15-Inch Laptop Dimensions Guide: Screen Size and External Measurements


15-Inch Laptop Dimensions Guide: Screen Size and External Measurements

Key Points

  • The 15-inch laptop size is the most popular among consumers and offers sufficient screen real estate for most purposes.
  • The actual screen size and external dimensions of 15-inch laptops can vary from one model to another.
  • The average 15-inch laptop bag measures 14.9 x 10.2 x 0.9 inches and can fit any laptop in this size category.
  • The aspect ratios commonly found in 15-inch laptops are 3:2, 16:9, and 16:10.
  • 15-inch laptops are not as portable as smaller laptops and have shorter battery life, but they can accommodate better components for gaming and content creation.

The 15-inch laptop size offers sufficient screen real estate for most purposes and is the most popular among consumers. However, the actual screen size and external dimensions can vary from one model to another, making it challenging to decide which laptop is right for you.

To make things easy, our 15-inch laptop dimension guide aims to answer your questions and help you choose the right device.

Let’s get into it!

Actual 15-Inch Laptop Dimensions

LaptopLength x Width x HeightScreen Size
Acer 2022 15-inch Chromebook14.0 x 10.0 x 1.0 inches15 inches
Microsoft Surface Laptop 513.4 x 9.6 x 0.58 inches15 inches
Apple 2023 MacBook Air13.4 x 9.35 x 0.45 inches15.3 inches
HP 2022 Envy x360 Laptop14.13 x 8.98 x 0.72 inches15.6 inches
ASUS ZenBook Pro 1513.9 x 9.4 x 0.8 inches15.6 inches
MSI Katana 15 Gaming Laptop14.13 x 10.2 x 0.98 inches15.6 inches
Awesome Processor
Acer 2022 15-inch HD IPS Chromebook (Renewed)
  • 15-inch HD IPS display
  • Dual-core Celeron processor up to 2.55GHz
  • 4GB RAM
  • 32GB storage
  • Super-fast Wi-Fi, up to 1,300 Mbps
  • Chrome OS
  • Dale Silver
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11/27/2023 02:36 pm GMT

15-Inch Laptop Chassis Dimensions

Various 15-inch laptops can have different display dimensions, but the size of their chassis is surprisingly similar. On average, a laptop this size measures around 13.4 to 14.13 inches in length and is around 9 to 10 inches wide. The thickness (height) varies from around 0.45 to 1 inch, with an average of around 0.72 inches.

The average 15-inch laptop bag measures 14.9 x 10.2 x 0.9 inches and can fit any laptop in this size category, regardless of the actual dimensions of its chassis. If you need a model that fits seamlessly in your lap and that is easy to transport, however, you should opt for a Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 or a 2023 MacBook Air.

Both notebooks are 13.4 inches long (about the same size as a 14-inch laptop), but they come with larger displays and are ideal for productivity. Of the two, the MacBook Air is the thinnest and lightest, but it actually has a slightly larger screen than the Microsoft Surface Laptop 5.

Most other 15-inch laptops are larger than this, with lengths varying from 13.9 to 14.13 inches and widths up to 10.2 inches.

Convertible Display
Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 Intel Core i7
  • Touchscreen convertible display
  • 12th gen Intel Core i7 CPU
  • RTX 3050-Ti GPU
  • Lightweight and portable

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11/27/2023 04:06 pm GMT
how to run windows on m1 macs
The 2023 MacBook Air measures 13.4 x 9.35 x 0.45 inches and is one of the smallest 15-inch laptops.

©Tada Images/Shutterstock.com

15-Inch Laptop Display Dimensions

Similar to the chassis size, there is no standard for the display size of a 15-inch laptop. The vast majority of models in this category have 15.6-inch displays that provide ample screen real estate. These laptops are preferred for productivity and gaming, but some models could be too heavy for portability.

Folks who need a compact and lightweight laptop for web browsing and other simple tasks might find what they need in a Chromebook. Most 15-inch Chromebooks have a display size of exactly 15 inches diagonally, and their external size is slightly smaller than a 15.6-inch model.

