The 8 Best 14- to 16-Inch Laptops to Buy in 2018

See our selection of the best laptops for every budget

More people are looking for thinner and lighter laptops than ever before. This has caused a shift in the types of systems available in the 14 to 16-inch size range. Many are now focusing on things like gaming, higher resolution displays or being extremely thin and long running like ultrabooks. Here are our selections for the best laptops in the 14 to 16-inch displays based upon on research and experience for a variety of uses and budgets.

Best Overall: Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1

Released at the tail end of 2016, Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Ultrabook is a shining example of everything you can want in a 14-inch laptop. Powered by a 2.6GHz Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD, there’s plenty of power under the hood for business tasks during the day and personal ones at night. The 14-inch 1920 x 1800 FHD IPS display offers excellent colors and great viewing angles for both browsing and videos. At just 2.6 pounds, the combination of fantastic performance and great display all make for a frame that’s easily portable.

The carbon fiber reinforced plastic lid and super magnesium body feel sturdy and solid in the hand and offer plenty of peace of mind that the X1 will stand up to some wear and tear. For the business user, the durable frame is complemented by added security options like a single-touch fingerprint reader that’s best utilized with Microsoft’s built-in Windows hello login. To the left of the fingerprint reader is the ultra-responsive touchpad that pairs fantastically with Lenovo’s spill-resistant world-class keyboard. Add in nine hours of battery life and the X1 is the total package for laptop buyers looking for the best experience on the market today. 

Runner-Up, Best Overall: MacBook Pro

Continuing its place as Apple’s flagship computer, the 2017 15” MacBook Pro is the ideal combination of portability, power and performance. With a bevy of upgrades available, including increased RAM and more hard drive space, the 2.8 dual-core Intel i7 processor is already paired with 16GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD memory for outstanding levels of performance and value. The 2560 x 1600 pixel Retina display isn’t the highest resolution display on the market, but it continues to outperform the competition when paired with Apple's hardware. The Touch Bar continues to be a specialized solution for Apple’s quest to not make a full-touch display and with app developers adding support weekly, it’s far more powerful today than it was when it first was announced. It has 10 hours of battery life with wireless Web surfing and 10 hours of iTunes movie playback. The .61-inch thick MacBook Pro weighs a very portable 4.02 pounds. Add in Apple’s beloved operating system with OS X Sierra and you’ve discovered a well-rounded package that checks all the boxes.

Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best Macbooks

Best Budget: Acer Aspire E

The Acer Aspire E features a 2.4GHz 7th generation Core i3 processor, 4GB RAM and a 1TB hard drive that all make for a performance that outpaces the wallet-friendly price tag. Add in a precision touchpad, 802.11ac connectivity featuring MU-MIMO technology and 12-hour battery life and the Acer feels very much like a computer that’s priced well below its true worth.

The 15.6-inch Full HD ComfyView LED-backlit LCD display offers an optimal viewing experience for movies, browsing and more. Additionally, Acer built in two proprietary technologies, including BluelightShield, which reduces eye strain and prevents fatigue when using the PC for lengthy periods of time. A built-in DVD drive is paired with Acer’s TrueHarmony speaker system, which Acer delightfully describes as “bringing movies to life.”

Take a peek at some of the other best laptops under $500 you can buy.

Best 2-in-1: Samsung Notebook 7 Spin

Released in late 2016 and featuring a 360-degree flip-and-fold design, Samsung’s Notebook 7 Spin is an outstanding choice and the best money spent on a 2-in-1 in today’s market. The 15.6-inch Full HD 1920 x 1080 touchscreen display offers great viewing angles and is responsive to the touch whether you're in laptop or tablet mode. Samsung has even included a new special labeled “HDR mode” that supports specialized content with better picture contrast and clarity.

The inclusion of a 2.5GHz Core i7 processor, 12GB RAM, 1TB of hard drive space and NVIDIA GeForce 940MX graphics mean superb day-to-day performance for both work and play. Additionally, the inclusion of the GeForce graphics card allows some mainstream games to work well at medium settings and full HD resolution. Finally, the Samsung Notebook 7 Spin has eight hours of battery life and weighs five pounds.

