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13 Vs 15 Inch Laptop Comparison: Which Screen Size Is Best?

One of the first things people consider when buying a laptop is its size, especially since there’s only a limited variation.

If you’ve already eliminated several options and are down to a 13-inch vs. 15-inch laptop, this can be a tough decision.

Both sizes can offer high-end specs that can cater to every type of computing needs. So how can you select which one is perfect for your needs?  

We’re here to help! In this article, we will discuss the difference between a 13 vs. 15-inch laptop, what makes them a suitable choice, and which of them is perfect for specific tasks so you can make an informed decision.  

If portability is your number one priority in a laptop, 13-inch laptops are surely an ideal choice. These laptops are lightweight and compact, perfect for traveling.

In addition, it also comes in a wide variety of components, allowing you to choose the perfect one for your needs.

However, even with advanced technologies, it’s still rare to see affordable 13-inch laptops with excellent GPU.

This means that you might have to shed out cash if you wish to have a portable laptop with a great display. 

laptop on white table

At the same time, many brands offer this laptop size. So, if you already prefer to buy a particular brand, you’re sure to see this size in the selection.

Some people think that thinner and smaller laptops are less powerful than bigger ones.

While this can still be true, you can now see many 13-inch laptops that have powerful processors and bigger storage.

They can even take on powerful programs that were once only used by computers.  

Pros & Cons  

Benefits 
  • Lightweight 
  • Portable 
  • Available in various hardware and specs 
  • Perfect for travels 
Drawbacks 
  • Limited options with dedicated GPU 
  • Screen may be too small 

15-Inch Laptops (Why Is It A Good Size?

If you’ve been researching laptops for quite some time now, you may have noticed that 15-inch ones are ubiquitous.

Apart from that, it is also the size that has the most variety when it comes to specs, brand, design, and more.

But why is it the most common portable computer size available? What makes this a good laptop size?  

macbook pro

15-inch laptops are the perfect combination of performance and portability.

While they’re not as lightweight as 13-inch laptops, they’re still compact compared to desktop computers.

At the same time, they have better performance than smaller-sized laptops, which can often compete with PCs.

Some variants can even handle powerful computing needs that usually only desktop computers can.  

They come at different prices, so even if you’re on a budget, you’ll surely get a powerful laptop to cover all your tasks.

Lastly, the screen isn’t too big or too small, which won’t strain your eyes even if used for extended periods.  

Pros & Cons  

Benefits 
  • Easy to find 
  • Some have powerful specs 
  • Come at different prices 
  • Adequate screen space 
Drawbacks 
  • Can be too bulky 

13 Inch Vs. 15 Inch Laptop: Which Is Better For You? 

Portability & Ease To Carry 

The most common reason people choose laptops over desktops is portability. You can easily travel with a laptop, allowing you to have more use of your computer.

Both 13-inch and 15-inch laptops are portable and easy to carry.

However, some people may find the 15-inch laptops challenging to carry because they are a bit bulkier and require you to have a laptop bag to transport them around.

You can put it in a backpack, but you need something bigger so it can fit.  

In addition, 15-inch laptops are often heavier than 13-inch and usually weigh around 5 pounds or more.

The additional weight may be too much for some people, especially since you also need to carry the charging brick and other accessories you might need for your computer.  

But with 13-inch laptops, this wouldn’t be a problem. They have smaller screens and usually weigh around 2 pounds or more.

They’re lightweight and compact, making them easier to carry around. That’s why many people who travel choose to have this laptop size because of its portability.

So, if that’s high on your list, a 13-inch laptop is definitely for you.  

Price 

Apart from size, one crucial factor that can affect how you choose your computer is the price. Both 13-inch and 15-inch laptops have affordable and expensive models.

The size doesn't have much impact on their price tag; instead, the specs and components dictate their prices.

But if you're going to compare the price of 13-inch and 15-inch laptops with the same specs, you might find that the 13-inch ones are more affordable than 15-inch laptops.

So, if you’re tight on budget and need something cheap, a 13-inch budget laptop is an ideal choice.  

Specifications 

To understand how these two laptop sizes compare when it comes to specs, let’s break it down into different categories:  

  • CPU & GPU  
    When it comes to processors and graphics cards, both 13-inch and 15-inch laptops offer a variety of choices.

    For CPUs, you can find better processors on 15-inch laptops because their size allows them to house more powerful hardware, unlike 13-inch laptops that have limited hardware space.

