Best 15-Inch Laptops Windows Central 2019

A 15-inch laptop is a perfectly sized device for those who want a bit of extra screen real estate and some extra performance, and the Surface Book 2 is our top overall pick. It has a gorgeous touch display with 3:2 aspect ratio that can detach from the main portion of the chassis to be used as a tablet, it's available with 8th Gen Intel Core i5 or i7 processor (CPU), and it comes with up to an NVIDIA GTX 1060 graphics card (GPU) for serious power. If you'd like something a bit different, we've rounded up a bunch of other great 15-inch laptops right here.

Best Overall: Surface Book 2

The 15-inch Surface Book 2 is truly a versatile device thanks to a modular design. The touch display portion, which attaches to the main chassis like a 2-in-1, can be used on its own (albeit without the dedicated GPU) like a tablet, and you can add a Surface Pen into the mix for jotting down notes and making sketches. The display has a 3240x2160 resolution and a 3:2 aspect ratio for a brilliant picture and the color reproduction hits 98% sRGB and 75% AdobeRGB.

You'll get about 10 hours of battery life from a charge if you're going about regular tasks, but the Surface Book 2 does have the power for much more. With up to an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8650U CPU, 16GB of RAM, a 1TB PCIe solid-state drive (SSD), and an NVIDIA GTX 1060 GPU with 6GB of GDDR5 VRAM, you shouldn't have any issues running modern games and even doing some photo and video work.

The keyboard is outstanding, the Precision touchpad tracks smoothly and is sized appropriately, and an IR camera above the display allow you to log in quickly and securely with Windows Hello. As long as you have the budget and don't mind the modular design of the Surface Book 2, it should serve as an able laptop for a number of uses.

Pros

  • Excellent battery life
  • Can be used as an Ultrabook or tablet
  • Dedicated NVIDIA GPU
  • Gorgeous high-res 3:2 display
  • Premium keyboard and touchpad

Cons

  • Relatively expensive
  • Might not need the modular feature

Best Overall

Surface Book 2

Performance and versatile style

Available in two sizes, the Surface Book 2 is one of our top choices thanks to a modular design, beautiful display, and powerful hardware.

Runner-up: Dell XPS 15

The new Dell XPS 15 (7590) gets a new display, new Intel 9th Gen CPUs, and a new dedicated GPU from NVIDIA for increased performance. You can choose from a 4K non-touch OLED display that hits 400 nits brightness and 100 percent DCI-P3 color, or you can go with the more standard 4K touch LCD or the matte, non-touch FHD display.

Inside, get up to a 9th Gen Intel Core i9-9980HK CPU, a 2TB PCIe SSD, 64GB of DDR4 RAM, and an NVIDIA GTX 1650 GPU with 4GB of VRAM for unreal performance. Battery life should still last well through a workday, especially if you go with the larger 97Wh option at checkout.

The standard 720p webcam is located above the display in the ultrathin bezel, which doesn't leave room for an IR camera for Windows Hello. However, you still get some added security with a built-in fingerprint reader.

Pros

  • Dedicated NVIDIA GPU
  • Up to 9th Gen Core i9 CPU
  • Premium design and build
  • Glorious 4K OLED display
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • No IR camera for Windows Hello
  • Higher-end models get expensive fast

Runner-up

Dell XPS 15 (7590)

A beautiful laptop with outrageous performance

The new XPS 15 7590 brings new 9th Gen Intel CPUs, brilliant OLED 4K display, and NVIDIA dedicated GPU options for awesome performance.

Runner-up: MSI PS63 Modern

Despite its thin and light build ⁠— measuring just 0.63 inches thin and weighing in at 3.53 pounds (1.60kg) ⁠— the MSI PS63 Modern is loaded with performance hardware. You get an Intel Core i7-8565U CPU, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and an NVIDIA GTX 1050 GPU, which makes this an Ultrabook suitable for productivity, gaming, and even some multimedia editing. Despite all that performance, you can expect a full workday of battery life.

The FHD has hardly any bezel around it, and near-perfect color reproduction translates into a gorgeous picture every time you open the lid. For some added security, a fingerprint reader allows you to sign in quickly and securely through Windows Hello.

The keyboard and huge Precision touchpad are comfortable enough to use for long days of productivity, and port selection is decent (though no Thunderbolt 3) with USB-C, three USB-A 3.1, HDMI, and a microSD card reader. The speakers are likely this laptop's biggest downside, but don't let that stop you if you love everything else about the PS63 Modern.

Pros

  • Light and thin premium build
  • Includes dedicated GPU
  • Oustanding battery life
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Thin bezel around FHD display

Cons

  • No Thunderbolt 3
  • Poor speakers

Runner-up

MSI PS63 Modern

Combination of power and battery life

The MSI PS63 Modern delivers a powerful NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (or 1050 Ti) in a 15.6-inch Ultrabook.

