Dell XPS 15Source: Windows Central

Best 15-Inch Laptops Windows Central 2020

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 Dell XPS 15 (7590) is our top overall pick. It's available with two 15-inch 4K display options, up to a 9th Gen Intel Core i9-9980HK processor (CPU), 64GB of DDR4 RAM, and NVIDIA GTX 1650 dedicated graphics card (GPU) with 4GB of VRAM. That's some serious power, and it's all wrapped up in a beautiful chassis. If you'd like something a bit different, we've rounded up a bunch of other great 15-inch laptops right here.

Best Overall: Dell XPS 15 (7590)

The refreshed 7590 model of the XPS 15 is an all-around impressive Ultrabook, complete with a few gorgeous display options. Choose from 15.6-inch 4K OLED non-touch display with 100% DCI-P3 color reproduction, 4K LCD touch display with 100% AdobeRGB color, or standard FHD display with 100% sRGB and 500 nits brightness. No matter which one you ultimately opt for, you're going to enjoy the XPS 15 every time you open it up.

The 9th Gen Intel Core i5-9300H and Core i7-9750H CPUs are workhorses with four and six cores, respectively, but you can opt for a Core i9-9980HK CPU with eight cores and a clock speed up to 5.0GHz. That's a lot of power. Add in a dedicated NVIDIA GTX 1650 GPU with 4GB of GDDR5 VRAM, and you have a laptop that can handle some specialized design and editing work.

The slim aluminum and carbon fiber chassis have space for decent port selection, including Thunderbolt 3, two USB-A 3.1, HDMI 2.0, an SD card reader, and a 3.5mm audio jack. The power button includes a fingerprint reader for Windows Hello, and the webcam is back above the display where it belongs. A massive 97Wh battery inside gives you a workday of life without needing to find a plug.

Pros:

  • 4K OLED or 4K LCD touch display
  • Powerful Intel 9th Gen CPU options
  • Dedicated NVIDIA GTX 1650 GPU
  • Premium aluminum chassis
  • Huge 97Wh battery

Cons:

  • Not as versatile as a convertible
  • Less expensive options available
  • No Wi-Fi 6

Best Overall

Dell XPS 15 (7590)

Beautiful display options, stellar performance

Dell's XPS 15 is one of the slimmest 15-inch laptops out there, boasting impressive performance and knockout 4K display options.

Best Gaming: Razer Blade 15 Advanced

Razer Blade 15 Mercury WhiteSource: Windows Central

For those who love PC gaming, the Razer Blade 15 Advanced should not leave you wanting. Depending on the performance hardware you opt for — up to an NVIDIA RTX 2080 Max-Q GPU, 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H six-core CPU, and 16GB of dual-channel DDR4 RAM — you'll get access to up to a 4K OLED display option. You can also opt for an FHD display with a 240Hz refresh rate.

The 4K OLED touch display comes with 100% DCI-P3 color reproduction, 60Hz refresh rate, and HDR400 certification. If you're a designer or editor, this would no doubt also make a stellar system, especially now that Razer is offering an NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 GPU. Top-firing quad speakers provide loud audio, and you might be tempted to use them instead of a gaming headset.

All this is contained in a symmetrical metal chassis with squared edges, available in either black or Mercury White colors. It's one of the best looking laptops out there, and it's built to withstand daily use. The keyboard's travel is a bit short, but the enormous Precision touchpad is ideal when not using an external gaming mouse plugged into one of three USB-A 3.2 ports. Other connectivity includes Thunderbolt 3, HDMI 2.0, and DisplayPort 1.4.

Pros:

  • 4K OLED display is stunning
  • Outstanding audio
  • Excellent gaming performance
  • Keeps cool
  • Premium build quality

Cons:

  • Keyboard has short travel
  • Very expensive

Best Gaming

Razer Blade 15 Advanced

A gaming laptop that is almost picture-perfect

The Blade 15 Advanced offers stellar performance hardware and up to 4K OLED HDR touch display with a 60Hz refresh rate.

Best Design: Surface Laptop 3 15 (Intel)

Surface Laptop 3 15Source: Daniel Rubino/Windows Central

Whereas the AMD variants of the 15-inch Surface Laptop 3 — the more common option offered to customers — were somewhat underwhelming, "Business" models available with 10th Gen Intel hardware are much more appealing. You get Instant-On and excellent battery life, Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, and rock-solid performance, especially from the Core i7 option. Best part? They're available to anyone who wants them.

In any case, whether you go with AMD or Intel, the real appeal of the Surface Laptop 3 is its design. Like the smaller 13.5-inch Laptop 3 model, it has a premium all-metal design with smooth lines. It's available in two colors (without Alcantara fabric). The keyboard and Precision touchpad are some of the best around, and those typing all day should have no issues. The laptop remains relatively thin and light despite its 15-inch form.

The 15-inch touch display has a boxy 3:2 aspect ratio with 2496x1664 resolution, and it works with the Surface Pen for a satisfying inking experience. Color accuracy hits 96% sRGB and 72% AdobeRGB, and you can expect peak brightness to reach just less than 400 nits. Ports have been updated for the third-generation; expect USB-C, USB-A, 3.5mm audio, and Surface Connect.

