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The best Dell laptops for gaming, business, and more

The best Dell laptops for gaming, business, and more

Whether you’re a student, a gamer, a businessperson, or a creative professional, a laptop is basically one of the most essential items in your daily life. Heck, even if your line of work has nothing to do with using a computer, a laptop still comes in incredibly handy at home. (Because, let’s face it, browsing the web or streaming your favorite content on a smartphone is pretty tedious, even on the latest models). With the powerful and portable technology becoming so commonplace, however, you can bet that there’s an abundance — dare we say, overabundance? — of laptop options on the market today. And with that dizzying amount of choices, no one could blame you for getting overwhelmed by all the numbers and models and specs. Trust us, we’ve been there, too. So when you absolutely need to decide on a new laptop, how can you possibly decide which one is best?

Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. If you’re considering a Dell laptop, specifically, they have a ton of options to fit any need, and we’ve rounded up some of the best of their offerings right here. From student-friendly Chromebooks all the way up to fully-specced mobile workstations, we’ve chosen a wide range of the best Dell laptops for all people and all budgets. 

To find the right one for you, however, you’ll need to know some basic points when it comes to technical specifications. Because this will help you determine which laptop fits your wants and needs, we’re about to break down the technical talk into some more digestible tidbits. (Like, what’s the difference between a CPU and a GPU, anyway?) So, before we jump into our favorite Dell laptops, let’s take a quick, but in-depth look at all those little components that’ll make up the perfect laptop to carry you through your days.

What’s the difference between different Dell laptop models?

As one of the top computer brands of the past few decades, it should come as no surprise that Dell offers several different laptop models to cater to different budgets and needs. However, deciphering between their intended use, their size, and their relative price is not necessarily easy, and most, if not all, are followed by a series or seemingly useless numbers. Fortunately, you have us to walk you through a few key tips that’ll help you spot the exact laptop you want as soon as you see its name.

Inspiron: This line is likely to be your go-to for standard use at home or at school. They run the gamut from budget laptops for just the basics to uber-powerful machines with top specs, from ultra-compact portable machines to maxed-out displays. No matter your preferred screen size or price range, there’s a wealth of Dell Inspiron laptops from which you can choose.

XPS: For those who need a laptop with a little more power and finely-tuned performance, the XPS is a great choice. A nice fit for home or business use, this line of Dell laptops offers premium design coupled with the potential to pretty much max out the technical specs for a laptop that serves both epic form and function.

Alienware and G Series: These are Dell’s options for gaming laptops, with the Alienware line offering a premium experience for hardcore gamers, and the G Series catering more to casual gamers or those on a tighter budget. If you’re in the market for a Dell gaming laptop, we’ve delved deeper into these two lines below our roundup of products to give you a better idea of which might be better for your gaming style. If you still want more options, though, browse our picks for the from any brand.

Latitude: When you’re ready to get down to business, this reliable series has got you covered. Whether you’re in the office, working from home, or traveling for business, these slim and sleek, yet powerful and durable laptops will let you accomplish your tasks anywhere and everywhere you go.

Precision: If the Dell Latitude just won’t cut it, more demanding professionals will want to opt for the Precision line. These laptops are actually more akin to mobile workstations due to their maximum tech spec options, as well as Independent Software Vendor (ISV) certifications that help ensure powerful applications — such as those in the computing, engineering, and architecture fields — will run nice and smooth. You’re likely to find the epic Intel Xeon CPU and Nvidia Quadro GPU in this lineup of Dell laptops

Chromebook: If you’re on a tight budget, shopping for a kid’s first laptop, or really just need something for web-browsing, emails, and other light, web-based tasks, then a Chromebook should fit your minimized needs perfectly. Dell offers one style of Chromebook, but you can ramp the technical specs up or down as needed. And, if you’re looking for more options to keep your wallet happy, we’ve got a whole roundup of the right here.

When it comes to the numbering of Dell’s laptops, you’ll notice that most models are broken down into three levels: 3000, 5000, and 7000 (or G3, G5, and G7 for the G Series gaming laptops). These series numbers mostly determine how “premium” the laptop is, with the lowest level offering lower specs and, of course, a lower price. 

You’ll also notice that Dell’s laptops are notated with either a 13, 15, or 17. This is the easiest number to decipher in their model names as it is simply the laptop’s display size: 13 inches, 15 inches, or 17 inches.

