One form factor that has become increasingly popular among contemporary audiences is the best 15-inch laptop.
One glance at the modern laptop marketplace is enough to overwhelm anyone who isn’t quite, let’s just say, tech-savvy. The markets are flooded with laptops in various form factors, claiming to suit needs as diverse as attending corporate huddles to cheering you on during gaming marathons.
If you migrated to a full-purpose laptop from a desktop, you might have got home a 17-inch laptop.
These devices have large, satisfying screens; what they frequently lack is the ability to travel with you to school or work.
To cater to this gaping hole, manufacturers invested in 13-inch and 14-inch laptops. But while these smart little devices definitely love to see the world, they lack the real estate to offer much by way of multimedia or effortless typing.
Seated comfortably—almost smugly—between these two form factors is the 15-inch laptop that seems to strike just the right balance.
Not only that, but they are also available in a variety of prices, starting at around $349 (yes, indeed!) and going up to $2000 and more for premium 15-inch devices. This makes them suitable for a wide spectrum of budgets.
- For Whom are 15-inch Laptops Made?
- Our Picks: 10 Best 15 Inch Laptops 2021
- 1. Razer Blade 15 Base 2021 (For Creators)
- 2. Acer Predator Helios 300 (Budget Gaming)
- 3. Dell XPS 15 9500 (Best Overall)
- 4. MSI GS66 Stealth 15-inch QHD Laptop
- 5. Acer Aspire 5 A515-45 Budget 15-inch Laptop
- 6. ASUS TUF Gaming F15 Budget Gaming Laptop
- 7. ASUS VivoBook 15 M515 Cheap 15-inch Laptop
- 8. Acer Aspire 5 A515-56-50RS Laptop
- 9. Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 (15-inch Premium)
- 10. ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 (Best Performance)
- How to Choose 13, 15 and 17-inch Laptops
- 15-Inch Laptop with or Without Numeric Keypad – How To Choose?
- Why 15-inch Laptops Have Become a Rage
- Final Words
For Whom are 15-inch Laptops Made?
Ever since their launch, 15-inch laptops have occupied considerable mind-space as well as market share.
These computers hit the perfect balance of form and function. Their USP is delivering high performance while also offering a certain degree of portability—something that is missing in a 17-inch laptop.
Most products in this line-up are sturdily built with dazzling displays and powerful specifications designed to do justice to CPU-draining tasks.
If you have been toying with the idea of purchasing a 15-inch laptop, this checklist will get things going:
- Gamers: Gamers will find a 15-inch laptop useful for its large screen, competent processor, and dedicated GPU. It is possible to carry this computer to gaming marathons and competitive events as well as use it as a stationary entertainment platform.
- Creative professionals and students: People engaged in creative pursuits such as film-making, graphics designing, architectural design, animation, and 3D modeling will also find a 15-inch laptop suited to their needs. You can comfortably run heavy-duty applications and software without compromising on performance. Since the display is also immersive and vast, there is more space to delve into detail as you work.
- Seekers of portability: While the power delivered by a 17-inch laptop is phenomenal, it is bulky and difficult to lug along with you. If your standard day is fairly power-hungry, but you also need to move around for school or work, a 15-inch laptop can be the golden mean. Many models in this range weigh about 5–6lbs which, while not feather-light, is a manageable load.
- Anyone who needs a separate numeric keypad: Do you need a dedicated numeric keypad on the keyboard? This is a feature that many people in professions such as data entry, programming, and operations research require. You can find a separate num-pad in 15-inch laptops; it is a rarity in smaller form factors.
- Those who want a large screen size: Among many laptop users, a large display is a necessity. For instance, do you have eyesight problems or experience excessive eye strain? Using the larger screen of a 15-inch machine can ease these troubles for you. A 14-inch or 13-inch laptop can be too cramped for comfort.
- Higher screen resolution: Typically, 15-inch computers tend to offer an optimal screen resolution of 1920 x 1080. This is suitable for varied forms of content and manages to render your imagery with minimal loss of detail. A smaller resolution such as 1366 x 768 that you find in many 14-inch laptops can feel rather low and unsatisfactory. This is especially true if a vivid display is high up on your priority list. The difference will be palpable if you engage in streaming multimedia content, browsing through photos and videos, etc.
Note: Few 15-inch laptops offer a long battery life. The most you will see is in the range of 5–6 hours. So, if greater unplugged usage is on your shopping list, you might want to reconsider getting a 15-inch computer. It is a trade-off that requires careful thought.
Our Picks: 10 Best 15 Inch Laptops 2021
In this article, we have prepared an extensive list of the very best 15 Inch laptops in the marketplace in 2021.
