Is your budget for your next laptop limited to $1500? It doesn’t matter what your computing needs are, in this guide, we’ve picked up the 11 best-rated options under the mentioned budget range.
Premium laptops aren’t always affordable unless you get your hands on a 1500-dollar stash. Contrary to popular opinion, $1500 isn’t on the higher-end, provided you are looking to purchase a laptop that is heavily inclined towards a particular profession. Then again, it is still a decent enough budget for making an all-inclusive purchase, stacked in favor of gaming inclusions.
- But, Do you need a $1500 Laptop?
- Minimum & Recommended System Requirements
- 11 Best Laptops Under $1500 in 2021
- 1. Best Overall: Asus ROG Strix G15
- 2. Best Runner Up: MSI GL65 Leopard
- 3. Best for Content Creators: Razer Blade 15
- 4. Best Value for Money: Acer Predator Helios 300
- 5. Best 4K Laptop: Gigabyte AERO 15
- 6. Best Battery Life: HP Envy 15
- 7. Best for Professionals: Dell XPS 15 7590
- 8. Best from Lenovo: Lenovo Legion 5
- 9. Best with MacOS: Apple MacBook Pro
- 10. Best 2-in-1: Microsoft Surface Book 2
- 11. Best Ultrabook: LG Gram 14
- Frequently Asked Questions
But, Do you need a $1500 Laptop?
It wouldn’t be wrong to state that the laptop budget of 1500 dollars is more than enough if you are a gamer, creative professional, CAD professional, architect, app developer, or an expert with extremely targeted requirements. However, if you are a workstation-enthusiast or a hardcore creator and simulator, $1500 might be a bit underwhelming to start with.
You can expect machines in this price range to come with the 10th gen H-series processor followed by a top-of-the-line RTX 20-series or GTX 16-series GPU. When it comes to RAM allotment, 16GB is what we can expect for the given price point. This is what makes it more conducive towards mid-range video editing as the desktop-grade performances might require 32GB or even 64GB of RAM.
Then again, the 1500-dollar price point is no pushover as you can still get access to a high-end convertible, sizable storage capacity, brilliant aesthetics, and even a MacBook device. Besides, when it comes to professional and academic coverage, laptops priced at or slightly less than $1500 are decent for 1080p video editing, music production, 3D modeling, game development, programming, and other relevant processes.
However, as Laptop experts, we would still like to reiterate the fact that laptops available for the given price range are quite premium and often boast brilliant aesthetics. However, you might want to increase your budget to $2000 if you need your device to edit 4K videos, perform machine learning, run AI models, data science, CGI, complex composting, high-end gaming, etc. Regardless of the minor limitations, $1500 is still a pretty good price point for most professional and academic processes.
Minimum & Recommended System Requirements
As we talk about a specific price point, the minimum and recommended system specifications aren’t going to vary drastically. Then again, laptops close to 1000 dollars feature a mid-range specs sheet, approximately tabulated as the minimum system requirements. The recommended specs sheet equates to notebooks that close in on the 1500-dollar mark.
|Minimum System Requirements||Recommended System Requirements|
|CPU||8th Gen Intel Core i5||9th Gen Intel Core i7|
|Storage||256GB SSD||512GB SSD|
|Display||13.3-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)||15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)|
|GPU||2GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050||6GB NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060|
|Battery||Up to 4 hours||Up to 8 hours|
11 Best Laptops Under $1500 in 2021
The existing retail sector pertaining to laptops is stacked with options, regardless of the budget. However, purchasing one for the $1500 price point is probably the trickiest as there are umpteen options to choose from. Keeping this competitive pricing in mind, we have reviewed, researched, and tested 63 laptops before coming up with a list of 11.
Each of the enlisted gadgets caters to a specific group of professions whilst being segregated as per maneuverable budget, form factor, ease of usage, touch screen capabilities, gaming prowess, portability, battery life, and other relevant aspects.
1. Best Overall: Asus ROG Strix G15
For the given price point, there is hardly any other gadget that makes more sense than the ROG Strix G15. This Asus-branded gaming laptop doesn’t only take the gaming performances to the next level but also houses some of the best productivity-centric attributes in the retail space.
To start with, you get access to the high-end, Intel Core i7-10750H CPU. This ultra-powerful, hexa-core mobile SoC brings in a wide range of possibilities for gamers and professionals alike. The exceptional turbo boost clock speed of up to 5GHz stands out when single-threaded processes like spreadsheet management, audio production, and editing are concerned.
