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. One form factor that has become increasingly popular among contemporary audiences is the 15-inch laptop.
If you migrated to a full-purpose laptop from a desktop, you might have got home a 17-inch machine. 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.
It seems logical that 15-inch laptops have taken off as expected; they can cater to different audiences across student groups, professionals, travelers, and gamers. 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.
In this article, we have prepared an extensive list of the very best 15-inch laptops in the marketplace in 2019. 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.
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.
So, What Shoes can a 15-inch Laptop Fill?
Interestingly, versatility is where 15-inch laptops truly take the cake—and the cherry on top. Depending on your budget (of course!), you can find a 15-inch notebook that will serve you well no matter what your day-to-day needs are.
- Gaming: Several 15-inch machines offer exemplary gaming experiences. They have the space to provide extra screen dazzle as well as house a powerful CPU. We recommend you check out items #3, #4 and #5 on the list.
- Travel-friendly device: If you have to travel considerably for work or are simply bitten by the travel bug, you can find a 15-inch laptop that moves with you readily and offers you abundant options for portability and ease of access. You only have to behold item #6 to sense its wanderlust.
- Basic school and office-work: Let’s put it like this: some of us don’t use our laptops for anything more than checking our e-mail, writing school assignments, and making work presentations. If you need a computer that does basic computing tasks well and comes cheap, you can find a 15-inch laptop at around $500 or less. We harbor a special place in our hearts for items #9 and #10.
- Home computer: These are the laptops that do a lot of multitasking through the day. They double up as entertainment platforms when you sit back to watch your favorite movie; they serve as quick calculators when you prepare the household’s monthly budget. They are also graceful and lightweight enough to fit on your lap or countertop. Yes, there exist 15-inch machines who love to be homebodies.
The 10 Best 15-Inch Laptops You’ll Grow to Love
Dell XPS 9570 – Best 15 Inch Windows Laptop
All-rounder 15-inch laptop with brilliant performance and multimedia support
Say hello to this compact powerhouse! A 15.6” laptop packed with exemplary features for superior performance, the Dell XPS 9570 is one of the best 15-inch laptops that money can buy. Equipped with an Intel Core i7 processor to fuel your standard requirements, this laptop also offers 16GB RAM and 512GB of storage space (SSD). Making the graphics support topnotch is NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti and a thin-bezel screen for immersive imagery. This laptop is ideal not only as a daily computing companion but also a gaming partner for blazing-fast, comfortable gameplay.
This Dell laptop’s display is sure to bowl you over. You get an FHD screen with an “Infinity Edge” (bezel thickness: 5.7mm or 0.22”) that makes all your multimedia experiences free of distraction. There is an anti-glare panel to ensure your eyes remain strain-free even after long hours of work, and an IPS (In-Plane Switching) panel to deliver viewing comfort from multiple angles.
|Dell XPS 9570 Laptop Specs|
|Processor||8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H, up to 4.1 GHz|
|Graphics||4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics|
|Display||15.6-inch FHD 1920x1080 Display|
|Memory||16GB 2666MHz DDR4 RAM|
|Storage||512GB PCIe Solid-State Drive|
|Battery Life||Up to 20 Hours|
|Weight||4.41 lbs (2kg)|
|Dimensions||Height: 0.45-0.66" (11-17mm) |
Width: 14.06" (357mm)
Depth: 9.27 in (235mm)
The color gamut—a full 100% sRGB—and the superior brightness of 400 nits add to the charm of this good-looking, silver machine with its cool, carbon-fiber palm-rest.
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.
True to the spirit of a 15-inch laptop, this aluminum device is highly portable at 4.41lbs and a thickness of 11–17mm (0.43–0.66”). That is quite incredible for so powerful a laptop, and it lends you the kind of mobility that others will envy. We also love how 90% of this laptop can be recycled—one up to Dell for environment-friendliness!
