Picking out the best 15-inch laptop on the market can be difficult – there are just so many excellent models to pick from. We've tried our best to help you in your decision by shortlisting some of our favourite models below: the ones that excel in terms of performance, style, and of course value for money.

That value for money is important. Perhaps the easiest starting point for deciding which is the best 15-inch laptop for you is working out how much you want to spend: straight away that's going to narrow down your choices, and give you a better idea of which particular model is going to be the one that you should be going for.

You also need to think about whether you'd prefer Windows, macOS or Chrome OS as your operating system – at this stage you've probably got your favourite one. It's also worth considering just what exactly you're going to be doing with your new laptop, whether it's gaming or creative work or essays or anything else. All these different tasks require different levels of performance, which again will inform your decision.

If you need something a little bigger then we'd recommend checking out our guide to the best 17-inch laptops, while we've also got carefully curated lists looking at the best laptops for students and the best gaming laptops. Right here though we're going to look at the models that aim to hit that sweet spot between screen space and portability.

The best 15-inch laptops you can buy today

1. Dell XPS 15 9510

The best 15-inch laptop for most peopleSpecificationsScreen size: 15.6-inch OLEDProcessor: Up to 11th-gen Intel i9RAM: Up to 64GBStorage: Up to 2TBGraphics: Up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 TiOperating system: WindowsReasons to buy+Fantastic OLED display+Impressive battery lifeReasons to avoid-Not all that cheap

The XPS series from Dell is one that's wowed us consistently down the years, and the Dell XPS 15 9510 is just about the best laptop yet from the series: it looks fantastic, it's packed with power (enough to run decent games), and it's fitted with top-quality components in every area. Add in Windows 11, which is the most intuitive and modern-looking version of Microsoft's operating system yet, and we think this is the best 15-inch laptop for most people at the moment.

It's not cheap though: even the basic configuration of this laptop is going to put you well above the four-figure mark, and if you want the best CPU and GPU combination then that price is going to go up sharply. For what you get through, we think it's definitely worth the investment, and it's undoubtedly going to give you great service for many years.

Whether it's the OLED 15.6-inch display, or the Intel i9 processor, or the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics card – capable of playing the top games at a reasonable frame rate – everything about the Dell XPS 15 9510 puts it right up amongst the best 15-inch laptops on the market at the moment. Battery life is another plus point too, though it can drop quickly during gaming sessions.

2. 16-inch Apple MacBook Pro (2021)

The best premium 15-inch (or thereabouts) laptopSpecificationsScreen size: 16-inch mini-LEDProcessor: Up to Apple M1 MaxRAM: Up to 64GBStorage: Up to 8TBGraphics: IntegratedOperating system: macOSReasons to buy+Next-gen processor performance+Fits seamlessly into the Apple ecosystemReasons to avoid-Can get very pricey very quickly

Best 15-inch laptop 2021: find your next laptop here

Yes, yes – spot the deliberate mistake. The 2021 MacBook Pro is available in either 14-inch or 16-inch sizes, which means you can't actually get a 15-inch laptop made by Apple. With that in mind, and considering this used to be a 15.6-inch laptop before the bezels were shrunk down even further, we're going to bend the rules a little bit and include it in our list of the best 15-inch laptops.

Notably, the laptop comes with either M1 Pro or M1 Max processors, the new chipsets from Apple that promise blistering performance and low power draw – both the speed and the battery life of the MacBook Pro are really impressive (we don't give out five-star reviews easily). If you're used to macOS then you'll love this laptop, and it might also have enough about it to tempt you to make the switch from Windows too.

The quality of the display, the fit and finish of the chassis, the keyboard and trackpad experience, the oomph in the speakers... almost everything about the 16-inch MacBook Pro launched in 2021 is top class. Perhaps the biggest negative to hold against the laptop is that it is more expensive than your average 15-inch laptop, and it can get up to a silly price if you want the very best configuration that Apple sells.

