The best 14-inch laptops for 2019

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

The best 14-inch laptop is the Huawei MateBook X Pro. Like all great options in this size, the MateBook X Pro perfectly blends performance and portability. On top of that, it has impressively beautiful design, complete with tiny bezels and a gorgeous 3:2 screen.

We’ve reviewed over four hundred laptops, so we know what 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 who 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 MateBook X Pro is first and foremost, the other options listed below come recommended from us as well, which include alternatives at different budgets and designs.

The best 14-inch laptops at a glance:

The best 14-inch laptop: Huawei MateBook X Pro

Huawei Matebook X Pro
Riley Young/Digital Trends

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 with 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.

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 word of caution. Huawei has come under scrutiny in the United States. While you can still buy the Matebook X Pro online, it’s unclear if the company will continue to operate in the U.S. That might be a problem if you have a warranty issue down the road.

Read our full Huawei MateBook X Pro 2019 review

The best 14-inch 2-in-1 laptop: Lenovo Yoga C930

Lenovo Yoga C930 Review
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

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 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

The best 14-inch business laptop: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

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

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, 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

The best 14-inch laptop under $500: Acer Swift 3

Acer Swift 3 review lid

What we thought of the Acer Swift 3:

Who said performance has to cost you? 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 jack and an SD card reader.

The 1080p display looks crisp and clear in the 14-inch form factor, although its contrast and color accuracy leave 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

Research and buying tips

What is the most common size for a laptop?

13 inches is most likely the most common diagonal screen size for laptops. These laptops balance portability with power, often offering configurations with efficient processors and excellent battery life. 15-inch laptops have also become popular, as the larger chassis allows for increased cooling of high-end components like discrete graphics cards. These are ideal for content creators and gamers.

14-inch laptops fall right in between, allowing for more screen real estate. Some, like the Huawei MateBook X Pro, also have taller aspect ratios, which provides even more space for your work. These 14-inch laptops often come with extra features such as discrete graphics cards like the Nvidia MX150, which give them a bit more horsepower for games or content creation.

Is a 14-inch screen big enough?

Definitely. If a 13-inch laptop feels a bit too small for you, one of the 14-inch laptops we’re listed above will provide the additional screen real estate you’re looking for. Because of how small bezels have gotten recently, these 14-inch screens are often squeezed into the chassis size of older 13-inch laptops. That’s more screen at the same size footprint on your desk, which is great.

For most people who take their work on the go, a 14-inch laptop will offer plenty of space.

Are smaller laptops more expensive?

Smaller laptops tend to be less expensive than larger options. For example, 13-inch laptops are often cheaper than 15-inch versions, with cuts in costs coming from smaller screens and less powerful components. 14-inch laptops are a bit different, though, as they are often the only screen size offered in a particular laptop line. That’s true of the two examples above, the Huawei MateBook X Pro and the Lenovo Yoga C930.

The larger the laptop, the more room for extra features the manufacturer can stuff in, which increases the cost.

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