Apple MacBook Pro – Best 15 inch Mac Laptop
Portable Macbook with intuitive Touch Bar and glorious display
Before you gape at that intimidating price-tag, let us state the bare facts: the Apple Macbook Pro is one of the finest 15-inch laptops out there, and definitely the best for anyone who has to use a Mac for life. This 15” device with its crystal-clear Retina display (with True Tone) is also fitted with an Intel i7 processor, 16GB RAM (up to 32GB), 512GB of memory (up to 4TB), and 10-hours battery life. Implication: it is adequate for everything you might need to do during the day, including creative pursuits like multimedia editing or mixing soundtracks. The Radeon Pro 555X (or 560X) graphics ensures that any imagery you see will be meticulous and absorbing.
|Apple MacBook Pro 15 Inch Specs|
|Processor||2.6GHz 6-core Intel Core i7|
|Graphics||AMD Radeon Pro 555X/560X 4GB|
|Storage||Up to 512GB SSD|
|Display||15.4-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit Retina display|
A stellar highlight of this Macbook is its handy Touch Bar. It replaces the conventional function keys to deliver a customized, dynamic user experience. The tools you use often are readily available, and you can also utilize typing features like emojis and predictive text. Everything is easy to accomplish too; all it takes is intuitive movements like taps and flicks.
For all its power and style, this laptop retains the portability that is so essential for the 15-inch form factor. It weighs 4lbs and has a thickness of 15.5mm (or 0.61”). So, you can comfortably slip it into your backpack and carry it to school, work or vacation without dropping from exhaustion. The USB Type-C port further enhances the portability by offering super-fast data transfer speeds (up to 40Gbps) and letting you plug in external displays (two 5K) for presentations or gaming/movie marathons.
MSI GS65 Stealth THIN – Best 15 inch Gaming 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 GS65 Stealth THIN, although it is a 15.6” laptop, offers a gaming prowess that can rival that of many larger laptops.
Fueled by an Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, 256GB of SSD memory, and NVIDIA GTX 1060 graphics, this device is ready to fast-track your life and how. Its optimum refresh rate of 144Hz and swift response time of 7ms 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.
|MSI GS65 Stealth THIN-051 Specs|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-8750H up to 4.1GHz|
|Graphics||6GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX1060 GDDR5|
|RAM||16GB DDR4 2400MHz|
|Storage||256GB Solid-State Drive|
|Display||15.6-inch FHD Anti-Glare display|
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 72% NTSC.
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 (4.14lbs) 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 with gold and diamond cuts. Total drool material!
ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX531GW – Best 15 inch Gaming Laptop
Excellent 15-inch gaming machine with RTX graphics
If you have no problem in spending a little extra for a mobile gaming laptop, the ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX531GW is a wise choice. For starters, it emanates from the ASUS stable—a safe-house for satisfying, trendy gaming machines. Plus, this 15.6” device with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 graphics, an Intel i7 CPU, 16GB RAM and 512GB of SSD memory does a superb job of facilitating your gameplay. The RTX graphics card based on the Turing architecture opens up the world of real-time ray tracing and AI-enhanced graphics (artificial intelligence). Moreover, the response time of only 3ms makes a world of difference in producing a stutter-free experience.
|ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX531GW-AS76 Specs|
|Graphics||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 8GB|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-8750H Hexa-Core|
|Memory||16GB 2666Hz DDR4|
|Storage||512GB PCIe NVMe SSD|
|Display||15.6” 144Hz 3ms Full HD (1920x1080)|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Home|
If the FHD screen, the refresh rate of 144Hz and the color gamut of 100% sRGB set the ground for pleasant imagery, the construction of this machine extends the beauty to the exterior. At 4.6lbs and 0.62”, this magnesium-alloy laptop is both attractive and easy to lug around. Since the construction is military-grade, you can bid adieu to the fear of damage during transit. A premium metal cover adds a dash of luxury to the build, while the Aura Sync RGB keyboard makes for compelling mood lighting (4-zone) on the gaming arena. The keyboard is torture tested for 20 million key presses, so longevity of use is another huge bonus.
