Portable computers may be shrinking in size with each generation of hardware, but the reliable old 15 inch laptop remains a staple of the computer industry. No matter what specs or design you need, we’ve found five of the best 15 inch laptops you should put on the top of your wishlist!
Ready to see what’s available? Let’s take a look at the best 15 inch laptops in 2021 , from budget options to high end gaming machines and everything in between!
Recommendations for March 2021
Reviews Of The Best 15-Inch Laptops In 2021
Lenovo IdeaPad 330 – Cheap And Reliable
Normally a sub-$500 laptop will take a major hit on the specs, but Lenovo offers a high end machine at a budget price.
With 8GB of RAM and a quad core processor, you won’t run into lag while browsing the web or typing up documents.
The biggest draw is easily the solid state drive, which offers much faster boot up speeds and data transfer. You also still get an optical drive, which is a huge plus for those still used to having a DVD burner on the side.
Most devices these days are going the touch screen route or have a hybrid hinge design. That’s the only feature you lose out on with this IdeaPad, as there has to be a trade off to reach such a low price.
Buyers generally leave overwhelmingly positive reviews for this model, but there is a potential issue to look out for before buying.
Despite being a full size 15” laptop, the keyboard utilizes a more compact design. There are no dedicated F1 – F12 keys, and the Page Up and Page Down keys are reduced in size to sit in one position.
Recommended Configuration For Lenovo IdeaPad 330
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 2500U Processor (2.0 GHz base frequency up to 3.6 GHz, 6 MB cache, 4 cores) | Graphics: AMD Radeon Vega 8 | RAM: 8GB DDR4 RAM| Screen: 15.6 inch HD (1366 x 768) IPS Anti-Glare Display | Storage: 256GB SSD | Operating System: Windows 10 Home | Battery Life: 6 hours| Weight: 4.1 lbs
Dell XPS 15 9570 – Powerful 2-in-1
Dell’s new XPS 15 is unquestionably the most top-of-the-line hybrid machine available on the market right now. It comes with a premium price, however, so be ready to take a serious hit on your bank account!
For that high asking price you get a cutting edge 8th gen processor, a full 32 GB of memory, and a spacious 1 TB SSD solid state drive for storing data.
It doesn’t skimp on the touch screen functionality, either. The XPS 15 features an extremely tiny bezel so you get the most viewing area and touch screen space.
This model also sports a redesigned magnetic keyboard that’s significantly thinner than other 15 inch models.
There are a few potential downsides to consider before going this route. While you get 2 USB ports and a card reader, there’s no HDMI port on this machine for connecting to external displays.
Because of the tiny bezel, the webcam is also at the bottom of the screen, which isn’t an ideal position for video chatting.
Want to still get a high end 2-in-1 experience but save about a thousand dollars? The HP Spectre x360 is another hybrid laptop we highly recommend.
The processor in the Spectre is slightly slower — although at these speeds you likely won’t notice — but the webcam is positioned at the top.
Recommended Configuration For Dell XPS 15 9570
CPU: Intel Core i9-8950HK (2.90 GHz to 4.8 GHz | Graphics: GeForce GTX 1050 4GB | RAM: 32GB DDR4 | Screen: 15.6-Inch 1920 x 1080 Maximum Resolution | Storage: 1 TB SSD | Operating System: Windows 10 Pro | Battery Life: up to 6 hours | Weight: 4.4 lbs
ASUS VivoBook 15 – Amazing Value
When you start to approach the full $1,000 mark, you want to get an amazing laptop that’s loaded with extra features.
In terms of hardware specs, the Asus VivoBook more than delivers. 8 GB of RAM, and a 10th gen processor, and an Intel UHD graphics card are an amazing combo that will let you run pretty much anything.
You get both an SSD for faster operating system boot up which really helps out a lot in the long run.