So, when you put it all together, it becomes a lot easier to decode Dell’s wide range of laptops. With just a quick glance, you’ll know that the XPS 13 5000, for example, is a mid-range XPS model with a 13-inch screen. Simple as that!

What about Dell convertible laptops?

If you’re looking for a 2-in-1 laptop, nearly all of Dell’s most popular models come with the option of being configured as either a standard clamshell or a convertible laptop, sans the Alienware and G Series gaming laptops. There’s no tricky numbers or naming there; Dell will spell it out for you plain and simple if it’s an option.

What are the most important things to look for in a laptop? 

Admittedly, there are a lot of different technical specs to consider when choosing your laptop. But if you just want to focus on the most important components on your search for the best Dell laptop, it all depends on how you plan to use it. For heavy-duty gaming or running powerful programs, you’ll want a serious CPU and GPU to keep things running smoothly, plus a hefty amount of RAM (think 16GB or more) to prevent skipping and lagging. On the flipside, your focus may be more on the size, weight, and overall portability of your laptop if you intend to tote it back and forth from work or school on a daily basis. If you’ll just be using it for light tasks, you don’t need to be as concerned about specs like GPU or RAM.

Another point of significance for many is the number of available ports on their laptop. Many accessories connect via Bluetooth these days, but some items still need a port to plug into, whether that’s a thumb drive, a mouse, a microphone, or something else. So if you know that is the case for you, keep an eye on how many USB ports your laptop of choice provides. You may also want to consider other slots, like an SD card reader, especially if you dabble in creative fields such as photography and videography.

What components need to be considered when choosing a laptop?

Once you’ve figured out which type of Dell laptop is best for your budget and needs, you’ll also want to consider all of the good stuff that goes inside to allow the laptop to run like a dream. Many laptops offer the option to top-up the specs, but if you don’t actually need all that power for your particular usage, that’s a whole lot of money flushed down the drain. So, to decide what’s best for you and your wallet, let’s take a look at the often customizable components that make up the innards of a laptop:

  • CPU: Think of the central processing unit as the brains of your computer. It’s in constant communication with all the working parts of the laptop, essentially running the show no matter what type of task you’re completing. If you’re doing more than just the basic web browsing, email reading, and word processing, you won’t want to skimp too much here as the CPU has a strong hand in how fast your laptop can run. Heavy-duty applications, like games and video-editing software, will require a more powerful processor to ensure that everything runs quickly and smoothly, but lower-usage laptops can get by with something like an Intel Core i5 processor.

  • GPU: Better known as simply the “graphics card,” the graphics processing unit basically determines how good things look on your laptop. The beauty behind the brains, it allows demanding video games the ability to render high-quality graphics and skip-free gameplay even at the highest settings. Those working in visually creative fields will also want to opt for a more impressive GPU, such as those offered by Nvidia. However, if you’re just performing basic tasks on your laptop and don’t even care too much about streaming content, Intel’s standard graphics cards will serve you just fine.

  • RAM: Also known as system memory, this component’s full title is actually “random-access memory.” It’s another one of the pieces of your laptop’s puzzle that determine how fast and efficient your applications run. It’s basically the short-term storage for everything you have open at any given time, so you’ll want something 8GB or higher if you plan to do a lot of multitasking. When it comes to video games and other demanding software, you’ll probably want to opt for RAM of 16GB or more.

  • Storage: Before you commit to getting a laptop with the most onboard storage possible, consider the availability of cloud storage options. If you’re not saving massive photo and video files or installing large programs, opting for a lower tier of storage might save you a few coins in the long run. And yes, this component concerns the amount of storage available for saving files on your laptop. But it also has a lot to do with how those files are saved. You may have the choice of either a hard drive (HDD) or a solid-state drive (SSD storage), so here’s the main difference between the two: HDDs often provide a larger storage capacity, but they tend to have a poorer performance when it comes to quick retrieval of your files. It is possible to get the best of both performance and storage in a laptop that utilizes a dual-storage approach, but you’ll likely see this more in high-end models.

  • Display: You could opt for an epic GPU, but it won’t mean much if your display isn’t up to par. For any usage, you’ll want to go for a screen with at least 1080p resolution to avoid grainy images and text, while gamers and creatives will want a display that’s Full HD or better to ensure the best experience. Display size is also something to consider, especially if you intend to travel often with your laptop. You’ll find that most gaming laptops are 15 inches or larger, but most standard users will be more than happy with a 13-inch display or even smaller. Last but not least, consider whether or not a touchscreen laptop surface is something that you think you’ll utilize. It’s a cool feature to have, though many users might find that they never use it unless they’re in a creative field or they’re a student who prefers note-taking with a more manual feel.