Furthermore, the graphics-centric workload is ably shouldered by the high-end NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 GPU. Besides being insanely powerful, this RTX 20-series GPU is also known for the Ray Tracing and AI-enhanced capabilities. These features are expected to take your professional and creative performances to a whole new level.
Not just that, the 8GB VRAM facilitates exceptional 3D renders by showing up as an excellent asset for photorealistic rendering. Lastly, this graphics card is also capable of running almost every new and demanding AAA title at the highest possible settings.
As far as the system memory support is concerned, you get hold of 16GB of RAM. The best thing about this machine is the inclusion of a high-speed, dual-channel RAM module that can process files and data at 2933MHz. The high-end GPU with support for ROG Boost technology and the ultrafast RAM in unison, qualify the ASUS ROG Strix G15 as one of the top-rated devices for under $1500.
When it comes to storage, Asus houses a high-speed SSD module, offering a decent storage capacity of 1TB. In addition to being fast, the existing storage drive is also capable of booting up the pre-existing Windows 10 Home OS in almost no time. The 15.6-inch display is more on the expected lines but the 240Hz screen refresh rate makes it one of the really great assets for gamers.
Not just that, you also get access to a 3ms overdrive response time, for keeping ghosting to a minimum, especially when mid-range and entry-level games are concerned. Coming to gadget productivity, Asus makes peace with the Aura SYNC RGB keyboard and the class-leading, ROG intelligent cooling setup. The thermal hardware ensures that no volume of workload can cause throttling effects and lead to machine slowdowns.
Coming to the structural footprint, the ROG Strix G15 is actually thicker and heavier as compared to other 15-inch notebooks in the market. At 5.3 pounds, the heft is justified by the inclusion of a potent acoustic setup, thermal hardware, light bar, and the illuminated logo for improved gadget customizations.
Nevertheless, the connectivity suite is still pretty diverse with Asus accommodating the Type-C, DisplayPort 1.4, USB 3.2 Type-A, Wi-Fi 6 with Gig+ support, and Bluetooth 5.0 standard into the scheme of things. The autonomy, however, is restricted to 5.5 hours, which is slightly underwhelming for the given price point.
Overall, if you are willing to spend close to 1500 dollars on a good gaming notebook that can also double down as a professional behemoth, the Asus ROG Strix G15 is the name to consider.
- 10th gen processor
- Advanced GPU with Ray tracing support
- Ultra-fast RAM
- Sizable storage capacity
- Wi-Fi 6
- Intelligent thermal setup
- Lacks Thunderbolt 3 port
- Heavier than usual
2. Best Runner Up: MSI GL65 Leopard
Purchasing the MSI GL65 Leopard seems like a prudent decision if you are prioritizing gaming and the relevant experiences more than anything else. While we shall talk about quite a few gaming behemoths during the course of our discussion, MSI trumps the rest when the gamer-friendly keyboard is concerned.
At the core, you get the 10th gen Intel Core processor, capable of managing intricate processing requirements without breaking a sweat. The Intel Core i7-10750H chipset is all about the exceptional turbo clock speed of up to 5GHz and the hexa-core architecture. While the featured attributes pertaining to the mobile SoC make it good-enough for every game and professional task, it is the HyperThreading support that takes efficiency to a whole new level.
As far as the graphics workload is concerned, the RTX 2070 GPU comes forth as a top-of-the-line inclusion. This discrete graphics card, loaded with 8GB VRAM, is an excellent resource when 3D rendering, Ray traced-gaming, AI-enhanced creative indulgences, and demanding game-playing are concerned.
When it comes to memory allocation, MSI features a 16GB dual-socketed chunk of system memory. The existing RAM allotment can be upgraded up to 64GB, if and when necessary. However, MSI cuts a few corners when storage support is concerned. You get access to a 512GB SSD unit with NVMe support, which is capable of booting up the Windows 10 Home OS, in a heartbeat.
Coming to the display, the 15.6-inch screen is a pretty relevant inclusion, bolstered further by the 72 percent NTSC color gamut. In addition to being the perfect screen for the creatives, MSI also brings in several gaming resources, including the 144Hz refresh rate to combat screen tearing and an overdrive response time of 3ms for eliminating trailing. However, the thinner bezels associated with this enthralling display is what furthers the credibility of this device.
When it comes to resourcefulness, the MSI GL65 Leopard houses the innovative Steelseries keyboard, boasting per-key backlit support, anti-ghosting compatibility, and other relevant inclusions. Besides, you also get access to a pretty extensive professional suite, featuring the HD webcam, giant 3W speakers, serviceable mics, and the Dragon Center UI for better gadget customization.
