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 more than 70 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 business laptops.
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, so it's 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. Biometrics include a fingerprint sensor and a Windows Hello facial recognition IR camera.
If you have a lighter workload, mainly consisting of text processing, web browsing, and video playback, get the Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 (2022) instead. It's also a premium model that provides an amazing user experience and is available in a 13- or 15-inch size. It has a sharp 3:2 touchscreen display, a comfortable keyboard that you can type on all day, and a smooth, responsive touchpad. The webcam is excellent even though the resolution is only 720p, and there's also a facial recognition IR camera for quick logins.
The 15-inch model has an Intel 12th Gen. Core i7 CPU, which is fast enough to handle general productivity tasks. You can get up to 32GB of memory and 1TB of storage; remember that the RAM isn't user-upgradeable, so you need to get the best configuration for your needs upfront. Ports include a USB-A, a USB-C/Thunderbolt 4, a headphone jack, and a Surface proprietary charging port. The battery lasts around eight hours of light use, so you may need to plug it in for a quick charge to get through the day.
The Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15 (2021) is our mid-range pick. This ultraportable Windows laptop has a sturdy build and all-day battery life. It's available with AMD Ryzen 5000 CPUs (up to a Ryzen 7), up to 16GB of memory, and over 1TB of storage. You can choose between a 1080p TN or IPS display; we recommend getting the IPS option, as it has better viewing angles and color reproduction than the TN display. Also, the IPS panel gets brighter to combat glare in well-lit settings.
The keyboard feels spacious and tactile but can be tiring to type on for extended periods, as the keys require a fair amount of force to actuate. As for the touchpad, it's small but reasonably responsive. Ports include two USB-As, a full-size HDMI, and a USB-C port. Unfortunately, you can't use the USB-C to charge the laptop or output a video signal to an external display. The fingerprint sensor is an optional feature, so it's best to check the specifications if it's something you care about.
The best 15-inch laptop we've tested in the budget 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.
If you want something cheap, perhaps for a younger grade-school student, consider the Acer Chromebook 315 (2020). This 15-inch Chromebook is thin and light and has all-day battery life. It has a full-size keyboard with a Numpad, a reasonably large touchpad, and a decent 720p webcam. You can choose between a 720p or 1080p display (with or without touch input); we highly recommend the 1080p option because 720p doesn't look very sharp on a 15.6-inch screen. Screen brightness isn't great, even on the 1080p panel, meaning you might have some visibility issues in well-lit settings.
As for the configuration options, this laptop is only available with Intel Celeron CPUs. They can handle light workloads just fine but don't expect to do anything remotely intensive. If you can stretch your budget slightly, we recommend getting a model with 8GB of memory to have some headroom when multitasking. The two USB-C ports support charging and video output, and there's also an SD card reader if you want to expand your storage.
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 many 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.
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.