If you are investing in a laptop, consider everything to choose the perfect screen size that suits your needs!
Choosing a laptop is no piece of cake; the available options are pretty overwhelming.
Besides the hardware, screen size is an important parameter to decide. It may seem an aesthetic decision, but the screen size also determines many other specifications. Because the screen size isn’t alterable, making the right decision is crucial.
The two popular choices are an 11.6-inch and a 14-inch screen. Both screen sizes offer some fantastic benefits, along with a few downsides. So, it will boil down to your preferences.
This article will cover the ten things to consider while deciding the screen size of your laptop!
Dive in to get your answer!
- 11.6 vs. 14 Inch Laptop (Quick Answer)
- 11.6 vs. 14 Inch Laptop (10 Things to Consider)
- Summary of the Points:
- How to Measure Your Laptop Screen
11.6 vs. 14 Inch Laptop (Quick Answer)
An 11.6-inch laptop is preferable if you travel often and must work on the go. On the contrary, a 14-inch laptop offers better specifications and display resolution. Here’s a quick overview of both:
Get the 11.6″ Laptop when:
- You’re on a budget
- When portability is your primary concern
- You don’t require intensive hardware for creative work
- You aren’t concerned about upgrading it
- Your basic requirements include media consumption, note-taking, and simple content creation
Get the 14″ Laptop when:
- You have a greater budget
- You want a bigger screen and upgradability
- Have to create heavier content
- Want a higher display resolution
- Want powerful specs and some level of portability
Note: Screen size isn’t the only factor to consider when you choose a laptop. There are many more parameters to weigh before investing. Read about the Average Laptop Battery Life here to know more.
11.6 vs. 14 Inch Laptop (10 Things to Consider)
Smaller laptops are trending because of portability. However, the bigger ones offer more, spec-wise! Let’s review the ten most important things to consider while choosing the size of your laptop screen:
1- Screen Size/Resolution
The 11.6-inch has a lower resolution due to its smaller size and lower price. It has a 768p display, acceptable for light content creation and streaming on the go. You might find some exceptions, such as the Microsoft Surface Go 2, which offers you the 1280p resolution equivalent to a 14-inch.
However, if you are looking for a bigger screen and a better view, then you shouldn’t go for an 11.6-inch.
If you have a higher budget, you must get a 14-inch resolution of 1280p to 4K, depending on the model.
The higher price brings the perk of a much better display and viewing experience. This screen size and resolution will be perfect for graphic tasks and even your daily streaming!
2- Comfort of Eyes
Using an 11.6-inch laptop for prolonged durations can strain your eyes due to the small screen size and lower resolution. This one isn’t the right choice to stream back-to-back shows on Netflix or working long hours.
The bigger size and better resolution of the 14-inch make it easier to stare at the screen for longer. So, if your work requires you to stare at a screen for considerably longer periods, invest in this bigger screen to ensure the comfort of your eyes.
Recommendation: It is always advisable to incorporate small breaks from screen time if you work longer hours, regardless of the screen size.
Productivity is subjective. Some may find the compact 11.6-inch outstanding due to its lightweight and increased battery life.
It is excellent for taking notes, reading, collecting data, browsing the internet, and more essential tasks.
The 14-inch might be more efficient if you prefer a bigger screen. This can take up intensive tasks like coding, developing, video editing, etc. You could also split the screen for using multiple apps at once.
It’s a tie!
4- Speed & Performance
The 11.6-inch has a low processing speed, which renders it unfit for heavier tasks and applications. Hence there are better options for jobs like coding, developing, gaming, etc.
Don’t expect the 11.6-inch to perform while you overburden it with intensive tasks. It is only recommended for light content creation and streaming.
The 14-inch has excellent processing speed and performance; gamers and programmers prefer it. So, if speed and performance are crucial for your work, invest in this one.
The extra price you pay will allow you to get your intensive tasks done faster without any glitches and delays.
The compact size puts a limit on the upgradeability of the 11.6-inch laptops. These laptops mainly include Celeron processors with Intel graphics or Intel Pentium, as they have passive cooling.
The cheaper versions come with 32GB or 64GB eMMC storage (coin-sized). But the pricier versions also have 128 GB SSD.
These laptops have 4 GB RAM, up to 8 GB. The storage and RAM can be upgraded, though, as they are soldered on the motherboard.
The 14-inch has a more significant form factor and a cooling system, including heat pipes and fans. So, you can easily upgrade it with a powerful processor and even a graphics card.
These laptops come with Intel Core i3, including integrated graphics. (The processor might be up to AMD Ryzen 9 processor with graphic cards of up to RTX 30 series).
