Like their 13-inch counterparts, 15-inch laptops keep getting thinner and lighter, but they’re still the same workhorses they’ve always been.remains our top pick at this size for its ability to cram all that power into a relatively tiny form. It’s a great all-rounder with some gaming punch for off-hours fun — and it’s not too costly either.
After hundreds of hours of testing time with the best 15-inch laptops, here’s our list of the greatest you can buy.
The best 15-inch laptops at a glance:
- The best 15-inch laptop: Dell XPS 15
- The best 15-inch gaming laptop: Razer Blade 15 (2020)
- The best 15-inch 2-in-1: Microsoft Surface Book 3
- The best 15-inch budget laptop: Acer Chromebook Spin 15
Why you should buy this: It’s one of the smallest 15-inch laptops around thanks to some tiny bezels, but it also packs in some seriously powerful components including a fast CPU and GPU.
Who’s it for: Anyone who needs serious power on the go but doesn’t want to take up too much room in a backpack.
What we thought of the Dell XPS 15:
There’s no steadier hand in the 15-inch laptop market than Dell, and its XPS 15 exemplifies the reputation 15-inch laptops have rightly earned: They’re dependable, powerful, and robust. The latest XPS 15 features up to a 9th-gen Intel Core i9 processor and an optional Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card. The XPS 15 is also one of the smallest 15-inch laptops available, weighing in at just 4 pounds and measuring a svelte 17 millimeters at its thickest point.
This extra real estate comes with a few perks though, not least of which is the display. The XPS 15 features an Infinity Edge display, meaning its bezels are razor-thin, and in our tests, it was incredibly vibrant with great contrast and nearly pitch-perfect color accuracy. You can choose from Full HD (1,920 x 1,080), 4K IPS (3,840 x 2,160), and 4K OLED displays, meaning that creative types can find the best mix of image quality and battery life for their needs.
Theis also a capable gaming rig — if you don’t mind turning down some settings. All in all, it’s your best option if you’re looking at picking up a 15-inch laptop, and it starts at just $1,000.
Read our full Dell XPS 15 review
Why you should buy this: It’s a fast and furious gaming laptop that still lets you look like you’re getting some work done.
Who’s it for: Any gamer who wants a powerful gaming laptop but doesn’t want to carry around anything too garish.
What we thought of the Razer Blade 15 (2020):
Finding a 15-inch gaming laptop is pretty easy — it’s where you’ll find most of them, to be honest. Some hit 14 inches, like the 2017 Razer Blade 14, while others venture into 17-inch territory and beyond, like the Razer Blade Pro. For the most part, though, the best balance between performance and form factor can be found in the 15-inch range. Unsurprisingly, that’s precisely where Razer placed its latest Blade machine, the Razer Blade 15 that’s been significantly enhanced for its 2020 version. It’s relatively thin, looks awesome, and sports a great build.
But most importantly, it performs really well too. The laptop includes a 10th-gen Intel Core processor with up to 5.1GHz in turbo mode, an excellent GeForce RTX 2080 Super with 8GB of VRAM, and 16GB of RAM. A 512GB SSD covers storage. The Blade 15 also supports Chroma RGB lighting for any customization that you may want. Ports now include Thunderbolt 3, USB-C, USB-A, and HDMI, and the laptop is ready for Wi-Fi 6. There’s even some upgraded cooling to help keep the laptop operating efficiently.
Your display options range from 240Hz Full HD to 4K OLED (our Amazon pick includes the 4K OLED option) meaning you can dial in exactly the display performance that’s perfect for your gaming needs. Theis a bit pricey, but it offers a stunning look that fits as well in a boardroom as at a LAN party.
Read our full Razer Blade 15 review
Why you should buy this: There’s no denying this 2-in-1’s unique and innovative form that gives you a powerful full-size laptop and an expansive but lightweight tablet.
Who’s it for: Anyone who wants to draw or write on a massive slate yet needs a powerful clamshell as well.
What we thought of the Microsoft Surface Book 3:
Finding a 2-in-1 or tablet that comes in a 15-inch size is not an easy task. Thankfully, Microsoft’s latest version of the Surface Book features a massive 15-inch display that detaches from the keyboard to become one of the largest, lightest, and most luxurious tablets on the market today. Coupled with support for a new, more colorful version of the Surface Dial, the Surface Book 3 offers access to a unique ecosystem of peripherals and accessories. When it comes down to it, however, it’s just a super-slick laptop with massive improvements from earlier models.and the intuitive
Specs incude a quad-core, 10th-gen Intel Core processor that’s 30% faster than the Book 2, and a GeForce GTX 1650 for graphics. You can choose up to 32GB of RAM, and up to a 2TB SSD, although this will quickly spiral costs upward so be careful that you choose the specs you really need. The display itself is a masterful touchscreen with a 3,340 x 2,160 resolution.
Battery power for this 15-inch model is rated at a very impressive 17.5 hours, and connections include USB-C, USB-A, Surface Connect, and an SDXC card reader. If you can afford it, this is one of the best 15-inch laptops available, but the high costs keep thefrom being a feasible option for everyone.
Read our full Microsoft Surface Book 3 review
Why you should buy this: It’s an efficient and economical Chromebook that gives you the flexibility of a 2-in-1 with a full-size display.
Who’s it for: Anyone who likes the simplicity and security of Chrome OS but wants to binge Netflix in comfort.
What we thought of the Acer Chromebook Spin 15:
If you’re looking for portability and convenience in your 15-inch laptop, the Acer Chromebook Spin 15 should be on your radar. While its purpose is only to open a word processor or send the occasional email, it starts at just $450 brand-new (and you may be able to find it for even less than that, depending on where you shop). It’s the cheapest pick on your list and, as far as 15-inch laptops go, more than affordable.
This Chromebook might not be for you if you’re a Windows fan. It doesn’t offer the same gaming support. The design is budget-oriented, and as such, it won’t run any casual games. If you choose the Chromebook, don’t expect the same bells and whistles you may get elsewhere.
However, while the operating system on this laptop is ChromeOS, you can still use Windows Online if you need to. Essentially, this laptop limits you to whatever you can feasibly run in a web browser. You can access cloud storage, check your email, and sign into sites like Slack, Google’s G Suite, and use any number of other web applications, but that’s about it.
A significant positive feature is the laptop’s 2-in-1 design. You can position your laptop in theater mode, which is ideal for watching your favorite Netflix shows, or you can always choose tent mode instead. Overall, the Acer Chromebook Spin 15 is a 15-inch laptop that costs a fraction of what you’d spend on most modern technology—even a new smartphone.
Read our full Acer Chromebook Spin 15 review
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