We have also reviewed the offerings of these competent laptops and their fitment to your needs vis-à-vis their price point, to make your shopping experience well-informed and hassle-free.
Best 15-inch Laptop Recommended Specs
|Processor||11th Generation Intel Core i7-11800H|
8-Core Processor (Up to 4.9 GHz)
|Graphics||NVIDIA GeForce GTX/RTX GPU|
|Memory||16GB DDR4 2933MHz Memory|
|Storage||512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD|
|Display||15.6″ Full HD (1920 x 1080)|
Widescreen LED-backlit IPS display
|Weight||Under 5 lbs.|
|Battery||Up to 10 Hours|
|OS||Windows 10 Home 64-bit|
1. Razer Blade 15 Base 2021 (For Creators)
Razer is a brand known for their gaming devices and in case you have been on the lookout for the best 15” variant, the Razer Blade 15 2021 is hands down the best available options.
Powered by the latest 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10750H processor and the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 GPU, this is the device of today.
It lets you charge through some of the heavy-duty games without any hassle at all.
The 15.6” FHD thin bezel display comes with a 144Hz refresh rate to let you enjoy every single frame without further questions. The CNC aluminum body of this gaming laptop is not just durable but extremely lightweight too, making this a very favorable option for the heavy-duty gamers.
As for the storage and memory options, the device is packed with 256GB SSD along with 16GB RAM for smoother user experience beyond your comprehension.
2. Acer Predator Helios 300 (Budget Gaming)
Gaming laptops and budget-friendly are often counteractive.
Finding good gaming laptops packed with the latest features in a reasonable price is a tough call.
But, Acer makes it possible with the Predator Helios 300. With a sturdy and durable build with an all-black design, this device is everything that you need to get your gaming fix.
It runs on the 10th Generation Intel Core i7-10750H hexa-core processor along with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 GPU with 6GB GGDR6 VRAM for crisp and clear graphics.
The 4-zone RGB backlit keyboard stands out in terms of design and the overall functionality too.
The device is also integrated with 512GB NVMe SSD for faster storage and booting. It is backed by 16GB RAM that ensures no compromises for your gaming efficiency. It runs on the Windows 10 Home operating system.
3. Dell XPS 15 9500 (Best Overall)
This innovative offering from Dell’s stables combines competent processing with a fabulous display and flexible build.
It is safe to say that the 15.6” Dell XPS 15 9500 laptop is your best pick for an all-rounder option.
It is fuelled by an Intel Core i7-10750H processor, GTX 1650Ti, 16GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD and battery life over 12 hours. All this fits in snugly inside a chassis that weighs only 4.0lbs and is about 0.71” thick.
Although this Dell laptop is compact and highly portable, it also offers a stellar display. The FHD screen is fitted with an anti-glare panel and supports In-Plane Switching. (You can opt for the 4K Ultra HD display with a resolution of 3840 x 2160.) Its 4-sided InfinityEdge display ensures minimal external interference.
Plus, it has a color gamut of 100% sRGB and brightness of 500 nits. This ensures that your content renders accurately with all its details intact.
Dell deserves accolades for its focus on build and user-friendliness. The palm rest, for instance, is built of composite carbon fiber for extra durability as well as comfort.
You can avail of the security offered by the integrated fingerprint reader and the new-and-improved webcam with a four-element lens and noise reduction. Both of these are very handy in collaborative working environments.
Not only is this Dell laptop excellent at delivering professional tasks, but it also loves a spot of fun. With Dell Cinema, you get the remarkable combination of CinemaStream and CinemaSound.
While the former, with the help of Killer Wireless, guarantees that your A/V content gets the optimum bandwidth to be stutter-free, the latter uses Waves MaxxAudio to boost volume and sound quality. The result is gorgeous; the sound is studio-grade.
4. MSI GS66 Stealth 15-inch QHD Laptop
Compact gaming laptop with ultra-thin bezel and efficient cooling
Think MSI, and you envision a sturdy, stolid gamer that knows no respite from adrenaline-pumping gaming sessions.
The MSI GS66 Stealth, although it is a 15.6” laptop, offers a gaming prowess that can rival that of many larger laptops.
Fueled by latest 11th gen. Intel Core i7-11800H processor, 16GB RAM, 1TB of SSD memory, and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 graphics, this device is ready to fast-track your life and how.
Its optimum refresh rate of 165Hz and swift response time of 3ms make it a compelling choice for anyone who needs a portable laptop suited for both gaming and everyday tasks.
