Why buy a 15-inch laptop? Well, they’re not only larger than the best 13- or 14-inch laptops, but they’re also often much more powerful. They don’t always need to be big and clunky, either.
Take, for example, our pick for the best overall 15-inch laptop, the Dell XPS 15. It remains our top pick at this size for its ability to cram all that power into a relatively tiny form.
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:
Dell XPS 15
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 15
Razer Blade 15
HP Spectre x360 15
Samsung Chromebook 4+
Dell XPS 15
Why you should buy this: It’s the best overall 15-inch laptop you can buy.
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.
Why we chose 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 an 11th-gen Intel Core i9 processor (starting with the i5-11400H) and graphics up to an Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti. The XPS 15 is best when you pump it full of powerful components, as it’s not quite as thin or light as some of the other laptops on this list.
That’s not to say it’s large in terms of volume — in fact, the footprint remains one of the smallest on this list thanks to its ultra-thin bezels. The 16:10 aspect ratio ensures that you have plenty of screen real estate too.
Read our in-depth Dell XPS 15 review
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4
Why you should buy this: It’s the best ultrathin 15-inch laptop you can buy.
Who’s it for: Those who want a highly portable laptop that still has a large display.
Why we chose the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4:
Most people shopping for a 15-inch laptop are looking for an extra level of performance, which is why the Dell XPS 15 is our first choice. However, if you want a 15-inch laptop primarily for the larger screen and don’t need the additional power that a discrete GPU provides, the Surface Laptop 4 is a fantastic option. The high-resolution 3:2 screen is glorious, and easily one of the best screens to work on.
So, while you can’t put in a more powerful GPU in this system, the Surface Laptop 4 does have some decent processor options in its latest upgrade. The AMD Ryzen 7 model that we tested provides eight processing cores and turns this extremely thin laptop into a fairly powerful machine in certain workflows. Battery life is quite good as well, lasting more than a full day on a single charge.
But obviously, the size of the Surface Laptop 4 is its greatest strength. The 0.57-inch thickness and a weight of just 3.4 pounds make it an extremely portable laptop, perfect for taking your work on the go without sacrificing a large screen.
Read our in-depth Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 review
Razer Blade 15
Dan Baker/Digital TrendsWhy you should buy this: It’s the best 15-inch gaming laptop you can buy.
Who’s it for: Any gamer who wants a powerful gaming laptop but doesn’t want to carry around anything too garish.
Why we chose the Razer Blade 15:
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 in-depth Razer Blade 15 review
HP Spectre x360 15
Mark Coppock/Digital TrendsWhy you should buy this: It’s a great alternative to the Dell XPS 15.
Who’s it for: Anyone who needs a large, powerful laptop and likes the extra design flourishes of the Spectre brand.
Why we chose the HP Spectre x360 15:
The HP Spectre x360 15 is another gorgeous 15-inch Windows laptop. It’s similar to the XPS 15, but it certainly has a glitzier design. The panache of the color options and gold accents make it stand out from the crowd — no doubt about that.
More than that, the Spectre x360 15 has a few key features that the XPS 15 is missing. It has a number pad, which some people will prefer to have. It also has a 360-degree hinge and touchscreen in all configurations, which is another feature many people will appreciate. Lastly, the Spectre x360 15 has a better port selection, offering two USB-A ports and an HDMI port in addition to the USB-C that the XPS 15 offers.
You can choose between 10th-generation H-series Intel processors and a discrete GTX 1650 Ti GPU, or an 11th-gen Core i7-1165G7 with either Intel Irix Xe graphics or an Nvidia GeForce MX330 GPU. Note that if you like the design and ethos of this laptop, you can opt for the smaller and taller Spectre x360 14 or the speedy HP Envy x360 15 instead.
Read our in-depth HP Spectre x360 15 review
Samsung Chromebook 4+
Why you should buy this: It’s the best budget 15-inch laptop.
Who’s it for: Anyone looking for a cheap 15-inch laptop that still has a large screen.
Why we chose the Samsung Chromebook 4+:
Budget laptops always come with compromises, and 15-inch laptops are no exception. If you’re looking for a basic laptop to get you by, the Samsung Chromebook 4+ is a great option. It’s a surprisingly sleek-looking laptop, resembling a device not so dissimilar to a MacBook Pro. Even the bezels around the screen are fairly trim, making for a modern laptop you’d never guess was so cheap.
It comes with a 1080p screen, 6GB of RAM, and an Intel Celeron processor. The performance won’t blow you out of the water, but Chrome OS makes good use of even lower-powered processors like the Intel Celeron. If your needs are fairly limited, you’ll be hard-pressed to find another 15-inch laptop this good at such a low price.
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