Microsoft and Apple are the only two brands that stand out from the crowd. Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 5 is ideal for students and comes with a display that measures exactly 15 inches diagonally. However, its external dimensions are often smaller than those of a Chromebook.

Apple’s 2023 MacBook Air comes with a 15.3-inch display that provides increased screen real estate in a compact package. This is also one of the lightest, most portable, and most powerful 15-inch laptops with a screen size under 15.6 inches.

Powerful Option
Apple 2023 MacBook Air M2 Chip
  • M2 chip, 8-core CPU, 10-core GPU, and up to 24 GB of unified memory
  • 15.3" Liquid Retina display
  • 500 nits of brightness, P3 wide color, and support for one billion colors
  • 256 GB SSD storage
  • 1080p FaceTime HD camera and three-mic array
  • Features a fanless design that runs completely silent
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11/27/2023 03:47 pm GMT

Various 15-Inch Laptop Aspect Ratios

Beyond the screen size, the feature that determines your visual experience is the aspect ratio. Expressed as a formula of width to height, it describes an image’s shape and lets you know whether the screen fits more of the images vertically or horizontally.

Modern 15-inch laptops use 3:2, 16:9, and 16:10 aspect ratios. A fourth aspect ratio, 4:3, is not used anymore but can be found in older laptops.

Let’s see how each of these aspect ratios affects the laptop’s dimensions and usability.

3:2 Aspect Ratio vs. 15-inch Laptop Dimensions

The 3:2 aspect ratio offers an almost square image shape and is found in some laptops with exactly 15-inch displays. Its main advantage is the increased amount of screen real estate compared to all other aspect ratios.

You can benefit from plenty of vertical space and use multiple windows side-by-side without worrying about the screen becoming too cramped. The downside is that very few 15-inch laptops have this aspect ratio, apart from the Microsoft Surface Laptop 5. This laptop measures 13.4 x 9.6 x 0.58 inches.

Dell, Lenovo, and HP also use the 3:2 aspect ratio for some of their models, but usually on laptops smaller than 15 inches.

Great 2-in-1 Choice
HP 2022 Newest Envy X360 2-in-1 Laptop
  • 15.6" Full HD touchscreen display
  • 12th Gen Intel Core i7-1255U 10-core processor
  • 32GB RAM
  • 2TB SSD
  • Backlit keyboard
  • HDMI
  • Windows 11 Home
  • Stylus pen included
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11/27/2023 02:46 pm GMT

16:9 Aspect Ratio vs. 15-inch Laptop Dimensions

The 16:9 is the most commonly found aspect ratio in 15-inch laptops. It is also the aspect ratio of most movies and games, making these laptops ideal for general use and gamers. The wider image can fit more of a battlefield and you can enjoy video content without being bothered by black stripes at the top and bottom of the image.

However, the 16:9 aspect ratio provides limited vertical space, and it can make the screen look cramped when using the laptop for productivity. For instance, it can be challenging to use multiple windows side-by-side without zooming out. A lot of vertical scrolling might also be involved, especially when browsing the web, writing, or coding.

The 16:9 15-inch laptops measure 14 x 9 x 0.72 inches on average.

16:10 Aspect Ratio vs. 15-inch Laptop Dimensions

Despite the different shape of the image compared to the 3:2 screens, the 16:10 aspect ratio is also found in laptops designed for productivity. The width of the image is the same as the 16:9, but the extra vertical space allows the display to fit more information at once.

The external dimensions of 15-inch laptops with this aspect ratio can vary widely from brand to brand. The Apple MacBook Air, for instance, measures 13.4 x 9.35 x 0.45 inches. Another laptop with a similar aspect ratio is the Dell XPS 15. This laptop has a 15.6-inch screen and measures 13.56 x 9.07 x 0.7 inches.

