The best 15-inch laptop
The best 15-inch laptops are the most common portables on the market, and that’s perhaps because they’re basically the Goldilocks of notebooks. They’re not too big and not too small, but just the right size. In other words, when considering the entire spectrum of the laptops in terms of their form factor, 15-inch laptops sit between the larger 17-inch (or even bigger) notebooks, and the compact 11 to 13-inch models.
On top of that, 15-inch laptops can be nicely portable – they can be very slim and lightweight, but still have enough space in their chassis to fit in powerful components as well as a display that’s large enough so you won’t have to squint to see finer details.
When it comes to gaming, these devices also offer enough display real estate to properly appreciate stunning visuals on higher settings. They might even come packing a good discrete GPU, to boot.
If you’re in the market for the best 15-inch laptop 2019 has to offer, we picked out 10 of the ones across a number of categories – from hybrids to business machines, covering all platforms including Windows 10, macOS, Chromebooks and even Linux. There’s something on this list for every single person on a hunt for the most ideal mid-sized notebook for their needs.
Microsoft produced something pretty special with the Surface Book 2. It’s an extremely versatile machine being a 2-in-1, and it has a ton of power packed into its relatively slim convertible form factor. Thanks to its discrete GTX 1060 graphics, its Core i7 configuration can even tackle newer games at Full HD resolution and showing off decent details so you want to kick back and relax.
But, there are a few more reasons why this Microsoft laptop gets the top spot on our best 15-inch laptops list. For instance, it delivers incredibly long battery life, as we discovered in our testing, and boasts a gorgeous display that’s impressively light when detached as a tablet.
The only thing that may dissuade potential buyers with is that high price tag. Yes, this is one pricey 15-inch laptop. On the upside, there’s decent discounts popping up regularly – and Microsoft has also manufactured a significantly cheaper Core i5 version, though this configuration has no discrete GPU.
As usual, if you want the best, it will cost you – but check out our next entry for a great alternative that won’t damage your wallet to anything like this extent.
If you don’t want to shell out a lot of cash for the Surface Pro 2, then consider the Acer Swift 3. It’s an excellent alternative if affordability is a priority. This laptop is not a hybrid, but it is feature-rich and can turn its hand to pretty much everything as a result.
Bear in mind that there are a number of different configurations and models of the Acer Swift 3 on hand, including 14-inch and 15-inch models that we reviewed, and loved. What we are referring to in this list, however, are its 15.6-inch variants that rock 8th-gen Intel processors, and pack impressively powerful components given their price tags. Some configurations even offer both hard drives and SSDs, giving you space and speed, as well as Intel Optane options.
These laptops will see you through any everyday computing task without breaking a sweat, with a spot of light gaming on the side. You also get an impressive selection of ports, along with great input peripherals (including a large trackpad and backlit keyboard), a fingerprint scanner, and sterling battery life.
At first glance, Acer’s Swift 3 might look like a bland budget portable, but don’t judge a laptop by its cover. This is a great all-rounder with some tempting deals to be had online.
If you want a 15-inch convertible with versatility in spades must consider HP’s popular Spectre x360. It’s a gorgeous-looking laptop with an elegant design, albeit with a few oddities, including an awkwardly positioned trackpad. However, this laptop isn’t just pretty – it backs these good looks with enough power to cut through any computing task you might wish to tackle. Of course, it helps that the very latest incarnation of this hybrid has updated its hexa-core CPU to a 9th-gen Intel Core i7-9750H.
Creative types will also appreciate the bundled Tilt Pen that can be used for drawing and designing on its exquisite 4K IPS touchscreen display. This 2-in-1 also packs a discrete GTX 1650 graphics card, which means it can even tackle 1080p gaming to boot.
As we said, this 15.6-inch laptop delivers versatility in spades, but it also doesn’t come cheap. At least, it’s more affordable than Microsoft’s Surface Book 2.
If you’re after a powerful notebook in a 15-inch form factor which is ideal for creative usage – such as video editing or Photoshop – then you’ll be well served by taking the macOS route rather than Windows, with the larger MacBook Pro.
This year Apple has boosted the power of the MacBook Pro 15-inch with new 9th-generation Intel processors, with options that run up to a mighty 8-core Intel Core i9. So you most certainly won’t be left wanting on the performance front, with our review benchmarks showing that this 2019 incarnation is a considerably more powerful MacBook than its predecessor.
This 15-inch laptop is ideal for heavyweight editing with a choice of AMD Radeon Pro graphics solutions and the possibility to spec up the notebook to 32GB of RAM. And don’t forget the high-quality Retina display along with that improved Touch Bar which can certainly prove a very useful tool with creative applications.
While Asus VivoBook S15 has been designed to become among the best ultra-portables on the market this 2019, it also aims to provide a large enough display for those who need it. That’s a hard undertaking, but one that this top-performing laptop has achieved with high marks. It boasts a 15-6-inch display and a solid performance without compromising its slimline design. You might not be able to do some heavy gaming on this, but you should get some photo editing done.
If your budget won’t stretch to something like the MSI laptop above, then this more affordable gaming laptop from Dell makes a great choice for a 15-inch model that won’t make such a hole in your bank balance.
We reviewed the Dell G5 15 5590 and found it could easily deal with 1080p gaming, while giving you a pretty incredible level of battery longevity (around 10 hours for movie playback, which is remarkable for a gaming portable).
Overall, it’s a really well-balanced machine with a reasonable price tag, and the latest versions of the Dell G5 15 have been refreshed to include 9th-gen Intel Core processors (up to six-core models).
Rocking 8th-generation and 9th-generation Intel Core processors – not to mention, powerful graphics and a gorgeous display to boot, the Razer Blade isn’t just one of the best gaming laptops on the market. It’s also one of the best 15-inch laptops to consider, if you’re seeking to update your aging gaming laptop. That’s more than impressive for a laptop this thin that is also upgradeable. Expect to pay a lot for all that, but you’re paying for style and power that will last you a while.
We didn’t think that gaming ultrabooks were ready for RTX graphics until the Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED proved us otherwise. This isn’t just a solid gaming laptop; this is a solid gaming laptop that delivers incredible RTX gaming experience and touting a reasonable price to boot. It’s not that it’s cheap, especially at higher configurations. However, for what you’re paying, you’re getting a lot of power for your gaming needs.
We hoped for great things in the next Surface Laptop model. However, when the 2019 installment of this 15-inch laptop came out, it fell a bit short on both power and versatility. However, if it’s spec above are satisfactory to you and you require a device that will last you the whole work day on a single charge, then the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 (15-inch) might just be the best 15-inch laptop for you. During our review, this device lasted 10 hours and 18 minutes in our TechRadar battery test. As long as you can forgive the lack of ports.
The good news for those after a business laptop in the 15-inch form factor is that there’s an incredible machine available in the form of the ThinkPad X1 Extreme. The bad news, though, is that the price tag is as extreme as the superb performance levels you’ll get with this portable.
It’s difficult to know where to start in describing just how good this machine is. Maybe the 15.6-inch multi-touch display, which in the 4K HDR option is simply stunning and benefits from top-notch color accuracy? Or the speedy performance driven by a six-core CPU, GTX 1050 Ti graphics and superfast NVMe SSD? Or just the little things, like the well-featured connectivity, the refined keyboard, or the potential for upgrades with this laptop?
As we already mentioned, the price may cause the odd eyebrow to rise or jaw to slacken – possibly both – but some corporate users will doubtless want to own the ultimate business laptop for their mission-critical tasks. And the ThinkPad X1 Extreme definitely fulfils that ‘ultimate’ billing, and arguably not just in the 15-inch world.