Source: Windows Central
Best 15-Inch Laptops Windows Central 2019
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.
And if you’re set on picking up a new PC, Black Friday is an ideal time to find the best deals on 15-inch notebooks, and it’s just a few weeks away. Some of the laptops featured here will likely be on sale for Black Friday, but even if they’re not, you’re sure to find excellent and affordable alternatives. We’re updating our buyer’s guides to ensure we’re offering the best buying advice, and our deals team is on red alert, constantly seeking the best deals on 15-inch laptops, which we’ll feature 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 500 nits brightness, 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 i7-9750H processor (CPU) is truly a performer with six cores, but you can opt for up to a Core i9-9980HK CPU with eight cores and a clock speed up to 5.0GHz. 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 has 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.
- 4K OLED or 4K LCD touch display
- Powerful Intel 9th Gen CPU options
- Dedicated NVIDIA GTX 1650 GPU
- Premium aluminum chassis
- Huge 97Wh battery
- Not as versatile as a convertible
- Less expensive options available
- No Wi-Fi 6
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 Modular: Microsoft Surface Book 2
The 15-inch Surface Book 2 is truly a versatile device thanks to a modular design. The touch display portion, which attaches to the main chassis like a 2-in-1, can be used on its own (albeit without the dedicated GPU) like a tablet, and you can add a Surface Pen into the mix for jotting down notes and making sketches. The display has a 3240×2160 resolution, and a 3:2 aspect ratio for a brilliant picture, and the color reproduction hits 98% sRGB and 75% AdobeRGB.
You’ll get about 10 hours of battery life from a charge if you’re going about regular tasks, but the Surface Book 2 does have the power for much more. With up to an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8650U CPU, 16GB of RAM, a 1TB PCIe solid-state drive (SSD), and an NVIDIA GTX 1060 GPU with 6GB of GDDR5 VRAM, you shouldn’t have any issues running modern games and even doing some photo and video work.
The keyboard is outstanding, the Precision touchpad tracks smoothly and is sized appropriately, and an IR camera above the display allows you to log in quickly and securely with Windows Hello. As long as you have the budget and don’t mind the modular design of the Surface Book 2, it should serve as an able laptop for several uses.
- Excellent battery life
- Can be used as an Ultrabook or tablet
- Dedicated NVIDIA GPU
- Gorgeous high-res 3:2 display
- Premium keyboard and touchpad
- Relatively expensive
- Might not need the modular feature
Performance and versatile style
The 15-inch Surface Book 2 is one of our top choices thanks to a modular design, beautiful display, and powerful hardware.
Best Gaming: Razer Blade 15 Advanced
Source: 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 display option. You can also opt for an FHD display with 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.
- 4K OLED display is stunning
- Outstanding audio
- Excellent gaming performance
- Keeps cool
- Premium build quality
- Keyboard has short travel
- Very expensive
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 60Hz refresh rate.
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 can grab a 4K WLED display with 8th Gen Core i7-8565U CPU, and NVIDIA MX150 dedicated GPU or with the beefier 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H CPU and NVIDIA GTX 1650 GPU, while the AMOLED display is only available with the 9th Gen CPU and GTX 1650. 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.
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 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.
- Wi-Fi 6 compatibility
- Awesome 4K display options
- Powerful hardware configurations
- Ornate gem-cut chassis
- IR camera, fingerprint reader
- Using Synaptics touchpad drivers
- Bezel is a bit thick
Tons of power in a beautiful chassis
The Spectre x360 15t is an awesome convertible laptop with powerful hardware, brilliant display, and unique gem-cut design.
Best Budget: Chuwi LapBook Plus
Source: Windows Central
The other laptops in this roundup start at an elevated price, putting them out of reach of many people who are just looking for a casual device for everyday use. Enter Chuwi’s LapBook Plus, a budget Ultrabook with 15.6-inch 4K non-touch display. It might not have the same HDR support or specialized color profile as some other options, but it still hits a respectable 93% sRGB and 72% AdobeRGB color reproduction. The bezel is relatively thin, and you get about 350 nits brightness to help with working in well-lit areas.
The unibody aluminum design gives it a bit of MacBook look, continued over to the spacious backlit keyboard with large keys, and an enormous Precision touchpad that promotes productivity. For ports, you get USB-A 3.0, USB-A 2.0, Micro HDMI, a microSD card reader, and a 3.5mm audio jack. It would be nice to see USB-C here, but it’s hard to complain at this price.
As for performance, don’t expect much from the LapBook Plus. The focus is on display and design here, and the Intel Atom CPU is only going to be suitable for casual productivity work and some TV or movie watching. The camera and speakers also leave something to be desired, but you’ll likely forget all about it once you fire up the display and count all the money you saved.
- 4K display with excellent color
- Enormous Precision touchpad
- Backlit keyboard with number pad
- Unibody aluminum design
- Performance is lacking
- USB-C port would be welcome
- Camera and speakers are average
Beautiful laptop with a focus on display
Chuwi’s LapBook Plus is a beautiful piece of hardware, and the 4K display doesn’t get much better at this price.
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 excellent 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. 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.
- Beautiful convertible design
- 4K touch display with Dolby Vision HDR40
- Soundbar hinge with impressive audio
- Dedicated GPU and 9th Gen Intel CPU options
- Compatible with Wi-Fi 6
- 4K display saps battery life
- Prices climb quickly
Best for Media
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
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 a 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 certainly 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 0.7 inches (18.4mm) thin, and it weighs in at about 3.76 pounds (1.7kg), 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.
- Powerful hardware options, including dedicated GPU
- 4K OLED display is a knockout
- Plenty of ports
- Durable ThinkPad chassis
- Wi-Fi 6 connectivity
- Very expensive
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.
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.
How to find the best Black Friday deals on 15-inch laptops
When beginning your buying research, there are a few important things to consider. First of all, do you really need a 15-inch laptop? They’re larger and often heavier than their smaller 13-inch or tinier counterparts. You also want to have a good idea of the processor you require (or at least the minimum level of processing power), the display resolution you want or need (is 1080p enough, or do you really need a 4K screen), and the amount of RAM and SSD storage that’s ideal. If you plan to game or run multiple resource-intensive apps, lean toward more RAM. And if you plan to store lots of high-resolution files, more SSD storage might be the right move. There are many different form factors for laptops these days, too, and you might benefit from specifically seeking out a 2-in-1 this Black Friday, which can quickly turn into a tablet (though again, 15-inch laptops can get unwieldy when used in tablet mode).
This year we expect to see Black Friday sales on tons of great laptops, including PCs from Microsoft, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and others. With recent updates to everything from entry-level to high-end laptops from all of these manufacturers, it’s likely the previous generation of laptops will see significant discounts. That might include Black Friday deals on Surface PCs, XPS laptops from Dell, ThinkPads, and Yogas from Lenovo. If it’s the latest generation 15-incher you seek, deals on PCs like the new Surface Laptop 3 or XPS 15 (7590) might be harder to come by, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be out there.
Our deals team is obsessed with finding the best Black Friday discounts on 15-inch laptops, whether it’s a years-old Dell or shiny new Surface, so Windows Central is the go-to destination for deals this year.
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.
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