Best overall

Dell XPS 15

The brand-new 2018 XPS 15 from Dell takes everything you know and love about the XPS 13 ultrabook and scales it up to a bigger and much more capable device. Configurable with an Intel 8th-generation quad-core CPU and up to an NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti GPU, you can't go wrong getting one of these for professional work. Rocking a 15.6-inch Full HD or 4K touch display, and up to a 1TB PCIe SSD, you won't be disappointed as a professional. The XPS 15 can handle anything from video and photo editing to developing apps and games to your basic word processing, email, and web browsing — it can do it all, and it starts at $999.

Bottom line: For the best laptop for pros, we recommend the Dell XPS 15.

One more thing: If the 15.6-inch screen is too big for you, Dell offers the same design in the much smaller XPS 13.

Why the Dell XPS 15 is the best laptop for pros

The Dell XPS 15 is a laptop that builds off of everything that was great about the Dell XPS 13, one of the industry's leading ultrabooks. The difference between the XPS 13 and the XPS 15 is simple: with a larger size to work with, you get better specs and more ports.

Starting with the screen, which is offered in two variants. Both at 15.6 inches, you can have either a full HD or 4K touch screen display, excellent for all kinds of professionals. Not only that, but since the XPS 15 builds off the XPS 13, it's rocking that amazing InfinityDisplay with practically zero bezel — it's simply gorgeous and makes the 15.6-inch laptop feel more like a 14-inch one.

On the inside, we're rocking a few options, the best of which is an 8th-generation Intel Core i9 processor, 32GB of DDR4 RAM and a 1TB PCIe SSD. Yes, this thing is a behemoth of a laptop, and will be able to tackle all kinds of professional work. It's even rocking appropriate I/O, including a full-size SD card reader, USB-C and more.

This is the laptop for professionals. We think it's everything a professional needs, all in one package. What's more, it starts relatively cheap, and even the high end models don't cost an unbelievable amount. Options start at just $999.

Best gaming

Razer Blade Pro

We understand that a laptop for professionals doesn't necessarily have to mean all work, no play. The Razer Blade Pro is the best laptop for professionals who game. As its name implies, this is a Razer laptop for professionals.

What we have here is a laptop with a full NVIDIA GTX 1080 graphics card with 8GB of GDDR5 VRAM along with a 4K, 17.3-inch display with NVIDIA G-SYNC tech built right in. Rounding out this incredible gaming laptop's hardware is an overlocked 7th Gen Intel Core i7 Quad-Core processor, 32GB of DDR4 RAM, and two 1TB PCIe solid-state drives.

You're going to have to pay a pretty penny for one of these however, as configurations start at $3999.

Best for photography

Microsoft Surface Book 2 15-inch

Photographers need a high-quality display on a device that can instantly turn into a canvas if they need it to. The Surface Book 2 15-inch delivers on that request, being both a laptop and tablet in one. Rocking a 3240 x 2160 high-quality touchscreen 3:2 display with pen support, and a dedicated GTX 1060 GPU for those who need the extra-horsepower, you can't go wrong getting a Surface Book 2 for photography purposes. Pricing starts at $1199

Best smaller size

Dell XPS 13

Although we think the XPS 15 is the best laptop for professionals, the XPS 13 is nothing to scoff at. If you're a professional starting out, and need an excellent laptop that doesn't break the bank entirely and is smaller, the XPS 15's smaller brother, the XPS 13 is an excellent choice. It also has an optional fingerprint reader for Windows Hello, which is a bonus.

With several configurations offering 8th-generation Intel Core i5 or Intel Core i7 processors, up to 16GB RAM and 1TB PCIe SSD, you simply can't go wrong with the XPS 13. You should be able to get most tasks done with those specifications.

What's more, you've got the options of either a full HD or 4K touchscreen with an InfinityEdge display, making the XPS 13 a super-portable 13 inch device. This is an excellent choice if you work on the go. Pricing starts at $99.

Conclusion

Looking for a beast of a gaming laptop and don't mind spending top dollar? The Razer Blade Pro should be your first choice. If you're looking for a laptop that can get professional work done on a budget, the XPS 13 is a great choice. Photographers will love the Surface Book 2 for its 4K touch display with pen support and a variety of different models, but for the best overall laptop for professionals, have a look at the Dell XPS 15.

Best overall

Dell XPS 15

The brand-new 2018 XPS 15 from Dell takes everything you know and love about the XPS 13 ultrabook and scales it up to a bigger and much more capable device. Configurable with an Intel 8th-generation quad-core CPU and up to an NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti GPU, you can't go wrong getting one of these for professional work. Rocking a 15.6-inch Full HD or 4K touch display, and up to a 1TB PCIe SSD, you won't be disappointed as a professional. The XPS 15 can handle anything from video and photo editing to developing apps and games to your basic word processing, email, and web browsing — it can do it all, and it starts at $999.

Bottom line: For the best laptop for pros, we recommend the Dell XPS 15.

One more thing: If the 15.6-inch screen is too big for you, Dell offers the same design in the much smaller XPS 13.

Updated May 25 2018: Updated all offerings with the latest available for 2018.

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