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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 (2020)

Why you should buy this: It’s one of the smallest 15-inch laptops around thanks to some tiny bezels, but it also packs 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 (2020):

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 10th-gen Intel Core processor (starting with the i5-10300H) and graphics up to a GeForce GTX 1650 Ti. 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. However, there’s still enough room for up to 1TB of PCIe NVMe SSD storage.

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 touchscreen displays, meaning that creative types can find the best mix of image quality and battery life for their needs.

If you’re looking for a 15-inch laptop, we highly recommend starting with this model: You can’t do better than the XPS, and base models have reasonable prices.

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 15 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: Microsoft 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 i7 1065G7 processor that’s 30% faster than the Book 2, and a GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 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 new Surface Book 3 from being a feasible option for everyone.

Read our full Microsoft Surface Book 3 review

The best budget 15-inch laptop: Lenovo Chromebook C340

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 Lenovo Chromebook C340:

If you’re looking for portability and convenience in your 15-inch laptop, this Lenovo Chromebook should be on your radar. It’s an extra-light laptop with only 32GB of storage (and you can customize down even further than that), designed primarily to work with cloud services and Chrome apps/extensions. 

While it’s not the best pick for people who need Windows, the Chromebook excels at more casual work. It’s HD touchscreen is quite serviceable, and inside you’ll find an Intel Pentium Gold 4417U two-core processor and 4GB of SDRAM, plus an HD camera and mic array for easy online classes or web conferences. Ports include two USB-C, USB-A 3.1, and a MicroSD card reader if you end up really needing some extra storage space.

However, while the operating system on this laptop is ChromeOS, you can still use Windows Online if you need to. 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 running larger programs may prove difficult. However, it only costs a fraction of what you’d pay for a new smartphone, and is a great option if you need a laptop for minor tasks at school or work, but want a larger screen for switching to entertainment mode.

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