3. Asus VivoBook 15

The best budget 15-inch laptopSpecificationsScreen size: 15.6-inch OLEDProcessor: Up to 11th-gen Intel i7RAM: Up to 16GBStorage: Up to 3TBGraphics: Up to Nvidia GeForce MX330Operating system: WindowsReasons to buy+Affordable price points+Classy overall designReasons to avoid-Not the most powerful

It's worth saying up front that there are a lot of different versions of the Asus VivoBook 15 on sale – new models and not-so-new models – so it's worth shopping around to get the exact configuration that you're after. The laptop is also available with a selection of different coloured lids as well, so you can find one to match your exact style. In other words, don't settle for the first Asus VivoBook S15 you see.

What really makes this 15-inch laptop stand out is the price. At its cheapest, you can pick up the VivoBook S15 for around £500 / $500, which is very competitive considering you're getting 15 inches of screen space in return (well, 15.6 inches to be exact). The review unit that we looked at recently is priced around the £700 / $700 mark, but that's still on the affordable side when it comes to laptops in this category.

Besides the screen, you get some competent internal components that are going to cover you well for everyday computing (just don't try and do any intensive gaming or video editing on the VivoBook S15). The fit and finish of this Asus laptop are very impressive too, with a keyboard and trackpad that feel like they belong on something more expensive. Perhaps the best budget 15-inch laptop around right now.

4. Acer Chromebook 515

The best 15-inch ChromebookSpecificationsScreen size: 15.6-inch LCDProcessor: Intel Pentium GoldRAM: 4GBStorage: 128GBGraphics: IntegratedOperating system: Chrome OSReasons to buy+Lightweight cloud software+Won't cost you muchReasons to avoid-Can't run games or desktop apps

There aren't a huge amount of 15-inch Chromebooks on the market at the moment, with a lot of these lightweight laptops going for the 13-inch or 14-inch screen size instead. The Acer Chromebook 515 fits the bill though, and like every other Chromebook that Acer makes, it's stylish and well put together. If you think that the browser-based Chrome OS software is right for you, this is a great pick.

The specs aren't all that great, but then for a Chromebook they don't really need to be: everything you do is online, which means there's no need to sort out backups or worry about antivirus software or anything like that. It's worth considering if you're just using your 15-inch laptop to check email, browse the web and take a look at social media (you might be surprised at how much you can do without desktop apps these days).

You get a full-size keyboard with a number pad, a trackpad that's a pleasure to use, and a bright and capable LCD screen, as well as a generous array of ports and a battery life that Acer says maxes out at 10 hours. All of this is wrapped up in a package that's much cheaper than most of the 15-inch laptops on the market at the moment – and don't forget that Chrome OS can now run Android apps as well.

To learn more about this top-rated 15-inch laptop be sure to check out T3's should I buy the Chromebook 515 guide.

5. Razer Blade 15

The best 15-inch gaming laptopSpecificationsScreen size: 15.6-inch LCDProcessor: 11th-gen Intel i7RAM: 16GBStorage: 512GBGraphics: Up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070Operating system: WindowsReasons to buy+Ready for the best games+Oozes class and styleReasons to avoid-More than most users need

Razer knows what it's doing when it comes to gaming laptops, and the Razer Blade 15 is an excellent example of how performance and style can be combined into one sleek unit. There are two models to choose from: the base model is the one that we think will suit most people, but if you want even more power (and you've got even more money to spend) you could consider the Razer Blade 15 Advanced.

The base model is certainly no slouch, with the option to get a GeForce RTX 3070 in here. Combine that with an 11th-gen Intel i7 processor and 16GB of RAM, and you've got yourself a laptop that can comfortably cope with the very best games out there. Of course you've got more than enough power for video editing and photo editing as well, for those times when you're not gaming.

We're also very taken with the looks and the aesthetics of the Razer Blade 15 too, from the customisable lighting underneath the keys to the bright and crisp 15.6-inch LCD display (you can switch to a 4K OLED version on the Advanced model). It has gaming laptop credentials but it still looks elegant enough for you to take it out in the local coffee shop or at your next office meeting.