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

The best 14-inch laptop is the Lenovo Yoga C930. Like all great options in this size, the Yoga C930 perfectly blends performance and portability. On top of that, it has an impressive soundbar built right into the hinge.

We’ve reviewed over four hundred laptops, so we know to look for in your next laptop purchase, whether that’s all-day battery life or a color accurate display. These 14-inch laptops are perfect for those feel that the more popular 13-inch or 15-inch alternatives don’t quite suit their needs in terms of size. While we suggest the Yoga C930 first and foremost, the other options listed below come recommended from us as well, which include alternatives at different budgets and designs.

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
Riley Young/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:

The 2019 update to the MateBook X Pro gave this already-solid laptop several important upgrades. The 2018 version was already a great contender with a beautiful 3:2 screen, sharp design, and a keyboard that felt great to use. The 2019 model upgrades to an MX250 graphics card, and adds innovative new gesture support. The display impresses at 3,000 x 2,000 resolution and a particularly bright panel with great contrast. The model runs a Core i7-8565U quad-core processor, and our review unit sported 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD for storage. The battery also continues to impress, with improvements to what was already an impressive all-day battery charge.

The MateBook X Pro is a strong choice for those who like computers such as the MacBook Pro, but are looking for a 14-inch model that doesn’t run on MacOS, providing a little extra screen space. Ports on the 2.9-pound monitor include Thunderbolt 3 / USB-C, USB-C, and USB-A 3.0, although there’s no mini-SD slot.

One thing to note, though, is that while the MateBook X Pro 2019 hasn’t been released in the United States yet, it looks like the price is going to be around $2,250. That’s more expensive than the 2018 model, and the new features aren’t quite enough to justify the price increase. We suggest you compare current prices to the 2018 model and choose whichever makes sense for your budget.

Read our full Huawei MateBook X Pro 2019 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 an 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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