In a world where technology changes as you blink, 15-inch laptops have rules as the ideal form factor for the longest time. They have a screen sufficiently big to enjoy gaming and multimedia content. But they are portable enough to take with you on public transport. Recently, 16″ laptops are inching closer to this coveted spot, but you will still feel sorted with these trusty old machines.
11 Best 15-inch Laptops 2023: Our Recommendations for Different Users & Budgets
Let’s dive into some of the best 15″ laptops in the market, starting at just $899. We endeavored to cover versatile usage patterns and brands, so you’ll likely find something up your street.
Best 15-inch Overall: Dell XPS 15
- Versatile and high-performance
- Multiple connectivity options
- Portable and durable build
- Average camera for the price
We hand it to the Dell XPS 15 for its unique combination of performance, multimedia-friendly features, and lightweight build. This $2,349.00 laptop uses an Intel Core i7, 32GB RAM, a 1TB SSD, and RTX 4060 graphics.
Users can opt for an FHD+ or OLED display and enjoy a disturbance-free, eye-safe experience. It can double up as a workstation or an entertainment partner with unique modes tailored to performance, a high screen-to-body ratio (92.9%), and Waves Nx 3D audio.
Best 15-inch Mac Laptop: Apple MacBook Air
- Gorgeous and color-accurate display
- Secure and fast performance
- Several connections
- Lightweight build
- Good battery backup
- Upgradability is missing
- The refresh rate is average, and external monitors are limited
You will find the 15.3″ Apple 2023 MacBook Air right up your alley if you like Macs and enjoy their focus on security and audio-visual experiences. This $1,600 laptop uses an M2 chip, up to 24 GB RAM, and a 512 GB SSD to deliver reliable everyday performance for various user groups. The Liquid Retina screen is as stunning as ever, with a P3 wide color and 500 nits brightness.
Excellent battery backup (18 hours) and a super-light build of only 3.3 lbs are the colossal cherry on the cake for travelers. Apple uses an innovative fan-free design for quiet heat management that doesn’t disrupt your work. The audio (Spatial) and overall sound system (six speakers) are superb. You can have a distortion-free time on video calls, work meetings, or while streaming a cherished TV show.
Macs have upped their compatibility game in recent years. This MacBook works perfectly with other Apple devices like iPhones and iPads and has two Thunderbolt ports.
Best 15-inch 2-in-1: HP ENVY x360 15t
Thanks to its budget pricing and trustworthy reputation, the HP ENVY x360 15t has made gigantic strides in the 2-in-1 laptop realm. This flexible device runs on an Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, and Intel Iris Xe graphics. While the specs don’t seem top-of-the-rung, let’s not forget it costs just $899.99.
This 2-in-1 also integrates Bang & Olufsen audio and a decent screen-to-body ratio of 88.34%. It serves as more than average entertainment value for every day.
15-inch OLED Laptop: ASUS Zenbook 15
- Smart choice for multimedia professionals
- Beautiful, meticulous display
- Good audio output
- Flexible and mobile design
- Average refresh rate
- Low on upgradability options
- Lacks GPU performance
The multimedia-friendly ASUS Zenbook 15 OLED laptop has a $1,299 price tag and plenty to justify its cost. Besides the vivid OLED 2.8K screen, this PC has top-end specs like an AMD Ryzen 7 processor, 32 GB RAM, and a 1 TB SSD.
Its keen focus on visual excellence bodes well for creative professionals like photographers and film editors. They can enjoy the brilliance of Dolby Vision, Pantone validation, and 550 units of brightness. It also has a good response time (0.2ms) and is suitable for HDR, although the refresh rate (120Hz) is somewhat low.
Zenbooks have a convenient, flexible design with a 180° hinge for content sharing. This PC is also very lightweight at only 3 lbs and infused with travel-friendly features like face login for security and noise reduction during calls.
On that note, the sound is quite immersive, courtesy of Harman Kardon and Dolby Atmos. This Zenbook has a thoughtful antimicrobial guard and color/design options like plasma ceramic. Talk about standing out in a crowd!
Best 15-inch Gaming Laptop: MSI Stealth 15
The MSI Stealth 15 is an excellent laptop in this form factor – the perfect mix of performance and sustainability. An Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD, and RTX 4060 deliver ample muscle power for demanding AAA games.
MSI is also notable for its heat management with the Cooler Boost Trinity+ technology. Likewise, Dynaudio sound and the FHD display with a 144Hz refresh rate are satisfying, if not overawing, in the $1,599.00 price bucket.
Best 15-inch Laptop for Creators: Razer Blade 15
- Very high performance for multimedia projects
- Lightweight design
- Smooth and quick upgradability
- Battery life is poor
- The screen brightness is not as good as some competitors
Artists, designers, and animators will love the Razer Blade 15 for its immense capacities as a creator. This $2,499.99 laptop has a dedicated RTX 4060 GPU, an Intel Core i7 CPU, 16GB RAM, and a 1TB SSD.