And yes, in case you are worried about the cooling mechanism—a common challenge in compact gaming laptops—you needn’t be. The “Cooler Boost Trinity” technology manages to dissipate heat efficiently, using a combination of three fans and four heat pipes.
Let’s analyze the display in more detail. The screen is FHD, and the overall design employs a thin-bezel approach. At 4.9mm or 0.19”, the bezel is among the thinnest on this list. The display also offers an anti-glare, wide view panel with an aspect ratio of 16:9. Note that the color gamut is DCI-P3 100%.
Complementing the look-and-feel excellence well is the smooth auditory system with 7.1 Enhanced Audio (Nahimic 3) and loudspeakers that boast of extended bass, volume and frequency.
Ease of access is not a challenge with this machine, thanks to its lightweight construction (4.63lbs) and slim profile (0.7”). It also offers a backlit keyboard (Steel series) with per-key RGB lighting to enhance your gaming endeavors.
One word for the beauty of this machine: it is hard not to fall in love with the black chassis. Total drool material!
5. Acer Aspire 5 A515-45 Budget 15-inch Laptop
Affordable 15-inch laptop suitable for casual gaming
If you thought you would never chance upon a 15-inch laptop under $1000, this is where that presumption changes.
The Acer Aspire 5 is a 15.6” laptop that comes in for a bargain but doesn’t skimp on the essentials in its bid to save you a few dollars.
Energized by a powerful AMD Ryzen 7 5700U CPU, this laptop is equipped with 8GB RAM and 512GB SSD storage. The display is satisfactory too—an FHD screen with an IPS panel, wide-angle viewing, and AMD Radeon graphics.
Doesn’t sound remotely like an inexpensive laptop? Indeed, this laptop is apt even for casual gaming, to say nothing of daily tasks like completing presentations and hopping on to the internet.
With this purchase, you get a handful of smart upgrading and connectivity options. For instance, you can avail of 802.11ax Wi-Fi that comes infused with MIMO wireless (2×2). You can also use the compartment door to upgrade the RAM or the storage, depending on your needs.
We have to mention the high-quality sound that this miniature laptop manages to deliver. Thanks to Acer TrueHarmony, and the digital microphones (dual) with background noise reduction, the auditory output is fabulous. It makes all your A/V activities rewarding.
Finally, there is one area where this laptop slightly does cut corners: the weight is 3.88lbs, and the thickness stands at 0.71”. The battery life is average at about 11 hours.
6. ASUS TUF Gaming F15 Budget Gaming Laptop
For some gamers, it is either the best or nothing. The ASUS TUF Gaming F15 is designed to cater to this high-needs audience.
Fueled by an Intel Core i7-11800H processor, 16GB RAM, a 512GB SSD, and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050Ti graphics, this laptop brings your game alive.
The RTX GPU is especially praiseworthy for its innovative features like real-time ray tracing. It also offers images enhanced by artificial intelligence. The result is a fluid gaming experience, not hampered by loss of detail.
ASUS has put together an excellent display for this laptop. The refresh rate offered is 144Hz, which is greater than the industry standard of 60Hz and provides fantastic detailing.
Let us talk about the heat dissipation system—a must for powerful gaming laptops that don’t want to fizzle out when things get rough.
Here, you will find anti-dust tunnels and multiple operating modes such as silent, balanced and turbo. This customizes operations as per your needs. The fans are also more efficient than in older models.
Note: All this comes to you in a package that weighs only 5.07lbs and measures 0.96”. Take that for portability!
7. ASUS VivoBook 15 M515 Cheap 15-inch Laptop
VivoBooks have a clear edge when it comes to mobility, and the ASUS VivoBook 15 M515 only reiterates this.
A fantastically compact but competent laptop, this VivoBook is run by an AMD Ryzen 7 5500U CPU, 16GB RAM, and 512GB SSD.
The chassis weighs only 4.19lbs which makes it one of the lightest on the list. The profile is incredibly thin too—at only 0.78”. You can carry it with you in rucksacks and quite literally not feel a thing.
How about the display? The FHD monitor employs a narrow-bezel design that manages to increase the screen-to-body ratio to 83%. The result is beautifully vivid images and hardly any external interference for the viewer.
In other accessibility features, we love the ergonomic backlit keyboard. The fingerprint sensor also adds a comforting layer of security.
8. Acer Aspire 5 A515-56-50RS Laptop
For the users looking for a mid-range budget-friendly 15-inch laptop, the Acer Aspire 5 A515-56-50RS is likely one of the best options around.
From a stunning performance to the long-lasting battery life with Intel Core i5-1135G7 Processor. This ensures seamless performance without any interruptions around.
