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Rounding up the latest 14-inch laptops

We usually prefer laptops on the smaller side of midsize, and this handy collection of recent 14-inch models runs from budget to high-end.

This may come as a surprise, but laptop shoppers don't always take our advice to heart. For example, we've strongly suggested that people in the market for a midsize laptop (generally one with a 14-, 15-, or 16-inch display) focus their attention on the 14-inch end of that spectrum rather than the more common 15-inch size.

Why? Sure, you're trading away a little bit of screen size (though usually not any screen resolution), but 14-inch midsize laptops offer better overall industrial design, largely because the standard laptop keyboard fits much better in a 14-inch chassis than a 15-inch one, leaving much less dead space on either side.

But despite our protestations, 15-inch models still outsell 14-inch ones, even though they're significantly less portable in most cases. So if you're in the market for a midsize laptop, and want to shave off a little size and weight while keeping the same CPU power and screen resolution, check out our handy list of recent 14-inch laptops below.

Dell Inspiron 14z
The Dell Inspiron 14z thins down the bulky look of the average Inspiron laptop while sacrificing none of the performance or battery life, adding up to an affordable mainstream notebook. Still, it's "thinner," not "ultraslim," so don't expect a MacBook Air.
Read the full review.

Lenovo Essential B470 Intel Core i5-2410M
The Lenovo Essential B470 is priced alongside Intel Core i5 laptops from other PC makers, but at least tosses in an entry-level GPU. That makes the B470 a decent overall package, and a passably good-looking budget laptop.
Read the full review.

Toshiba Satellite P745D-S4240
The budget-priced Toshiba Satellite P745D-S4240 will save you some money thanks to its AMD A6 processor, with a dip in speed in exchange for some better-than-average graphics.
Read the full review.

Gateway ID47H02u
The Gateway ID47H02u is a slim-bodied, full-featured 14-inch laptop that offers a surprisingly strong mix of performance and design at a price that hovers between budget and mainstream.
Read the full review.

HP Envy 14 (Summer 2011)
A much-needed update to its internal components makes HP's Envy 14 one of the best high-end laptops for people who are looking for a PC with the flair of a MacBook.
Read the full review.

The 14-inch laptop still only makes up a small percentage of the systems we review, but we think it's a size worth a look if you need something bigger than an ultraportable or 13-inch, but still need to be mobile on a regular basis (just try opening that 15-incher up in a coach airline seat). Are the trade-offs in screen size and slightly higher price worth it? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.