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Best 15-inch laptop 2020: top picks with 15-inch displays

Best 15-inch laptop 2020
We’ve picked out 10 of the best 15-inch laptops across a variety of categories. (Image credit: Future)

The best 15-inch laptops are the Goldilocks of notebooks – they’re not too big, not too small; they’re just right. Sitting between the massive 17-inch notebooks to the more compact 11 to 13-inch portables, these 15-inch laptops boast the perfect size and form factor for most people. And, that’s why they’re incredibly popular, especially amongst professionals and content creators.

With just enough display area for productivity and creative tasks, while still staying slim, lightweight and portable, the best 15-inch laptops are the excellent choice for professionals on the go. Their size also affords another advantage: there’s a decent amount of room under the hood to accommodate more powerful components like the best processors and the best graphics cards, which makes these portables capable enough for intensive tasks like video editing and gaming.

Take a look at the best 15-inch laptops 2020 has to offer. We’ve tested and reviewed every single one ourselves, so they come with the TechRadar seal of approval. Whether you’re looking for a versatile hybrid laptop, a tough business machine or a lightweight Chromebooks, you’ll find the perfect 15-inch notebook for you on this list.

The best 15-inch laptops at a glance

  1. Dell XPS 15
  2. Asus TUF A15
  3. HP Spectre x360 15T (2019)
  4. Apple MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2019)
  5. Asus VivoBook S15 (S532F)
  6. Microsoft Surface Book 3
  7. Razer Blade 2019
  8. Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED
  9. Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 (15-inch)
  10. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme

The best 15-inch laptops of 2020

Dell XPS 15

(Image credit: Dell)

1. Dell XPS 15 (2020)

The ultimate laptop has arrived

CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics – NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti | RAM: 8GB – 64GB | Screen: 15.6" FHD+ (1920 x 1200) InfinityEdge Non-Touch Anti-Glare 500-Nit – 15.6" UHD+ (3840 x 2400) InfinityEdge Touch Anti-Reflective 500-Nit Display | Storage: 256GB – 2TB M.2 PCIe NVMe

Amazing speakers
Beautiful display
Comfy keyboard
GTX 1650 Ti is a little weak

The Dell XPS 15 might just be incredible enough to tempt hardcore Mac users. It’s easily the best 15-inch laptop in 2020, and in a lot of ways, the best laptop (period). Combining staggering power in a stylish thin and light chassis, this laptop doesn’t hold back when it comes to internals and features that improve your computing experience overall. Among those amazing features are a gorgeous bright display with 500 nits of brightness, an extremely comfortable keyboard, impressive speakers, and a terrific trackpad. We’re not saying that this laptop is perfect, but our coveted 5 out of 5 rating should speak for itself.

Read the full review: Dell XPS 15

Asus TUF A15

The Acer Swift 3 is an excellent alternative if affordability is a priority. (Image credit: Asus)

2. Asus TUF A15

The new affordable gaming king

CPU: 8th generation Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 , Nvidia GeForce MX150 2GB GDDR5 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.9-inch 3K (3,000 x 2,080) | Storage: 1TB HDD – 256GB/512GB/1TB PCIe Gen3 SSD

Great 1080p performance
New AMD processors
Very good battery life
Noisy fans
Not the most powerful gaming laptop

Give us a laptop that touts one of AMD’s stellar Ryzen 400 mobile processors, and we’d be more than happy to try it on for size. What we found in the Asus TUF A15, however, is not just fantastic gaming performance, but a great value gaming rig with a long battery life and military-grade durability as well. With the help of Nvidia’s most powerful 1080p graphics cards, this Ryzen 4000-powered laptop will see you through all your 1080p gaming demands without burning a hole in your pocket. Further bolstering the TUF A15's gaming credentials is its large, 15.6-inch 1080p display with 144Hz refresh rate. Whether you play a lot of competitive esports, or need one of the best 15-inch laptops, this one’s a winner.

