10 Best 15 Inch Laptops 2020 [Buying Guide]
Experience fifteen inches of brilliance
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?
- Best 15 Inch Laptops 2020 (Our Top Picks)
- 1. Dell XPS 15 9500 (Best Overall)
- 2. Acer Aspire 5 A515-43 (Under $500)
- 3. ASUS VivoBook S15 S533 (Under $1000)
- 4. Acer Predator Helios 300 (Budget Gaming)
- 5. HP 15-dy1036nr (For Students)
- 6. ASUS ZenBook 15 (Best Quality)
- 7. Razer Blade 15 2020 (For Creators)
- 8. Asus ZenBook Pro Duo UX581 (Best Touchscreen)
- 9. ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 (Under $1500)
- 10. HP Spectre x360 (Best 2-in-1)
- 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.
Best 15 Inch Laptops 2020 (Our Top Picks)
In this article, we have prepared an extensive list of the very best 15 Inch laptops in the marketplace in 2020.
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||10th Generation Intel Core i7-10750H
6-Core Processor (Up to 5.0 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. 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.
2. Acer Aspire 5 A515-43 (Under $500)
If you have been on the lookout for a budget 15” laptop, the Acer Aspire 5 A515-43-R19L could be the perfect answer.
Powered by an AMD Ryzen 3 3200U CPU, 4GB RAM, a 128GB SSD and Vega 3 Graphics, this laptop is suitable for everyday tasks such as taking notes, checking e-mail, or playing multimedia content.
The operating system—Windows 10 in S mode—is incredibly responsive and swift. Another plus is the battery that lasts for 7.5 hours. This lends you immense portability through the day.
Thanks to the Vega graphics, the imagery manages to be pleasant even though this is a budget purchase. The FHD monitor supports a wide-screen view and has an IPS panel for minimal distortion across different viewing positions.
Also notable is the use of the Acer “BlueLightShield” to reduce eye strain during long working hours.
This 3.97lbs-laptop is very well connected, offering a plethora of USB ports as well as an HDMI to connect to external displays.
Bonus: This system comes with a backlit keyboard—a rare feature for computers in this pricing bucket. You can conveniently use it to work in poorly lit settings.
3. ASUS VivoBook S15 S533 (Under $1000)
If you are looking for a premium design laptop for your business requirements, the ASUS VivoBook S15 serves the purpose right.
This 15” device has a stark white exterior and interior, one that looks stunning and gives it a luxurious feel.
The device features a 15.6” FHD nanoedge bezel display for enhanced viewing experience. It is powered by the Intel Core i7-10510U Processor for smoother performance and glitch-free user experience.
The 16mm z-height further adds to the bonus and instead of plastic, it features a durable metal chassis.
The VivoBook S15 is equipped with 512GB SSD for storage along with 16GB DDR4 RAM for memory. It allows easier multitasking without any kinds of possible lags along the way. It also features an ergonomic backlit keyboard with fingerprint sensor for enhanced security.
4. Acer Predator Helios 300 (Budget Gaming)
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 2060 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.
5. HP 15-dy1036nr (For Students)
Coming round to the 15” variants, HP takes the first place with the HP 15-dy1036nr.
Although it packs in the standard HP design and build with the curved ends around the edges, the device itself is pretty amazing with all the latest features it packs in.
It runs on the 10th Gen Intel Core i5-1035G1 CPU with up to 3.6 GHz with Intel Turbo Boost for improved efficiency and performance beyond your imagination.
The 15.6” display comes with anti-glare and has 82% screen to body ration for unfiltered visual experience.
In case you are questioning the storage and memory, it has 256GB fast bootup storage option with 8GB RAM for smoother efficiency and effortless performance.
It also promises around 10 hours of battery life, which again is not bad at all. The device runs on Windows 10 Home operating system.
6. ASUS ZenBook 15 (Best Quality)
The innovative screenpad of 5.65” is again one of the reasons why this device has gained the popularity that it has.
It adapts to your needs, allowing you smoother multitasking control unlike anything else.
The 15.6” wide-view 4K ultra HD display with 4-way nano-edge display comes with 92% screen to body ratio that further allows crisp and immersive visual experience unlike anything else in the market.
In terms of the processor, the device is programmed with the latest 10th generation Intel Core i7-10510U Quad Core Processor for effortless programming and user experience. It is also equipped with 512GB PCIe SSD along with 16GB RAM for smoother functions without any glitches at all.
7. Razer Blade 15 2020 (For Creators)
Powered by the latest 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10750H processor and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 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.
8. Asus ZenBook Pro Duo UX581 (Best Touchscreen)
This 5.5lbs device comes with an innovative dual screen (Screenpad Plus) that you can use for multitasking. An ASUS active stylus pen is included with the purchase, permitting you to doodle, take notes, etc., as and when you like.
Performance-wise, you get a speedy Intel Core i9-10980HK CPU, 32GB RAM, a 1TB SSD and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 graphics. The top-notch specifications, especially the RTX card, ensure that you can fulfill demanding pursuits like animation and 3D modeling comfortably.
This celestial-blue computer is quite eye-catching, complete with a detachable palm rest and an ergonomically designed keyboard. The latter is quite useful for easy typing as well as effective cooling and good-quality audio output.
9. ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15 (Under $1500)
Gaming laptops aren’t cheap and if they are, they fail to pack in all the latest technological innovations.
The ROG Zephyrus G15 (2020) 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” FHD IPS-type display comes with 144Hz refresh rate and 1080p 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 7 4800HS processor and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 with 6GB 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. HP Spectre x360 (Best 2-in-1)
Clearly, the HP Spectre x360 is a brilliant choice for a 15” 2-in-1 laptop. It combines great performance with the standard security that HP is renowned for, bringing you confidentiality as well as privacy.
The gorgeous display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass to ensure that the device remains safe from damage during transit.
Talking about security, this laptop packs a punch with a webcam kill switch and a privacy screen. It includes a fingerprint reader and an IR camera to let you log in without entering a password. This simplifies working in shared environments.
This all-aluminum laptop with a gem-cut design weighs 4.79lbs. While that is a tad heavier than some others on this list, HP tries hard to compensate. For instance, the long battery life of 17.5 hours will serve wanderers well.
An HP Tilt Pen makes usage easier and more intuitive, while the Bang & Olufsen audio is thoroughly reliable.
- 10 Best 13 Inch Laptops
- 10 Best 14 Inch Laptops
- 10 Best 17 Inch Laptops
- Top 10 Best Windows Laptops 2020
- 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.