A special word for the heat dissipation mechanism: it is fantastic! ASUS utilizes an aerodynamic system (AAs) with anti-dust tunnels and 12V fans to keep the computer running sustainably as you battle with foes. It also adjusts fan speeds based on the temperatures of the CPU and the GPU, letting you switch among three different modes for targeted cooling. Now that is a gaming laptop that understands how true-blue gaming power comes from staying put when others drop dead from the heat.
Razer Blade RTX – Best 15 inch Gaming Laptop
RTX gaming laptop with 4K display and top-grade cooling
Welcome to the most expensive gaming laptop on our list; it also happens to be the most incredible, equipped to please the most impassioned of gamers. The Razer Blade RTX claims to be the “world’s smallest 15-inch laptop,” and indeed, it works hard to justify that label. To become the lightweight yet sturdy gaming device it is, the Razer Blade RTX employs CNC aluminum for its construction (unibody). The chassis is only 0.70” thick and weighs 4.63lbs.
This laptop is fitted with an Intel i7 CPU, 16GB RAM (up to 64GB!), 256GB of storage space (up to 2TB), and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 graphics. The RTX GPU, not surprisingly, makes a tremendous difference, expanding your realm of gaming with real-time ray tracing and a massive performance jump during 4K gameplay.
|Razer Blade 15 RTX 2070 Specs|
|Graphics||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q 8GB|
|Processor||8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H|
|Memory||16GB Dual-Channel (2667MHz)|
|Storage||512GB SSD (PCIe)|
|Display||15.6” 144Hz Full HD|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Home|
On the display front, Razer has used a thin-bezel approach (4.9mm or 0.19”) toward the design. The 4K screen boasts of a refresh rate of 144Hz which is optimal for any AAA title that is high on your favorites list. It also sports a full Adobe RGB color gamut to ensure lifelike rendering of all the details in a game. The Razer Chroma keyboard ups the ante significantly, offering 16.8 million colors and unbelievably vast customization. Bonus: The keyboard has a large touchpad for improved accuracy. This comes in handy when even the minutest movements can change the course of life.
We admire the vapor chamber cooling system in this laptop. It is even capable of delivering a unique power boost in the “Gaming Mode,” which means that you won’t have to worry about cooling when you are amid a dicey scenario on the battlefield. Suffice it to say, this machine brings you an imposing package of speed, efficiency and mesmerism.
Surface Book 2 – Best 15 inch 2 in 1 Laptop
Lightweight 15-inch laptop with super-long battery life
Look no further if you plan on making a style statement that is both fashionable and functional. The Surface Book 2 is a luxurious 15” laptop—as that lofty price tag indicates—but it offers quite a lot in that package. For instance, you get super-fast processing with an Intel i7 processor, 16GB RAM, 512GB of storage, and 17 hours of video playback. Even for portable laptops, that kind of battery backup is excellent. On the graphics front, you can enjoy the detailed rendering of an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card. While this is a tad less gratifying than the newest RTX cards, you will be delighted if you intend to use the notebook for multimedia pursuits, day-to-day tasks or creative endeavors at work.
|Microsoft Surface Book 2 Specs|
|Processor||Up to 8th Gen. Intel Core i7-8650U|
|Graphics||Up to NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 GPU|
|Memory||Up to 16GB RAM|
|Storage||Up to 1TB SSD|
|Battery Life||Up to 17 hours|
|Weight||Up to 4.2 pounds|
|Price||Check on Microsoft|
The PixelSense display emerges as a true winner, lending meticulous detail to the screen. Note that this computer has a touch display, so you can easily use the Surface Pen to doodle away to glory.
The Surface Book 2 is among the lightest machines on our list, packing a mighty punch at only 4.2lbs and 0.9”. The multi-mode usage of this computer increases the portability further. In addition to the regular laptop and tablet modes, you can avail of the studio mode when you need to create (read draw, sketch, the works). The view mode works best when you want to sit back and enjoy a movie or deliver a presentation to your peers or colleagues.
