A 15-inch laptop is a great size for those who want a bit of extra screen real estate and who don't mind a bit of extra weight when on the go. Laptop manufacturers these days usually take advantage of the space to offer a dedicated graphics card (GPU) and other performance hardware, though other laptops are designed for balanced performance and a thin and light build. We love the Surface Book 2 for its performance and design, but there are plenty of other 15-inch options rounded up here if it's not quite what you're looking for.

Modular powerhouse

Microsoft Surface Book 2

The display has a unique 3,240 x 2,160 resolution and a 3:2 aspect ratio, and inside you can get up to an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8650U processor (CPU), 16GB of DDR3 RAM, a 1TB PCIe solid-state drive (SSD), and an NVIDIA GTX 1060 GPU with 6GB of GDDR5 VRAM. The modular design lets you detach the display from keyboard, letting you use it as a tablet or notebook.

From $1,149 at Microsoft

Thin and light

LG gram 15Z980

It weighs in at 2.41 pounds and is just 0.7 inches (17.78 mm) thick. You're looking at an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8550U CPU, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 1TB SATA SSD, plus it has an IPS touch display with great color and contrast. Thunderbolt 3, HDMI, and USB-A 3.0 all make an appearance, and the battery life is outstanding at about 12 hours from a charge.

From $1,147 at Amazon

Performance notebook

Dell XPS 15

With NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti GPU, up to 8th Gen Intel Core i9-8950HK CPU with six cores, 32 GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 2 TB PCIe SSD, the XPS 15 is a notebook that can handle a relatively heavy workload. The beautiful 4K touch display (also available in 1080p) does not detract at all from the rest of the slick design.

From $980 at Dell

Best gaming

Razer Blade 15

Razer's 15.6-inch Blade gaming laptop is designed for performance. It has up to a NVIDIA GTX 1070 GPU, an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H six-core CPU, 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, and 2 TB PCIe SSD. The IPS display is available in either FHD (144 Hz refresh rate) or 4K, and is plenty bright so you can game everywhere. The chassis is also just 0.68 inches thick.

From $1,900 at Amazon

Versatile convertible

HP Spectre x360

This slim convertible laptop features a 15.6-inch 4K touch display (also available in 1080p) with a slim bezel; it has full pen support for Windows Ink, perfect for when using the laptop in tablet mode. Get inside up to an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8550U or i7-8705G CPU with four cores, an NVIDIA MX150 GPU or Radeon RX Vega M GPU, 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, and up to a 2 TB SSD.

From $1,170 at HP

Budget gaming

Lenovo Legion Y530

Starting at $750, the Legion Y530 offers gaming performance and sleek style for less. Prices rise accordingly, but get up to an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H six-core CPU, 2 TB hard-disk drive coupled with a 256 GB PCIe SSD, 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, and a NVIDIA GTX 1060 GPU with 6 GB of GDDR5 VRAM. The 1080p display with almost no bezel is available in a few different configs, and a version with 144 Hz refresh rate is coming soon.

From $750 at Lenovo

Workstation

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme

Lenovo's X1 Extreme ThinkPad is a workstation ready to tackle just about anything you toss at it. Get up to an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8850H six-core CPU, 64 GB of DDR4 RAM, two 1 TB PCIe SSDs, and NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti dedicated graphics for serious performance, and enjoy it on a 4K touch display with 100 percent AdobeRGB color reproduction. All in a body that's clearly ThinkPad.

From $1,859 at Lenovo

Best budget

Acer Aspire E 15

An Aspire E 15 with Core i3 CPU can often be found for cheaper, but for best performance to price ratio, check out the Core i5-8250U or i7-8550U options. Apart from 8th Gen CPU, the laptop has 8 GB of dual-channel RAM, a 256 GB SSD, an NVIDIA MX150 discrete GPU, and a battery that should last a workday. Unlike a lot of budget laptops, the 15.6-inch display doesn't go any lower than 1080p.

From $600 at Amazon

Underrated Ultrabook

Samsung Notebook 9

Samsung's 15-inch Notebook 9 is an outstanding clamshell notebook with gorgeous 1080p display, 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8550U CPU, up to 16 GB of RAM, a 256 GB PCIe SSD, and a NVIDIA MX150 discrete GPU. The slim body includes a Thunderbolt 3 port as well as USB-A 2.0 and 3.0, allowing you to connect old and new accessories.

From $1,200 at Amazon

Best business

Lenovo ThinkPad T580

This T-series ThinkPad's 15.6-inch frame allows for a full keyboard with number pad, large battery, plenty of ports, and performance hardware inside. Grab up to an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8650U vPro CPU, 32 GB of DDR4 RAM, a 1 TB PCIe SSD, and a dedicated NVIDIA MX150 GPU with 2 GB of GDDR5 VRAM. The display is available in either 1080p or 4K, and you get plenty of battery life, especially if you carry around an extra for hot swapping.

From $981 at Lenovo

If we're picking one

It's a great time to love Windows laptops, especially if you like them big. These 15-inch models all do something particularly well, but if we're picking a single device to recommend, it is the Surface Book 2. This modular laptop has the power needed to tackle a wide variety of tasks, it has a gorgeous touch display with high resolution and 3:2 aspect ratio, and it can be used in tablet or notebook modes to best suit the job at hand. If you don't quite need the power (or don't want to spend the money the Book 2 asks), there are plenty of other options available.

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