As for the display, the Aspire 5 is also equipped with a 15.6” FHD widescreen IPS LCD-backlit display with 1080p screen resolution. It is also integrated with Intel Iris Xe graphics. The 8GB RAM enables superior multi-tasking as well. It doesn’t lag in terms of the storage requirements too as it is backed with 256GB SSD.
If you are wondering about the overall connectivity options, the Aspire 5 is also backed with the best I/O ports and wireless connectivity option with the Intel Wireless Wi-Fi 6 with fingerprint reader for enhanced security. The backlit keyboard is also a stunner with 8.5 hours of battery life.
9. Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 (15-inch Premium)
Following the constant wait by the users, the Surface Laptop 4 was nothing short of a miracle.
The device comes with a sleek and outstanding design, not to mention, a premium metal construction for long-lasting usage.
The device is powered by the latest 11th Gen. Intel Core i7 processor with an elegant 15” size that is light, portable and supports split-screen multitasking experience.
The touchscreen display is one of a kind and helps you work even when you are flying. Designed for comfort and convenience, the laptop is integrated with fast charging and industry-leading typing comfort, thanks to the optimized key travel in the keypad.
The Surface Laptop 4 is available in four different colors and is integrated with 512GB SSD for faster and efficient storage and 16GB RAM for unmatched memory options. Also, thanks to the front-facing 720p HD camera, your video conferencing calls are clear and without any distortions.
10. ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 (Best Performance)
Gaming laptops aren’t cheap and if they are, they fail to pack in all the latest technological innovations.
The ROG Zephyrus G15 GA503 (2021) proves both the notions wrong.
It is packed with some of the latest processors and features but comes for a fraction of a price than the other gaming laptops in the market.
The device 15.6” QHD IPS-type display comes with 165Hz refresh rate and 1440p screen resolution for crisp and clear visuals while you are enjoying some of your favourite games.
As for the performance, the device is powered by the AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS processor and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 with 8GB VRAM for faster gameplay.
It is quite thin and lightweight, allowing you to carry the device around with ease. The Zephyrus G15 is equipped with 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD along with 16GB RAM for smoother gameplay.
- 10 Best 13 Inch Laptops
- 10 Best 14 Inch Laptops
- 10 Best 17 Inch Laptops
- Top 10 Best Windows Laptops 2021
- The 10 Best Laptops for College Students
How to Choose 13, 15 and 17-inch Laptops
With so many form factors in laptops now abounding in the marketplace, it can be quite a task choosing the right one for you. Offhand, a 13-inch laptop sounds perfect if your priority is mobility. However, plenty of students and working professionals get by just fine with a 15-inch or 17-inch laptop. Consider these pointers for assistance with making this choice:
- How is your usage going to be? Choose a 17-inch laptop if your work requires extensive use of processing power and screen real estate. For instance, if you are an animator, graphics designer, filmmaker, etc.
- Do you want a laptop to replace your desktop? A 17-inch laptop is your best bet as a desktop replacement machine. Many models support several external displays, offer ample memory and storage space, and have a wide array of ports for your devices.
- Do you want a gaming laptop? For gamers, a 15-inch or 17-inch computer is recommended. A 13-inch laptop is likely to be too small to host a powerful enough GPU or the associated cooling mechanism that it requires. Also, it will offer limited space in which to render your content, thereby making the gaming experience sub-optimal.
- How serious are your display needs? If you require a 4K display, you should look for a 15-inch or a 17-inch laptop. Although some 13-inch systems also offer vivid displays, a greater number of pixels will typically mean a larger panel size. This also makes more sense overall as you’re likely to want an immersive display when you pay the premium for anything higher than FHD. Tip: While selecting display specs, also consider the thickness of the bezel around the screen. Some bigger laptops can feel more compact when they use a narrow bezel design.
- What degree of mobility do you need? If portability is paramount to you, a 13-inch laptop can do the job well. These machines are usually lightweight enough to be carried around easily. They can also fit easily into backpacks and can travel well as you go on work trips, fly long distance, etc. Remember though, if you also need an assortment of ports to plug into peripherals such as mice and external displays, you should consider a 15-inch laptop. Many 13-inch computers are super sleek, but it comes at the cost of disappearing dockets on the sides.
Ultimately, your choice will depend upon your priorities and usage patterns. If you desire a well-rounded laptop for everyday use, we recommend a 15-inch laptop. It hits the sweet spot between mobility and performance. This makes it a good choice for standard to intensive computing needs while also offering some degree of flexibility of use.
Your decision will also, obviously, depend on your budget. A heavy-duty 17-inch machine, for instance, can cost a premium and make you question whether you wouldn’t have been better off with a desktop instead.