The QHD monitor is fantastic for diverse creative projects like 3D animation and photo editing. Its 240Hz refresh rate and G-SYNC deliver a smooth user experience sans stuttering, letting you focus on the content. Razer has a straightforward upgrading system for someone who wants a performance boost (up to 4TB and 64GB).
A word on the audio output: THX Spatial and 7.1 surround enable a focused auditory response, the best for realistic sound.
Best 15-inch Business Laptop: Dell Latitude 5540
The Dell Latitude 5540 (approximately $1700) is a relatively inexpensive but reliable 15″ workstation. An Intel Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD ensure it performs adequately at standard business applications like conferencing. (Users can upgrade to 64GB and opt for NVIDIA MX550 graphics.)
Since this device runs integrated graphics, it isn’t exceptional at A/V content. However, it boasts many work-oriented plusses, like temporal noise reduction and echo elimination for calling clarity and a privacy shutter for the camera.
Features like look-over detection and onlooker recognition make working in shared spaces more comfortable. It also offers good connectivity options, workforce solutions, and Wi-Fi 6E.
Best 15-inch Cheap Laptop: Acer Aspire 3
Get the Acer Aspire 3 for an ultra-cheap 15″ experience. It is a slim, light machine (under 4lbs) running on an AMD Ryzen 3 processor, 8GB RAM, and a 256GB SSD. The FHD touchscreen offers IPS for comfortable viewing from different angles. This one’s for anyone who wants a better display than a 13″ but doesn’t want to spend much – sounds perfect!
Best 15-inch Budget Laptop: HP Pavilion 15t
At just under $1000, the HP Pavilion 15t makes a compelling package for different uses: decent performance for work or business. An Intel Core i7 fires it with 16GB RAM and a 256GB SSD.
It has a long-lasting battery and also charges up fast. Consequently, you can travel with it, typing away on the comfortable keyboard and tuning in to B&O audio. That’s quite a bunch of stuff at a handy under-$1000 price.
Best 15-inch Touchscreen: Surface Laptop 5
The Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 defines the perfect touch laptop: light (3.05lbs), stylish, and dependable. It can last unplugged for 18 hours. An Intel i7 CPU and 512GB of storage render it capable of high performance for work, gaming, or casual computing on the go. Moreover, it also does well as a multimedia gadget, providing studio mics, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos.
This Surface offers Alcantara finish and color choices you can pick per your style. It can feel a tad pricey at $1,171, but the elegance quotient of Microsoft is unmatched.
15-inch Mobile Workstation: HP ZBook Power G10
- Intense focus on performance for resource-intensive applications
- Secure work experience
- Durable build and design
- Relatively portable
- Targeted at niche audiences
Laptops that double up as mobile workstations have become all the rage in this post-pandemic world, with more people working remotely. The HP ZBook Power G10 is pricey at $2,149 but is choc-a-bloc with collaboration and security features.
Powered by an AMD Ryzen 7 processor, 16 GB RAM, RTX A1000 graphics, and a 512 GB SSD, this PC competently handles heavyweight applications and tasks like 3D modeling and rendering. It works alright for regular activities like meetings (even better with AI noise suppression), but the core attention is on folks in engineering, sciences, design, etc.
Devotion to security is a hallmark of these devices – you don’t want data thefts and breaches to plague your confidential work. HP employs advanced provisions like HP Wolf Security, HP Sure Start, and BIOS to protect your system.
HP performs thorough testing to ensure fitment to challenging work environments, including military standard tests. It also has a spill-resistant keyboard and a light build (4.43 lbs).
Are 15″ laptops worth buying?
While the exact answer will depend on your requirements and daily needs, this size usually works for most people. It is big enough for gamers, multimedia professionals, or artists but not too bulky or unwieldy to lug. You can find 15″ computers with brilliant specs like Intel Core i7 CPUs, RTX 40 Series graphics, and 240Hz refresh rates. They are also available in different budgets, from $899 to $3000 and more. A 16″ size is also worth considering from a future-readiness perspective if real estate matters a tad more to you than mobility.
Should students go for 15″ laptops?
The standard recommendation for college is 13″ or 14″. These sizes are easier to carry in a backpack but adequate for typical campus use, such as working on assignments and checking your e-mail. However, students with a penchant for gaming should consider 15″ laptops. They are also better for multimedia sessions like movies and collaborative content with peers. The weight of the device is a crucial consideration during the selection. We suggest sticking to a ballpark of 3-4lbs.
Are 15″ devices good for gaming?
Definitely! These machines have screens big enough to let you immerse yourself in the action. They also have comfortable keyboards and fast refresh rates of up to 240Hz. Many offer high-performing CPUs and up to 64GB of RAM – great for contemporary AAA games. You must shell out more to get similar specs on a 17 laptop.
There’s a reason 15″ laptops have stayed around for so long. They offer lots of screen real estate and can accommodate more powerful components than 13″ or 14″ models. They make brilliant options for users like students and creative folks, letting you run more windows, split them when needed, and enjoy the merits of top-notch processors and graphics cards.