This is a cheap and affordable laptop with some premium features so you get the best of all worlds. Finally, the VivoBook even has a full 10 key section, which is somewhat rare for a hybrid device.
There are really only two downsides here that are mentioned frequently by buyers. First off, the power button is on the left side (which can be accidentally bumped), rather than above the keyboard.
Second, this particular model is more difficult to crack open and upgrade than many other laptops. If you don’t ever intend to add in more RAM then that won’t be a concern, however.
The Dell G3579 offers similar specs as well so you might like that laptop as well if you plan to get a Dell laptop brand.
Recommended configuration for ASUS VivoBook 15
CPU: Intel i3-1005G1 CPU | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics| RAM: 8 GB RAM| Screen: 15.6 inch Full HD (1920×1080) 4-way NanoEdge bezel display with a stunning 88% screen-to-body ratio| Storage: 128 GB SSD | Operating System: Windows 10 Home | Battery Life: 8.5 hours | Weight: 3.75 lbs
Acer Predator Triton 500 – 15 Inch Gaming
Looking for a gaming laptop that’s absolutely amazing and future proofed against increasing hardware demands?
Acer’s Predator Triton is pretty much anything you could ever ask for in a laptop for playing games. Beyond just VR ready, this is one of the best gaming machines you can buy in any size or form factor!
The specs pretty well speak for themselves, and you’ll have a hard time finding a better graphics card in any laptop on the market. The Triton features a mechanical backlit keyboard so you still get the full desktop gaming rig experience in a portable form.
Despite the small size, a full array of ports are available like you’d expect from a business class machine. If you prefer a larger monitor or better sounds, it’s simple to hook up to external displays or connect a speaker set.
A large part of the price (which is very high) is due to the extremely thin profile. For portability that’s an excellent feature, but it does come with a downside.
Unfortunately, there’s no secondary HDD for file storage like you’d find with many other models.
One other issue plagues this model that is a recurring problem in all high end gaming machines.
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Graphics and 16 GB RAM combo will greedily consume all the power you can throw at it, so be prepared to always be plugged in while gaming. While unplugged, you can expect two hours or less of battery time.
At over a thousand dollars cheaper, the Acer Predator Helios 300 is another great option, although you drop down to much lower specs because of this.
Even with half the RAM and a lower end graphics card, the Predator can still run any AAA game at ultra settings. It isn’t quite as “future proof” though, and will give you slower speeds on VR games.
Recommended Configuration For Acer Predator Triton 500
CPU: Intel Core i7 9750H | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Graphics| RAM: 16 GB RAM | Screen: 15. 6″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) Widescreen LED backlit IPS Display 144Hz Refresh Rate| Storage: 512 GB SSD | Operating System: Windows 10 Home| Battery Life: 2.5 hours | Weight: 4.41 lbs
Apple MacBook Pro 16 – Configurable At Purchase
You didn’t really think we forgot about the Apple crowd, did you? Right now, the MacBook Pro with a touch bar is one of the best 15 inch laptops available if you don’t prefer the Windows OS.
While the specs are topnotch, what sets this model apart is the touch bar. This nifty little strip of glass lights up with different options depending on what app you are using, and it really is innovative.
Besides the amazingly bright retina display, this model also boasts all-day battery life, so you only have to charge once during a work day.
There’s really only two downsides to keep in mind before going with a MacBook, and they are peculiar designs particular to Apple.
This unit has four ports, but they are Thunderbolt ports.That means you are going to need a multi-port adapter if you are using regular USB devices.
Finally, this unit specifically isn’t meant for upgrading, but it is configurable during purchase.so you won’t ever be able to go above 16GB of DDR3 RAM if that’s what you bought it at.
However if you have the cash you can have up to 64 GB of RAM and up to 8 TB of storage, so keep this in mind when you purchase the Apple MacBook Pro 16.
