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Best 14 to 16-inch Laptops

Selection Of thin and light Laptops For A Variety Of Prices And Features

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Dec 18 2013 - Thin and light laptops are dramatically changing. Once the mainstay of general mobile computing, more and more specialized systems are entering the market. This includes ones that are designed for gaming or even ultrabooks for portability and long running times. Here are my selections for the best laptops with 14 to 16-inch displays based upon my research and experience for various uses and prices.

Best Value - Lenovo IdeaPad S400 Touch

Lenovo IdeaPad S400 Touch
lenovo.com / Lenovo Group Ltd.
Available for under $600, the Lenovo IdeaPad S400 Touch is a good basic computer with a 14-inch display. It does use a 3rd generation processor but still has sufficient performance for the average user. Other features include a 500GB hard drive, touchscreen display and a very comfortable keyboard. An alternative with very similar features would be the ASUS V500CA which features a larger 15.6-inch display and slightly faster processor but can still be found for under $600.

Best Overall - Lenovo IdeaPad Y410p

Lenovo IdeaPad Y410p
©Lenovo

If you want an all-around laptop that is going to be a primary computer, then the Lenovo IdeaPad Y410p is a solid choice especially considering its pricing. Often found for under $1000, the 14-inch system features a Core i7 processor, large terabyte hard drive and an NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M graphics processor. It even features a dual layer DVD drive that many now lack. The big downside though is that the battery life is significantly below average when compared to many new systems with larger batteries and more efficient processors. If you don't mind not having an optical drive and can spend almost twice as much, the Apple MacBook Pro 15 with Retina Display is more compact, has a higher resolution display and much longer running times.

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Best Touchscreen - Samsung ATIV Book 6

Samsung ATIV Book 6
©Samsung

Many laptops now feature a touchscreen to make use of the new Windows 8 user interface. If you are looking for such a laptop feature, than the Samsung ATIV Book 6 should be something to consider. The 15.6-inch display offers up a very high resolution screen that is great for the Windows operating system. It does use an older 3rd generation Core i7 processor but it still provides good performance and surprisingly long battery life. Just be warned that the trackpad does have some issues and Samsung installs far too much software on it. Priced between $1000 anr $1200. An alternative for those need high performance would be the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 which offers better battery life thanks to a lower voltage dual core processor.

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Most Portable - Razer Blade 14

Razer Blade 14
©Razer USA Ltd.

If you are looking for a very compact system with a larger display, the Razer Blade 14 is an amazingly thin .66-inches and weighs just 4.1 pounds. Even with such small dimensions and weight, the system features a high performance Core i7 quad core processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M and 256GB SSD for some extremely high performance. Even with all the performance features, battery life is surprisingly good. The one downfall of what is an otherwise excellent mobile gaming system is its subpar display. Pricing is also a concern as it does cost $1999. If you don't mind a slightly heavier and thicker system, the Apple MacBook Pro 15 with Retina Display offers a similar level of performance and features but with a far better display at the same price point.

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Longest Battery Life - Apple MacBook Pro 15 With Retina Display

Apple MacBook Pro 15 with Retina Display
©Apple

Even though there are a fair amount of ultrabook class laptops with 14 to 15-inch displays, the Apple MacBook Pro 15 with Retina Display still surprisingly tops most of those systems for running time. Even with its high powered quad core i7 processor and super high resolution display, the system can run for over eight hours in video playback. This is primarily because of its gigantic 95WHr battery that takes up much of the body that is just .71-inches thick and weighs just 4.5 pounds. The downside is that the price starts at $1999. If price is a concern, then the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 can run for seven hours in the same test on a much smaller battery because of its dual core i5 processor but it does cost half as much.

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