Best Overall: Dell XPS 13 (9370)

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It's pretty well known by this point how much we love the Dell XPS line, and the updated XPS 13 9370 model (starting at about $1,000) makes things smaller and more powerful. The 13.3-inch display has thinner bezels and is available in 1080p or 4K touch, eighth-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors (CPU) bring four cores of power, and the smaller body is available in a white and gold color combination along with the original carbon fiber version. Toss in a battery that still lasts a workday and you have one slick little device.

Bottom line: For the best Dell laptop there is, check out the updated Dell XPS 13 9370.

One more thing: Have a look at my review for way more information about the XPS 13 9370.

Why the Dell XPS 13 9370 is the best

The Dell XPS 13 9370 is an all-around fantastic laptop, but the things that really sets it apart from others are its body design and display. In order to fit a 13.3-inch touch display into the undersized chassis, Dell removed nearly all of the bezel — the screen practically stretches from edge to edge. It's a beautiful display to look at, especially with the 4K configuration.

The XPS 13 is now 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 now an IR camera for Windows Hello located below the display.

All models come with either an eighth-generation Intel Core i5-8250U or Core i7-8550U CPU with 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 on the 4K configuration. As expected, you can get up to 16GB of DDR3 RAM and a 1TB PCIe solid-state drive (SSD).

Configurations of the Dell XPS 13 9370 start at about $1,000. Don't forget to have a look at our selection of the best Dell laptop deals available now.

Best Budget: Dell Inspiron 11 3000 2-in-1

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The Inspiron 11 3000 2-in-1 PC (starting at about $230) is a great little package despite the low price you'll pay. It comes with up to a seventh-generation Intel Core m3-7Y30 CPU with a 2.60GHz clock speed, 4GB of DDR3L RAM, and a 1TB hard-disk drive (HDD). The display sits at 11.6 inches with a 1,366 x 768 resolution, and it has full-touch functionality to work with the convertible design — use the laptop in tent, stand, tablet, or standard notebook modes.

Bottom line: If you're a fan of Dell laptops but you don't want to pay top dollar, the Inspiron 11 3000 2-in-1 is your go-to choice.

One more thing: These laptops are available in a few different color options to fit your style.

Best Gaming: Dell Alienware 15

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When it comes to gaming laptops from Dell, you can't look anywhere other than Alienware. Anything you play will look downright gorgeous on the 15.6-inch, 4K display, and the combination of up to an NVIDIA GTX 1080 graphics card (GPU) with 8GB of GDDR5 VRAM and up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM will be able to easily handle any game you throw at it. You're getting a beastly Core i7-7820HK CPU that can be overclocked up to 4.4GHz, as well as a 1TB PCIe SSD for fast Windows 10 boots and a 1TB HDD for all your games. These laptops start at about $1,450.

Bottom line: If you're looking for a Dell laptop that will be used for gaming, you won't be disappointed with the Alienware 15.

One more thing: Whether Rift, Vive, or Windows Mixed Reality, this laptop can handle it.

Best Business: Dell Latitude 7280

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Everything about the Latitude 7280 (starting at about $1,050) says business, and it's clear that Dell has Lenovo and HP in its sights when it comes to laptops for the professional-minded. The 12.5-inch, non-touch display is available in 1080p and 768p. It's not as high-quality as the InfinityEdge found on the XPS line, but it gets the job done and is well-suited for its purpose.

Inside is up to an Intel Core i7-7600U processor, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 1TB PCIe SSD, and there's a built-in fingerprint reader compatible with Windows Hello. You can also upgrade to an IR camera if you'd rather use facial recognition. Toss in plenty of ports, an outstanding battery, and a mobile SIM feature, and you have an almost-perfect business partner.

Bottom line: The Latitude 7280 is tops when it comes to business laptops from Dell.

One more thing: Check out our review for more information on what makes the Latitude 7280 great. Keep in mind Dell has updated the line to the Latitude 7290 (featuring eighth-gen Intel CPUs), though we've yet to have a chance to review it.

