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Best Dell laptop 2022

Dell XPS 13 9310
Dell XPS 13 9310 (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

A huge range of PC products means there's a best Dell laptop for every kind of user, although there's one we'd recommend above the rest. The Dell XPS 13 Plus (9320) is the company's flagship notebook in the 13-inch segment and easily one of the best Windows laptop picks, sporting the latest components and premium design. It's the best Dell laptop available now. There are plenty of other options if it's not quite what you're looking for.

Best overall: Dell XPS 13 Plus (9320)

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

The Dell XPS 13 (9310) is an all-around fantastic laptop and one of the best Windows laptops, but it has been usurped by the newest Dell XPS 13 Plus (9320). You can still find lots of 9310 models for sale — and you'll often find them at a reduced price as stock is blown out to make room for new models — but if you want the best you want the XPS 13 Plus.

There are a number of major changes to the XPS 13 Plus (9320), including a new keyboard deck that stretches from edge to edge. Keycaps are larger, and there are now capacitive function keys above. Below, the touchpad is now hidden beneath a full glass panel. Instead of a real click, you get modern haptic feedback. Audio is better than ever thanks to two extra speakers underneath the keyboard (along with down-firing speakers), and though the keyboard is still 720p, the IR and RGB portions have been separated for better picture quality.

Intel's 12th Gen mobile CPUs come with integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics, up to 32GB of LPDDR5x-5200MHz RAM, and up to a 2TB M.2 PCIe 4.0 solid-state drive (SSD) with fast read and write speeds. This laptop is able to destroy daily productivity work and will handle photo editing or other light specialized work. This is all contained in an undersized aluminum chassis that has had all fat trimmed off. It comes in a frost exterior with an arctic white interior, or a platinum silver exterior with a black interior.

Display options are still essentially the same. You can get FHD+ with or without touch, as well as 3.5K OLED touch or UHD+ touch with VESA DisplayHDR 400. The high-end displays also have Dolby Vision to boost compatible content. The touch displays also have an anti-reflective finish to cut down on glare.

Dell XPS 13 Plus (9320)

Reasons to buy

+
16:10 display options and thin bezel
+
Stunning look and design
+
Edge-to-edge keyboard, haptic touchpad
+
Strong 12th Gen Intel performance, DDR5 RAM, PCIe 4.0 SSD
+
Beautiful display options

Reasons to avoid

-
Webcam improved but still 720p
-
Gets expensive fast

Best gaming: Dell Alienware m15 R7

Source: Dell (Image credit: Source: Dell)

When it comes to gaming laptops from Dell, the Alienware brand is where you want to turn for the absolute best performance and style. Not only do Alienware laptops look great with a sleek design, but they rock all the latest tech from AMD, Intel, and NVIDIA. Anything you play will look downright gorgeous on the Alienware m15's 15.6-inch FHD or QHD displays, with 165Hz, 240Hz, or 360Hz refresh rates and NVIDIA G-Sync.

The display you choose will partly depend on the performance hardware you choose. On the CPU side you can currently get an Intel 12th Gen Intel Core i7-12700H, AMD Ryzen 7 6800H, or AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX, with up to a NVIDIA RTX 3080 Ti Laptop graphics card, 64GB of DDR5-4800MHz RAM, and 4TB M.2 PCIe SSD. There are tons of ports for connecting accessories, and the M series Alienware keyboard options can land you up to Cherry MX switches and per-key lighting.

The Alienware m15 R7 does get expensive fast, but you can still check out the m15 R6 models with older performance hardware. In many cases they're not quite as expensive. But if you want the absolute best, go with the latest m15 R7. Check out more of the best gaming laptops to see how it compares.

Dell Alienware m15 R7

Reasons to buy

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12th Gen Intel or AMD Ryzen 6000 CPUs
+
Up to NVIDIA RTX 3080 Ti Laptop GPU
+
Tons of storage and fast DDR5 RAM
+
Multiple high-end display options
+
Can get per-key RGB mechanical keyboard

Reasons to avoid

-
Can get really expensive
-
Dell G-Series gaming laptops better for the budget

Best budget: Dell Inspiron 15 (3511)

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

When your available budget doesn't cover the cost of more expensive Dell options, the Inspiron 15 3511 laptop is a great little package despite the lower price you'll pay. It comes with up to an 11th Gen Intel Core i7-1165G7, 12GB of DDR4 RAM, and up to a 512GB M.2 PCIe SSD. This high-performance model costs only about $686, but we can go cheaper. If you're just using the laptop for standard productivity work, web browsing, and email, you can no doubt get away with the 11th Gen Intel Core i3-1115G4 CPU, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, and 256GB SSD. This model costs $350 and is on our list of the best budget laptops under $500.

In his Dell Inspiron 15 3511 review, staff writer Sean Endicott noted that the laptop offered plenty of legacy ports and a build quality higher than expected, and that the price was hard to beat.

This all means you're getting an affordable laptop that's more than happy to work through documents, email, and browsing online. For the price, this is a great deal if you don't plan on doing too much.

Dell Inspiron 15 (3511)

Reasons to buy

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High build quality (for the price)
+
Wide range of legacy ports
+
Large 15.6-inch screen
+
Low starting price

Reasons to avoid

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No USB-C port
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Trackpad can feel a bit loose at the corners
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You get what you pay for

Best for creatives: Dell XPS 15 (9520)

Dell Xps 15 9500

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Dell's refreshed XPS 15 9520 is still the laptop we love, albeit with updated hardware inside. Get up to an 12th Gen Intel i9-12900HK CPU, 64GB of DDR5-4800MHz RAM, and a 2TB PCIe SSD, plus there's the option to include an NVIDIA RTX 3050 Ti GPU with 4GB of GDDR6 VRAM. It looks like models ship from the factory with PCIe 3.0 storage, but you can do an upgrade to PCIe 4.0 if you need the extra speed.

