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

See our selection of the best laptops for every budget

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

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.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Lenovo ThinkPad X1

Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1
Courtesy of Amazon.com

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. 

Check out our guide to the best Lenovo laptops you can buy today. 

Runner-Up, Best Overall: 15-inch MacBook Pro (2018)

15-inch MacBook Pro 2018
 Courtesy of Best Buy

The 15-inch MacBook Pro is a great choice for anyone who wants a good-sized screen, a sleek device, and most importantly, a ton of power. For this 2018 model, Apple has upgraded the Pro's processors and features to maintain parity with the specs offered by its PC competitors, and for the most part, they’ve done a good job.

This version of the 15-inch model comes standard with an 8th-generation, six-core Intel i5 processor, offering speeds of 2.2 GHz and a boosted speed of 4.1 GHz. Paired with 16GB of RAM, that’s amazing. But now you can choose to take that even further, to 32GB of on-board RAM, for a seriously top-of-the-line machine. Apple has also upgraded the graphics card, giving you a Radeon Pro 555X with its own dedicated 4GB of RAM. It won’t behave quite like a dedicated gaming PC, but it will get about as close as any MacBook Pro has. You can also get the laptop with upgraded SSD speeds in a 256GB or 512GB configuration.

The 2018 Pro model also includes four Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports and Apple's Touch Bar feature, which replaces the top row of function keys with a touch-sensitive panel that integrates app controls into your keyboard and allows you to unlock your laptop with Touch ID. It also improves on the Retina display with new True Tone technology, which employs a sensor to measure the tone and temperature of your room’s lighting and optimizes the screen color gamut to give you a great looking screen no matter where you are. 

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

Best Budget: Acer Aspire E 15 E5-576-392H

The Acer Aspire E 15 guarantees the most bang for your buck, especially when you look at its hardware. It features an 8th generation Intel Core i3 processor, 3.4GHz Turbo Boost, 6GB of RAM, and a 1TB hard drive. It also contains an Intel UHD 620 graphics card, capable of supporting most games with a lag-free connection. The 15.6-inch screen features full HD resolution and good color accuracy, although the brightness is a bit low. Still, the laptop compensates well with surround-sound audio from its built-in speakers.

For movie buffs, the visuals may be a deal-breaker. But ultimately, the Acer Aspire E 15 is built for productivity. It comes with port space for USB 3.0, 2.0, and Type-C, Ethernet, HDMI, along with an SD card reader and a DVD slot. The keyboard even comes with a full numeric keypad, which business professionals will surely appreciate. The battery also lasts for a good 13.5 hours and only takes two hours to fully charge.

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

Best Gaming: Acer Predator Helios 300

The Acer Predator Helios is definitely not the lightest machine, but the hardware inside justifies the weight. The Helios 300 contains a 7th generation Intel Core processor (with 3.8GHz Turbo Boost) and 16GB DDR4 memory, promising some of the fastest loading speeds among its competitors. The hard drive comes with 256GB SSD, but if you need extra storage space, there’s an additional slot to fit a second 2.5-inch hard drive. The 15.6-inch screen features a full HD, widescreen display, and a stylish red backlit keyboard that also provides comfortable typing feedback and a decent amount of travel. With seven hours of battery life and a custom-engineered cooling system underneath, the Predator Helios has enough power to last through even the most intense gaming sessions. As an added bonus, the Helios is also VR-ready, so all you need is a headset and any additional accessories, and you’re ready to take your gaming to a whole new level.

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

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

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga 2-in-1
Courtesy of Amazon.com

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 2-in-1: Microsoft Surface Book 2

Since its initial release in late 2017, the Microsoft Surface Book 2 has managed to snag top slots on plenty of reviewers’ lists, including several of our own. The latest model features an 8th generation Intel Quad-core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage space. Also, with 4.2GHz processing speeds, it's by far the fastest Surface Book to date. Additionally, it holds a powerful NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card which can handle highly demanding games and programs.

Graphic artists especially love the Surface Book 2 — the 15-inch screen features a PixelSense Display with 3,260 x 2,160 resolution and brilliant colors. Microsoft offers a range of accessories to complement the device like the Surface Pen, Surface Dial, and the Precision Mouse. This 2-in-1 is lightweight at only 2.38 pounds. It's also highly adaptable, able to switch between four versatile modes: laptop, tablet, studio, and view. For a product that doesn’t compromise on high-speed performance for portability, the Surface Book 2 is a no-brainer.

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

Best Chromebook: Acer Chromebook 14

This 2018 model of the Acer Chromebook is faster and stronger than its predecessors. It contains a high-speed 2.4GHz Intel Celeron processor with 4GB LPDDR3 RAM, 32 GB of solid-state storage, and a respectable 12-hour battery life. It features a 14-inch full HD widescreen, LED-backlit anti-glare display for easy browsing without the eye strain. The device also carries an HD web-camera, one HDMI input, two USB 3.0 ports, Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity, and a Kensington lock slot. Weighing just under four pounds and very affordably priced, the Chromebook is both cheap and portable, making it the perfect choice for students especially.

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

Best Battery Life: Acer Swift 5

Acer Swift 5
Courtesy of Amazon.com

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