Immense power can rest in the tiniest packages, and this laptop is the perfect example of this maxim. The makers claim that it houses two times more power than before. When you use this eager 2-in-1, that claim unfolds in all its truth.
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 – Best 15 inch Mobile Workstation
Hard-working workstation with 4K UHD display and Dolby Atmos sound
In the territory of 15-inch laptops, Lenovo has also created quite a formidable offering—the Lenovo ThinkPad P1. This 15.6” workstation is the second lightest machine on this list, weighing a feather-light 3.76lbs. It has a lean profile too—0.7”. But the brilliance of this workstation extends beyond the build; it has a powerful processing treasure-house with an Intel Xeon E-2176M vPro 6 processor (or an Intel Core i5) and 256GB of SSD storage. The dedicated NVIDIA Quadro graphics guarantees a captivating A/V experience. Note that the supported RAM is a tad low at 8GB, although you can upgrade this up to 16GB.
|Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Mobile Workstation Specs|
|Processor||8th Generation Intel core i7-8750H (2.2GHz up to 4.1GHz)|
|Graphics||NVIDIA Quadro P1000 GDDR5 VRAM|
|Display||15.6" Full HD (1920x1080) IPS Display|
|Memory||16GB DDR4 SDRAM|
|Storage||512GB SATA SSD (Solid State Drive)|
|Battery Life||Up to 14 Hours|
This device does not only promise the moon; it actually delivers it, at least as far as processing is concerned. It is certified to render several data-intensive applications, including most modern-day applications with ISV (independent software vendor) certifications. This makes it a potent choice for professional environments that require you to run a variety of programs.
One area where this laptop particularly excels is the display and sound. It offers a 4K UHD screen with Dolby Vision and a high dynamic range (HDR). Meaning: excellent graphics that leave no detail un-rendered! The colors are fabulous too, thanks to the 100% Adobe color gamut and 400 nits brightness. Of course, you can always choose a smaller (and cheaper) resolution—an FHD screen with 300 nits brightness. You will, in both cases, get to cherish the Dolby Atmos sound that elevates even regular pursuits to transcending experiences.
Lenovo has retained its quintessential design in this 15-inch model—the signature black carbon fiber finish. The magnesium-alloy body helps make the chassis light yet stolid and good-looking. The stolidity is based on hard-core evidence; Lenovo has subjected this device to 12 military-grade tests and over 200 quality checks. You can carry it with you pretty much anywhere without being afraid of non-cooperation or inefficiency.
ASUS ZenBook 15 UX533FD – Best 15 inch Ultra-Slim Compact Laptop
Lightest 15-inch laptop with ergonomic hinge-based design
How can a ZenBook stay out of the league when the conversation concerns portable, powerful laptops for contemporary audiences? The ASUS ZenBook 15 UX533FD is compact in the truest sense of the word, with a narrow bezel (4-way) that makes the screen-to-body ratio as high as 92%. This enhances the razzmatazz of the FHD screen with its IPS panel for wide-angle viewing. This 15.6” laptop is driven by an Intel i7 CPU, 16GB RAM, 512GB of memory, NVIDIA GTX 1050 graphics, and 15-hours battery life. The super-long unplugged usage is a huge feather in its cap as it liberates your workday of the need to stay hooked to power stations.
|Processor||Intel Core i7-8565U|
|Graphics||NVIDIA GTX 1050|
|Display||15.6-Inch IPS-level Full-HD|
A unique feature of this laptop that is highly beneficial when you are working outdoors is the ErgoLift hinge. This ergonomic design element helps you adjust the keyboard to a typing position that feels the most comfortable to you, while also boosting the cooling and audio output. The keyboard, in particular, is tailor-made for mobility, what with its fully functional numeric keypad and convenient key-travel distance (1.4mm). The dedicated num-pad makes it easy to perform number crunching or enter data; it is quite an exclusive feature to find in a 15-inch form factor where every inch of additional space matters a great deal.
