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 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 on the best 14-inch laptop models, so you can go ahead and make an informed decision. After all, a carefully thought out plan of action when it comes to buying the best 14-inch laptop can greatly benefit you in the following ways:
Okay, let’s get started, so you can buy the ideal laptop for your needs and preferences.
Best 14 Inch Laptop Comparison Chart
|MSI GS65 Stealth||i7-8750H (4.1GHz) NVIDIA GTX 1070 16GB-32GB RAM||View on Amazon|
|Dell XPS||i7-8750H (4.1GHz) NVIDIA GTX 1050Ti 16GB-32GB RAM||View on Amazon|
|ASUS ROG Zephyrus||Core i7-7700HQ (3.8GHz) NVIDIA GTX 1070 16GB-32GB RAM||View on Amazon|
|Acer Predator||Core i7-7700HQ (3.8GHz) NVIDIA GTX 1060 16GB-32GB RAM||View on Amazon|
|Razor Blade||Core i7-7700HQ (3.8GHz) NVIDIA GTX 1060 16GB-32GB RAM||View on Amazon|
1. MSI GS65 Stealth
If you’re looking for a laptop that has it all, including a strong processor, a powerful video card and sufficient RAM resources along with a sleek design for running heavy software and games simultaneously, then look no further because the MSI GS65 Stealth has all of these things.
What I Like
It’s an 8th generation Core i7 in the “H” category, and can go all the way up to 4.1GHz. This means its processor is the most superior in the market today.
It has RAM resources of 16GB, and this is sufficient to run any of the memory-hungry software products today. Even with its current RAM, two slots are still available for you to add up more!
This 14-inch laptop also comes with a 500GB hard disk, which is generally enough for most gamers and pros. Although other options are available, I believe more than 500GB is not worth the cost unless needed. After all, you can use fast USB 3.0 flash drives anyway just in case you need more data storage space.
It is fitted with a GTX 1070, which is the second best commercial retail card that NVIDIA has produced to-date, and it’s safe to say that it can run any of the most popular 3D games out there at the moment.
What I Don’t Like
The obvious disadvantage is the cost. There are more inexpensive alternatives with less CPU power, yes. However, with the MSI GS65 Stealth you’ll still be able to do all the heavy work and gaming you could possibly imagine. Also, the design might not be as good as a MacBook, which makes it a little less visually appealing.
Although the GTX 1070 video card is good enough for many users, it might be unable to catch up in the future when newer versions of CAD software products and video games are released.
Editors' Rating: 9/10
2. Dell XPS 15
The Dell XPS 15, like MSI GS65, is one of the most sought-after 14-inch laptops today. It has similar characteristics as the MSI GS65, i.e. A strong processor, massive RAM resources and a powerful video card. It’s the finest product Dell has released to-date, and can be used for gaming and other heavy-duty purposes.
What I Like
Dell XPS 15 also has an 8th generation “H”-category Core i7 processor, whose speed can go up to 4.1 GHz, making it among the strongest processors in the market at the moment.
It comes with 16GB RAM, but this can be increased to 32GB because, like the MSI GS65, it also has 2 vacant RAM slots.
Along with a 14-inch HD display, this laptop also has 512GB hard disk space, which can be upgraded to 1TB (for an added cost).
The video card that’s integrated into this laptop is GTX 1050Ti, which can still smoothly run popular games and widely used office applications today.
What I Don’t Like
Its video card is far less superior to other options that are bundled with many laptop models at the moment.
Many customers claim that its fans can be a bit buggy sometimes (it doesn’t stop when they’re supposed to), while some users say its screen significantly loses its brightness and clarity after prolonged use.
Editors' Rating: 8/10
3. Asus ROG Zephyrus GX501
The Asus ROG Zephyrus GX501 is a powerful laptop that can easily be used for heavy gaming as well as for running other heavy productivity software. It’s surprising to see such a slim model packed with such power.
What I Like
It is a 7th generation “HQ”-category Core i7 processor with a processing speed of 3.8GHz, which puts this laptop in the league of very powerful portable machines. This is an Ultra-Portable gaming laptop that comes with an NVIDIA GTX 1070 video card.
This Ultra-Slim laptop also has 16GB RAM, which can be increased up to 32GB. Simply put, you’ll be able to run soon-to-be released resource-hungry applications and games.
This laptop also comes with a 256GB hard disk. You can opt for a disk with much bigger data storage space, though you’ll need to pay more for it. Also, it has no heating problems, as claimed by many users.
What I Don’t Like
Unlike the other laptops in this list, the ASUS ROG Zephyrus GX501 has a 7th generation processor with a speed of 3.8GHz. This is quite low compared to the 8th generation 14-inch laptops in this list. Since processing power is the major requirement of most users looking for the best 14-inch laptops, this model is a relatively slow laptop.
For a 7th generation laptop, it's quite expensive. You can buy a decent 8th generation laptop at around the same price. Also, many buyers claim that this machine has poor battery life.
4. Acer Predator Helios 300
Predator has been a popular pick for gamers who are looking for a high end laptop at relatively reasonable prices. With a thinner chassis, the Predator laptop is a popular model with good reviews.
What We Like
This laptop is a 7th generation Core i7 masterpiece, which comes with an affordable price tag. It’s equipped with an “HQ”-category CPU model, making this a very powerful laptop, especially considering its 3.8GHz processing speed.
It also comes with 16GB RAM, expandable up to 32GB through its two vacant RAM slots. This machine also comes with a 256GB hard disk.
Equipped with an NVIDIA GTX 1060, this 14-inch laptop packs efficient graphics rendering, 3D visualization and video editing capabilities. Considering its stylish design, the Predator is an affordable contender when it comes to the best 14-inch laptop models this year.
What We Don’t Like
Similar to the Asus ROG Zephyrus GX501, a 7th generation CPU powers this machine, which might become outdated pretty soon.
The size of this laptop makes it difficult to carry around. Some users also say this laptop has lower quality batteries than the other models in this list.
Editors' Rating: 7.5/10
5. Razer Blade
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 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 comes with the Razer Blade.
Editors' Rating: 7/10
Buyer’s 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.
Many Core i5 CPUs consists of six cores and eight to twelve threads, making it far superior than 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 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 a 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 mod