The best 14-inch laptops

Is 14 inches the perfect size for a laptop? These 4 laptops might convince you

Huawei MateBook X Pro review |
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

If 13-inch laptops feel too small for your liking and the 15-inch alternatives just a little too chunky, we have the perfect middle ground for you. The best 14-inch laptops out there today blend performance and portability, offering a little more of either than their smaller and larger counterparts, respectively.

Whether you’re looking for a laptop that’s tough, has all day battery life, powerful internal hardware, or a little of everything, we have a selection of laptops that will be sure to tick your boxes. These are our favorite 14-inch laptops that you can buy right now.

Lenovo Yoga C930

Lenovo Yoga C930 Review
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Why you should buy this: It’s the most stable and sturdy 2-in-1 we’ve ever laid our hands on.

Who’s it for: Power PC users who don’t mind an understated style.

What we thought of the Lenovo Yoga C930:

Do you envision yourself bumping and banging your laptop while out and about? The Lenovo Yoga C930 might be perfect for you. Our tester found this laptop to be “built like a tank,” and that’s no exaggeration. Its all-metal construction means there’s zero flex in the keyboard or display lid with any kind of normal forces applied. We suspect it could take quite a beating before damaging internal hardware, although we wouldn’t suggest you try it.

That sturdy shell protects powerful internal components like the Intel Core i7-8550U (in our review configuration) and up to 16GB of RAM, though there are also options for a Core i5 CPU and various SSD storage configurations. Most interestingly, it has a powerful soundbar built right into the hinge. Not only is that innovative in its own right, the speakers are step above what your typical laptop offers.

The only let down with this convertible laptop is the screen. Its weak contrast and brightness were a concern, especially when used in bright areas. Elsewhere, it’s hard to fault with this laptop.

Read our full Lenovo Yoga C930 review

Huawei MateBook X Pro

Huawei MateBook X Pro review
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Why you should buy this: It’s great for work and play and can easily last all day on a single charge.

Who’s it for: Anyone but frequent video conference callers.

What we thought of the Huawei MateBook X Pro:

Huawei might not be a major name in U.S. computing, but it should be. The MateBook X Pro is a worthy contender for the best 14-inch laptops in the world, offering powerful components in an understated chassis that houses a fantastic display and surprisingly powerful audio for such a compact device. All of that is wrapped up in a package that weighs less than three pounds. Did we mention it has a dedicated graphics chip too?

Giving standouts like the Surface Book 2 a run for its money, the MateBook X Pro combines a stunningly beautiful 3:2 display with solid battery life and decent all-around performance. The newest version comes with the quad-core Core i7-8565U, as well as the new Nvidia MX250 graphics card. That GPU certainly isn’t a class-leader, but it makes the MateBook X Pro a more capable gaming machine than laptops without it.

Yes, the MateBook X Pro has a weird webcam placement — hidden beneath a new key in the function row — which like the older Dell XPS 13, forces those you’re video calling with to look right up your nose or at your fingertips as you type. This laptop is imperfect in quirky ways, but nails the fundamentals in all areas.

Read our full Huawei MateBook X Pro review

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (2018) review
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Why you should buy this: It’s powerful, robust, supremely comfortable, and far cheaper than when it debuted.

Who’s it for: Those looking for a work machine rather than a toy for downtime.

What we thought of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon:

When we first reviewed the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, we suggested you bill it as a business expense. But since then, its price tag has come down considerably. That means its appeal is wider today than it’s ever been. Just because it’s growing a little grey around the temples though, doesn’t mean this isn’t a fantastic 14-inch laptop. Far from it.

Like ThinkPads of generations past, the X1 Carbon is an understated, professional looking machine with dark paneling and indented logos coating its sturdy build. It looks and feels like a work machine, and that is certainly where it excels. Where its battery life was excellent in our web browsing test, it fell behind the competition in media viewing. Its performance was most impressive when conducting productivity tasks and the storage in particular was blazing fast — big file transfers will not slow you down in the slightest.

The ThinkPad X1 Carbon has an excellent array of connectivity options, though. Combining a pair of ultra-modern Thunderbolt 3 ports with a classic duo of USB-A ports, there isn’t much you can’t connect to this laptop. There’s also an HDMI output for external displays, a microSD card reader, a headphone jack, and the option to add an ethernet connection if you need it.

Read our full Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon review

Acer Swift 3

Acer Swift 3 review lid

Why you should buy this: It offers fantastic performance at a budget price well below that of the competition.

Who’s it for: Those who want a good all-round laptop on a limited budget.

What we thought of the Acer Swift 3:

Who said performance has to cost the earth? The Acer Swift 3 lives up to its range’s name with a host of powerful hardware inside its compact chassis. Our review unit cost just $680 and yet packed an Intel Core i5-8250U CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB PCIe storage drive. The processor and RAM are quick, but the SSD storage was impressively fast considering the overall price of the system, making sure that file transfers and boot times were nippy.

The overall look of the Swift 3 is a little dated, but if you were a big fan of the high-fashion laptops from a few years ago, that’s not going to phase you. There are ports galore, including three USB-A ports, a USB-C connector, and an HDMI output, alongside the usual microphone/headphone hack and an SD card reader.

The 1080p display looks crisp and clear in the 14-inch form factor, although its contrast and color accuracy leaves something to be desired.

The real heart of this machine though, is its speed. With a solid processor and memory it can keep pace with much more expensive systems, like our favorite 13-inch laptop, the Dell XPS 13. It’s a fantastic productivity machine that won’t cost you and arm and a leg.

It’s might not win any style awards in 2019, but the Acer Swift 3 is still a very capable machine at a fantastic price point. If you’re constrained by cost more than anything else, this is the 14-inch laptop for you.

Read our full Acer Swift 3 review


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