GB RAM?
A: Generally, yes, but you’re advised to get the laptop model with up to 4 RAM module slots. This way, you’ll be able to add more RAM in case you need to use certain applications that require lots of RAM resources.
Q3: Should I buy a laptop with a graphics card other than the NVIDIA GTX?
A: Yes, as long as its technical specifications and power efficiency can satisfy the requirements of your applications and of course if it best suits your budget when it comes to power costs.
However, keep in mind that laptops equipped with AMD models at the moment, specifically those that can compete with the latest Intel CPUs and NVIDIA GPUs for laptops, are generally much bigger, heavier and more expensive than the 14-inch laptops in this list.
Q4: Is a laptop with a 256GB hard disk any good?
A: You might run into data storage problems later on. You’re advised to get a 14-inch laptop with at least a 500GB hard disk.
Also, keep in mind to get a model that has an SSD with around 1TB data storage space, for faster read and write processing and much bigger storage space, especially if you plan to play heavy 3D video games or run compute-heavy and resource-extensive applications for prolonged periods of time.
Q5: Is an Intel Core i5 8th generation better than Core i7 7th generation?
A: Core model doesn’t have drastic differences when it comes to the performance and power efficiency of an Intel CPU, but generation matters in more ways than one.
So, given that the rest of the specifications between a Core i5 and a Core i7 laptop model are similar, and also for future-proofing your investment – You’re recommended to choose the core i5 8th generation.
The best 14-inch laptop in this list is the MSI GS65 model. It has everything you need – From a powerful 8th generation processor to the latest video card, it has everything that you need for running resource-hungry 3D video games, virtual reality applications, heavy office productivity programs, and compute-extensive tasks. This laptop is a one-time investment, which will run any application for the next 5 years.
However, if you don’t want to spend a lot on a 14-inch laptop, then you’re advised to choose the Dell XPS 15. It’s still popular among gamers and office pros alike.
This 14-inch laptop has specifications similar to the MSI GS65, except for the video card. However, the NVIDIA GTX 1050Ti that’s bundled with this laptop is still a decent graphic card. It will be some time before it gets outdated.