Then again, we were more than impressed with the new and improved Cooler Boost technology, boasting of 7 heat-dissipating pipes and strategic vents. However, the cooling hardware doesn’t come without its share of compromises as it renders the gadget heavier than usual at close to 6 pounds. Then again, the connectivity suite takes care of the minor constraints, courtesy of the USB 3.2 Gen 1, Type-C, Intel-powered Wi-Fi 6 support, and other legacy standards.
Despite being insanely powerful, the 6-hour battery backup adds to the functionality of the MSI GL65 Leopard, making it one of the most reliable notebooks to invest in, especially for the given price tag.
- Future-proof chipset
- Expandable system memory
- Brilliant display
- Gamer-friendly keyboard
- Class-leading thermal layout
- Lacks Thunderbolt 3 support
3. Best for Content Creators: Razer Blade 15
The quality of the Razer Blade 15 readily precedes its reputation. While we shall discuss the base gaming variant that justifies the $1500 price tag, Razer doesn’t leave any stone unturned when it comes to offering the perfect balance between power and aesthetics with the said device.
At the core, we have the Intel Core i7-10750H chipset, best known for the hexa-core architecture. Equipped with an insanely high turbo clock speed of up to 5GHz and HyperThreading support, this mobile SoC is a future-proof inclusion, allowing you to manage demanding professional tasks with ease.
Besides, the Razer Blade 15 also gets adequate support from the RTX 2060 GPU, which is capable of handling GPU-accelerated edits, high-end titles like WOW, Fortnite, PUBG, Civ 6, Overwatch, Cyberpunk 2077, and advanced CAD processes with seamless ease.
Razer willingly accommodates a high-speed 16GB RAM module with dual-channel support for lending assistance to the processor, especially for complex academic tasks and professional tasks.
Storage-wise, the 512GB SSD is sufficient for mid-level professionals. However, if you want to add some more meat to the device, there are 4 PCIe 3.0 slots to rely on. Regardless, the existing storage drive is still good enough for loading the Windows 10 Home OS in the least possible time. However, it is the 15.6-inch screen that impressed us the most with Razer equipping the same with a 100 percent sRGB color palette and the 144Hz screen refresh rate, best suited for creatives and gamers, alike.
Productivity-wise, you get access to a standard, Chroma-compatible, backlit keyboard followed by the precision trackpad, standard webcam, powerful speakers, and the aluminum-clad chassis with minimalistic thermal hardware to show for. Furthermore, the Blade 15 deserves some additional brownie points for the portability quotient, courtesy of the light-weighted chassis at 4.7 pounds and the extended battery backup that extends north of the 7-hour mark.
Regardless, it is the connectivity-suite that steals the scene, courtesy of the Thunderbolt 3 port with USB charging support, USB 3.2 Type-A, Type-C, and other relevant ports followed by Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 standards. To sum it up, if you have a penchant for aesthetics and gadget mobility, the Razer Blade 15 is the best gadget to invest in.
- 10th gen mobile SoC
- High-end GPU
- Ultrafast RAM
- Upgradeable storage support
- Wi-Fi 6 support
- Thunderbolt 3 port
- Shallow keyboard
- The acoustic setup could have been better
4. Best Value for Money: Acer Predator Helios 300
The Acer Predator Helios 300 is one of the more affordable notebooks on the list that allows you to save a sizable chunk of cash from the allotted 1500 dollars. However, the affordable price tag doesn’t mean that this all-inclusive gadget from Acer is anyway underpowered as compared to some of the other gadgets in the market.
Under the hood, Acer stacks in the Intel Core i7-10750H processor, which is both powerful and reliable, at the same time. Despite the six cores to work with, it is the HyperThreading support and Turbo Boost technology that garner most of the attention. Moreover, the single-core clock speed of up to 5GHz makes it the most suitable mobile SoC for both basic and demanding applications.
Next in line is the top-of-the-line RTX 2060 that comes equipped with 6GB of dedicated video RAM. The existing GPU, bolstered with RTRT and DLSS support ensures that high-end games, 3D editing, photorealistic rendering, and other complex processes can be initiated with considerable ease. Aligned with the CPU-GPU combo is the 16GB RAM. The dual-channel system memory is capable of processing data, frames, and files at close to 2933MHz, making it one of the fastest laptops in the retail arena.
Not just that, Acer offers an upgradeable, 512GB of solid-state storage space, which is capable of loading files in a twinkling of an eye. Furthermore, the SSD serves as the boot drive to the Windows 10 Home OS. Next in line is the brilliant and sharp, 15.6-inch screen, which is best known for the widescreen viewing experience, and the LED-backlit technology for improved power-efficiency.