Take a peek at some of the other best 2-in-1 laptops you can buy.

Best Battery Life: Acer Swift 5

If it’s battery life you want, take a look at the Acer Swift 5 14-inch laptop, which has a long 13-hour battery life. It's powered by a 7th generation 2.7GHz Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GBs of storage space. The 14-inch Full HD IPS Widescreen 1920 x 1080 display offers excellent viewing angles along with Acer’s TrueHarmony technology that adds stereo speakers for boosted sound. Additionally, the inclusion of 802.11ac connectivity with MU-MIMO technology offers a future-proofed network experience three times the wireless performance of previous generation technology.

The all-aluminum body is cool to the touch and just .57 inches thin, making it one of the thinnest notebooks in its class. Fortunately, the Swift 5 weighs just 2.87 pounds which make, the incredible 13 hours of battery life worth the price tag. An embedded fingerprint reader adds an extra layer of security that works with Windows Hello, so you can verify and log into your Windows 10 account within a few seconds.

Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best Acer laptops

Best for Business: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga 2-in-1

At just 2.8 pounds, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga 2-in-1 is an outstanding choice for business travelers that offers both laptop and tablet mode in a 14-inch package that’s just .67 inches thin. The full-size back-lit keyboard is spill resistant and retracts automatically into the hardware when not in use as a laptop, so it remains unexposed to any desk or desktop surface. Additionally, the X1 Yoga is tested against military specifications, which make it the world’s most durable, thinnest and lightest business-focused laptop.

Powered by a 2.6GHz Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage space, the X1 Yoga offers four different usage modes for work, presenting, creating and connecting. The 14-inch 2K (2560 x 1440) touchscreen display pairs with OLED technology for accurate colors and sharper contrast. A dockable stylus pen can recharge in just 15 seconds and offers 100 minutes of use for drawing and annotating notes or documents. Lightweight, powerful and with more than eight hours of battery life, the X1 Yoga is a business-focused dream machine.

Take a peek at some of the other best business laptops you can buy.

Best Chromebook: Acer Chromebook 15

Released in 2015, the Acer Chromebook 15 remains an outstanding choice for PC buyers who don’t want the burden of either Windows or Mac but still want the laptop-like experience. As the first Chromebook to offer a 1920 x 1080 15.6 inch Full HD display with wide viewing angles, the Chromebook 15 remains an excellent choice for laptop shoppers looking for something basic while still getting the full web experience you can’t easily duplicate on a tablet.

Powered by an Intel Celeron 1.5GHz processor, 4GB of RAM and a 32GB SSD, the Chromebook 15 performs well even with multiple tabs open. Plus, you can even install and run Linux on a Chromebook.

Ultimately, the entire Chromebook experience is based on the Chrome browser and it’s here that the Chromebook 15 shines. At nearly five pounds, the overall experience remains like its Windows and Mac counterparts, with a large and responsive touchpad that’s compliant with all of Chrome’s multitouch commands. The only slight downsides might be the seven hours of battery life and the fact that there’s a learning curve to living without a full application suite ala Windows 10 and MacOS Sierra.

Take a peek at some of the other best Chromebooks you can buy.

Best Gaming: The Razer Blade (GeForce GTX 1060)

Few brands are better associated with PC gaming these days than Razer and its 14-inch Razer Blade HD gaming laptop. Featuring the exceptionally performing GeForce GTX 1060 gaming card, the hardware is complemented by a Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM and 512GB SSD, making it more than capable of handling today’s software (including VR-ready gaming). The .7-inch thin aluminum chassis weighs 4.16 pounds, so it's slimmer and lighter than its closest competition in the gaming space.

When it comes to gaming, your screen matters almost more than what’s inside the machine and the Razer Blade does not disappoint with a Full HD Matte display offering 350-nit brightness, LED backlight and Full HD (1920 x 1080p) resolution that’s more than ready to tackle demanding frame rates at even the most extreme graphics settings. As notable as the display, the Chroma keyboard offers 16.8 million colors for a unique touch every time and anti-ghosting performance, which helps register simultaneous key strokes with near flawless precision.

Take a peek at some of the other best gaming laptops you can buy.


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