Best for Comfort
ASUS ZenBook Pro 15 OLED Laptop
  • Touchscreen 15.6-inch display
  • AMD Ryzen 9 CPU
  • RTX 3050-Ti
  • 1TB SSD
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11/27/2023 02:18 pm GMT

4:3 Aspect Ratio vs. 15-inch Laptop Dimensions

The 4:3 aspect ratio is similar to the 3:2 in that it is almost square. It is ideal for productivity, especially for photographers and videographers who need an optimal aspect ratio for post-processing. However, this aspect ratio is not used in laptops anymore due to its low (sub-HD) resolution, so you can only find it in older models.

If you decide to buy a used laptop with this aspect ratio, you can expect it to measure around 13.6 x 7.8 x 0.7 inches.

Largest GPU Companies
The MSI Katana gaming laptop has a 15.6-inch display and measures 14.13 x 10.2 x 0.98 inches.


Is a 15-inch Laptop Right for You?

While the 15-inch laptop size is the most popular, it doesn’t mean it is right for everyone. The most important thing to consider when buying a laptop is portability — something 15-inch laptops don’t really excel at.

The main issue with this size is the weight. Due to their larger dimensions, 15-inch laptops are heavier than their 14-inch counterparts and not as seamless to carry around. They are also more difficult to balance on the lap, so they are not the best choice for digital nomads who want to work at the beach.

Another downside is the battery life. Even though 15-inch laptops typically use larger batteries than smaller laptops, the larger screen uses more power. The average 15-inch laptop has a battery life of around six hours when used for simple tasks and with the energy-saving mode enabled. You can expect it to die a lot faster when used for power-hungry tasks or with all specs at top performance.

Comparatively, a 13- or 14-inch laptop can provide around eight to nine hours of runtime while running power-hungry apps and over 10 hours for simpler processes.

On the bright side, the 15-inch laptops are large enough to accommodate better components, such as dedicated graphics cards, larger processors, and more powerful fans. Their smaller dimensions and improved portability compared to 17-inch laptops make them ideal for programmers, gamers, and content creators.

Fantastic Display
MSI Katana 15 15.6" FHD Gaming Laptop B13VGK-484US
  • 15.6" FHD display
  • 144Hz
  • 13th Gen Intel Core i7
  • RTX 4070
  • 16GB DDR5
  • 1TB NVMe SSD
  • USB Type-C
  • Cooler Boost 5
  • Windows 11 Home
  • Black
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Wrap Up

Most 15-inch Windows laptops sport 15.6-inch displays and measure around 14 x 9 x 0.72 inches. Apple equips its 15-inch laptops with 15.3-inch screens and reduces the external dimensions and weight for improved portability.

Most Chromebooks in this category come with displays that measure exactly 15 inches diagonally. These models are smaller than most Windows laptops in this class but slightly larger than the 15-inch laptops from Apple.

Regardless of the brand and actual dimensions, all 15-inch laptops fit seamlessly in 15-inch laptop bags, and some are even compact enough to fit in a bag designed for a 14-inch laptop.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the size of a 15.6-inch laptop screen in millimeters?

The diagonal of a 15.6-inch laptop screen measures 394.90 mm. If you have to measure the screen of your laptop, remember to exclude the bezel.

What is the aspect ratio of a 15-inch screen?

A 15-inch screen can have an aspect ratio of 3:2, 16:9, or 16:10, depending on the brand.

How is a laptop size measured?

Laptop sizes are generally determined by the size of their displays, measured diagonally and without the bezel. However, not all manufacturers state the actual display size in the product’s name. For instance, a 15-inch laptop can have a display size of 15, 15.3, or 15.6 inches.

To find out the exact size of your laptop’s display, you should check the product’s specs in the user manual, on the manufacturer’s website, or measure the screen yourself.

Why are most laptops 15.6-inch?

Most laptops measure 15.6 inches because this is the most popular laptop size, so manufacturers are responding to that consumer demand.

Is it better to get a 14- or 15-inch laptop?

It depends on your purpose. A 14-inch laptop is more suitable for productivity, especially if you like to work outside of the office. However, a 14-inch screen might be too small for some tasks, such as gaming or content creation. Most 15-inch laptops also deliver improved performance compared to their smaller counterparts and are a better choice if you need special components, such as a dedicated GPU.

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