Best Gaming: Razer Blade 15

The Razer Blade 15, available with a 15.6-inch FHD display with 240Hz refresh rate or 4K display with 60Hz refresh rate, delivers a stellar gaming experience that can rival that of a desktop. It runs hot, but it's just 0.70 inches thin and manages to pack in up to an NVIDIA RTX 2080 Max-Q GPU, 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H CPU, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 512GB SSD.

Bezel around the display is about as thin as possible for a modern look, and the RGB keyboard can be customized to your own style. There's an enormous Precision touchpad below the keyboard for times when you're not gaming, though you'll probably want to invest in a great external gaming mouse for competitive play.

Ports include Mini DisplayPort, HDMI, USB-A 3.1, and Thunderbolt 3, which allows you to connect an external monitor and a couple of other accessories to create a battlestation. This is an expensive gaming laptop, but if you have the funds, it's no doubt the one you want.

Pros

  • Gorgeous 4K and FHD display options
  • Insane gaming performance
  • Slim, premium build
  • Decent port selection
  • Enormous Precision touchpad

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Runs hot

Best Gaming

Razer Blade 15

The ultimate gaming Ultrabook

The Razer Blade 15 is slim, it's packed with powerful gaming hardware, and it has beautiful display options.

Best Value Gaming: Lenovo Legion Y740 15

If the Razer Blade 15's price seems a bit ridiculous, Lenovo's Legion Y740 15 will no doubt be much more appealing for anyone who wants a gaming laptop. The FHD display has slim bezel for a slick look, and it features G-Sync compatibility for smooth visuals, a 144Hz refresh rate, and near-perfect color reproduction that makes your games look great. Ports are mostly kept at the rear of the aluminum chassis for easy cable management; they include HDMI 2.0, Thunderbolt 3, Mini DisplayPort, and plenty of USB-A for connecting accessories.

The Legion Y740 15 packs in up to a 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H CPU, 32GB of RAM, a 1TB M.2 PCIe SSD, and an NVIDIA RTX 2080 Max-Q GPU for outstanding performance. Despite all that hardware, the laptop manages to stay cool and quiet even under load. The battery doesn't last all that long when you're pushing the hardware, but that's the reality of most gaming laptops with this much performance.

The keyboard is comfortable and has customizable RGB lighting and a column of macro keys you can use to set up your own shortcuts, and the touchpad has physical buttons for those who'd rather not use an external mouse. If you plan on streaming, consider checking out a webcam, since the one built in here is set below the display and has a tendency to look up your nose.

Pros:

  • Superb performance
  • Mature aluminum design
  • 144Hz display with accurate color
  • RGB keyboard with macro keys
  • Runs cool and quiet

Cons:

  • Small 57Wh battery
  • Under-display webcam

Best Value Gaming

Lenovo Legion Y740 15

You're going to have a great time

Up to an RTX 2080 GPU and Intel Core i7-9750H CPU doesn't keep this gaming laptop from running cool.

Best Convertible: HP Spectre x360 15t

Like the smaller Spectre x360 13t, the 15-inch Spectre x360 15t has a unique gem cut design that looks absolutely awesome but also serves a purpose. The rear corners, which are angled, have on one side a Thunderbolt 3 port and on the other side a power button that stays out of the way even when you're using the laptop folded around into tablet mode. Other ports include an extra Thunderbolt 3, USB-A 3.1, HDMI 2.0, and 3.5mm audio.

A row of speakers above the excellent keyboard (with number pad included) pumps out loud and full audio, and below the keys is a fingerprint reader that can be used with Windows Hello. There's also an IR camera for facial recognition, and on the side of the laptop is a killswitch for the webcam so you don't have to worry about spying. The touchpad is relatively large, but it is using Synaptics drivers instead of Precision.

The 4K touch display is compatible with an included active pen for jotting down notes and drawing, and you shouldn't have any issues getting into some specialized tasks thanks to a dedicated NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti GPU, an Intel Core i7-8750H CPU, 16GB of RAM, and up to 2TB of PCIe SSD storage. If you'd like a 15-inch convertible, definitely put the Spectre x360 15t near the top of your list.

Pros

  • Unique gem-cut design
  • Dedicated GTX 1050 Ti GPU
  • 4K touch display
  • Included active pen for inking
  • Plenty of ports

Cons

  • Uses Synaptics drivers for the touchpad

Best Convertible

HP Spectre x360 15t

Tons of power in a beautiful chassis

The Spectre x360 15t is an awesome convertible laptop with powerful hardware, brilliant display, and unique gem-cut design.