Pros

  • Stunning design and craftsmanship
  • Wi-Fi 6 and Instant-On
  • Comfy keyboard and touchpad
  • 10th Gen Intel CPUs
  • High-res touch display with inking

Cons

  • No Alcantara finish
  • Ports still limited

Best Design

Surface Laptop 3 15 (Intel)

A worthy upgrade

Intel versions of the 15-inch Surface Laptop 3 bring high-end performance, features, and design.

Best Convertible: HP Spectre x360 15t

The 15-inch HP Spectre x360 is available with either 4K LCD display or 4K AMOLED display, both with touch function to accommodate the convertible design. You can use this PC as a tablet or as a standard notebook for productivity purposes. You're going to pay more for AMOLED, but for anyone who wants the best picture possible, it'll be worth the money. All displays are compatible with the included active pen. Both display options have for performance hardware a 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H CPU, NVIDIA GTX 1650 dedicated GPU, and 8GB or 16GB of DDR4 RAM. This laptop is no slouch. No issues with storage either, as it has plenty of SSD options up to 2TB in size.

The chassis has the same gem-cut design as the smaller 13-inch Spectre x360, and it makes for an ornate laptop. Dark Ash Silver and Poseidon Blue colors are both available to choose from, depending on your preference. Ports include two Thunderbolt 3, USB-A 3.1, HDMI 2.0, 3.5mm audio jack, and microSD card reader; it's a good mix for pros and casual users alike. An IR camera for Windows Hello sits above the display, and there's a webcam kill switch if you're worried about anyone looking in on you. A fingerprint reader is also available for further security.

No 10th Gen Intel CPU options are available, though models do come with a Wi-Fi 6 wireless adapter for blazing wireless speeds. Unfortunately, the 15-inch Spectre x360 is still using Synaptics touchpad drivers instead of Microsoft Precision drivers.

Pros:

  • Wi-Fi 6 compatibility
  • Awesome 4K display options
  • Powerful hardware configurations
  • Ornate gem-cut chassis
  • IR camera, fingerprint reader

Cons:

  • Using Synaptics touchpad drivers
  • Bezel is a bit thick

Best Convertible

HP Spectre x360 15t

Tons of power in a beautiful chassis

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

Dual Displays: ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo

If you're a professional creator who wants to shake things up by adding a second display to your 15-inch laptop, the ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo is likely on your radar. It's quite expensive, but it's unlike just about any other laptop out there. The main 15.6-inch OLED touch display has a 3840x2160 resolution and full DCI-P3 color gamut coverage that is stunning in its own right, but just below it, where the keyboard on most laptops is placed, is a secondary 14-inch touch display with 3840x1100 resolution. It's known as a ScreenPad Plus, and it gives users a whole new way to use the device, especially with the included active pen.

Below the two displays is a physical keyboard with a touchpad off to the right, giving you the full laptop experience. The touchpad can even turn into a number pad thanks to embedded LED illumination. Don't worry … an attachable palm rest is included to keep your hands comfortable during long periods of typing. It's all built on an attractive chassis that includes Thunderbolt 3, HDMI, USB-A 3.1, and 3.5mm audio. Unfortunately, there's no SD card reader.

Up to a 9th Gen Intel Core i9-9980HK CPU is available, alongside an NVIDIA RTX 2060 dedicated GPU, 32GB of RAM, and 1TB SSD. You'll get the performance needed for specialized work, and it even has Wi-Fi 6 for incredibly fast wireless speeds. An IR camera for Windows Hello adds security. These are expensive devices, but they're also unique and offer a glimpse at the future of high-performance laptops.

Pros:

  • Dual 4K displays
  • Dedicated NVIDIA RTX graphics
  • Active pen and palm rest included
  • 9th Gen Intel Core CPU
  • Premium, unique design

Cons:

  • Steep price
  • Small touchpad
  • No SD card slot

Dual Displays

ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo

A multitasker's dream

The ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo not only includes a stellar second display, but it's also stacked full of powerful specs.

Best for Media: Lenovo Yoga C940

The larger 15-inch Yoga C940 from Lenovo — there's also a 14-inch version available — brings 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H and Core i9-9880H vPro CPU options for impressive performance, as well as a NVIDIA GTX 1650 dedicated GPU for a gaming and editing boost. Models can also be configured with up to a 2TB M.2 PCIe SSD and 16GB of DDR4 RAM.

The 15.6-inch display comes in two flavors, both touch, to work with the convertible design. If you have the budget, the 4K option is stunning, while there's also an FHD version for considerably less money. It still looks great, and both are compatible with an active pen and feature HDR400 with Dolby Vision. To go along with the display, the convertible hinge doubles as a soundbar for impressive audio, making this a laptop ideal for media.

Wi-Fi 6 connectivity offers impressive wireless speeds, and the chassis includes two Thunderbolt 3, one USB-A 3.1, and a 3.5mm audio jack for accessories. A privacy shutter blocks the webcam when you're not using it, and a fingerprint reader offers improved security through Windows Hello.

