What is the best Dell laptop?
Dell has decided to cause an upcoming seismic shakeup to any best Dell laptop lineups by announcing a refresh of almost all its premium laptops across productivity and gaming.
While the lineup is absent of Dell’s star of the show, the recently updated XPS 13, the new lineup does look stellar. The XPS 15 brings much of which is good about its smaller counterpart to a slightly larger model with improved speakers. The reintroduction of XPS 17 makes gaming viable on an XPS, while maintaining its style. While the Alienware and Dell Gaming updates bring the best of what Intel, Nvidia and AMD have to offer gamers into a range of impressive shapes and sizes.
We’ll have to wait to get our hands on this new range of exciting machines before we can jazz up this best list but, until then, read on for our pick of the very best Dell laptops you can get currently, decided based on our thorough and impartial reviews process.
- Best Dell ultrabook: Dell XPS 13 2020
- Best Dell 2-in-1: Dell XPS 13 2-in-1
- Best Dell gaming laptop: Alienware m17
- Best Dell Chromebook: Dell Inspiron Chromebook 14 7000 2-in-1
- Best budget Dell gaming laptop: Dell G3 15 (2018)
Related: Best Laptop Deals
1. Dell XPS 13 2020
An all-star all-rounder ultrabook
- Ideal 16:10 InfinityEdge display
- Comfortable and clicky keyboard
- Remarkably thin and compact
- Productivity performance perfection
- Short on ports
- Keyboard can get a tad warm
For many, the Dell XPS 13 has sat atop the ultrabook tree for many years but competition has begun to heat up. Thankfully, Dell seems to have taken this as a challenge and, with the 2020 model, has refined the quality it already possessed.
The Dell ultrabook offers premium consistency across the board – from a remarkably compact body and gorgeous InfinityEdge display to a delightful keyboard and surprisingly enjoyable speakers.
While the main theme of the Dell XPS 13 2020 is honing the devices best features, the new 16:10 InfinityEdge display definitely stands out as the best upgrade. Dell has trimmed down the bezels to a remarkable degree, while still getting a webcam in at the top, and this makes the 16:10 InfinityEdge display feel like a wonderful anomaly. You’ll really be stunned by how much screen Dell has managed to fit into this 13-inch form-factor.
The middle of the new Dell XPS 13 keyboard can get a little bit warm but it isn’t something you’ll notice all that often. Another downside is ports, you’ll be living the dongle life if you are someone who is often using USB devices and the like – with just two USB-C ports, a headphone jack and a microSD card reader.
- Read our full Dell XPS 13 2020 review
2. Dell XPS 13 2-in-1
One of the best 2-in-1 laptops you can buy
- Gorgeous display and design
- Small, lightweight form
- Integrated graphics allow for casual gaming
- Lack of USB-A ports
- Gaming performance rarely exceeds 30fps
The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2019) takes everything from the regular XPS 13 and adds another dimension to an already stunning device. Alongside its ability to transform from being a faux-tablet or media player, the 2019 model comes with the latest Ice Lake chip – giving it the best consumer mobile processor Intel has on offer.
Despite the Dell XPS 2-in-1 being able to handle almost any productivity workload you throw at it, Dell has managed to keep it remarkably small and lightweight – making it super easy to chuck in your bag and get stuff done anywhere.
A little nitpick we had with the device was the lack of USB-A ports but Dell just seems to be following a largely industry-wide trend here.
Our review model came with the 4K display and we were blown away by its quality. You won’t be disappointed watching YouTube or Netflix on this – you can even get the odd game in due to the Intel’s 10th Gen integrated graphics.
- Read our full Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 review
3. Alienware m17
A premium gaming laptop that deserves top marks
- Very fast in all tests
- Attractive, sturdy design
- A good screen and great speakers
- Excellent keyboard
- Rivals slightly quicker in games
- Sometimes pricier than competitors
- Mediocre screen contrast
We can’t mention Dell without touching on its gaming offshoot and the phenomenal Alienware m17. Gaming laptops can often be unwieldy and unpleasant looking things but the m17 is a stylish looking device that’s surprisingly light.
While you’ll be impressed by its looks, you’ll have come for its gaming prowess. The Alienware m17 is an excellent performer, offering a range of graphical and processor options to suit your needs. However, a new version of the m17 (the m17 R3) was announced alongside the new Alienware m15 R3, so be aware that a model with updated hardware is on the way.
Alienware devices do often come at a premium and, as such, the m17 does have cheaper and better performing rivals – however, few match its combination of performance and quality design.
Alienware isn’t a company to fall behind and, when RTX graphics cards emerged, the company was swift to add the ray-tracing capable cards to the raft of options available for the m17.
- Read our full Alienware m17 review
4. Dell Inspiron Chromebook 14 7000 2-in-1
A Chromebook with the looks of an ultrabook
- Great build quality
- Good display
- Excellent battery
- Nice, eye-catching design
- Chrome OS app support is still limited
- Speakers are not optimally positioned
Dell was on the Chromebook train long before the recent trend of premium Chrome OS devices from Google and Samsung came along and one of its best is the Dell Inspiron Chromebook 14 7000 2-in-1.
Despite the new wave of premium Chromebooks, many think of the devices as ugly and rugged slabs made for surviving belligerent children. However, Chromebooks have long been grown up and Dell’s offering perfectly toes the line with this well-built machine.
There aren’t a whole lot of negatives to a device this competitively priced – especially if you know what you are getting with Chrome OS – however, it’s hard to ignore the limitations that Google’s operating system still has.
The Dell Inspiron Chromebook 14 7000 2-in-1 looks great and offers all the benefits of a Chrome OS device – speedy and simplistic performance with cracking battery life.
- Read our full Dell Inspiron Chromebook 14 7000 2-in-1 review
5. Dell G3 15 (2018)
The best Dell laptop for a modest budget
- Astonishing performance considering the price
- Can run almost every PC game in Full HD
- Never gets too hot or loud
- Long-lasting battery life
- Sub-par display
- Dated design
- No Chroma keyboard option
While Alienware offers top-spec gaming performance for Dell fans, the company’s own range of laptops provides gaming options at a more wallet-friendly price point – enter the Dell G3 15 (2018). However, it must be noted that the new Dell G3 for 2020 was just announced, adding the latest hardware from Nvidia and Intel, so when that comes around it will likely well surpass this 2018 model in terms of performance.
This device is a great value offering capable of Full HD gaming at affordable prices. The Dell G3 15 deals with its workloads impressively, rarely getting hot or making noise to wake up the whole house.
Impressive battery life is a big feature of this laptop. Gaming laptops are often battery destroyers but the Dell G3 15 2018 is long-lasting – allowing for gaming on the go.
Those who aren’t a fan of traditional gaming laptop design will be happy with this laptop’s design. The G3 15 has the sleek look of a (slightly thicker) ultrabook rather than an angular gaming machine with a few too many bells and whistles.
- Read our full Dell G3 15 (2018) review