Recommended Configuration For Apple MacBook Pro 16
CPU:Intel Core i9 | Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro 5500M Intel UHD Graphics 630 | RAM: Configurable: from 16 GB to 64 GB RAM | Screen: 3072×1920 native resolution, 16.0-inch LED-backlit display with IPS technology | Storage: Configurable: from 512 GB to 8TB | Operating System: macOS Catalina | Battery Life: 11 hours | Weight: 4.3 lbs
Samsung Notebook 9 Pro – Good For Multitasking
For a laptop over the $1000 price range, the Samsung Notebook 9 offers a lot of features so as to prove its value for money tag.
The laptop has 8GB of DDR RAM memory and a dual-core processor ensuring a smooth transition amongst applications.
Perhaps the biggest attraction of the laptop is a fingerprint sensor which prevents unauthorized access to the laptop.
Another plus for this laptop is the fact that it is touchscreen thereby making it easy for users to perform functions without reverting to a physical mouse or keypad. However, the touchscreen is coated in glass and has a high sensitivity to touch actions.
The system also has fast charging capabilities as a full charge takes 2 hours and the battery life lasts for up to 12 hours when used for movie watching. A charge of 20 minutes can last up to 2 hours.
For gaming and movie watching, the graphics of the laptop system offers an outstanding user experience and this is majorly due to its Intel UHD Graphics 620 GPU.
Additionally you won’t have to worry about storage space because tha laptop offers a storage of 2 TB SSD. If you are a professional dealing with a lot of data, it is a good idea to buy this laptop’s form the storage space alone.
The only downside probably has to do with the sound. The audio performance of the laptop is a bit disappointing as the sound from the speakers is very thin.
Recommended configuration for Samsung Notebook 9 Pro
CPU: Intel Core i7-8565U up to 4.6GHz | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB RAM | Screen: 13.3 inch FHD SVA BrightView WLED-backlit touchscreen (1920×1080) Display| Storage: 2TB SSD | Operating System: Windows 10 Home| Battery Life: 9 hours | Weight: 2.84 pounds
MSI GF65 – Portable Gaming
In terms of productivity, the laptop uses a 9th Gen Intel Core i7 processor to deliver a good performance. The graphics quality is also better than the average due to the use of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti.
The laptop’s design is not the most outstanding, but the black matte finish on the body gives it a clean look. However, you are likely to leave fingerprint stains on the body to ensure you have a soft cloth around to wipe them off.
In terms of visual display, there is a bit of color degradation, but the details of the graphics on the screen are clear enough.
MSI GF65 may be a good option for gamers who also prefer a more portable laptop thanks to its slim and portable design. It also weighs about 4.1 lbs which is pretty light for a gaming laptop.
The MSI GF65 also comes with the presence of numerous ports allows users to extend its capabilities. The ports include HDMI, Gigabit Ethernet, USB 2.0 ports, an SD card reader, mini DisplayPort, jack for the AC adapter.
The laptop is gamer friendly as it offers software and applications aimed at ensuring a comfortable gaming experience.
For audio, the laptop has Nahimic 2 software to enhance sounds but still, the speakers lack the necessary projection expected within a gaming laptop.
Unlike its predecessors, the MSI GF65s offers much when it comes to battery life. On tasks such as web surfing, the average life was less than 6 hours which is pretty amazing especially for a high-performing gaming laptop.
Recommended Configuration For MSI GF65
CPU: Intel Core i7-9750H | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti| RAM: 8 GB RAM | Screen: 15. 6″ FHD (19201080), IPS-Level 120Hz Thin Bezel | Storage: 512GB SSD | Operating System: Windows 10 | Battery Life: 6 hours | Weight: 4.1 lbs
Gigabyte AERO 15 – Ultra-Powerful Specs
In the Gigabyte Aero 15, you have another gaming laptop but this time around, there is the presence of the Microsoft Azure AI. With the presence of the AI, there is a seamless connection between Gigabyte’s Professional + and Gaming + software.
