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The 4 Best Dell Laptops of 2024 Reviews

Updated Jun 28, 2024 at 11:56 am
Best Dell Laptops

Dell is an American company founded in 1984 by Michael Dell. They're known for enterprise products and consumer electronics like desktops, laptops, workstations, monitors, and a wide range of computer peripherals. Dell is one of the largest laptop manufacturers and currently offers a wide product lineup; these range from cheap Chromebooks to more recognizable brands like Inspiron, XPS, Latitude, Precision, and Alienware. Their higher-end devices feature exceptional build quality, performance, and unique designs. A common criticism of Dell is its use of proprietary parts, which make repairs and upgrades challenging for the average user.

We've bought and tested over 15 Dell laptops, and below are our recommendations for the top Dell laptops and the best Dell laptops for business use.

Updates

Best Dell Laptops


  1. Best Dell Laptop

    The best Dell laptop we've tested is the Dell XPS 16 (2024). This 16-inch mobile workstation is a premium model offering exceptional build quality and performance. It's available with Intel Meteor Lake CPUs (up to a Core Ultra 9) paired with integrated graphics or an NVIDIA RTX 40-series GPU (up to a 4070), giving you plenty of processing power to tackle general productivity tasks and intensive workloads like programming, video editing, and 3D modeling. You can choose between a 120Hz FHD+ IPS or a 90Hz 4k+ OLED panel; we recommend the latter for color-critical work, as it offers full DCI P3 coverage. You can also configure this laptop with up to 64GB of RAM and 4TB of storage. Although the RAM isn't user-replaceable (ensure you get enough for your workflow up front), the SSD is.

    The overall user experience is hit-and-miss. The design is sleek, but many key features, like the invisible touchpad and edge-to-edge keys, take some time to adjust to. Indeed, as the entire front deck is a single piece of glass, there's no indication of where the touchpad is. Similarly, the keycap design is prone to accidental inputs, and some of the keys are awkwardly sized; for example, the backspace button feels awkwardly small and is next to the power button, so it's easy to accidentally hit the power button and put the laptop to sleep while you adjust. Beyond this, you get decent speakers and an adequate port selection, including three USB-C/Thunderbolt 4 ports (depending on your GPU choice), a microSD card reader, and a 3.5mm combo mic/headphone jack.

    See our review

  2. Best Upper Mid-Range Dell Laptop

    If you don't need the power of a mobile workstation but still want something premium, get the Dell XPS 13 (2024). This 13-inch ultraportable features the same great build quality and futuristic design language as its bigger sibling, the Dell XPS 16 (2024). However, it's better suited to general productivity and everyday tasks, making it one of the best Dell laptops for business use. It's available with Intel Core Ultra 5 or 7 CPUs and Intel Arc integrated graphics, which are great options for web browsing, video playback, spreadsheets, and word processing. There are FHD+ non-touch and QHD+ touchscreen IPS panels, as well as a 2.8k OLED touchscreen panel to choose from; the IPS panels get brighter and have a higher refresh rate, but the OLED is much sharper, so which panel is best depends on your wants, needs, and budget.

    Other good features contributing to the user experience are a good 1080p webcam, Wi-Fi 7 connectivity (the latest Wi-Fi standard), and a 55Wh battery that will last you a full workday on a single charge (if you primarily use it for light tasks). Unfortunately, its port selection is scant, only comprising two USB-C/Thunderbolt 4s. Finally, just like the XPS 16 above, the keyboard and touchpad are the major pain points here; they feature the same edge-to-edge keycaps that are prone to accidental inputs, and since you can't see the touchpad, you can sometimes be right at the edge, making the tracking feel inconsistent.

    See our review

  3. Best Mid-Range Dell Laptop

    The best mid-range Dell laptop we've tested is the Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1 (2023). It sports a large 16-inch display, making it a great choice for people who need to have multiple windows open next to each other, and since it's a 2-in-1, you can flip the screen around and use it as a tablet. Sporting a full-aluminum chassis, it feels surprisingly well-built for a laptop in its class, and it isn't overly bulky for a 16-inch model, making it easy to carry around. The battery lasts around 10 hours of light use and charges over USB-C.

    You can get this laptop with an AMD Ryzen 5 7530U or Ryzen 7 7730U CPU; both perform well and are suitable for general productivity tasks and even more demanding ones like programming. Memory and storage max out at 16GB and 1TB, respectively; while you can add more storage down the road, ensure you get enough RAM for your needs up front as it isn't user-replaceable. As for the interface, the keyboard feels a little mushy but is still comfortable to type on for extended periods, and the touchpad is large and responsive. The port selection is excellent, though there's no Thunderbolt 4 support since it's an AMD system.