Furthermore, Acer also accommodates several gamer-friendly attributes; including the 144Hz screen refresh rate and a decent overdrive response time. Then again, the gamer-friendly GPU and display are perfectly complemented by the backlit keyboard with 4-zone compatibility and WASD support. Acer also takes good care of the professional productivity upon pairing stereo speakers, HD webcam, and the innovative Predator Sense UI.
When it comes to the thermal architecture, the AeroBlade 3-Dimensional fan takes center-stage and ensures minimal throttling effects. However, the existing hardware-centric enhancement pushes the gadget’s weight up to 5.51 pounds, thereby pruning the portability quotient. The port arrangement, on the other hand, is pretty diversified with the Predator Helios 300 making way for Type-C, Type-A, HDMI, Mini DP, and other relevant slots.
Moreover, Acer takes good care of wired and wireless connectivity by housing Gig Ethernet and Wi-Fi 6 standards. The battery backup at 6 hours is pretty middling but readily justifies the budgeted price range. Therefore, if you do not want to use up the entire sum of 1500 dollars but still want a laptop that fits into your professional repertoire, the Acer Predator Helios 300 is the one to invest in.
- High-end chipset
- RTX 20-series GPU
- Wi-Fi 6 support
- Gig Ethernet support
- Ultrafast RAM
- Upgradeable storage
- Excellent thermal design
- Middling battery backup
5. Best 4K Laptop: Gigabyte AERO 15
If you are looking for versatility at 1500 dollars or less, the Gigavyte AERO 15 is the gadget to consider. While this is one of the few moderately-priced notebooks to feature a 4K Ultra HD screen, it ensures a wide-spread coverage of your professional expectations by bringing in almost every elusive attribute existent in the commercial space.
Powering the gadget is the reliable and efficient, Intel Core i7-9750H mobile SoC. Despite being a 9th gen processor, the chipset still exhibits a decent enough base clock speed of 2.6GHz. Not just that, the high-end H-series processor also supports HyperThreading and Turbo Boost technologies, thereby qualifying the AERO 15 as one of the more competent gadgets on the list.
As far as the graphics processing unit is concerned, you get access to the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti. Despite missing out on an RTX 20-series graphics card and the subsequent Ray tracing and deep learning capabilities, this graphics card is still adequately powered. As a gamer, the GTX 1660 Ti allows you to handle almost every new and demanding title at 1080p settings. It also lends ample support when graphic designing, photo editing, video editing, and rendering applications are concerned.
One of the better things about AERO 15 is the inclusion of the NVIDIA Optimus technology. This innovative feature allows you to toggle between the integrated UHD 630 graphics co-processor and the dedicated GPU, based on the gadget requirements, thereby helping the laptop conserve power for initiating certain minimally demanding tasks.
Reiterating the processing performances, Gigabyte also makes room for the Samsung-tagged, 16GB RAM module. The ultra-fast chunk of system memory is perfectly complemented by the 512GB SSD unit. The existing Intel 760p storage drive is a potent inclusion, courtesy of the blazing fast app loading speeds. Coming to the operating system, Gigabyte offers Windows 10 Home, straight out of the box.
Despite the numerous bells and whistles, it is the sharp and bright 15.6-inch UHD screen that garners the most praise. The featured AMOLED screen flaunts exceptional viewing angles and exceedingly high color accuracy levels. Besides, the overall resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels furthers the credibility of this Pantone-certified display. Not just that, if you are a creative professional, you can make the best use of the 100 percent P3 color palette.
The AERO 15 also makes way for other productivity-centric attributes, including the programmable backlit keyboard, Nahimic speakers with 3D acoustic support for enhanced music, a serviceable webcam with a physical shutter, relevant fingerprint scanner, and the famed CNC-crafted chassis that sits atop the Supra Cool thermal setup. For portability seekers, the AERO 15 sets a brilliant precedent as it weighs a mere 4.4 pounds, despite the hardware-centric thrills on offer.
Coming to the connectivity suite, you also get access to the Mini DP 1.4, HDMI, a wide-range of USB ports, and Thunderbolt 3 support. Besides, the Killer hardware module also makes room for ultrafast Ethernet and Wi-Fi 6 support. Nevertheless, the 94Wh battery module isn’t all that convincing as the 4K panel restricts the autonomy to 6 hours or even slightly less. Regardless, for the given price, the Gigabyte AERO 15 is still one of the best gadgets to rely on, more so due to the Azure AI support in play.