Also, the AI ensures the optimization of the laptop’s performance by adjusting the GPU and power distribution of the CPU based on data collected from a game or running application.
The Intel Core i9 processor is another major contributor to the smooth operation of the system such that tabs and applications can be opened without any processing lag.
Unlike most other gaming laptops, the battery life of the Aero 5 Classic is impressive. It can last for up to 8 hours which is higher than other gaming laptops in this roundup.
However, the underside of the laptop is quick to get hot within 15 minutes of use.
Recommended Configuration For Gigabyte AERO 15
CPU: Intel Core i9-8950HK Processor (2.9 GHz to 4.8 GHz) | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 (8GB) | RAM: 32 GB DDR4 | Screen: 15.6 inches 1920 x 1880 Maximum Display Resolution | Storage: 1TB SSD | Operating System: Windows 10 Professional high-end | Battery Life: 8 hours | Weight: 4.4 lbs
LG Gram – Long Battery Life
The LG Gram is downright one of the best laptops on this list and it’s also one of the best laptops out there on the market as well.
Being one of the best, the LG Gram offers 3 amazing things. These things being a long battery life, a lightweight design, and powerful specs. Each of these criteria are highly sought after in a laptop. And if you put all 3 together, you get a truly formidable piece of hardware.
From the name alone, The LG Gram is all about being light. It weighs only 2.52 lbs and it’s one of the lightest laptops that have a powerful processor. This processor being the latest 10th gen Intel Core i7-1065G7 CPU.
The laptop has an amazing amount of RAM with 16 GB to spare, a 15 inch FHD display, and 1 TB of SSD storage. With specs like these you’d think the LG Gram would have battery issues but it does not!
It offers a very long battery life 17 hours for this particular model. On Other models of the LG Gram with less powerful specs, the battery can even go up to 22 hours which is crazy!
Overall, the LG Gram is an amazing laptop for travelling with its portability and long battery life. But it’s also useful for the office worker or student who prefers to use their laptop for days without having to charge it.
Recommended Configuration For LG Gram
CPU: Intel Core i7-1065G7| Graphics: Intel HD Graphics| RAM: 16GB RAM | Screen: 15.6-inch 1920×1080 LED_Backlit IPS Touchscreen display| Storage: 1TB SSD| Operating System: Windows 10| Battery Life: up to 17 hours | Weight: 2.52 lbs
Acer Aspire 5 – Budget 15-inch
The Acer Aspire 5 is what you need if you’re on a budget and still want to eat some decent food that isn’t canned or fast food. The laptop is very cheap and it’s very affordable even for people who don’t have a lot of money.
Despite its affordability, the laptop has fairly reliable specs with the AMD Ryzen 3 3200U, a AMD Radeon Vega 3 for rendering files, and decent 4 GB of RAM which isn’t anything great but its still passable.
What we like about this laptop is that it offers a FHD IPS display which is simply fantastic for a budget laptop. It also has over 7.5 hours of battery to spare, so you can use it all day long without having to worry about charging.
Recommended configuration for Acer Aspire 5
CPU: AMD Ryzen 3 3200U| Graphics: AMD Radeon Vega 3| RAM: 4GB RAM | Screen: 15.6-inch Full HD IPS display| Storage: 128 GB SSD| Operating System: Windows 10| Battery Life: up to 7.5 hours | Weight: 3.97 lbs
Picking The Best 15-Inch Laptops in 2021
Before buying a new portable computer, be sure to look at all the different models available across a wide range of brands.
Your options are wide open for nearly any style or usage when looking at full sized laptops. With more room to pack in features, manufacturers focus on high end, quality builds with their 15 inch models.
You can find a surprising number of features for reasonable prices if you do a little digging (or let us do it for you). Traditional clamshell machines for business, 2-in-1 touch screens for school or home projects, and VR ready rigs are all up for grabs here.
What’s The Benefit Of A 15 Inch Laptop Over Other Sizes?