Pros:

  • Beautiful convertible design
  • 4K touch display with Dolby Vision HDR400
  • Soundbar hinge with impressive audio
  • Dedicated GPU and 9th Gen Intel CPU options
  • Compatible with Wi-Fi 6

Cons:

  • 4K display saps battery life
  • Prices climb quickly

Best for Media

Lenovo Yoga C940

Awesome display and audio

The combination of convertible design, 4K display, and soundbar convertible hinge make the 15-inch Yoga C940 ideal for media.

Best Business: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme (Gen 2)

The ThinkPad X1 Extreme is now in its second generation, and it has been updated with 9th Gen Intel Core CPU options up to an i9-9880H vPro. This chip puts out some serious performance, and it only gets better with an NVIDIA GTX 1650 GPU with 4GB of VRAM. With up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM and a 1TB M.2 PCIe SSD, this is a laptop cut out for power users. Like all ThinkPads, it's been put through the wringer to ensure it will withstand and harsh life on the road.

The 15.6-inch display is available in standard FHD, FHD with Dolby Vision HDR400, 4K LCD with Dolby Vision HDR400, or stunning 4K OLED with HDR500. The OLED option is the most expensive, but it's also undoubtedly the most fetching. If you have the budget, it's likely going to be your first choice. Above the display is a webcam with privacy shutter, as well as an optional IR camera for Windows Hello. Other security features include a Kensington lock slot, fingerprint reader, and FIDO authentication.

The chassis is just 0.74 inches (18.7mm) thin, and it weighs in at about 3.75 pounds (1.7kg for non-touch), keeping it portable. Ports include two USB-A 3.1, two Thunderbolt 3, HDMI 2.0, an SD card reader, Ethernet expansion port, and a 3.5mm audio jack. A Wi-Fi 6 adapter is included for fast wireless speeds, and the 80Wh battery delivers solid battery life. The keyboard, in true ThinkPad form, is what you want to use for long days of typing. Prices are high, but be sure to check in on the seemingly constant discounts Lenovo has to offer.

Pros:

  • Powerful hardware options, including dedicated GPU
  • 4K OLED display is a knockout
  • Plenty of ports
  • Durable ThinkPad chassis
  • Keyboard is perfect

Cons:

  • Very expensive
  • Battery life suffers with 4K

Best Business

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme

Your next business partner

The second-gen ThinkPad X1 Extreme is more powerful than ever before, yet it remains portable enough to tag along with you.

Best for Creators: MSI Prestige 15

MSI Prestige 15Source: MSI

Most laptops that feature a dedicated NVIDIA GTX 1650 GPU are coupled with a 9th Gen Intel Core CPU that sips considerably more power than the 10th Gen U-series, but not the MSI Prestige 15. Along with the dedicated GPU, it has up to a 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10710U CPU with six cores and just a 15W TDP. This allows for better life, and the 10th Gen improvements include Wi-Fi 6 connectivity. Along with up to 64GB of RAM and a 2TB M.2 PCIe SSD, this is an ideal laptop for creators.

The 15.6-inch display with 16:9 aspect ratio is available in FHD or 4K resolutions. The former offers 100% sRGB color reproduction, while the latter offers 100% AdobeRGB color. Both have a thin bezel with a premium appearance, and the lid opens to lie flat. This is a solid display for photography, design, or editing tasks.

It measures just 1.54 inches (39mm) thin and weighs in at about 3.64 pounds (1.65kg), making it portable enough to carry daily. The backlit keyboard is comfortable, the touchpad is huge, and port selection is generous with two Thunderbolt 3, two USB-A 3.2, HDMI, 3.5mm audio, and a microSD card reader.

Pros:

  • Intel U CPU with NVIDIA GTX 1650 GPU
  • FHD or 4K display options
  • Wi-Fi 6 connectivity
  • Long battery life
  • Thin and light build

Cons:

  • Relatively expensive

Best for Creators

MSI Prestige 15

Intel U-series CPUs and dedicated NVIDIA graphics

It's thin and light, but it has a unique blend of 10th Gen Intel hardware and a dedicated NVIDIA GTX 1650 GPU.

Bottom line

Smaller 13- and 14-inch laptops might be more popular, but that doesn't mean there aren't a bunch of great 15-inch laptops available right now. Any of the options rounded up above should please, but if you're looking for a well-rounded option for any task, we recommend checking out the Dell XPS 15 (7590).

It's available with two 4K display options to fit your needs. If you want the best, choose OLED with 400 nits brightness and 100% DCI-P3 color reproduction, or select LCD touch with 500 nits brightness for a close second. Behind the scenes, add up to a 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H CPU, 32GB of DDR4 RAM, a 1TB M.2 PCIe SSD, and dedicated NVIDIA GTX 1650 GPU with 4GB of VRAM.

It's all wrapped up in a compact, light chassis made from aluminum and carbon fiber, making it easy to take with you wherever you go. An enormous 97Wh battery keeps going through a day, and there are plenty of ports for connecting your accessories when you sit down to crush your workload.

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 the 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.

We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.