- Enthralling display
- Reliable processor
- Turing-based GPU
- Excellent connectivity suite
- Light and portable
- Middling battery module
- Lacks RTX-tagged GPU
6. Best Battery Life: HP Envy 15
For touchscreen fanatics, the HP Envy 15 is one of the better choices to consider, specifically for the $1500 price point. While the laptop boasts of pretty competent gaming hardware, it also doubles down as a brilliant professional resource.
Processing requirements are best addressed by the Intel Core i7-10750H chipset, which is further bolstered by the HyperThreading support and the Turbo boost technology. Most importantly, it is the boosted clock speed of up to 5GHz that makes the mobile SoC good enough for a majority of demanding processes and applications. Complementing the processing setup is the Turing-based, GTX 1650 Ti GPU, which is moderately overpowered as compared to the vanilla variant.
The dedicated graphics card, combined with 4GB VRAM, is good enough for managing diverse GPU-accelerated tasks, games, and CAD processes with considerable ease. Coming to the memory allocation, HP offers 16GB of high-speed, dual-socketed RAM. In addition to this reliable multitasking resource, you also get hold of a decent storage module, offering 512GB of capacity. Moreover, the SSD unit is also good enough for booting up the Windows 10 Home OS, in a heartbeat.
HP makes room for a vibrant and touch-supported, 15.6-inch 1080p screen. The interactive panel is hugely responsive and flaunts some of the more desirable professional traits, including WLED-backlit support, edge-to-edge paneling, and the 100 percent sRGB color gamut. Productivity-wise, there aren’t many gadgets that can compete with the extended gamut displayed by the HP Envy 15, which includes a dedicated fingerprint scanner and a serviceable webcam with a dedicated privacy shutter.
Other relevant attributes include the backlit keyboard, potent speakers, and a durable chassis that weighs close to 4.74 pounds. What stands out though is the quality of the thermal design, best characterized by the hidden vents. Coming to the port arrangement, the HP Envy 15 showcases a diverse array, featuring the SuperSpeed Type-A, Type-C, HDMI 2.0, and other relevant slots.
When it comes to the elusive attributes, this gadget makes way for the Wi-Fi 6 connectivity standard followed by the B&O speakers and the Wide Vision front shooter. Despite these inclusions, the 18.5-hour battery backup comes forth as one of the best features associated with this sub-$1500 notebook
However, if you have a penchant for convertibles, the HP Spectre x360 is also up for grabs. This alternative houses a 10th generation, U-series processor followed by an entry-level MX330 GPU. What validates the credibility of this notebook is the 4K panel followed by the availability of an additional, 32GB Optane memory.
- 10th gen processor
- Durable chassis
- Touchscreen display
- Long-lasting battery
- Ultrafast RAM
- Wi-Fi 6 support
- Lacks Thunderbolt 3 support
- Shallow keyboard
7. Best for Professionals: Dell XPS 15 7590
When it comes to aesthetics, portability, and even ease of usage, the Dell XPS 15 7590 is one of the best work laptops to invest in. While the specs sheet might seem a bit underpowered, Dell houses enough professional firepower to make your investment worthwhile.
Under the hood, Dell houses the Intel Core i7-9750H chipset, which is one of the more powerful mobile SoCs in the retail arena. Riding on the efficiency of hexa-core architecture and the excellent turbo clock speed of up to 4.5GHz, this chipset is more than capable of managing almost every video, graphics, and audio editing application with ease.
The graphics consortium is decent enough as despite the moderately powered specs sheet, Dell still manages to offer the mid-range, GTX 1650 GPU. Combined with 4GB VRAM, this dedicated graphics card is good enough for several GPU-accelerated tasks. Dell also offers 8GB of system memory, which is upgradeable, courtesy of the dual-socketed layout. Storage-wise, you get access to the 512GB SSD module, best known for the faster boot-up speeds, pertaining to the Windows 10 OS.
However, it is the 15.6-inch display that steals the show, courtesy of the cumulative resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Besides, you also get hold of InfinityEdge paneling, which remarkably beefs-up the screen-to-chassis ratio. Not just that, the featured display also exhibits anti-glare properties, especially for the relentless creators.
Dell also introduces a standard backlit keyboard, smooth trackpad, an epic acoustic setup with CinemaSound technology, and a revolutionary webcam that features a 4-element lens. Regardless of the class-leading specifications and a minimalistic thermal design, the Dell XPS 15 7590 is still one of the more portable and travel-friendly laptops on the list, at a mere 4 pounds.
Besides, the connectivity suite also deserves a special mention with Dell accommodating a wide range of USB ports, Thunderbolt 3 slots, and the innovative Wi-Fi 6 standard, powered by the Killer hardware. The battery life of close to 8 hours is also a remarkable and cost-justifiable addition, which makes up for a slightly restrictive onboard system memory.