It still has a wide selection of ports, including two Thunderbolt 4, USB-C 3.2 (Gen 2), SD card reader, and 3.5mm headphone jack, making it easy to connect all of the very best XPS 15 accessories. The keyboard is comfortable, the touchpad is enormous, and quad speakers with outstanding audio flank the keys.

There are three displays from which to choose. The most basic screen is still quite impressive; it has a 1920x1200 (FHD+) resolution, non-touch panel, and 500 nits brightness. Stepping up into a 3456x2160 (3.5K) resolution lands you touch functionality, OLED, anti-reflective finish, and 400 nits brightness. And finally, the 3840x2400 (UHD+) touch model has up to 500 nits brightness and an anti-reflective finish.

If you love the idea of the XPS 13 but want to add extra performance in the form of Intel's H-series CPUs and NVIDIA dedicated graphics, this is the way to go. Not only is this PC one of our favorite Dell laptops, but it also sits atop our list of the very best 15-inch laptops.

Dell XPS 15 (9520)

Reasons to buy

+
Displays with 16:10 aspect ratio
+
Gorgeous FHD+, 3.5K OLED, and UHD+ screen options
+
Powerful performance from 12th Gen Intel CPUs
+
Top-firing speakers
+
Good keyboard and touchpad

Reasons to avoid

-
Can get pricey

Best business: Dell Latitude 14 (9430)

Source: Dell (Image credit: Source: Dell)

Dell announced the new Latitude 9430 at the end of March, and it's the new best pick if you want a business laptop. Dell calls this laptop "ultra-premium," and the price reflects that. However, it has the features and design to keep up with the best business laptops on the market.

It comes with 12th Gen Intel Core i5-1245U or Core i7-1265U CPUs, it has 16GB of LPDDR5-5200MHz RAM, and you can get up to a 1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe (Class 35) SSD for storage. The laptop comes standard with Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2, but you can also add a 4G LTE and 5G modem to stay connected everywhere.

You can get the Latitude 9430 in notebook or 2-in-1 convertible form depending on your needs. The display is available in FHD+ or QHD+ resolutions, each with a proximity sensor and IR camera installed above for human presence detection. The laptop has plenty of ports, and it should land you excellent battery life.

Dell Latitude 14 (9430)

Reasons to buy

+
Tons of security options
+
Premium build quality
+
12th Gen Intel Core CPUs
+
Can get 2-in-1 or notebook form
+
Good battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Quite expensive

Best performance: Dell Precision 15 5570 workstation

Source: Dell (Image credit: Source: Dell)

If the Precision 5570 and the XPS 15 were next to each other, you'd have a hard time telling them apart. The sleek chassis with top-firing speakers, the display without bezel, the comfortable keyboard, and the Precision touchpad are all pretty much identical. But inside is where the difference can be found. Dell classifies this laptop as a workstation, so you can expect performance at the top level.

The Precision 5570 is available with up to Intel's 12th Gen Core i9-12900H CPU, as well as an NVIDIA RTX A2000 discrete GPU with 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM. These are complemented by up to 64GB of DDR5-4800MHz RAM and up to a 2TB M.2 PCIe 4.0 SSD. You're going to get a lot of power out of this laptop.

There are a couple of display options available. The baseline is an FHD+ screen with 500 nits brightness, 100% sRGB, low blue light, and an IR camera above. Stepping up, you can get UHD+ with HDR 400, touch, 100% AdobeRGB, and an IR camera. Ports include dual Thunderbolt 4, USB-C 3.2 (Gen 2), an SD card reader, and a 3.5mm audio jack. If you need a laptop for design and creation apps, definitely consider this one. There aren't many downsides, though the price climbs quickly.

Dell Precision 15 (5570) workstation

Reasons to buy

+
Workstation-level performance
+
Killer good looks
+
Awesome display options
+
Tons of configurations
+
Excellent typing, pointing, and audio

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

Best 17-inch laptop: Dell XPS 17 (9720)

Dell Xps 17 9700 2020 Hero

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

The Dell XPS 17 turns everything up to 11. The screen is gorgeous and delivers an experience no other laptop can match. It's simply stunning, and if you do photo or video editing or any task where accurate color detail is required, you're going to love it. It's the main reason to buy the XPS 17.

Performance is also exceptional. Dell gives you the 17-inch display size with up to an RTX 3060 discrete laptop GPU to go with it, delivering some serious processing power. With the latest 9720 models you can get up to a 12th Gen Intel Core i9-12900HK CPU, 64GB of dual-channel DDR5 RAM, and a 2TB M.2 PCIe SSD.

Typing, using the giant trackpad, and powerful audio performance are also superb. There are some drawbacks, however. The battery life is a little on the weak side (around 6-8 hours depending on usage). You shouldn't expect a lot more though when using a laptop with a giant 4K display, 14-core processor, and gaming-level GPU. We found it good enough to do productivity work lasting the usual working hours. It's also massive and a little heavy.

Dell XPS 17 (9720)

Reasons to buy

+
17-inch, 16:10 HDR 400 display is gobsmacking delightful
+
Excellent keyboard, trackpad
+
Powerful quad audio
+
12th Gen Intel CPUs and RTX-level graphics
+
Looks fantastic, feels great

Reasons to avoid

-
Heavy and dense
-
Below-average web camera; IR is finicky
-
Expensive

Bottom line

The Dell XPS 13 Plus (9320) 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. There are options for people who want to go up to a 17-inch display, for people who want to get some gaming in, or those who need a productivity machine.

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.

Rich Edmonds is a word conjurer at Windows Central, covering everything related to Windows, gaming, and hardware. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a device chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.