Best 15-inch laptops in May 2021: Dell XPS 15, HP Spectre x360, Surface Book 3, and more
Laptops with 15-inch to 16-inch dimensions are universally more accepted and popular than any other size, and it makes sense. They aren’t too big and bulky to carry around like a 17-inch laptop, and at the same time aren’t that small, so you get a good amount of screen real estate and some more room for the keyboard and powerful internals. These days, 15-inch laptops are available in various categories. You can get a thin and light powerful gaming machine, or a 2-in-1 with a rotating display, or even a detachable form factor. The choice is up to you. So here are some of the best laptops available today that offer you a 15-inch form factor.
Navigate this guide:
- Best overall laptop: Dell XPS 15 9500
- Best gaming laptop: ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15
- Best business laptop: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme
- Best budget laptop: Acer Swift 3
- Best 2-in-1 laptop: HP Spectre x360 15
- Best laptop for creators: ASUS ZenBook Duo 15
- Best convertible laptop: Microsoft Surface Book 3
- Best Chromebook: ASUS Chromebook Flip C536
Dell XPS 15 9500
You don’t need to think twice when going for an XPS laptop. Dell’s premium offering has been one of the highest recommended notebooks for years, and the current-generation XPS 15 should be your choice if you are looking for the best 15-inch laptop. Apart from its premium metal finish and sleek design, the latest XPS 15 9500 comes with the 10th-gen Intel Core i7-10750H processor with NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1650 Ti graphics card. This essentially means that apart from handling tasks like video and photo editing, the laptop can also be used for light gaming. With Intel planning to introduce its new 11th-gen Tiger Lake-H series, it is expected that Dell will bring a refreshed version of the XPS 15 soon.
ASUS ROG Zephyrus G15
We recently gave the new Zephyrus G15 the title of the top gaming laptop in our list of the best laptops for 2021. That is because it is built on the foundations of the smaller Zephyrus G14 that absolutely took us by surprise when ASUS launched it first in 2020. The new ROG Zephyrus G15 comes with the latest and mighty powerful AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS octa-core processor with NVIDIA’s newly launched GeForce RTX 30-series mobile graphics cards. On top of that, you get a unique minimalistic design language, an excellent battery life (for when you are not gaming), and a 15.6-inch QHD display with a 165Hz refresh rate.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme
Best suited for enterprise and business users, the ThinkPad X1 Extreme can do it all. It features the iconic ThinkPad design, at the same time it isn’t all that bulky. You get the option of a gorgeous 4K OLED panel that is anti-reflective, anti-smudge, and also comes with Dolby Vision, HDR, and 400-nits brightness. Lenovo is offering the laptop with up to a 10th-Gen Intel Core i7-10750H processor, but it is also listed with a Core i9-10885H paired with 64GB DDR4 2933MHz memory, 1TB PCIe SSD, and graphics options of an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q. You can also expect high-end security options including a fingerprint scanner, Windows Hello face recognition, ThinkShutter webcam privacy cover, and more.
Acer Aspire 5
An inexpensive 15-inch notebook, the Aspire 5 from Acer is a recommended 15-inch laptop if your budget is strictly around $400. The company offers the laptop with the latest Intel 11th-gen Core i3 processor with 4GB of DDR4 memory and a 128GB NVMe SSD, which should be enough for crunching most of your everyday work. At the same time, this laptop is a decent multimedia device for catching up on the latest shows on Netflix. Additionally, the laptop comes with Wi-Fi 6 which means fast and reliable connectivity. You also get a good set of I/O ports on this laptop including a USB 3.2 Type-C, two USB 3.2 Type-A, a USB 2.0 Type-A, HDMI 2.0, an ethernet port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
HP Spectre x360 15
The latest refreshed version of the HP Spectre x360 maintains the premium design and quality with the diamond-cut style edges that we have seen over the years. It comes with the goodness of Intel’s new 11th-gen processors paired with next-gen Iris Xe graphics. Now it is arguable that the GPU is not as good as the NVIDIA GTX 1650 Ti that was offered with the previous version, but if that is not your priority, then this variant should be good enough for most of your tasks. It is also available with three different display options with 4K resolution available across configurations. There are two display options that vary in brightness, while the AMOLED option is fit for someone looking for punchy colors and improved contrast ratio. Since it is running on the latest Intel processors, you can also expect Thunderbolt 4 ports as well as fast Wi-Fi 6 connectivity.
- The HP Spectre x360 has been consistently one of the most premium laptops and the new 15-inch model continues the legacy along with the latest Intel 11th-gen processor and gorgeous 4K display.
ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo 15
Is a single display not enough for you? Then you need the ZenBook Pro Duo. There have been dual-screen laptops in the past, but the secondary touch screen display on the ZenBook Pro Duo takes things to the next level. The wide ‘ScreenPad Plus’ offers 3840 x 1100 resolution which can be used as an extension, or you can drag down apps, monitor your hardware, and much more. The primary display is also top-notch as it is an OLED panel with 4K UHD resolution, along with 400-nits brightness and 100% coverage of DCI-P3. ASUS hasn’t skimped on the internals either. The laptop comes with Intel’s Core i9-10980HK and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 GPU, with up to 32GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD storage. A newer version with the latest NVIDIA RTX 30-series GPU is also expected to hit stores soon.
Microsoft Surface Book 3
The Surface Book 3 is one of the only detachable 15-inch laptops on the market that is powerful enough for creators and alike. Just pop off the display to use it as a tablet, and pop it back in, to juice it up with some extra graphics and battery. In terms of hardware the Surface Book 3 comes with Intel’s 10th-gen CPUs, 16GB of RAM, and up to 2TB of storage with graphics options of either the NVIDIA GTX 1660 Ti or NVIDIA Quadro RTX 3000. The 3:2 aspect ratio touchscreen display comes with a 3240×2160 resolution and you can also use the Surface Pen for precise creative tasks or just scribbling down notes. We are expecting Microsoft to release a newer version of the Surface Book later this year.
ASUS Chromebook Flip C536
You won’t find a lot of new Chromebook options with a 15-inch screen today, but we do have the ASUS Chromebook Flip C536. It features a 2-in-1 design so you can use the laptop in various modes and as an update for the C436, this model comes with the latest 11th-gen Intel Core i3 processor although you can go all the way to a Core i7. The display measures 15.6-inches with a full-HD (1920 x 1080-pixels) resolution while on the storage and memory front, you get 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM and a 128GB SSD. The laptop features a white finish on the outside while the chassis is very sturdy with US Military Grade MIL-STD 810H certification.
These are currently some of the best 15-inch laptops, but there are a lot more coming your way as manufacturers will be refreshing their models throughout the year. Speaking of new laptops, we recently listed some of the best 5G laptops that can help you stay connected to fast internet at all times. We also have a very unique list where we have a bunch of laptops that offer a built-in optical disc drive. Let us know what other kinds of laptops you are looking for and how we can help you get the best options out there.