However, if you are in the market for smaller and powerful ultraportables, you can always persist with the Dell XPS 13 9310, which boasts of a smaller structural footprint, FHD+ resolution, 13.4-inch touchscreen display, 16GB of low-power DDR4X RAM, and the Windows 10 Pro OS. Then again, this is one of the few gadgets in the $1500 club to feature an 11th gen graphics optimized processor followed by the Intel Iris Xe, integrated co-processor.
- Anti-glare screen
- Class-leading processor
- Thunderbolt 3 port
- Wi-Fi 6 support
- Long-lasting battery
- Doesn’t offer touch support
- Only 8GB of RAM is offered upfront
8. Best from Lenovo: Lenovo Legion 5
The new and improved Lenovo Legion 5 is one of our personal favorites on this list, mainly due to the value for money it offers to prospective buyers. Besides, the sub-$1200 price tag allows you to save a decent chunk of money for purchasing accessories or some of the new AAA titles to play.
At the core, Lenovo houses the insanely powerful, 10th gen processor, boasting of HyperThreading support, and Turbo Boost technology. The Intel Core i7-10750H chipset is one of the more dependable additions to the specs sheet, best known for the exceptional turbo clock speed of up to 5GHz. Regardless of its ability to support some of the most demanding applications and processes with ease, the CPU gets adequate support from the GTX 1650 Ti GPU.
Paired with 4GB GDDR6 VRAM and the 128-bit memory channel, the existing graphics card is one of the better inclusions for the given price point. Despite being a mid-range GPU, you can expect it to take care of several complex games and creative editing tasks, without breaking a sweat. Besides, you also get access to 16GB RAM, boasting of higher multitasking bandwidth followed by an ultra-fast, 1TB solid-state drive that is also responsible for booting up the Windows 10 OS, at enviable speeds.
Lenovo also makes room for a sharp and vibrant, 15.6-inch screen. While the display misses out on high-end functionalities, the 120Hz refresh rate is expected to cater well to mid-level gamers. Besides, the Full HD screen also exhibits an overall resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, which certainly lives up to the price point.
As far as other productivity-centric specs are concerned, Lenovo offers access to a backlit keyboard, impactful speakers with Dolby Atmos functionality, and a pretty durable chassis, which weighs close to 5.5 pounds. Connectivity-wise, the new Legion 5 is no pushover as it takes pride in furnishing four USB 3.1 ports followed by the Type-C, HDMI, and other relevant slots followed by Wi-Fi AX support.
When it comes to autonomy, the existing battery unit offers 5 hours of extended support. Therefore, if you are on-board with the lack of portability and looking for a desktop replacement of high caliber, the 2020 variant of the Lenovo Legion 5 makes quite a good case for itself.
- Future-proof processor
- Mid-range GPU based on Turing-architecture
- Wi-Fi 6 support
- Sizable storage module
- Gamer-friendly display
- On the heavier side
- Middling battery backup
9. Best with MacOS: Apple MacBook Pro
The dated variant of the MacBook Pro 13 might not be loaded with top-of-the-line specifications but it certainly qualifies as one of the best gadgets under the 1500-dollar mark. Despite the lack of an overpowered processor and a massive chunk of system memory, the MacBook lives up to the name and takes center-stage when hardware-software cohesion is concerned.
At the core, Apple houses a U-series processor, boasting lower TDP levels. The Intel Core i5-8257U chipset is capable of reaching turbo clock speeds of up to 3.9GHz, which in turn qualifies it for some of the moderately demanding processing tasks like internet browsing, finance modeling, podcasting, music editing, and more. The quad-core processor is ably complemented by the Iris Plus 645 graphics co-processor, which is still good enough for some of the more casual games.
When it comes to memory allocation, you get 8GB of system memory to rely on. In certain cases, the 8GB RAM featured by the MacBook works better than the 16GB RAM on Windows-powered notebooks, owing to the lack of throttling effects. Storage-wise, the MacBook makes room for a 512GB SSD module, best known for the file retrieval and macOS boot-up speeds.
For the more indulgent professionals, the MacBook offers 128MB eDRAM support, facilitating faster app access. Coming to the display, the 13.3-inch panel is adequately vibrant, courtesy of the overall resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels. While the Retina Display is a milestone in itself, the 227ppi count associated with the IPS panel furthers the display-centric prowess of the MacBook Pro 13.