    See our review

  4. Best Dell Gaming Laptop

    The Dell Alienware m18 R2 (2024) is our Dell gaming pick. This 18-inch model delivers incredibly smooth gameplay in the most demanding games. It's available with high-performance 14th Gen Intel Core i7 and i9 CPUs and discrete NVIDIA GPUs, up to a GeForce RTX 4090 mobile. Display options include a 480Hz FHD+ and a 165Hz QHD+ display; both support G-SYNC to minimize screen tearing, so the choice comes down to whether you ascribe to the age-old adage that frames win games or you prefer the immersion and clarity that a higher resolution offers. Memory and storage max out at 64GB and 8TB, respectively, but they're user-replaceable, so you can upgrade or add more later.

    Online gamers will be happy to hear it has Wi-Fi 7 and an Ethernet port to ensure a fast, reliable internet connection. There are plenty of other ports for your peripherals, including two USB-As, three USB-Cs (two support Thunderbolt 4), an HDMI 2.1 that can output a 4k 120hz signal, a Mini DisplayPort, and an SD card reader. Also, you can get the laptop with a mechanical keyboard, sporting ultra low-profile Cherry MX switches. Of course, the main downside is portability, as it's a bulky, heavy laptop that's more of a desktop replacement than a device for on-the-go use. To this end, its battery only lasts about an hour when gaming, so keep your charger close (or stay plugged in while gaming).

    See our review

Compared To Other Brands


  • Wide selection of products.
    Dell has many different lineups that produce devices ranging from cheap Chromebooks to premium workstations.
  • Well-built premium models.
    Dell's premium brands like XPS and Alienware feature models with exceptional build quality.
  • Great customizability.
    Dell laptops feature a wide range of customization options, allowing you to configure your device for your needs.
  • Detailed product manuals and support pages.
    Dell offers extensive documentation, product support pages, and online diagnostic tools to help troubleshoot issues.
  • Poor serviceability.
    Most of Dell's brands and devices now use soldered memory or storage, making them impossible to upgrade later.
  • Use of proprietary parts.
    Dell's proprietary parts make repairs and upgrades challenging for the average user.
  • Sketchy warranty tactics.
    Dell has faced criticism about including paid additional warranty coverage on devices without clearly communicating the costs to consumers.

Dell vs Lenovo

Dell and Lenovo offer similar products ranging from cheap Chromebooks to premium workstations. Where Lenovo tends to be known for the value of its budget and mid-range offerings, Dell is better known for their premium product lines like XPS or Alienware. See our Lenovo laptop recommendations here.

Dell vs Apple

While Apple only produces a small line-up of high-end devices, Dell offers a much wider range of products for different uses. People usually compare Apple's premium products with Dell's high-end productivity laptops in terms of build quality and user experience. One major difference between these two companies is hardware: Dell primarily uses x86 chips from Intel in its laptops (with new models featuring Snapdragon ARM SoCs on the way), while Apple uses its in-house ARM-based SoCs. See our Apple laptop recommendations here.

Like ASUS, Acer, HP, and Lenovo, Dell makes a huge range of laptops. Although some of their high-end models are among the best on the market, their mid-range and budget models aren't as feature-rich or well-built as their competitors. Nevertheless, the wide range of options means that Dell has something to offer most users. However, shopping for the exact laptop configuration you want is sometimes hard with Dell; their products aren't always widely available from third-party sellers and marketplaces, and their website only offers customization options based on what's available rather than possible configurations.

Lineup

Dell offers several different laptop brands to meet your specific needs. They use the following names:

  • Inspiron: cheap to mid-range devices to meet general productivity and everyday needs.
  • XPS: features upper-mid-range ultraportables and mobile workstations.
  • Alienware: mid-range to premium gaming laptops.
  • G-series: cheap and budget gaming laptops.
  • Latitude: budget to mid-range general productivity devices for enterprises.
  • Precision: mobile workstations for enterprises.
  • Vostro: budget to mid-range general productivity devices for small businesses.

Conclusion

Dell laptops range from basic devices for everyday tasks like word processing or web browsing to powerful workstations and gaming laptops. Their premium laptops from the XPS and Alienware lineups often feature striking designs and generally provide a great user experience and exceptional performance. However, their budget lineups aren't quite as competitive, typically lacking features or offering inferior build quality compared to their direct competitors. Nevertheless, Dell's higher-end models are among the best laptops we've tested, and we recommend them if you need a solid device for work or gaming.

Test Results