5 Best 14-inch Gaming Laptops of 2021

14 inches is the sweet spot for many users looking for a gaming laptop that’s going to perform well while still being portable enough to carry around with ease in a backpack. But previously there weren’t many 14″ gaming laptop options to choose from, but that is no longer the case. Therefore, we have curated this list of the best 14-inch gaming laptops. Three of which provide exceptional RTX 30 series gaming laptop performance while the other two contain less powerful but still very capable MX450 GPUs in such compact chassis.

To help you pick the best 14-inch laptop for your gaming needs, we’ve included these powerful yet portable laptops from various manufacturers and at various price points. Moreover, the display refresh rate and response times of these thin and light gaming laptops have much improved over previous generations, which alleviates the concerns of many. These 14inch gaming laptops also have decent battery life even given that their thin and light size is paired with exceptional gaming and computing performance.

Best 14-inch Gaming Laptops

1Razer Blade 14

Verdict

If build quality and top of the line performance is important to you, look no further than the Blade 14. Its CNC machined thin and light chassis makes it a great portable 14 inch gaming laptop. Razer has also spiced it up with some impressive hardware include an RTX 3080 version.

Specifications

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX 3.3GHz | GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 8GB | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 1TB SSD | Dimensions: 12.59 x 8.66 x 0.66 inches | Weight: 3.75lbs

Benefits

  • Powerful internals with an 8-core CPU
  • CNC machined aluminum chassis is incredibly durable
  • Large and fantastic touchpad

Drawbacks

  • Expensive
  • Black color is a finger print magnet

Razer has a bit of a reputation with their laptops, with some people comparing them to MacBooks when it comes to durability and builds quality. The Blade 14” is no exception, and Razer claims it’s “The World’s Most Powerful 14-inch Gaming Laptop”. With a body machined out of CNC aluminum and an overall thickness of just 0.66 inches, this is a beautifully designed powerhouse. It’s not that lightweight, though, and Razer could’ve put slimmer bezels on the display.

When it comes to performance, the Blade 14” is a true powerhouse. An eight-core Ryzen 9 5900HX runs the show, with an RTX 3070 with 8GB ensuring high framerates in competitive titles. And Razer manages to keep all this cooled fairly well with its vapor chamber technology. Note that while the display does come at 165Hz, whether you hit that number or not depends on the specific title you’re playing. There is also 16GB of RAM and a 1TB NVMe drive to provide plenty of storage for your games, too.

If you’re after a great combination of durability and performance, the Blade 14 is just perfect in every sense of the way. Well, if you don’t mind not having the lightest laptop, that is.

Video of Razer Blade 14 vs Asus Zephyrus 14

2ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14

[2021] HIDevolution ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 GA401QM 14' FHD 144Hz, 3.0 GHz Ryzen 9 5900HS, RTX 3060, 16 GB 3200MHz RAM, 1 TB PCIe SSD

Verdict

An incredibly powerful and ultra portable 14 inch gaming laptop, the ROG Zephyrus G14 is impressive in terms of its gaming performance with an RTX 3060 and it visual design. This laptop is well worth it for anyone who can afford it. However, it lacks a webcam.

Specifications

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS 3.0GHz | GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 6GB | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 1TB SSD | Dimensions: 12.76 x 8.74 x 0.78 inches | Weight: 3.75lbs

Benefits

  • No thermal throttling, despite the demanding CPU
  • 1440p IPS display at 120Hz
  • USB-C charging

Drawbacks

  • No webcam
  • Touchpad a tad too small

Coming in with an impressive design and a compact form, the Zephyrus G14 is a beautiful machine. The design is a departure from conventional gaming laptops, making this a much more subtle choice, and you get a laptop that you could take to the office during the day and game on when you come back home. With a sub-4lbs weight, it’s rather portable, too.