Best Mobility: LG gram 15

LG's gram lineup, including the 15-inch notebook, really is unique; these laptops are designed to be as light and thin as possible without sacrificing the features you expect from an Ultrabook. The gram 15 is just 2.44 pounds (1.1kg) and is only 0.7 inches thin, yet it retains an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8565U CPU, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and up to 1TB of SATA SSD storage. You won't have any issues cutting through a day's work, and the battery can hit 12 or 13 hours of life from a single charge.

The gram's 15.6-inch FHD touch display has outstanding color reproduction for a full picture, and thin bezel around the edges offers a sleek look. A fingerprint reader is built into the power button for secure sign-ins through Windows Hello, and the keyboard, which is comfortable for all-day typing, includes a full number pad. The Precision touchpad works well, but it would be nice to see better use of space for something larger.

You can enjoy easy connectivity with HDMI, Thunderbolt 3, three USB-A 3.1, 3.5mm audio, and a microSD card reader, and you shouldn't have to worry about durability thanks to MIL-STD 810G certification for the magnesium alloy chassis.

Pros

  • Great port selection
  • Ultraportable alloy chassis
  • Excellent battery life
  • Colorful touch display
  • Full keyboard with number pad

Cons

  • Touchpad could be larger
  • Slow SATA SSD

Best Mobility

LG gram 15Z990

Thin and light is an understatement

There's nothing else out there like a gram when it comes to an unreal combination of size, weight, performance, and build quality.

Best Business: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme

If you're looking for a 15.6-inch laptop for business purposes, the ThinkPad X1 Extreme has a lot to offer. It sits somewhere between a mobile workstation and a standard Ultrabook in terms of performance, bringing an NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti dedicated GPU, up to an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8850H CPU, 64GB of RAM, and two 1TB PCIe M.2 SSDs. You'll have no problems with productivity tasks, and it should be able to handle some multimedia editing, too.

Like most ThinkPads, the X1 Extreme is built well to last for years to come and has undergone MIL-STD 810G certification to prove it can withstand extreme situations outside of regular office life. Along the edges of the robust chassis, you'll find two USB-A 3.1 ports, two Thunderbolt 3, HDMI 2.0, an SD card reader, and 3.5mm audio.

Choose from either FHD or 4K HDR with perfect sRGB and AdobeRGB color reproduction for the display, and take advantage of touch with pen support in the latter option. Above the display, for some extra security, is an IR camera that works with Windows Hello.

Pros:

  • Excellent performance
  • 15.6-inch 4K display
  • High build quality
  • Excellent port selection
  • Comfy ThinkPad keyboard

Cons:

  • Expensive

Best Business

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme

Business laptop with dedicated GPU

The ThinkPad X1 Extreme is an ideal choice for anyone who wants the extra security of a business laptop and above-average performance.

Best Budget: Acer Aspire E 15

Buying a budget laptop can be a frustrating ordeal. You often have a list of features you want, but you'll often find one or two missing once the dollars drop. It might be relatively bulky and might not compare in quality to the more expensive Ultrabooks out there, but Acer's Aspire E 15 does its best to offer a well-rounded device at an affordable price.

For performance hardware, get up to an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8550U CPU, 256GB SSD, 8GB of RAM, and a dedicated NVIDIA MX150 GPU for some added power. A benefit of the laptop's size if port selection, which includes two USB-A 3.0, USB-A 2.0, VGA, Ethernet, HDMI, and USB-C. There's also an optical drive that can be used to burn DVDs.

Battery life hits about 10 hours if you're simply going about productivity tasks, which are made easier in some cases with a full keyboard with number pad. While a lot of budget laptops stick with an HD display, you get 1080p here for a much crisper picture; just don't expect perfect color reproduction.

Pros

  • Very affordable price
  • Dedicated MX150 GPU
  • 8th Gen Intel Core CPU options
  • Full keyboard with number pad
  • FHD display

Cons

  • Relatively bulky size
  • Display is average

Best Budget

Acer Aspire E 15

Budget PC with a lot of features

The Aspire E 15 brings a dedicated GPU, 8th Gen Intel CPU options, and tons of ports, all wrapped up in an affordable package.

Bottom line

If you need a 15-inch laptop in your life, we can't help but recommend the Microsoft Surface Book 2. Its modular design allows it to be used as a tablet when you want to jot down notes or watch some videos, and it can be used as a powerful PC when it's together with its main chassis. The touch display is gorgeous and the entire laptop is built to a high standard, but it also comes at a high price that not everyone can swallow. Luckily, there are a bunch of other great options ready to be your next device.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Cale Hunt is a staff writer at Windows Central. He focuses mainly on PC, laptop, and accessory coverage, as well as the emerging world of VR. He is an avid PC gamer and multi-platform user and spends most of his time either tinkering with or writing about tech.

Daniel Rubino is executive editor of Windows Central. He has been covering Microsoft since 2009 back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Surface, HoloLens, Xbox, and future computing visions. Follow him on Twitter: @daniel_rubino.

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