15-Inch Laptop with or Without Numeric Keypad – How To Choose?
The numeric keypad is a feature that many laptop designers have done away with, in favor of sleeker and more compact keyboards. However, it is making a comeback, especially in computers with a larger form factor. You can now find several 15-inch laptops that offer a numeric keypad. Top manufacturers like Dell, ASUS and HP have multiple models in their product line-ups that come fitted with a separate number pad. While you may not require it on a day-to-day basis, there are several situations when it might be a savior.
Let us review some of the prime advantages of getting a laptop that has a distinct numeric keypad:
- It comes in handy if you work in data entry, mathematics, accounting or related professions. It is a good deal easier to perform number crunching operations using a separate num-pad as opposed to an integrated one.
- If you frequently undertake spreadsheet-based work for business or school, you will find this feature useful. Excel works excellently with a keyboard specially designed for numbers.
- A separate numeric keypad provides a greater degree of ease of use since you don’t need to engage both your hands while entering any numeric data. (Many regular keyboards require you to press down the function key to input digits.)
- Gamers frequently need to access numbers and can derive good use from a separate number pad. You will be getting for yourself edge in speed on the gaming arena as quick-pressing numbers will not be cumbersome. Most such keyboards on gaming laptops allow you to map the number keys according to your requirement.
When you consider the merits of a dedicated num-pad, it becomes easy to see if you need to get one for your usage. Fortunately, a numeric keypad has now become a part of the package in several 15” laptops, which means you won’t necessarily have to pay a premium to avail of this feature. Indeed, if your standard day rarely involves numbers and you would rather have a compact keyboard, you don’t need to opt for a model with a separate numeric keypad.
While choosing a computer with a num-pad, look out for the following:
- Ensure that the keyboard has been designed well. You should be able to type comfortably, despite the additional keys fitted into the package. Usually, the keys on a numeric keypad are smaller than standard keyboard keys (sometimes, three-quarters the size). This requires the makers to adjust the design accordingly so that your fingers don’t feel cramped while typing.
- Double check the layout of the numeric keypad. Typically, it will have four columns when viewed next to a traditional desktop keyboard.
- The num-pad should have a comfortable key-travel distance that facilitates speedy work and minimizes the scope of error.
- Don’t let the promise of a separate number keypad equate a bulky, hard-to-carry laptop. The right ergonomic design can produce a computer that offers a separate number keypad but is also portable.
Why 15-inch Laptops Have Become a Rage
While there is no denying that 15-inch machines manage to hit the sweet spot between screen space and portability, it is hardly the only merit fuelling their time under the sun. When you get home a 15-inch device, you also:
- Get access to longer battery life: Many 15-inch laptops have longer battery backup than their 13-inch siblings. That extra space in the chassis allows them to hold larger batteries with more juice.
- Unleash greater computing power: We are talking about the processing strength not only to tackle humdrum tasks like document processing but also support (a certain extent of) gaming endeavors. This is why many gamers are opting for 15-inch machines, aspiring to fulfill their gaming ambitions without paying the bomb that 17-inch laptops cost.
- Experience typing comfort: While there will perpetually be arguments to the contrary, many users agree that 13-inch or 14-inch laptops do not offer satisfying typing experiences. The space either feels too cramped, or you end up craving a tiny bit of extra real estate to rest your fingers painlessly. Here, 15-inch machines win the day.
- Get a reassuring cooling system: We have to face it: small machines will find it increasingly difficult to keep their innards cool in light of all the performance they are keen to pack in the little space. As many 14-inch laptops drop their bezels to offer immersive displays, heat dissipation becomes an even greater problem. A 15-inch notebook, on the other hand, manages to distance itself from this quandary
There isn’t a doubt about it—15-inch laptops have a lot going for them. They have adapted themselves to the priorities of modern audiences, especially those who need computing devices that look good, travel well, offer captivating displays and yet, do not skimp on performance. If that reads like a tall order, it sure is!
You can also opt for a MacBook or a Surface laptop in this form factor if you are alright with going the extra mile for panache. That said, the offerings by Lenovo, Dell and Razer are also top-notch, managing to achieve quite a commendable balance between price and performance.
One tip: If you have been considering getting a 15-inch laptop, you should understand everything it entails. Do not get a machine that doesn’t fit on your lap, is too heavy to lug along, or requires you to remain tethered to a power supply for that will defeat the very essence of this line-up of products.
Remember that while a 15-inch laptop will not offer you the expansiveness of a 17-inch laptop or the boundless degree of compactness in a 13-inch device, it will be an excellent investment that sort of gets you the best of both worlds.