Notebook computers come in a stunning array of shapes and sizes these days. Starting as low as 10 inches in some cases, ultraportable and incredibly thin laptops are usually found up to 14 inches wide.
So why pick a normal, full sized laptop? While you lose out on some of the extra portability, there are features you get back in return.
Notably, 15 inch laptops are usually where you will still find optical drives included. That’s a dying feature in the mobile computer world, but some users aren’t quite ready to give them up yet.
A larger chassis also means there’s more room to pack in extra components. The larger you get, the more hardware a manufacturer can squeeze into the case.
That’s particularly important if you want a dedicated graphics card, which isn’t usually found in smaller devices. As hardware becomes more powerful and the pricing drops, the lines between laptop sizes are starting to blur, however.
In many cases, you can find 13 or 14 inch laptops that weigh significantly less but still have the same specs as their 15 inch counterparts.
How Much Do I Really Need To Spend On A 15 Inch Laptop?
With hundreds of laptop options available online, you shouldn’t ever settle for the first computer you come across while shopping.
No matter what your budget, you can probably find a laptop at this size range to fit your needs. Exactly how much to spend depends on how you specifically intend to use your computer.
For serious gamers who want top of the line graphics, you can expect a thousand dollars to be your bottom end baseline. If you crave specific cutting edge features, the cost can go way up from there.
If you mostly browse the web, send emails, and put together word docs or spreadsheets, you don’t need to spend nearly that amount. There are plenty of quality laptops in the $400 – $700 range that will work perfectly.
The main reason to spend more is to get additional features beyond a bare bones machine. In general, if you want a hybrid 2-in-1 touch screen, you will have to bump up the starting price.
What Features Should I Be Looking For In A New Laptop?
When you know you want a 15 inch screen, there are two main categories to consider: the internal hardware specs, and the extra “bells and whistles.”
At this point, 4GB of RAM is essentially the minimum you will find in a new machine. That will lead to slow downs when you are running multiple tabs and programs at once, however.
For the best computing experience, we recommend at least 8GB of memory and an 8th gen processor whenever possible. If you want to do anything more than just casual gaming, be sure to also look out for a dedicated graphics card.
After the specs, take into account any features that could change your buying decision. Even though they all have the same screen size, laptops at this size can have vastly different screen resolutions.
For the best viewing experience, you want a screen with 1920 x 1080 resolution or higher. Be sure to also consider if you need a touch screen or want to stick with the tried and true clamshell style laptop.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a 15-inch laptop big?
If you are looking for a laptop that neatly sits on your laptop, then a 15-inch laptop is not the option you should be looking at due to the large size.
Can a 15-inch case contain a 15.6-inch laptop?
The screen size of most 15-inch laptops is actually 15.6-inch. Therefore, you should have no problem fitting the 15.6-inch laptop within.
Which is better? A 15 inch or 17 inch laptop?
It really depends on what you’ll be using the laptop for.
17 inch laptops tend to have more powerful specs than their 15 inch counterparts. This is because they are bigger and have more space to work with giving them the option to use bigger and more powerful CPUs,GPUs, etc. Additionally,17 inch laptops also have better displays and resolution than 15 inch laptops as well.
But this comes at a price and we mean that literally! 17 inch laptops are usually more expensive and a lot of them are being sold at a premium.
15 inch laptops on the other hand are different. A 15 inch laptop is the perfect balance between portability and viewability. It may not be as portable as a 13 inch laptop and it certainly doesn’t have the specs and display of a 17 inch laptop but it’s just right.
This makes it perfect for people who want the best of both worlds. In the end it’s up to you to choose which you prefer more.
These five contenders should have clearly shown that you can find a very wide range of product types that are all the same general size!
Which of our picks for the best 15 inch laptop is going to work for you? Let us know which model you think is best, and be sure to leave a comment if you’ve seen any better machines we missed!