For as long as we can remember, Dell has been a leader in home computing like no other. Whereas Apple has become known for overpriced specs compared to the competition, Dell has made itself known as the competition Macs should be afraid of. That sentiment holds true nowhere else more than it does in the laptop space.
Dell laptops have, in our experience, torn down the barrier between you and a powerful on-the-go PC. In fact, its flagship laptop – the XPS 13 – has qualified for our best-in-class award three years in a row, making it the best laptop to date across all categories. In doing so, it’s paved the way for other Intel-based clamshells to become more affordable along the way.
However, despite the best Dell laptop being, indisputably, the XPS 13, there are others out there worth your consideration. Especially if you’re on a budget that’s lower or higher than what the best Dell laptop facilitates, you’ll want to take a look at our alternative selections just to be sure.
Without a doubt, you can guarantee that we’ve tested every Dell notebook we could before recommending it here. That being the case, take a look around and find which of the best Dell laptops suits your work (or play) needs.
As fickle as we may be about its unconventional webcam placement, the Dell XPS 13 remains our favorite and, dare we say it, the best Dell laptop you can buy. The keyboard and trackpad might be exactly the same as they were in years prior, but we admittedly prefer it that way. It’s as comfortable as it is powerful and stylish. The high performance comes from the use of 8th-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors (sorry, no i3 this time) and the dashing looks derive mainly from its use of an Alpine White color that’s been woven into the Rose Gold finish you once knew. It’s also more versatile than flagships from other brands as a result of its use of USB-C ports in addition to the classic microSD card reader we’ve praised it for in the past.
Read the full review: Dell XPS 13
While the XPS 13 is focused on power in a premium shell, the Dell Chromebook 3180 is all about value. Reinforced by a 180-degree hinge, rubberized design and a sealed keyboard in addition to a forceful typing experience, this Chromebook is a finely portable package. Not only well geared for school and work, the Dell Chromebook 3180 even packs a pair of loud stereo speakers for listening to tunes or watching videos. Don’t worry about banging it up, either, as this device remains the most rugged Dell laptop on our list.
Read the review of its predecessor: Dell Chromebook 11
If you’re looking to game with Dell, this is the first place to look. Unlike most laptops of its size, the Alienware 13 R3 employs a hinge-forward design. By placing the heat sinks behind the display, the frame is allowed to be thinner than an inch. Unfortunately, this means you’ll struggle to find many 13-inch notebook bags that will actually suit this gaming laptop. While you may be drawn in by the included full-size Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060, it’s the OLED touch display that caught our attention – the first of its kind on a gaming laptop.
Read the full review: Alienware 13 R3
If you want more versatility out of your laptop than even the XPS 13 can provide, this is where to start looking. For low-touch, everyday work tasks, the kind of thing you might do on the train to work, the Inspiron is rather delightful. The touchscreen that flips 360 degrees into a tablet makes for a sublime device to curl up in bed and zone out to with an ebook or comic. What we mean to say is, the Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1 is a fine work laptop on the streets, and a fun tablet in the sheets.
Read the full review of its predecessor: Dell Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1
If the Alienware 13 is simply too much for you, the Dell Inspiron 15 Gaming may be a breath of fresh air. In dropping the Alienware moniker, Dell has produced a gaming laptop that’s just as powerful for for a fraction of the price, thanks to a slightly less premium build. The discrete graphics are as strong as the Alienware 13 for far less scratch. Plus with a battery life recorded at 7 hours and 38 minutes, it’s unparalleled in longevity.
Read the full review of its predecessor: Dell Inspiron 15 Gaming
If you want the look and power of the XPS 13 at the top of this list, but also a bigger screen with even more graphics oomph, the Dell XPS 15 could be the best Dell laptop for you. Equipped with the same InfinityEdge technology, the screen extends right to the edges of the lid, which means it's among the smallest possible 15-inch laptops in 2017. The highest-end model has a 4K, color-accurate touch display that is more than ideal for graphic design. Better yet, gaming performance is OK – just play at either a lower sharpness or on mid-range settings.
Read the full review: Dell XPS 15
- These are the best cheap Dell laptop deals we could find