Best overall

Microsoft Surface Book 2

See at Microsoft Store

The incredible Surface Book just got bigger. Microsoft is now making its premier laptop in a 15-inch size, offering with it high-performance hardware and an unbeatable 2-in-1 design. 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 eighth-generation 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. This is a laptop for pretty much anyone, but it does cost a pretty penny.

Bottom line: The best 15-inch laptop is hands-down the Surface Book 2.

One more thing: Be sure to check out our review for way more information about the amazing 15-inch Surface Book 2.

Why the Microsoft Surface Book 2 is the best 15-inch laptop

Microsoft's Surface line is intended to inspire and set an example for other manufacturers to follow, and their new 15-inch Surface Book 2 does exactly this. It's expensive, but it really does do everything you need it to do and is truly a desktop replacement.

Inside, you can get up to an eighth-generation Intel Core i7-8650U CPU with four cores and a clock speed up to 4.2GHz, 16GB of DDR3-1866MHz RAM, a 1TB PCIe SSD, and a dedicated NVIDIA GTX 1060 GPU with 6GB of GDDR5 VRAM.

The 15-inch display is stunning with its 3,240 x 2,160 resolution and 3:2 aspect ratio, and full compatibility with the Surface Pen and Surface Dial opens up a broad avenue of possibilities for anyone with a creative spark.

The design is fully modular, meaning you can remove the tablet from the keyboard. The fulcrum hinge is mostly the same, but releasing the tablet is now easier and quieter; you can also open the laptop with one hand. Configurations of the 15-inch model start at about $2,500, whereas 13-inch models begin at around $1,500.

Runner-up

Samsung Notebook 9

See at Amazon

Samsung's 15-inch Notebook 9 line has inside up to a 7th-generation Intel Core i7-7500U CPU, up to 16GB of DDR4 RAM, a 256GB PCIe solid-state drive, an NVIDIA GeForce 940MX GPU with 2GB of GDDR5 VRAM, and a battery that can last up to three days of casual use. The astounding thing is that this laptop weighs only 2.73 pounds (1.24kg), which is about half as much as the Dell XPS 15. Configurations start at about $1,100.

Bottom line: For an all-around great 15-inch laptop, look no further than the Samsung Notebook 9.

One more thing: Our review contains way more information if the Notebook 9 piques your interest.

Best budget

Acer Aspire 5

See at Amazon

Budget laptops usually don't come without a few concessions, but the Aspire 5 makes up for them with a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce MX150 GPU, a Core i5-7200U CPU, and 8GB of DDR4 RAM. It comes with plenty of ports, including USB-A 2.0, USB-A 3.1, USB-C, and HDMI, and it has a full keyboard great for productivity. The FHD display has a matte finish to cut down on glare, and you can upgrade certain parts, like the RAM and storage, at a later date thanks to easy access compartments on the bottom. Configurations start at about $600.

Bottom line: A dedicated GPU and full keyboard help make the Acer Aspire 5 the best 15-inch budget laptop.

One more thing: This budget laptop, like most, doesn't come without its weak points. Be sure to read our review for more information.

Best gaming

Lenovo Legion Y720

See at Lenovo

Gaming laptops don't have to be incredibly expensive, as is evident with the Legion Y720. Get inside up to a seventh-generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ CPU, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, a 1TB PCIe SSD, and an NVIDIA GTX 1060 GPU with 6GB of GDDR5 VRAM. This laptop has plenty of power for modern gaming and VR, and you can even get up to a 4K display, although 1080p works better for gaming purposes. Plenty of ports allow you to connect your peripherals, and a full RGB keyboard is a nice touch. Configurations start at about $1,100.

Bottom line: Love to game? Don't pass up the Lenovo Legion Y720.

One more thing: Check out our review containing a lot more information about this awesome gaming laptop.

Best for Photography

Dell XPS 15

See at Dell

The amazing 4K touch display on the XPS 15 makes sense for photographers; you need to see exactly what you're doing. The 15.6-inch screen has almost no bezel around it, making it seem like it stretches to all corners. Inside is up to a quad-core seventh-generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and an NVIDIA GTX 1050 GPU with 4GB of GDDR5 VRAM. This is a monster performer for anyone who needs the extra power and 4K display to work with media.

Bottom line: For a 15-inch laptop with a 4K display and all the power you need, check out the XPS 15.

One more thing: Check out the full review for more information about the Dell XPS 15.

Best convertible

HP Spectre x360

See at HP

This slim convertible laptop features a 15.6-inch 4K touch display with a slim bezel; it has full pen support for Windows Ink. Get inside up to an eighth-generation Intel Core i7-8550U processor with four cores and a clock speed up to 4GHz, an NVIDIA GeForce MX150 GPU with 2GB of GDDR5 VRAM, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 1TB SSD. The IR camera is compatible with Windows Hello, you have plenty of ports (including Thunderbolt 3), and the battery will get you through the workday. These laptops start at about $1,300.

Bottom line: Need a 15-inch laptop that can be used as more than just a notebook? Check out the HP Spectre x360.

One more thing: Check out the full review for more details on the HP Spectre x360.

Best versatility

Lenovo Yoga 720 15"

See at Lenovo

This convertible laptop is available with up to a seventh-generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ CPU, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, a 1TB PCIe SSD, and a dedicated NVIDIA GTX 1050 GPU with 2GB of GDDR5 VRAM. Needless to say, this laptop can pretty much do it all. The IPS display is available in either FHD or 4K, and will work with the Lenovo Active Pen 2. This isn't Lenovo's premier Yoga device — that title belongs to the 920 — but it's still a beautifully made machine. Configurations start at about $1,000.

Bottom line: For one of the most versatile 15-inch laptops out there have a look at the Lenovo Yoga 720.

One more thing: Our glowing review explains more about why we love the 15-inch Yoga 720 so much.

Best workstation

Dell Precision 5520

See at Dell

The Precision 5520's sleek chassis, 4K touch display, comfortable keyboard, and Precision touchpad are all pretty much identical to the XPS 15, but there are plenty of differences on the inside. Grab up to an Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6 CPU with up to a 4.0GHz clock speed, 32GB of DDR4 RAM, and an NVIDIA Quadro M1200 GPU with 4GB of GDDR5 VRAM. This laptop performs. With plenty of ports, including HDMI, USB 3.0, and Thunderbolt 3, your laptop won't stand in the way of getting things done. These laptops start at about $1,200.

Bottom line: For a powerful laptop that will be mistaken as an XPS, consider the Precision 5520.

One more thing: To get a better idea of what the Precision 5520 is all about, check out our full review.

Conclusion

Need a great budget 15-inch laptop? The Acer Aspire 5 gets the job done. For two versatile convertible laptops, the HP Spectre x360 and Lenovo Yoga 720 are solid options. For gaming, the Legion Y720 has the hardware needed to perform, and the XPS 15 is a good choice for any photographers. Need a powerful workstation? The Dell Precision 5520 might have what you're looking for. The best 15-inch laptop overall, however, is the Microsoft Surface Book 2.

Best overall

Microsoft Surface Book 2

See at Microsoft Store

The incredible Surface Book just got bigger. Microsoft is now making its premier laptop in a 15-inch size, offering with it high-performance hardware and an unbeatable 2-in-1 design. 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 eighth-generation 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. This is a laptop for pretty much anyone, but it does cost a pretty penny.

Bottom line: The best 15-inch laptop is hands-down the Surface Book 2.

One more thing: Be sure to check out our review for way more information about the amazing 15-inch Surface Book 2.

Updated November 17, 2017: We've refreshed this list to include a new best 15-inch laptop — Microsoft's Surface Book 2.