Performance-wise, you have AMD’s Ryzen 9 5900HS, a powerhouse of a CPU that sits at 3.0GHz but can turbo up to 4.6GHz if necessary. It’s also paired with an Nvidia RTX 3060 GPU, a ray tracing-enabled GPU with 6GB of VRAM that’s more than capable of achieving 120Hz in most modern titles, although that does depend on the specific title. It’s also paired with 16GB of RAM and a massive 1TB SSD for all your storage needs. The 120Hz display comes at a resolution of 2560x1440p, which is impressive, and it’s an IPS-level panel, so colors are beautiful as well. And with adaptive sync, gaming on this is going to be a real pleasure.

Overall, this is a performance-oriented laptop that’ll check all the portability boxes, even though it comes at a somewhat expensive price.

3Acer Predator Triton 300 SE

Verdict

With excellent performance and more than adequate cooling, the Triton 300 is a great choice for gaming. And it also comes at a reasonable price compared to the competition, making it an even more solid option.

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i7-11375H 3.0GHz | GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 6GB | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 512GB SSD | Dimensions: 12.7 x 9 x 0.7 inches | Weight: 3.75lbs

Benefits

  • Powerful hardware remains cool with an excellent cooling system
  • RGB backlit keyboard
  • Wi-Fi 6 and Thunderbolt 3

Drawbacks

  • Bezels aren’t exactly slim
  • Touchpad a tad too small

Acer’s Predator series has always been the one with sharp, gaming-oriented aesthetics where everything is just aggressive, but with the Triton 300 SE, that’s a bit different. Yes, it does have large cooling vents on the sides and the back, but it’s also very modern and sleek with an all-silver design and cyan accents. The touchpad is a bit too small, though, but Acer had no choice if they wanted to fit the speakers above the keyboard and still have an overall compact design.

When you get to the performance is where things become interesting. Intel’s new Core i7-11375H runs the show, with a four-core configuration, and paired with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card with 6GB of VRAM. This is a combo that can comfortably run most competitive titles at the display’s 1080p resolution and 144Hz refresh rate, and you might even get a AAA title or two to get to high refresh rates, too. This does depend heavily on the title in question, though. The cooling system works very well, and we like the 16GB of RAM and speedy 512GB PCIe drive.

Overall, the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE 14 inch gaming laptop is a solid choice for anyone looking for a portable gaming machine that doesn’t cost too much.

4MSI Modern 14

MSI Modern 14 Professional Laptop: 14' IPS-Level Thin Bezel Display, Intel Core i7-1165G7, NVIDIA GeForce MX450, 16GB RAM, 1TB NVMe SSD, Win10 PRO, Carbon Gray (B11SB-083)

Verdict

The Modern 14 is an incredibly light machine, but it unfortunately emphasizes portability over power, with lackluster hardware that’s not meant for high framerate gaming.

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i7-1165G7 0.9GHz | GPU: Nvidia GeForce MX450 2GB | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 1TB SSD | Dimensions: 12.56 x 8.67 x 0.67 inches | Weight: 2.87lbs

Benefits

  • Impressive weight at only 2.87lbs
  • Up to 10 hours of battery life
  • IPS display with thin bezels

Drawbacks

  • Mediocre GPU is only good for casual gaming

If you’re looking for a sleek laptop with a modern design, MSI’s aptly named Modern 14 is exactly what you need. It comes with an all-silver design that’s compact and very lightweight, and honestly, it looks stunning. The keyboard comes with a white backlight that helps a lot in the dark, and we’re also fans of the decently sized touchpad, too. When opened, the hinges elevate the laptop a bit, resulting in a more comfortable typing position.

When it comes to performance, it takes a back seat here. Even though Intel’s Core i7-1165G7 runs the show, the Nvidia GeForce MX450 graphics card it’s paired with doesn’t really excel too much. It performs well with most competitive titles, but if you try to play any AAA titles, you’ll need to lower the settings quite a bit to get acceptable framerates. There’s 16GB of RAM and a large, 1TB SSD, though, which is nice.

Overall, the MSI Modern 14 is a decent all-around laptop, and if your priority is to get a lightweight, portable machine that can run less demanding games, it’s good enough.

