Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

The best 15-inch laptops for 2020

Like their 13-inch counterparts, 15-inch laptops keep getting thinner and lighter, but they’re still the same workhorses they’ve always been. Dell’s XPS 15 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

Dell XPS 15 7590 review
Riley Young/Digital Trends

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.

The XPS 15 is 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

The best 15-inch gaming laptop: Razer Blade 15 (2020)

Razer Blade base model compared
Dan Baker/Digital Trends

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. The Razer Blade is 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

The best 15-inch 2-in-1:Surface Book 3

Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

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 Pen and the intuitive 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.

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 the Book 3 from being a feasible option for everyone.

Read our full Microsoft Surface Book 3 review

The best budget 15-inch laptop: Acer Chromebook Spin 15

Acer Chromebook 15 Spin Review
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

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 just need a 15-inch laptop to carry to and from class or the office — i.e., the kind of laptop that’s only ever going to open a word processor or send the occasional email — then the Acer Chromebook Spin 15 is a good bet. At just $450, it’s not only one of the least expensive laptops in any segment of the market, but also the cheapest one on our list. To be fair, however, you do get what you pay for. This isn’t a laptop that’s going to run even the most casual game, partially because its budget-oriented design means it’s not very powerful, and partially because it’s a Chromebook.

This also means you’re not running Windows, you’re running Chrome OS, Google’s desktop operating system. Essentially, you’re limited to whatever you could feasibly run in a web browser. However, you can still access cloud storage, check your email, and sign into Slack and productivity suites like Google’s G Suite, and use any number of all the other web applications available. The convertible 2-in-1 design is also a plus in that it lets you binge Netflix in style, folding the keyboard back or flipping it over in tent mode. Overall, the Chromebook Spin 15 is a 15-inch laptop that costs a fraction of what you’d spend on even a new smartphone.

Read our full Acer Chromebook Spin 15 review

Editors' Recommendations