Are Dell laptops good for gaming?

As we touched on above, Dell has not one, but two lines of gaming laptops that cater to different types of gamers (or, at least, gamers with different budgets). Their Alienware lineup actually features some of the best premium gaming laptops on the market, and they’re far better than any HP laptop designed for gaming, just as an example. But you’d be forgiven for not even realizing that these absolutely powerful beasts are part of the Dell family. Unlike Dell’s other models, the brand name isn’t plastered in front of the Alienware name, possibly to give it some sort of distinction beyond the more business-focused laptops and computers for which Dell is most known. Overall, the Alienware laptop boasts a premium design with sturdy construction up and down the line, plus heavy-duty specs like Nvidia GeForce graphics cards and plenty of RAM to handle the most serious gaming. However, that also means they can be a bit big and bulky, if that’s a concern for you. They’re also likely to cost you a pretty penny with the most entry-level offerings hovering above the $1,000 threshold.

Dell’s G Series, on the other hand, offers a line of gaming laptops that are less likely to break the bank. They’re targeted towards mainstream gamers with more modest technical specs and lighter builds. This isn’t to say they can’t handle hardcore gaming, but you might need to turn down the game’s settings just a bit to garner the most optimal gaming experience. Even so, if you’re working with a tight budget, the G Series makes it more than possible to enjoy laptop gaming while still leaving some money in your pockets to actually afford the video games that you want to play on them.

All of that said, let’s dive into our top picks for Dell laptops that fit all needs, from demanding business professionals to hardcore gamers to students who just need a simple Chromebook to get their homework done. 


Sleek design • Fast performance

Kind of big • Not good for gaming

Whether you’re a student, a streaming movie buff, or you subscribe to the work-from-home crowd, this laptop has the power to tackle it all (and in a really attractive package, to boot).

Dell XPS 15 9500

A sleek laptop with enough performance and precision for your day-to-day needs.

  • CPU:
    Intel Core i7 processor, 10th Gen
  • GPU:
    Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti
  • RAM:
    16GB
  • Storage:
    512GB SSD
  • Display:
    15.6-inch Full HD+ touch screen

Sleek and powerful, this all-around awesome laptop makes a great fit for just about any user, especially those looking to replace their clunky desktop computer for something thin, light, and portable. Inside, it’s got all the specs necessary to handle demanding programs to get any job done (though gamers will want to look elsewhere for a better graphics card). It also has a nice, roomy touchpad for easier navigation, impressive speakers, and a gorgeous edge-to-edge display with integrated Eyesafe technology to cut down on potentially damaging blue light emissions. Plus, it boasts three USB-C ports, two of which support Thunderbolt 3, so you can be sure all your accessories have a place to plug in.


Lots of ports • Great performance • Incredible graphics

Pricey • Display not optimal

A true standout as a gaming laptop, this epic choice is capable of tackling even the most demanding games on the market.

Alienware m15 R4 RTX 3070 Gaming Laptop

Epic graphics and incredible performance make even the most demanding video games run smooth as butter.

  • CPU:
    Intel Core i7-10870H 10th Gen
  • GPU:
    NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070
  • RAM:
    16GB
  • Storage:
    1TB SSD
  • Display:
    15.6-inch Full HD

Who said hardcore gaming laptops had to be big and bulky? This stellar choice features an ultra-thin screen that doesn’t compromise in the least, though the 4K OLED display is debatable in the gaming world. But it does boast an unparalleled 300Hz refresh rate and a superior graphics card that’ll immerse you in your digital worlds with incredibly realistic, blazing-fast, skip-free gaming. And, best of all, its advanced cryo-tech and smart choice of inner materials ensure that the laptop efficiently dissipates heat, so you don’t have to worry about it overheating just when you get to the biggest and best boss level of your favorite game.


Good battery life • Inexpensive

Average HD screen • No USB-C ports

If you’re searching for a relatively cheap Windows laptop (as opposed to the simplified Chrome OS), this one is a satisfying choice.

Dell Inspiron 15 3000

A solid, reliable choice for a big screen at a small price.