5ASUS ZenBook 14(with ScreenPad 2.0)

ASUS ZenBook 14 Ultra-Slim Laptop 14” FHD NanoEdge Bezel Display, Intel Core i7-1165G7, NVIDIA MX450, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, ScreenPad 2.0, Thunderbolt 4, Windows 10 Pro, Pine Grey, UX435EG-XH74

Verdict

With a dual-display functionality, the ZenBook 14 with a touchpad display gives you more screen to work with, but it still lacks a bit of power for AAA titles at high settings.

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i7-1165G7 0.9GHz | GPU: Nvidia GeForce MX450 2GB | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 1TB SSD | Dimensions: 12.7 x 8.3 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 3.3lbs

Benefits

  • Second screen within the touchpad for additional screen real estate
  • Very lightweight at merely 2.62lbs
  • Very slim bezels for a more immersive experience

Drawbacks

  • Not too powerful and only good for casual competitive titles
  • ScreenPadis still a gimmick

When it comes to design, ASUS’s ZenBook has come a long way. True, it was always sleek and modern, but newer iterations have made it even better and it’s now a beauty to look at. The incredibly slim bezels have turned it into a beautiful and extremely immersive experience, and the silver (or Pine Grey, as ASUS likes to call it) makes for a sleek finish that looks great. The ScreenPad has improved, true, but when it comes to gaming, it’s still a gimmick that doesn’t really do much.

Performance-wise, you’ve got a reasonably powerful Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor, paired with Nvidia’s GeForce MX450 graphics card with 2GB of VRAM. Unfortunately, this combination is only good for things like competitive titles that aren’t too demanding. In anything else, you’ll be struggling to hit high framerates, but this does depend on the titles you want to play.

If you don’t mind the average performance, and like the idea of a second display on your touchpad, the ZenBook 14 is a solid pick.

What should you look for in a 14-inch gaming laptop?

We understand it can be difficult to find a 14-inch gaming laptop that fits your budget and suits all your needs. Therefore, you may have to make a compromise or two, but it’s worth having a list of priorities so that you can choose the right 14-inch gaming laptop as to your computing needs.

CPU and GPU

The first things you should consider are the CPU and GPU as they will for the most part determine just how much you’ll be getting in terms of performance in games and other demanding workloads. The CPU should at least be quad-core because modern games do take advantage of multiple cores, and this will also come in handy when you’re doing other computationally demanding tasks as well. When it comes to the GPU, a higher-end GPU is always preferred as it’s directly responsible for gaming performance. You should aim for at least an RTX 2000 series GPU though the RTX 3000 series GPUs are better.

Design

A laptop’s physical design will directly influence its thermal performance, and hence the overall performance of the laptop itself. This is especially true for thinner 14-inch gaming laptops. Having an extremely powerful CPU and GPU won’t do much if they’re thermal throttling all the time and you don’t get consistent performance out of them. Therefore, an adequately designed cooling system must be implemented. The design of a 14-inch gaming laptop must also allow for a larger-sized trackpad as well as a comfortable and well-laid-out keyboard for typing. This is important when doing other tasks than gaming.

Display

Then there’s the display. If you’re only going to be gaming on your laptop’s display, a high refresh rate panel with at least 120Hz though 144Hz or higher is preferred will give you a much smoother and more enjoyable experience. The resolution will usually be 1080p or 1440p, which is just about standard with these laptops. Another factor you should pay attention to is the response time of 14-inch gaming laptop displays. A response time of less the 10ms is crucial to avoiding problematic effects such as screen ghosting.

RAM and Storage

RAM and storage are also pretty important in 14-inch gaming laptops. 8GB of RAM is not all that much by today’s standards, and if you can go for a 16GB model, you’ll be able to see the benefits, especially with modern games. As far as storage goes, aim for at least a 512GB SSD, because modern games can reach sizes of 60GB or greater rather easily.

All things considered, a 14-inch gaming laptop will require you to make a couple of compromises, especially if you’re limited in terms of budget. But if you follow the list of priorities above, you should be more than set.

Final Thoughts

With the options and guidance provided, hopefully choosing a 14-inch gaming laptop is no longer that much of a challenge. More and more manufacturers are starting to offer excellent 14-inch gaming laptop choices which only bodes well for the overall gaming laptop top space. Though as of right now, the Razer Blade 14 and Asus Zephyrus 14 are your best options. 

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