Coming to productivity, the Magic keyboard with 1mm key travel persists followed by the force trackpad, functional and responsive Touch ID, and the accessible yet innovative Touch Bar. As it is an all-inclusive gadget, the acoustic setup featuring stereo speakers, is on the expected lines. Besides, professionals can also make the best use of the True Tone display-specific enhancement, reliable webcam, and studio-grade microphones.
As far as the structural footprint is concerned, the MacBook Pro 13 flaunts an aluminum chassis and weighs close to 3.1 pounds. Regardless of the thinness of the profile, Apple persists with two Thunderbolt 3 slots followed by a USB 3.1 Gen 2 slot. Connectivity-wise, you get to experience the Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 5.0 standards followed by the USB charging and DisplayPort compatibility via the TB 3 output.
Not just that, this version of the MacBook Pro also offers a decent enough battery backup of up to 10 hours, regardless of the usage. Overall, the Apple MacBook Pro 13 is a pretty good sub-$1500 investment to make, provided you are planning to ditch Windows 10 for the Big Sur. However, if you want to get your hands on the latest, 2020 version of the MacBook Pro 13, the same can also be purchased for less than 1500 dollars.
However, the new MacBook Pro features the proprietary M1 chipset, which is specifically designed for handling machine learning, neural networking, and other high-end processes. The octa-core chipset also makes room for an optimized 8-core graphics co-processor followed by a dedicated 16-core neural engine. Other class-leading attributes include the Big Sur OS, better active thermal layout, close to 17-hours of battery backup, revolutionary webcam, and the elusive Wi-Fi 6 support.
- Power-efficient processor
- High-bandwidth RAM
- Two Thunderbolt 3 ports
- Sizable storage support
- Light and portable
- Excellent battery life
- Lacks Wi-Fi 6 (unless you purchase the M1 variant)
- Predictable design
10. Best 2-in-1: Microsoft Surface Book 2
The Surface Book 2 from Microsoft makes a list owing to its aesthetic presence and excellent battery life. While the detachable isn’t loaded with top-of-the-line processing components, it still comes across as one of the best laptops for live streamers and students pursuing journalism, art studies, medical even law school.
Coming to the processing firepower, the Surface Book 2 shelters an Intel Core i7-8650U chipset, best known for the lower-TDP levels and the maximum turbo clock speed of up to 4.2GHz. The quad-core mobile SoC works in tandem with the GTX 1050 GPU whilst paving the way for decent enough HD video editing and audio trimming experiences in software like Ableton Live 10, FL Studio and Pro Tools.
The dedicated graphics card Combined with 2GB VRAM, doesn’t qualify as a gaming resource but it definitely gets the job done when 2D modeling, rendering and demanding graphic designing processes are concerned. As tested by our experts, the Surface Book 2 is more than capable of running Photoshop, Illustrator and other Adobe CC apps.
As far as the system memory is concerned, you get access to 8GB RAM. While the LPDDR3 RAM isn’t the fastest at 1866MHz, it still gets the job done when basic and moderately demanding processes like video cropping and spreadsheet management are taken into account. However, the 256GB SSD unit left us unimpressed. However, you can always consider spending a bit extra and get hold of the 512GB storage drive.
Coming to the operating system, this detachable flaunts the Windows 10 Pro. The interactive nature of the operating platform is further accentuated by the 13.5-inch touchscreen, bolstered further by 3000 x 2000 pixels, as the existing display resolution. However, the best thing about the PixelSense panel is the 3:2 aspect ratio, making way for a class-leading visual experience, regardless of the multi-mode operability.
As far as gadget productivity is concerned, the Surface Book 2 accommodates a standard keyboard, smooth touchpad, front-firing stereo speakers, 5MP front shooter, and dual mics. As it is detachable, you get access to an additional 8MP rear shooter, allowing you to use the gadget in tablet mode.
Coming to the overall structure, the magnesium-clad 2-in-1 laptop weighs close to 3.60 pounds but makes way for a decent port arrangement, including the Type-C, Type-A, Surface Connect sots, Card reader, and other legacy units. Faster internet connectivity is also possible with Wi-Fi 5 support at the helm. Lastly, the existing battery module is quite an addition, capable of churning out close to 17 hours, on a single charge.
Therefore, if you are more into detachables, the premium yet efficient, Surface Book 2 is quite a remarkable addition to your wishlist.
- Moderately-powerful i7 processor
- Excellent battery life
- Stellar display
- Dual shooters
- TPM 2.0 security chipset for safer boot-ups
- Lacks Wi-Fi 6 support
- Middling storage capacity
11. Best Ultrabook: LG Gram 14
The LG Gram 14 comes across as a different breed of premium laptops, boasting exceptional battery life and the enviable lightness of profile.
