15-16 inch laptops are very popular, and for good reason. They give you plenty of room to place windows side-by-side, lots of space on the keyboard deck to rest your palms, and they often have a full-size keyboard with a Numpad, which is great for those working with numbers. Plus, their larger chassis allows for a more effective cooling system, resulting in better performance. Although some are bulky and hard to carry, most 15- and 16-inch laptops are thin and light enough for on-the-go use.
We've tested over 85 laptops; below, you'll find our recommendations for the best 15-inch laptops and 16-inch laptops you can buy. You can also see our recommendations for the best Chromebooks, the best 2-in-1 laptops, and the best laptops for graphic design.
The best 16-inch laptop we've tested is the Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2021). With its thin bezels, this 16-inch model is practically the same size as most 15-inch laptops on the market. It feels incredibly well-built, provides an amazing user experience, and packs enough processing power to handle demanding tasks like video editing and 3D graphics. It has a nice Mini LED display with full DCI P3 coverage, a comfortable keyboard that you can type on all day, and a gigantic, easy-to-use haptic touchpad. The speakers are among the best on the market; the same can be said about the webcam. Ports include three USB-C/Thunderbolt 4s, an HDMI, an SD card reader, and a high-output 3.5mm headphone jack for hard-to-drive cans.
As you may already know, Apple has released a newer MacBook Pro 16 with an M2 Pro or M2 Max SoC. The newer model is identical in design since the changes are only internal. The upgrades include a faster SoC, Wi-Fi 6E, HDMI 2.1, and increased memory support (up to 96GB). The M1 model is still a good option if you can find a good deal through a third-party seller, marketplace, or Apple's refurbished section; otherwise, go with the M2 model.
For Windows users, we recommend the Dell Precision 5570 (2022). It's a 15.6-inch model, a tad smaller than the MacBook Pro. You can configure it with an Intel 12th Gen H-series CPU up to a Core i9, and you can stick with integrated graphics or upgrade to an NVIDIA RTX A1000 or A2000 discrete GPU. The NVIDIA GPUs aren't the most powerful GPUs you can get on the market, but they'll get the job done. There are two display options: an FHD+ (1920 x 1200) or a 4k+ (3840 x 2400) IPS panel. The 4k display has full Adobe RGB and near-full DCI P3 coverage, making it suitable for color-critical work like photo and video editing.
If you want a thinner, lighter laptop, get the Apple MacBook Air 15. It's super thin for its size but still feels rigid and exceptionally well-built. Although it doesn't have the processing power of a mobile workstation, its M2 SoC is plenty fast and more than capable of handling general productivity tasks like text processing, spreadsheets, and presentations. Plus, it provides an amazing user experience with a sharp display, a comfortable keyboard, and a gigantic, responsive touchpad. Port selection is its main weakness; it only has two USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports with support for a single external display.
The MacBook Air 15's Windows alternative is the Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 (2022), also a premium ultraportable designed for light productivity. You can configure it with an Intel 12th Gen Core i7 CPU and up to 32GB of memory and 1TB of storage. Its port selection is arguably better since it has a USB-A and multi-display support via Thunderbolt 4; however, its 3:2 display doesn't get as bright, and its battery life is a tad shorter than the MacBook Air 15's.
Our best mid-range pick is the Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1 (2023). It sports a large 16-inch display that's well suited for split-screen multitasking, and since it's a 2-in-1, you can flip the screen around into tent mode for media consumption or use it as a tablet. It has a comfortable keyboard with up-firing speakers on each side, a large and responsive touchpad, and a wide port selection, including two USB-As, two USB-Cs, an HDMI, and an SD card reader. No Thunderbolt 4, though. You can configure it with an AMD Ryzen 5 7530U or Ryzen 7 7730U CPU; both are fast enough to handle light productivity tasks.
The memory maxes out at 16GB and isn't user-upgradeable, so it's best to get enough for your needs upfront. The battery life is excellent at around ten hours of light use. You can get this laptop directly from Dell if you have trouble finding it.
The ASUS Vivobook 16 M1605 (2023) is our best budget pick. It's also a 16-inch laptop, but unlike the Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1 (2023), it isn't a 2-in-1 convertible. The display doesn't support touch input and only gets to about 250 cd/m² at full brightness, which is fine for most indoor settings but not for sunny environments or outdoors in broad daylight. You still get a nice keyboard, a large touchpad, and a fingerprint sensor. Its AMD Ryzen 7000 CPU performs well; the downside is that you can only get 8GB of RAM. If you want more, upgrade it via the empty SO-DIMM slot.
Ports include three USB-As, a USB-C (not Thunderbolt 4 or USB4, sadly), and an HDMI. As for the battery life, you can expect to get about eight hours of light use on a full charge, so depending on your usage, you might need to plug it in for a quick charge.
The best 15-inch laptop we've tested in the cheap category is the Lenovo Chromebook C340 15 (2020). This 2-in-1 Chromebook is easy to carry, and its battery lasts over 12 hours of light use. You can configure it with an Intel Core i3 or Pentium Gold CPU; they're both getting long in the tooth but still powerful enough to provide a smooth experience on Chrome OS. The downside is that you can only get a maximum of 4GB of memory, which means you may experience some stutters if you have too many applications or Chrome tabs open.
Its 15.6-inch display gets bright enough for use in most indoor settings, and since this is a 2-in-1, you can flip the screen around and use it as a tablet. The keyboard feels great to type on, but know that backlighting is only available on models with an Intel Core i3 and 64GB of storage (model 81T90002UX). Sadly, its port selection includes two USB-Cs that support video output and charging but no Thunderbolt 4 support. Also, there's no fingerprint sensor for quick logins.
Looking for a 15-inch gaming laptop? Get the Lenovo Legion 5 Gen 6 15 (2021). Since this is an older model from 2021, you can find it on sale often, so it's a great time to pick one up. It has a sturdy build, a spacious keyboard with backlit keys, and a wide port selection that includes six USBs and an HDMI 2.1 port. You can configure it with an AMD Ryzen 5 5600H or Ryzen 7 5800H CPU, and there are multiple GPU options, from an entry-level NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070.
There are also multiple display options; we recommend getting the 165Hz 1080p or 1440p panel for the best visual experience. The memory and storage are user-replaceable, so if you have a tight budget, you can get a cheaper configuration and upgrade it later. The battery lasts only around an hour or so when gaming, although that's typical for laptops with a dedicated GPU.
Aug 11, 2023: Replaced the Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 (2022) with the Apple MacBook Air 15 (2023) because the MacBook Air has a brighter display and slightly longer battery life. Added the ASUS Vivobook 16 M1605 (2023) as the 'Best Budget' pick and moved the Lenovo Chromebook C340 15 (2020) to the 'Best Cheap' category, replacing the Acer Chromebook 315 (2020).
Jun 15, 2023: Replaced the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15 (2021) with the Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1 (2023) because the Dell has a better performance and longer battery life and provides a better user experience overall. Added the ASUS Vivobook 16 M1605 (2023) as a Notable Mention.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best 15- and 16-inch laptops to buy. We factor in the price (a cheaper laptop wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no laptops that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
If you prefer to make your own decision, here’s the list of all of our laptop reviews, sorted by price from low to high. Keep in mind that most laptops are available in various configurations, and the table only shows the results of the model we tested, so it’s best to see the full review for information about other variants.