When buying a laptop, one of the things you need to consider is how big you want its screen to be. It sounds like an easy decision, right? Unfortunately, it’s not as straightforward as you think it is.
Many different screen sizes are available, but the sizes are usually just an inch apart. For example, a 14-inch laptop vs. a 15-inch one doesn’t have much difference when it comes to screen size, so how would you know the perfect size for you?
Don’t fret. We got you. We will discuss below the difference between a 14 vs. 15-inch laptop so you can easily decide which one is suitable for your needs.
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14 Vs. 15 Inch Laptops: Which Is Best For Your Computing Needs?
Portability & Ease To Carry
One of the reasons why you’re choosing a laptop over a desktop computer is its portability. This device can be easily carried wherever you go, especially if you pick the correct size. Not only that, but the laptop’s portability can also dictate how comfortable you can work with it when you're sitting on your couch or bed to do your work.
So, if your main reason for purchasing or switching to a laptop is how easy it is to carry, there’s no doubt that a 14-inch is the ideal choice. One thing to note with laptops is that the larger the screen size of the laptop, the larger its overall size. This also means that it will weigh more too.
But, if you don’t mind carrying a laptop bag with you, a 15-inch laptop is also an option. It may not be as compact as a 14-inch laptop, but it surely won't be as heavy as a 17-inch notebook. However, if you travel a lot and need to bring your computer wherever you go, a 14-inch laptop or a smaller one is definitely best for you.
Another important factor you need to consider when buying a laptop is its price and budget. The price difference between a 14-inch and 15.6-inch laptop isn't a lot.
In fact, they are almost in the same budget, ranging from as low as $200 to $6,000. Of course, $6,000 is too expensive, but laptops with this price tag often come with high-end specs, usually made for gaming or heavier computing tasks.
So, there’s no winner when it comes to pricing between 14-inch and 15-inch laptops. When choosing between the two, the only thing you need to consider is how much money you can shed out for your new device. From there, you can decide what computer to buy.
Thanks to technological advancements, laptop sizes no longer dictate the computer's capacity and specifications. Before, the smaller the laptop, the less powerful it was.
Fortunately, manufacturers can find a way to provide high-end specs on smaller-sized devices, allowing users to have both portability and good specifications in one computer. But smaller-sized laptops, like 14-inch ones, still come with some caveats.
For example, some 14-inch laptops have lower resolution than 15-inch laptops. This is because screen size can still affect the display resolution of a computer. At the same time, smaller laptops can't house other powerful components like GPUs. Because of this, you’ll rarely find a smaller laptop with dedicated GPUs.
So, if you need something with better resolution and GPU, a 15-inch laptop is definitely a better choice. But if you need something with a better processor, both 14-inch and 15-inch laptops can give you powerful CPUs.
If you're a gamer, you know the importance of screen size to your overall experience. So, the most obvious choice is a 15-inch laptop, especially if you don’t plan on bringing your computer somewhere else. But for gamers who move around, a 15-inch screen will give you less portability than a 14-inch laptop.
So, the best way to decide which laptop is best for your gaming, ask yourself the kind of setup you will have. Another thing that you need to consider is the gaming titles you will play. Many modern games require dedicated graphic cards, and if you play those games, you need to purchase one that can handle your gaming.
There are a lot of budget 15-inch laptops that have a dedicated GPU. However, 14-inch laptops with GPU are often on the pricier side. So, consult your budget and see which of them suits it.
Programming involves spending a lot of time in front of a computer. This is why the quality and size of the screen are important. In addition, you need something that won't strain your eyes; otherwise, you'll end up causing harm to your eyes or migraines. Because of this, a 15-inch laptop is the best choice for convenience. But that’s the only reason why we’re recommending this screen size.
As we've established above, the specs and capacity aren't affected much by its size. So, if you’re a programmer who doesn’t have a permanent workstation, a more compact laptop is probably what you’re looking for. This means that a 14-inch laptop is a better choice. You can adjust the size of your texts anyway, so an inch smaller screen won’t put much strain on your eyes.
Lastly, the screen size doesn’t have much effect on the way you code. It all boils down to personal preference.
For Video & Photo Editing
When you edit a photo and video, you need to be able to see every minute detail they have. These details are critical and can make or break the final output. That’s why you need a laptop that can offer the best resolution possible. If your laptop’s display is distorted, it will affect the quality of work you produce.
So, when choosing between 14 vs. 15-inch laptops, you need to ensure that they can give you the best display. Since 15-inch laptops have a wider display, they are often better for photo and video editing.
Additionally, many laptops this size have better GPUs than 14-inch, which can render better graphics. This makes video and photo editing easier.
For Graphic Design
Like video and photo editing, graphic design also requires good display. No graphic designer likes to work on a computer that renders pixelated graphics. In addition, the programs used for graphic design require a lot of computing power, so you need something that can provide you with the specs and display you need.
That’s why 15-inch laptops are a better choice for graphic designers. They might be bulky, but most laptops in this size offer powerful specs with a great display. In addition, since it has a larger screen, editing graphics will be easier because you won't need to always zoom in and out of the frame.
For Office Work
Both 14-inch and 15-inch laptops are great for office work. However, to find the best one for your computing needs, you need to determine the kind of office work you do. For example, do you run heavy programs, or do you only use Office suites? Do you bring your laptop home, or do you leave it in the office?
If you mostly do easy tasks such as typing or researching, a 14-inch laptop is a good option.
However, if you run heavier programs and don’t bring your laptop home, a 15-inch is the better choice. Once you determine this, you can easily decide the best laptop size.
A school laptop should be portable, especially if you always carry it with you. Also, if you just do simple tasks with your computers, such as typing and research, you don’t really need much from your laptop. This is why you can settle for a 14-inch laptop. It’s compact, easy to carry, and can offer you great specs perfect for school work.
However, if you deal with videos, graphics, and design for school, it’s best to look into 15-inch laptops. They might be on the heavier side, but they can offer better specs and display for this type of work.
Pros & Cons of 14-Inch Laptops
Pros & Cons of 15-Inch Laptops
Laptop Screen Size FAQs
What is the best resolution for a 14-inch laptop?
The standard resolution for 14-inch laptops is 800x600 pixels. However, some laptops can run 1366×768 pixels (HD) depending on the specs you have.
Which screen size is best for your eyes?
While there’s no best screen size for your eyes, a 15-inch is a better choice. This is because it allows you to see the display better. But smaller screen sizes can also be adjusted depending on your preference.
Lastly, you need to avoid large contrast between the brightness of the screen and your background light. If you don’t, you’ll experience more eye strain.
Are all 15.6-inch laptop screens the same?
Yes, most 15.6-inch laptop screens are compatible with one another.
Choosing between a 14-inch laptop and a 15-inch laptop can be challenging, especially if you don’t know what exactly you need from your device. That’s why the most important thing you need to do before purchasing a computer is to list down all the things you need from it and what you intend to do with it. This can help narrow down your choices and find the best one that fits your needs.
Andrew White is the founder of TechGearoid, a leading technology review & information website that is designed to help consumers make better decisions when it comes to their IT purchases. As a specialist tech writer (nerd) with over 10 years of experience, he enjoys writing about everything there is to do with modern technology & the newest market innovations. When he isn’t providing value for his readers, he’s usually drinking coffee or at the beach. Andrew lives in Sydney, Australia with his wife and family.