Despite this not being an out-and-out gaming laptop, this gadget is more than capable of managing some of the more demanding professional tasks, courtesy of the Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor. The quad-core processor is capable of reaching turbo clock speeds of up to 3.9GHz, which is more than adequate for several professional and academic tasks. Furthermore, the Iris Plus graphics co-processor comes across as the integrated GPU, which is only good enough for basic games.
Although you get a pretty basic processing consortium, the multitasking performances, browsing support, and laptop speeds are close to excellent, courtesy of the 16GB RAM module. The DDR4 RAM is perfectly complemented by the 512GB solid-state drive. Not just that, the NVMe-compatible SSD is best known for loading the Windows 10 OS and the demanding applications in the least possible time.
Coming to the display, LG makes room for a standard 14-inch screen, bolstered further by an overall resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Despite the Full HD panel not known for the additional thrills, it still garners a lot of praise owing to the color accuracy and sharpest possible viewing angles. The LG Gram 14 adheres to the productivity quotient by bringing in a standard backlit keyboard, nifty fingerprint scanner, and stereo speakers that boast of DTS: X support and 3D rendering prowess.
As far as the structural footprint is concerned, the gadget weighs a mere 2.2 pounds and even exhibits a pretty sturdy and MIL-STD certified chassis. The durable yet sleek layout still makes room for a pretty sizable connectivity suite, comprising Thunderbolt 3 and other relevant and functional legacy ports, followed by ultrafast wired and wireless support.
The battery life of almost 18.5 hours is something out of the ordinary and qualifies the LG Gram 14 as one of the most travel-friendly gadgets on this list. However, if you want to consider larger panels without significantly beefing up the heft, the LG Gram 17 is also up for grabs. This behemoth weighs less than 3 pounds and makes room for a WQXGA panel followed by 1TB of dedicated, dual-socketed storage space.
- 10th gen chipset
- High-bandwidth system memory
- Long-lasting battery
- Thunderbolt 3 support
- One of the lightest gadgets on the list
- Lacks adequate gaming prowess
- Not mean for power users
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can get your hands on a decent gaming laptop for the sub-$1500 price point, provided you are not too picky about the aesthetics. The closer you get to the 1500-dollar price tag, it becomes easier to procure a reliable, 10th gen processor and the RTX 20-series GPU, which then paves the way for excellent gaming performances.
As a globetrotter with professional and academic indulgences, it is necessary to purchase a portable laptop. While portability should be one of your priorities, you must also try and get a device with at least 12 hours of battery backup.
If you are a student, you should opt for a laptop with a reliable processor, at least the one offering virtualization and Turbo Boost support. These attributes make sure that the gadget is good enough for advanced accounting, programming, and other academic indulgences. Besides good battery life and an excellent keyboard are also necessary to look at. This is where LG Gram 14 comes forth as the most obvious choice.
While laptops with 8GB RAM might seem underpowered, they still qualify as decent purchases provided you are willing to rely more on the productivity-centric attributes like keyboard, speakers, battery, connectivity-suite, and even touchscreen. The only reason you should opt for a gadget with 8GB RAM is if you are more inclined towards productivity and aesthetics.
Based on expert reviews and inferences, you should primarily look for a powerful processor and at least 16GB of RAM. However, you should only look for a powerful graphics card if you have a penchant for gaming or CAD-specific indulgences. If not, a sizable chunk of RAM and massive storage space should be the features to invest in.
If you have 1500 dollars to shell out and you want to go with multi-mode operability, you should look for gadgets like the HP Spectre x360, which do not compromise on the specs sheet. Despite exhibiting a flip-and-fold layout, the convertible should be able to cater to the power users.
As per our expert analysis, the latest variant of the MacBook Pro 13, i.e. the one with the M1 chipset, is worth investing in, if you want to experience something out of the ordinary for less than 1500 dollars.
While every laptop on this list deserves a standing ovation, you should still make purchases based on your personal and professional preferences.
- For instance, if you are looking for a top-of-the-line gaming laptop that is still portable enough, nothing beats the quality of the Razer Blade 15.
- However, if portability is not one of your priorities, we would suggest you go with the ROG Strix G15, especially for the massive storage space.
- If you are looking for versatility and display-centric brilliance, the AERO 15 from Gigabyte is the most cost-justifiable gadget on the list.
- For Mac-lovers, the new MacBook Pro 13 makes a pretty strong case for itself.
- Lastly, if you are only looking for portability and exceptional levels of autonomy, the LG Gram is the most competent gadget on the list followed by the Surface Book 2, provided you are game for detachable.