These laptops have 32GB RAM with up to 1TB SSD storage. You might not be able to upgrade the RAM, but you can substitute the SSD storage. In short, 14-inch supports upgradeability if you need more power!
The 11.6-inch laptops have smaller keyboards that don’t have a number pad. This lack may affect you if you need the computer for office work or work a lot with numbers. It’s a no-go if you have to type a lot daily.
The 14-inch laptops also have a compact keyboard but are outstanding for typing. The design and layout of the keyboard are such that your fingers can easily reach all the keys.
Moreover, the keys are very responsive. Also, the extra size allows for some spare keys to be a part of the layout making your life easier!
The 11.6-inch weighs around 1.2 to 2.2 pounds making it a clear winner in portability. Also, although the batteries are smaller and weaker, you can still get up to 12 hours of juice out of them!
The 14-inch is heavier on the scale and weighs around 3.5 pounds. However, it is still portable and can be carried daily for work.
The battery capacity is double as compared to the 11.6-inch. So, it can easily last the same time despite having higher resolution and powerful specifications.
The 11.6-inch laptops cost only around $200-$350. If you are a student or short on budget, this laptop makes a budget-friendly and reasonable investment. You can get some amazing features and specifications in this budget with a few limitations.
On the contrary, a 14-inch laptop will cost you around four times more than an 11.6-inch one. You will be getting better specifications, higher speed, and a bigger screen. It all does come at a price.
So, if budget is not an issue for you and you need a computer for professional purposes, a 14-inch one is the way to go.
9- Gaming & Entertainment
The 11.6-inch laptop with its convertible feature is a perfect media consumption partner. You can easily lie on your bed or sofa, and this compact laptop will keep you entertained.
However, the quality will undoubtedly remain a limitation. The resolution and hardware can’t provide the ultimate gaming/entertaining experience!
The bigger screen resolution will make the streaming session more pleasurable. Gaming is also better when you have a sharp display on a more extensive and brighter display.
From playing games to watching YouTube/Netflix, everything feels better on 1080p to 4K, depending on your laptop model!
10- Battery Life
The 11.6-inch laptop has a great battery life lasting 6 to 12 hours. The battery life depends on usage. It would last longer if you were reading or typing. And not long if you are running code or watching a movie marathon.
Look for an 11.6-inch laptop with a fast charging option if your job only allows you to charge it sometimes. The fast charging and good battery life will allow you to manage your workload easily.
Since a 14-inch laptop has better specifications and higher screen resolution, its battery life is usually not as great as the 11.6-inch laptop. The intensive hardware and screen resolution will drain the battery much faster.
Summary of the Points:
Here is the summary of the points in the form of a table to clearly see the difference between both 11.6 and 14-inch models:
|1. Screen Size/Resolution||Lower resolution (768p)||Higher resolution (1280p to 4K)|
|2. Comfort of Eyes||Strain on eyes due to small size and lower resolution||Easier to stare at the screen for longer|
|3. Productivity||Suitable for essential tasks (notes, browsing)||More efficient for intensive tasks (coding, video editing)|
|4. Speed & Performance||Low processing speed, recommended for light tasks||Excellent speed and performance for intensive tasks|
|5. Upgradability||Limited upgradeability (storage and RAM)||More upgradable with powerful processor and graphics card|
|6. Keyboard||Smaller keyboard, lacks number pad||Compact keyboard layout, responsive keys|
|7. Portability||Lightweight (1.2 to 2.2 pounds), longer battery life||Heavier (around 3.5 pounds), larger battery capacity|
|8. Affordability||Budget-friendly ($200-$350)||Higher cost, better specifications|
|9. Gaming & Entertainment||Limited gaming/entertainment experience||Enhanced gaming and entertainment on a bigger, sharper display|
|10. Battery Life||Lasts 6 to 12 hours, depends on usage||Battery life not as great as 11.6-Inch|
How to Measure Your Laptop Screen
Measuring your laptop screen can give you an estimate of its specifications and quality. This information might also be helpful if you damage your screen and need to replace it.
- Take a measuring tape and place its tip on one of the corners of your laptop. Measure diagonally towards the opposite corner. This is your screen size.
- Ensure you leave the plastic edge (bezel) out of your measurement. Only measure the screen area.
Bigger screens are nice, but they come at the cost of weight and size, not to forget the price! It’s about balancing the trade-offs between size and portability!
Both 11.6 and 14-inch have their pros and cons. The 11.6-inch is the winner regarding price, battery life, and portability. It makes the perfect choice for students, bloggers, and travelers.
The 14-inch is the winner in screen resolution, storage size, speed, and performance, keyboard size, and it is better for the eyes! It is the right choice for gamers and programmers!