ASUS has ensured superior construction for this machine, bestowing upon it military-grade durability (MIL-STD 810G) and lightweight design of 3.7lbs. That makes it the lightest laptop on this list of highly mobile devices—that is saying something! The profile is thin at 0.7”, making it straightforward to pack the computer in backpacks for regular use. Did we mention how gorgeous its royal blue color is? You have to see it to believe it.
This ASUS ZenBook also comes with a fancy combo camera—an HD-IR/RGB webcam (High-Definition/Infra-Red)—to enable you to stay connected to your world.
Acer Aspire 7 – Best 15 inch Laptop Under $1000
Affordable 15-inch laptop suitable for casual gaming
If you thought you would never chance upon a 15-inch computer under $1000, this is where that presumption changes. The Acer Aspire 7 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 Intel i7 CPU, this machine is equipped with 8GB RAM and combination storage of 128GB SSD and 1TB HDD memory. The display is satisfactory too—an FHD screen with an IPS panel, wide-angle viewing, and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti graphics. Doesn’t sound remotely like an inexpensive laptop? Indeed, this machine is apt even for casual gaming, to say nothing of daily tasks like completing presentations and hopping on to the internet.
|Acer Aspire 7 A715-72G-71CT Specs|
|Processor||8th Generation Intel Core i7-8750H (Up to 4.1GHz)|
|Graphics||4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti|
|Memory||8GB DDR4 2400MHz RAM|
|Storage||128GB SSD & 1TB 5400RPM HDD|
|Display||15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) LED-backlit IPS display|
|Battery Life||Up to 7-hours|
With this purchase, you get a handful of smart upgrading and connectivity options. For instance, you can avail of 802.11ac 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.
Upping the security quotient of this mobile device is the Acer fingerprint biometric authentication system (via Windows Hello). It ensures your laptop is safe from prying eyes even when you are working out of a café or other shared environments.
We have to mention the high-quality sound that this miniature laptop manages to deliver. Thanks to Dolby Audio Premium, 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 a tad heavy at 5.18lbs, and the thickness stands at 0.9”. The battery life is average at about seven hours.
Acer Aspire E 15 E5-576-392H – Best 15 inch Laptop Under $500
Cheapest 15-inch laptop suitable for daily requirements
No, you didn’t read that price tag wrong; the Acer Aspire E 15 E5-576-392H is indeed available for a measly $349.99, and it turns out to be gifted at fulfilling daily requirements with élan. A 15.6” device with an Intel Core i3 processor, 6GB RAM and 1TB of HDD memory, this computer merges standard processing, portability and pocket-friendliness. To its merit, it also provides a long-lasting battery life of 13.5 hours. This should be abundant to power most of your workday, if not all of it.
|Acer Aspire E 15 E5-576-392H Specs|
|Processor||Intel Core i3-8130U (Up to 3.4GHz)|
|Graphics||Intel UHD Graphics 620|
|Display||15.6 Inch Full HD (1920 x 1080)|
|Storage||1TB Hard Drive|
|Battery Life||Up to 13.5-hours|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Home|
|Where to buy||See Price at Amazon|
The display offered is pleasant for the price: an FHD screen with a wide view. The audio is vivid too, with Acer TrueHarmony ensuring that the finer details of your soundtracks get picked up. Two stereo speakers deliver clear, distortion-free sound.
On the mobility front, this laptop is rather behind its contemporaries on this list, with a weight of 5.27lbs and a thickness of 1.2”. However, this remains portable enough for you to carry the computer around without getting a massive backache. Also, Acer does a good job of equipping this offering with other features to up its mobility: 802.11ac Wi-Fi (with MU-MIMO technology), Bluetooth 4.1, and an HD Webcam with HDR. You can effectively use this budget 15-inch device as a business companion, a school buddy, a home machine, or anything in between—none of these roles will drill a hole in your wallet.
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!
Manufacturers like Acer, ASUS and MSI, have, unsurprisingly, jumped on the bandwagon and come up with fantastic choices that serve multiple purposes. 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.