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.
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13-Inch Laptops (Why Should You Buy One?)
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.
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
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?
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 causes less eye straining, while the 13 inch may be too small for some people.
Pros & Cons
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.
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.
To understand how these two laptop sizes compare when it comes to specs, let’s break it down into different categories:
The kind of laptop perfect for gaming depends on what titles you play.
If you play demanding games that require a high processor speed and powerful 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.
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 laptop for photo editing with a bigger 15 inch screen.
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.
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.
Related: Best Lenovo Laptops For Students
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.
Related: 14 Vs 15 & 15.6 Inch Laptops
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.
Related: 15 Vs 17 Inch Laptop Comparison
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.
Andrew White is the founder of TechGearoid, a leading technology review & information website that is designed to help consumers make better decisions when it comes to their IT purchases. As a specialist tech writer (nerd) with over 10 years of experience, he enjoys writing about everything there is to do with modern technology & the newest market innovations. When he isn’t providing value for his readers, he’s usually drinking coffee or at the beach. Andrew lives in Sydney, Australia with his wife and family.