Read the full review: Asus TUF A15

Best 15-inch laptop: HP Spectre x360 15T (2019)

The HP Spectre x360 15T (2019) delivers versatility in spades. (Image credit: Future)

3. HP Spectre x360 15T (2019)

The best 2-in-1 15-inch laptop

CPU: Intel Core i7 6-core | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch 3160 x 2140 touchscreen | Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD

Head-turning design
Powerful performance levels
Gorgeous 4K display
A couple of odd design decisions

If you want a 15-inch convertible with versatility in spades must consider HP’s popular Spectre x360. It’s a gorgeous-looking laptop with an elegant design, albeit with a few oddities, including an awkwardly positioned trackpad. However, this laptop isn’t just pretty – it backs these good looks with enough power to cut through any computing task you might wish to tackle. Of course, it helps that the very latest incarnation of this hybrid has updated its hexa-core CPU to a 9th-gen Intel Core i7-9750H.

Creative types will also appreciate the bundled Tilt Pen that can be used for drawing and designing on its exquisite 4K IPS touchscreen display. This 2-in-1 also packs a discrete GTX 1650 graphics card, which means it can even tackle 1080p gaming to boot.

As we said, this 15.6-inch laptop delivers versatility in spades, but it also doesn’t come cheap. At least, it’s more affordable than Microsoft’s Surface Book 2.

Read the full review: HP Spectre x360 15T (2019)

Best 15-inch laptop: MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2019)

This year, Apple has boosted the power of the MacBook Pro 15-inch. (Image credit: Future)

4. Apple MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2019)

The best 15-inch laptop for creatives

CPU: Intel Core i7 – i9 | Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro 555X – Radeon Pro Vega 20, Intel UHD Graphics 630 | RAM: 16GB – 32GB | Screen: 15.4-inch 2880 x 1800 IPS | Storage: 256GB – 4TB SSD

Speedier performance than ever
Option for 32GB of RAM
Useful Touch Bar
High price tags

If you’re after a powerful notebook in a 15-inch form factor which is ideal for creative usage – such as video editing or Photoshop – then you’ll be well served by taking the macOS route rather than Windows, with the larger MacBook Pro.

This year Apple has boosted the power of the MacBook Pro 15-inch with new 9th-generation Intel processors, with options that run up to a mighty 8-core Intel Core i9. So you most certainly won’t be left wanting on the performance front, with our review benchmarks showing that this 2019 incarnation is a considerably more powerful MacBook than its predecessor.

This 15-inch laptop is ideal for heavyweight editing with a choice of AMD Radeon Pro graphics solutions and the possibility to spec up the notebook to 32GB of RAM. And don’t forget the high-quality Retina display along with that improved Touch Bar which can certainly prove a very useful tool with creative applications.

Read the full review: Apple MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2019)

Asus VivoBook S15 (S532F)

The Asus VivoBook S15 (S532F) boasts a 15-6-inch display without compromising its slimline design. (Image credit: Asus)

5. Asus VivoBook S15 (S532F)

Thin, light and capable

CPU: Intel Core i5-8265U – Intel Core i7-10510U | Graphics: Intel UHD 620 | Screen: 15.6” LED-backlit Full HD (1920 x 1080) 16:9 | Storage: 256GB / 512GB / 1TB PCIe SSD

Bright, colourful 15.6-inch screen
Weighs just 1.8kg
Merely average battery life

While Asus VivoBook S15 has been designed to become among the best ultra-portables on the market this 2020, it also aims to provide a large enough display for those who need it. That’s a hard undertaking, but one that this top-performing laptop has achieved with high marks. It boasts a 15-6-inch display and a solid performance without compromising its slimline design. You might not be able to do some heavy gaming on this, but you should get some photo editing done.

Read the full review: Asus VivoBook S15 (S532F)

Microsoft Surface Book 3

(Image credit: Microsoft)

6. Microsoft Surface Book 3

An extremely premium piece of kit

CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core i7-1065G7 | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti with Max-Q Design | RAM: 16GB or 32GB 3733Mhz LPDDR4x | Screen: 15-inch 3240 x 2160 (260 PPI) PixelSense Display | Storage: 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB PCIe SSD

Beautiful design
Comfortable keyboard
Gorgeous screen
Weak U-series processor
Tiny trackpad
Lackluster speakers

In many ways, the Surface Book 3 is an example of just how far the best laptops have come in just a few short years. With an extremely premium piece of kit – with one of the best displays we’ve used in a laptop and a keyboard that will put the MacBook Pro’s new Magic Keyboards to shame – this follow-up to the outstanding Surface Book 2 is truly one of the best 15-inch laptops 2020 has to offer. Unfortunately, it’s held back by a weaker processor (next to its rivals), lacklust speakers and a high price tag. Still, it’s an excellent portable, if you’ve got the money for it.

Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Book 3

Razer Blade 2019

The Razer Blade 2019 one of the best gaming laptops on the market. (Image credit: Future)

7. Razer Blade 2019

The sharpest Blade yet

CPU: Intel Core i7-8750H – Intel Core i7-9750H | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB GDDR6 VRAM) – Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q (8GB GDDR6 VRAM) | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) 144Hz – OLED 4K (3,840 x 2,160) Touch 60Hz | Storage: 256GB – 512GB SSD

Incredibly powerful
Svelte looks
Very expensive

Rocking 8th-generation and 9th-generation Intel Core processors – not to mention, powerful graphics and a gorgeous display to boot, the Razer Blade isn’t just one of the best gaming laptops on the market. It’s also one of the best 15-inch laptops to consider, if you’re seeking to update your aging gaming laptop. That’s more than impressive for a laptop this thin that is also upgradeable. Expect to pay a lot for all that, but you’re paying for style and power that will last you a while.

Read the full review: Razer Blade 2019

Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED

The Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED delivers incredible RTX gaming experience and touting a reasonable price to boot. (Image credit: Future)

8. Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED

For an awesome RTX gaming experience

CPU: 9th-generation Intel Core i7 – i9 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 630 – NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti | Screen: 15.6" Thin Bezel Samsung UHD 3840x2160 AMOLED display | Storage: 512GB – 1TB NVMe SSD

Ray tracing ready
Edge-to-edge display
Core i9 performance throttled

We didn’t think that gaming ultrabooks were ready for RTX graphics until the Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED proved us otherwise. This isn’t just a solid gaming laptop; this is a solid gaming laptop that delivers incredible RTX gaming experience and touting a reasonable price to boot. It’s not that it’s cheap, especially at higher configurations. However, for what you’re paying, you’re getting a lot of power for your gaming needs.

Read the full review: Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 (15-inch)

The Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 (15-inch) will last you the whole work day on a single charge. (Image credit: Future)

9. Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 (15-inch)

Longer-lasting than most

CPU: 10th-generation Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus | Screen: 15-inch PixelSense Display 2496 x 1664 | Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB SSD

Excellent battery life
Exciting AMD flagship debut
Far too few ports

We hoped for great things in the next Surface Laptop model. However, when the 2019 installment of this 15-inch laptop came out, it fell a bit short on both power and versatility. However, if it’s spec above are satisfactory to you and you require a device that will last you the whole work day on a single charge, then the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 (15-inch) might just be the best 15-inch laptop for you. During our review, this device lasted 10 hours and 18 minutes in our TechRadar battery test. As long as you can forgive the lack of ports.

Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 (15-inch)

Best 15-inch laptop: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme

(Image credit: Future)

10. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme

The best 15-inch laptop for business

CPU: Intel Core i7-8750H | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Max-Q) | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch 1920 x 1080 – 3840 x 2160 4K HDR | Storage: 512GB – 1TB SSD

Speedy performance
Gorgeous 4K HDR screen
All manner of refinements
Very pricey
Rather heavy

The good news for those after a business laptop in the 15-inch form factor is that there’s an incredible machine available in the form of the ThinkPad X1 Extreme. The bad news, though, is that the price tag is as extreme as the superb performance levels you’ll get with this portable.

It’s difficult to know where to start in describing just how good this machine is. Maybe the 15.6-inch multi-touch display, which in the 4K HDR option is simply stunning and benefits from top-notch color accuracy? Or the speedy performance driven by a six-core CPU, GTX 1050 Ti graphics and superfast NVMe SSD? Or just the little things, like the well-featured connectivity, the refined keyboard, or the potential for upgrades with this laptop?

As we already mentioned, the price may cause the odd eyebrow to rise or jaw to slacken – possibly both – but some corporate users will doubtless want to own the ultimate business laptop for their mission-critical tasks. And the ThinkPad X1 Extreme definitely fulfils that ‘ultimate’ billing, and arguably not just in the 15-inch world.

Read the full review: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme