There's a Dell laptop for every kind of user, although there's one we'd recommend above the rest. The Dell XPS 13 (9300) is the company's flagship notebook in the 13-inch segment, sporting the latest components and premium design making it ideal for use working from home due to coronavirus (COVID-19). While not the best value on the market, this Dell laptop will certainly put a smile on your face.
- Best Overall: Dell XPS 13 (9300)
- Portable Gaming: Dell Alienware m15
- Budget-friendly: Dell Inspiron 11 2-in-1 (3195)
- Best for Media Professionals: Dell XPS 15 (7590)
- Business Laptop: Dell Latitude 2-in-1 (7400)
- Best Convertible: Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (7390)
- Ultimate Performance: Dell Precision 15 (5530)
Best Overall: Dell XPS 13 (9300)
The Dell XPS 13 9300 is an all-around fantastic laptop, but the things that really set it apart are its body design and display. To fit a 13.3-inch touch display into the undersized chassis, Dell removed nearly all of the bezel — the 16:10 aspect ratio screen practically stretches from edge to edge. It's a beautiful display to look at, especially with the 4K configuration.
The XPS 13 is available in gold and white colors, but you can still get the classic dark look with the carbon fiber and silver combination. The new keyboard has the same key travel and backlight as before, but it's using a new mechanism beneath, no doubt to help to fit into the smaller body. You're still looking at a quality Precision touchpad that's sized in proportion to the body, and there's an IR camera for Windows Hello located above the display — yes, Dell finally moved it back.
All models come with up to an Intel Core i7-1065G7 CPU with up to four cores and a 15W thermal design point (TDP), offering extra power without sucking up more battery life. Although the battery is now smaller, improved thermals and efficient hardware should keep it running through a workday, even when opting for the 4K configuration. As expected, you can get up to 16GB of LPDDR4 RAM and a 512TB PCIe solid-state drive (SSD).
- Alpine-white and gold chassis is gorgeous
- Strong performance and good battery life
- 4K anti-glare display
- Windows Hello support
- Full Thunderbolt 3 USB C ports
The best Dell laptop there is
It's well known by this point how much we love the Dell XPS line, and the updated XPS 13 7390 has 10th Gen Intel performance.
Portable Gaming: Dell Alienware m15
When it comes to gaming laptops from Dell, you can look beyond the Alienware brand, which Dell owns, but you'll be doing a disservice. Not only do they look great with a sleek design, but they rock all the latest tech from Intel and NVIDIA. Anything you play will look downright gorgeous on the Alienware m15's 15.6-inch, 4K display, and the combination of up to an NVIDIA GTX 2080 GPU with 8GB of GDDR5 VRAM and up to 16GB of DDR4 RAM will be able to handle most games you throw at it.
It's not the most powerful laptop Dell sells but does offer ample performance for your money. The design, battery life, and available ports are also great. The only drawback is configuring the m15 with all the bells and whistles, which can bump the price up considerably. Still, if you want to game on your laptop, you'll need to be prepared to part with some serious cash.
- Amazing portable performance
- Thin and light design
- Dedicated GPU for gaming
- Strong battery life
- Can get real expensive
- Not the most potent Dell laptop
Get your game on with Alienware
Being able to configure a laptop with an NVIDIA GTX 2080 GPU most certainly requires magic, but the result is something exceptional.
Budget-friendly: Dell Inspiron 11 2-in-1 (3195)
When your available budget doesn't cover the cost of more expensive options from Dell, the Inspiron 11 3000 2-in-1 PC is a great little package despite the low price you'll pay. It comes with up to an AMD A9-9420e CPU, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 500GB hard-disk drive (HDD). The display sits at 11.6 inches with a 1366x768 resolution, and it has full touch functionality to work with the convertible design — you can use the laptop in tent, stand, tablet, or standard notebook modes. For a bit of extra graphics power, there's also an AMD Radeon R5 graphics chip (GPU).
What this all means is you're getting an affordable laptop that's also a 2-in-1 for you to use in different modes. There's also the dedicated GPU if you can spend a little more, but even then you'll struggle to compete against other Dell laptops with more powerful Intel processors. For the price, however, this is a great deal if you don't plan on doing too much. The only drawbacks here include the device being the performance and a little on the heavy side.
- Great value
- Solid build
- Good battery life
- Sluggish performance
Perfect for saving money
When the budget is at the forefront in your decision making, the Dell Inspiron 11 3000 2-in-1 is a great option.
Best for Media Professionals: Dell XPS 15 (7590)
Dell's refreshed XPS 15 is still the laptop you love, albeit with updated hardware inside. Get up to an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-9980HK CPU, 32GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 1TB PCIe SSD, plus there's now the option to include an NVIDIA GTX 1650 Ti GPU with 4GB of GDDR5 VRAM.