Best for Photography: Dell XPS 15

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Photographers need to see what they're working with. In that case, the gorgeous 4K display on the Dell XPS 15 (starting at about $1,000) just makes sense. The display is 15.6 inches and has full touch functionality for those of you who like to be hands-on. A seventh-generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ quad-core processor with up to a 3.8GHz clock speed and 32GB of DDR4 RAM is more than enough power to handle the software needed to work with high-res images, and an NVIDIA GTX 1050 with 4GB of GDDR5 VRAM powers the beautiful 4K display. A handful of ports — including HDMI, USB 3.0, and Thunderbolt 3 — round out this powerful laptop.

Bottom line: For a Dell laptop with a beautiful 4K display — crucial for photography — go with the Dell XPS 15.

One more thing: A 2-in-1 version of the XPS 15 (9575) was announced at CES 2018. Keep an eye out for its expected release sometime in spring 2018.

Best Workstation: Dell Precision 5520

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If the Precision 5520 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. Bu inside is where the difference can be found. Available with up to an Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6 CPU with up to a 4.0GHz clock speed, 32GB of DDR4 RAM, and an NVIDIA Quadro M1200 GPU with 4GB of GDDR5 VRAM, it's clear that this laptop performs.

While these internal changes don't really benefit a casual user, mobile professionals, architects, and video editors will notice the upgraded performance immediately. With plenty of ports, including HDMI, USB 3.0, and Thunderbolt 3, this laptop should be all you need to finish your project. Expect to pay about $1,400 for a base model.

Bottom line: For an incredibly powerful laptop that resembles Dell's XPS line, have a look at the Precision 5520.

One more thing: To get a better idea of what the Precision 5520 is all about, check out our full review.

Best 2-in-1: Dell Latitude 5285

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Designed to take on the Surface Pro, the Latitude 5285 (starting at about $900) is geared more toward an enterprise setting. Grab up to a seventh-generation Intel Core i7-7600U vPro CPU for blazing performance and extra security features, as well as 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. There are plenty of mobile broadband configuration options available, plus you can opt for a fingerprint reader or an IR camera, both compatible with Windows Hello.

The Latitude 5285 borrows the same kickstand and detachable keyboard design as the Surface Pro, plus it is compatible with the Dell Active Pen. For anyone looking to the future, it has two USB-C 3.1 ports, plus there's a USB-A 3.0 port for your legacy devices.

Bottom line: When it comes to 2-in-1 laptops, especially for the business-oriented, the Latitude 5285 is a formidable device.

One more thing: Check out our full review for more information about this PC. Keep in mind that Dell has refreshed this lineup (Latitude 5290), though we've yet to get our hands on one.

Best Convertible: Dell XPS 13 2-in-1

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The XPS 13 2-in-1 (starting at about $1,000) takes a lot of what we love from the regular XPS 13 and gives it hinges that allow it to convert into tablet, tent, and stand modes. Get inside up to an Intel Core i7-7Y75 CPU, 16GB of DDR3 RAM, and a 1TB PCIe SSD. The touch display has a beautiful 3,200 x 1,800 resolution and is compatible with Dell's Active Pen.

Bottom line: The XPS 13 2-in-1 is the best all-around Dell convertible laptop.

One more thing: Need help deciding whether a convertible laptop is for you? Check out our comparison between the regular XPS 13 and the XPS 13 2-in-1.

Conclusion

If you love Dell but don't want to shell out big money, go with the Inspiron 11 3000 2-in-1. If you plan on using your laptop mostly for gaming, the Alienware 15 is your best choice. For the business-oriented out there, you can't go wrong with the Latitude 7280 or the 2-in-1 Latitude 5285. Want a convertible? The XPS 13 2-in-1 should be your first choice. Photographers will love the 4K screen on the XPS 15, and professionals will love the Precision 5520 workstation. But the best Dell laptop overall is the updated Dell XPS 13 9370.

Best Overall: Dell XPS 13 (9370)

See at Dell

It's pretty well known by this point how much we love the Dell XPS line, and the updated XPS 13 9370 model (starting at about $1,000) makes things smaller and more powerful. The 13.3-inch display has thinner bezels and is available in 1080p or 4K touch, eighth-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors (CPU) bring four cores of power, and the smaller body is available in a white and gold color combination along with the original carbon fiber version. Toss in a battery that still lasts a workday and you have one slick little device.

Bottom line: For the best Dell laptop there is, check out the updated Dell XPS 13 9370.

One more thing: Have a look at my review for way more information about the XPS 13 9370.

Updated March 22, 2018: This article has been updated to ensure you're still getting the best Dell laptops possible.