    Although some 13-inch laptops have Intel i7 processors or Ryzen 7, they come with a hefty price tag that many people will find expensive.

    So, if you’re after a good processor, it’s best to stick with 15-inch laptops because of the choices available.   

    On the other hand, 13-inch laptops don't have many options for graphics cards. Unlike other 15-inch laptops that come with dedicated GPUs, it's challenging to find a 13-inch computer with a dedicated graphics card.

    If you do find one, it will cost you a fortune which can break your bank if you don’t have the budget. If you want good graphics, you better choose 15-inch laptops instead.  
  • Storage  
    Storage is also a crucial component of a laptop. While it’s easy to get external hard drives, your laptop’s internal drive can dictate how fast your system will boot up.

    Generally, SSDs are faster than HDDs, so it’s best to look for computers with this type of storage. 15-inch laptops often offer two types of storage in one device for better functionality.

    This means that you can get both SSD and HDD on one computer.  13-inch laptops, on the other hand, come in either SSD or HDD. HDD drives often have more storage, usually around 512 GB to 1 TB.

    However, if you choose HDD storage, you might find your startup slower. 13-inch laptops with SSDs often have smaller storage, usually around 128 GB to 512 GB, but they can give you faster startup.  

    If you value storage space, better choose a laptop with both SSD and HDD for an optimal experience.
  • Battery Life  
    One common misconception about laptops is that the smaller they are, the shorter their battery life. That is usually not the case. In some situations, smaller laptops, like 13-inch ones, have longer battery life than bigger ones, such as 15-inch laptops.

    This is because bigger laptops require more power since they have larger screens and more components. So even if they have bigger batteries, they consume more energy than smaller laptops.  

For Gaming 

The kind of laptop perfect for gaming depends on what titles you play.

If you play demanding games that require a powerful processor and GPU, a 15-inch laptop is a better choice.

In addition, many gaming laptops come in this size, so you know that they are made specifically for this type of task.

However, if you’re just a casual gamer who only plays games that don’t use many resources, a 13-inch computer can be ideal.  

For Programming 

Unlike gaming, programming doesn’t require powerful specs. You need a computer that’s comfortable enough to code and can run them.

Depending on how you work, whether you travel a lot or stay at home, both 13-inch and 15-inch laptops are great choices.

They allow you to use different text editors and run various programs you need for programming.  

For Video & Photo Editing 

When it comes to video and photo editing, you need a powerful computer to run your programs and have a good display.

While there are 13-inch laptops that can run editing programs without problems, many editors think that a 13-inch screen is too small to see all the essential details they need.

This is why many prefer using a bigger laptop like 15-inch ones.

However, it still is a personal preference, and if you’re a digital nomad, it’s best to stick with something more portable and lightweight.  

For Office Work 

Both 13-inch laptops and 15-inch laptops are good choices for office work, especially if you don’t run demanding programs.

The only thing you need to consider is if you bring your laptop with you at home or whenever you go out for meetings.

If this is the case, it’s best to get something that’s compact and easy to carry, like a 13-inch laptop.

But, if you’re only using it in your office, you might want something with a bigger screen for a more comfortable working experience.  

people working on laptops

For School 

If you need a laptop for school, you can never go wrong with these two laptop sizes.

But before you choose, you need to ask yourself what kind of schoolwork you will be using it for.

If you’re mainly doing research papers and typing notes, a 13-inch laptop is better since it’s more lightweight and portable.

But if you’re studying designing and using heavy programs like AutoCAD, you might want to look at something more powerful and bigger such as 15-inch laptops.  


13 Vs 15 Inch Laptop FAQs 

Should I get a 13 or 15-inch MacBook Pro? 

If the display isn’t your priority, a 13-inch MacBook Pro is perfect for you. However, if you need a better display, go for a 15-inch MacBook Pro.  

What is the actual size of a 15-inch laptop? 

The exact size of a 15-inch laptop is 15.6 inches.  

Is a 15-inch gaming laptop too small? 

It depends on what kind of gaming you do, but some users think a 15-inch gaming laptop is too small.

If you want a bigger screen, you can consider getting an external monitor instead.  


Conclusion

If you’re torn between a 13-inch laptop versus a 15-inch laptop, the best way to decide is to list all the things you need from a computer.

Once you have everything, you can now choose according to what specific task you want it to carry out. Are you an editor or designer? Go for a bigger screen.

Do you travel a lot with your laptop? Choose a more portable computer. Hopefully, our guide will help you decide the best one for your needs.