Like with the previous Dell XPS 15 on this list, the webcam is back where it should be — above the display instead of embedded in the keyboard. Even with this move, the laptop still manages to have thin bezels for a sleek look.
Coupled with a 15.6-inch 4K touch display, this laptop is ideal for anyone who regularly works with media. It also still has a wide selection of ports, making it easy to connect your peripherals. There are two battery configurations, but with each, you'll even manage to get a full-days worth of charge (up to 14 hours by our own testing with the highest battery option, although using the 4K display will significantly reduce that number).
- Great performance
- Windows Hello security
- Amazing battery life
- Awesome 4K display
- Gorgeous design
- Can get pricey
Best for Media Professionals
Get more done
The XPS 15 has everything you need to be productive on the go, sporting a larger display than the XPS 13 for more screen real estate.
Business Laptop: Dell Latitude 2-in-1 (7400)
Dell has combined important security and business features ― like ExpressSign-In, being the first commercial laptop with a proximity sensor enabled with Intel Context Sensing Technology ― to deliver one impressive 2-in-1 device. You can get up to an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8665U vPro CPU, 16GB of DDR3 RAM, and an M.2 512GB PCIe NVMe Class 40 SSD for ultimate performance. The 14-inch 1080p display works with an optional $99 Dell dual-protocol pen for inking that can stick to the side using magnets.
Dell could have made the touchpad a little bigger, however, and you'll need to watch out for the protruding power button on the side.
- Excellent low-watt full HD screen.
- Good audio.
- Impressive battery life.
- Premium build quality.
- Slightly heavy.
- No 2K or 4K display options.
Built for the mobile office
Dell's Latitude 7400 offers 2-in-1 functionality with all the added security and business-orientated features you'd expect from a work laptop.
Best Convertible: Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (7390)
The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 is a special laptop, being the first one with Intel's 10th Gen processors. It's a fantastic-looking portable PC, taking what makes the XPS 13 so good and turning it into a convertible. You've got a killer 16:10 display, comfortable maglev keyboard, fantastic display, gorgeous design, and excellent battery life that'll see you through the day.
The only major drawback we could find with the XPS 13 2-in-1 (7390) is competition. Competitors are making even better laptops that rivals that of what Dell achieved with the current generation of XPS 13 laptops. Still, Dell managed to pack in even more performance into the compact chassis, and the end result is one of the best convertible laptops you can buy today.
- Dazzling full HDR anti-glare display
- Excellent audio
- All-day 8-hour battery
- Clean and minimalist design
- Some annoying coil-whine
- The pen is not included
- The maglev keyboard is contentious
Flip and go
You get all the advantages of the great notebook with the additional functionality of a convertible with the XPS 13 2-in-1.
Ultimate Performance: Dell Precision 15 (5530)
If the Precision 5530 and the XPS 15 were next to each other, you'd have a hard time telling them apart. The sleek chassis, the 4K touch display, the comfortable keyboard, and the Precision touchpad are all pretty much identical. But inside is where the difference can be found.
Available with up to an Intel Core i9-8950HK with up to a 2.90GHz clock speed, 32GB of DDR4 RAM, and an NVIDIA Quadro P2000 GPU with 4GB of GDDR5 VRAM, it's clear that this laptop performs. The Dell Precision line is known for being full of powerhouse mobile workstations for business and professional users, and the Precision 15 here is no exception.
There aren't many downsides to this laptop. There's the price, of course, which can get high as you configure with the most powerful specs. There's also the webcam, which isn't in the keyboard but is below the display.
- Amazing performance
- Gorgeous display
- Solid design and build
- Awkward webcam placement
If you need raw power, you'll want to move up to the Precision range of notebooks from Dell.
The Dell XPS 13 (9300) remains the top Dell laptop choice for most people, though there are plenty of other options when it comes to specialized interests. This industry-leading 13-inch notebook is stunning, has more than enough performance, but can get a little pricey.
Dell is one of the leading laptop manufacturers out there for a reason — it has a laptop for just about everybody. If you're looking to get in on this action, but want to save some money, don't forget to have a look at our selection of the best Dell laptop deals available now.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Rich Edmonds is a staff reviewer at Windows Central, which means he tests out more software and hardware than he cares to remember. Joining Mobile Nations in 2010, you can usually find him inside a PC case tinkering around when not at a screen fighting with Grammarly to use British words. Hit him up on Twitter: @RichEdmonds.
Daniel Rubino is the executive editor of Windows Central. He has been covering Microsoft since 2009 back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Surface, HoloLens, Xbox, and future computing visions. Follow him on Twitter: @daniel_rubino.
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