It can be hard to choose which laptop to buy as it is, especially during the craze of Black Friday, which explains the fierce brand loyalty behind most laptop makers. Once you’ve found the brand you like – e.g. the best Dell laptops – why go anywhere else?
Few laptop makers make good on this brand loyalty as well as Dell – we all remember “Dude, you’re getting a Dell,” right? Well, Dell has managed to back up that marketing with some of the most highly recommended laptops to date.
For instance, the Dell XPS 13 is currently our best laptop of the year, earning our Best in Class award two years running.
If you’ve settled on a Dell, then you’re probably wondering what the best Dell laptop is for your budget. Here, we’ve gathered together the best Dell laptops we’ve tested to make your purchase decision easier.
But if you don’t want to buy a Dell, check our best laptops buying guide to point you in the right direction. Now, let’s dig into the top Dell laptops of 2017.
1. Dell XPS 13 (2017)
The absolute best Dell laptop
CPU: Intel Core i3 – i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 – Iris Plus Graphics 640 | RAM: 4GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – QHD+ (3,200 x 1,800) | Storage: 128GB – 1TB SSD
Faster than ever
Frustrating webcam position
Thin, feathery and powerful, Dell’s 2017 flagship XPS 13 is the top Dell laptop – and has been TechRadar’s best laptop overall for two years running. Come for the nearly bezel-free ‘Infinity Edge’ display (a 13.3-inch screen inside an 11-inch frame), stay for the powerful Intel Kaby Lake processors. Better yet, the port selection is equally on point. Compared to Apple’s sole USB-C approach, Dell’s flagship notebook impresses with USB-C as well as USB 3.0 along with the elusive SD card slot. To top it all off, you also get the choice of a QHD+ display or a multi-touch screen as well as a ton of options for storage and memory. Or, you can save on cash and opt for more conservative specs.
Read the full review: Dell XPS 13
2. Dell Chromebook 3180
Dell’s rugged Chromebook is among the best
CPU: Intel Celeron N3060 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics | RAM: 2GB – 4GB | Screen: 11.6-inch HD (1,366 x 768) display (touch optional) | Storage: 16GB – 32GB SSD
Long battery life
Touchscreen not standard
While the XPS 13 is focused on power in a premium shell, the Dell Chromebook 3180 is all about value. Reinforced by a 180-degree hinge, rubberized design and a sealed keyboard in addition to a forceful typing experience, this Chromebook is a finely portable package. Not only well geared for school and work, the Dell Chromebook 3180 even packs a pair of loud stereo speakers for listening to tunes or watching videos. Don’t worry about banging it up, either, as this device remains the most rugged Dell laptop on our list.
Read the review of its predecessor: Dell Chromebook 11
3. Alienware 13 R3
Behold the first-ever OLED gaming laptop
CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 – 1060 | RAM: 8GB – 32GB DDR4 | Screen: 13.3-inch HD 1,366 x 768 TN – QHD 2,560 x 1440 OLED touchscreen | Storage: 180GB – 1TB PCIe SSD
Gorgeous OLED screen
Improved hinge-forward design
Short battery life
If you’re looking to game with Dell, this is the first place to look. Unlike most laptops of its size, the Alienware 13 R3 employs a hinge-forward design. By placing the heat sinks behind the display, the frame is allowed to be thinner than an inch. Unfortunately, this means you’ll struggle to find many 13-inch notebook bags that will actually suit this gaming laptop. While you may be drawn in by the included full-size Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060, it’s the OLED touch display that caught our attention – the first of its kind on a gaming laptop.
Read the full review: Alienware 13 R3
4. Dell Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1
A fine little 2-in-1 that gets the job done
CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch, FHD 1,920 x 1,080 IPS TrueLife LED touchscreen | Storage: 256GB – 512GB SSD
Good battery life
Default storage is small
Short on ports
If you want more versatility out of your laptop than even the XPS 13 can provide, this is where to start looking. For low-touch, everyday work tasks, the kind of thing you might do on the train to work, the Inspiron is rather delightful. The touchscreen that flips 360 degrees into a tablet makes for a sublime device to curl up in bed and zone out to with an ebook or comic. What we mean to say is, the Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1 is a fine work laptop on the streets, and a fun tablet in the sheets.
Read the full review of its predecessor: Dell Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1
5. Dell Inspiron 15 Gaming 7000
This gaming laptop won’t leave you broke
CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 | RAM: 8GB – 32GB | Screen: 15.6-inch, FHD 1,920 x 1,080 – UHD 3,840 x 2,160 anti-glare LED backlit | Storage: 256GB SSD – 512GB SSD + 1TB HDD
Stellar battery life
Ports for days
Trackpad is touchy
Screen is lacking
If the Alienware 13 is simply too much for you, the Dell Inspiron 15 Gaming may be a breath of fresh air. In dropping the Alienware moniker, Dell has produced a gaming laptop that’s just as powerful for for a fraction of the price, thanks to a slightly less premium build. The discrete graphics are as strong as the Alienware 13 for far less scratch. Plus with a battery life recorded at 7 hours and 38 minutes, it’s unparalleled in longevity.
Read the full review of its predecessor: Dell Inspiron 15 Gaming
6. Dell XPS 15
The best 15-inch laptop available this year
CPU: Intel Core i3 – i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 630 – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 | RAM: 8GB – 32GB DDR4 | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – 4K UHD (3,840 x 2,160) touchscreen | Storage: 32GB SSD + 500GB HDD – 512GB SSD
Poor webcam position
If you want the look and power of the XPS 13 at the top of this list, but also a bigger screen with even more graphics oomph, the Dell XPS 15 could be the best Dell laptop for you. Equipped with the same InfinityEdge technology, the screen extends right to the edges of the lid, which means it’s among the smallest possible 15-inch laptops in 2017. The highest-end model has a 4K, color-accurate touch display that is more than ideal for graphic design. Better yet, gaming performance is OK – just play at either a lower sharpness or on mid-range settings.
Read the full review: Dell XPS 15