  • CPU:
    Intel Celeron N4020 1.1GHz Dual-Core
  • GPU:
    Intel UHD Graphics 600
  • RAM:
    8GB
  • Storage:
    256GB SSD
  • Display:
    15.6-inch HD

This solid laptop won’t win any awards for stellar design or out-of-this-world performance, but it’s a really reliable option for those who just need something for basic tasks — like browsing, light streaming, and working online — but also want something more powerful than a Chromebook. It’s a great choice if you don’t intend to run too many programs, though it does have enough RAM to help you multitask through your day (and your dozens of open browser tabs) with ease and access all the files you need in a flash. Plus, it boots up fast, so you can roll out of bed and get right to work on all your WFH days.


Durable • Portable • Attractive

Average processor • Dim display

If you’re seeking powerful portability to take you from morning meetings to EOD, this attractive 2-in-1 can help your workday run smoothly and efficiently.

Dell Latitude 7320 2-in-1

A 2-in-1 that delivers professional power in a highly portable form.

  • CPU:
    11th Generation Intel Core i5-1135G7
  • GPU:
    Intel Iris XE Graphics
  • RAM:
    8GB
  • Storage:
    128GB SSD
  • Display:
    3.3-inch Full HD touch screen

Laptops in professional spaces no longer need to be bulky and unattractive with their stuffy, straight-to-business attitude, and this convertible Dell laptop is proof that the tides are changing. A sleek and small frame houses a powerhouse of productivity, making it the perfectly portable choice for business professionals on the go. Plus, its beautiful, nearly borderless display, comfortable keyboard, and 2-in-1 convertibility make the workday more enjoyable (and more convenient!) than ever. And, possibly coolest of all, ExpressSign-In instantly wakes up the computer and logs you in when it detects your presence, then it locks things up when you walk away to keep your work safe.


Great airflow • Incredibly attractive • Powerful performance

No USB Type-A ports • Expensive

If you work in a creative field that requires you to see every little detail in the highest definition, this Dell laptop is an outstanding choice for both form and function.

Dell XPS 17 9700

This big-screen laptop delivers power and performance in a truly pretty package.

  • CPU:
    10th Generation Intel Core i9-10885H
  • GPU:
    NVIDIA RTX 2060 Graphics
  • RAM:
    32GB
  • Storage:
    1TB SSD
  • Display:
    17-inch UHD+ touch screen

Smartly crafted to make the whole package smaller than most 15-inch laptops on the market, this 17-inch laptop boasts an enveloping Infinity Edge screen for maximum views. (Plus, it’s anti-reflective to cut down on glare at any angle.) Besides its stunning looks, it also offers powerful performance within, thanks to a whopping 32GB of RAM that ensures you should never run into any issue with multi-tasking, even when toggling between demanding applications. That, coupled with quad speakers for epic 3D surround sound, a full-size SD card reader, four Thunderbolt 3 ports, and a massive amount of storage space for super-sized files makes this laptop an awesome choice for creative professionals.


Lots of ports • Affordable • Rugged

No SD card reader • Limited display

Simple, yet rugged and affordable, this Dell Chromebook is the optimal choice for children and on-the-go students of all ages.

Dell Chromebook 3100 Education 2-in-1 Laptop

Kids can tackle homework with ease on this durable, portable Chromebook.

  • CPU:
    Intel Celeron N4000
  • GPU:
    Intel UHD Graphics 600
  • RAM:
    4GB
  • Storage:
    32GB HDD
  • Display:
    11.6-inch HD touch screen

While Chromebooks are mainly made to tackle note-taking, light researching, and the occasional Zoom class, this impressive 2-in-1 model delivers above and beyond with a sturdy frame, a spill-resistant keyboard, drop protection, and enough power for lots of web-based multitasking (despite running Google’s simplified Chrome OS). Plus, it includes two USB-C ports and two USB Type-A ports, all four or which are slightly recessed to protect them from accidental damage. This rugged durability matched with its compact and relatively lightweight portability makes it a great choice for students of all ages, whether at home, in the classroom, or on the go.


Anti-glare display • Good performance for price

Doesn’t feel very durable

If you like to game, but you don’t have the budget to splurge on the big dogs, this gaming laptop will immerse you in your favorite titles with smooth and reliable performance.

Dell G3 15 Gaming Laptop

Gamers on a budget will be impressed with this laptop’s economically priced performance.

  • CPU:
    Intel Core i7-8750H
  • GPU:
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
  • RAM:
    8GB
  • Storage:
    1TB HDD + 128GB SSD
  • Display:
    15.6-inch Full HD

Solid gaming performance often comes with a hefty price tag, but this Dell gaming laptop from the brand’s G series offers a more suitable choice for casual gamers’ pockets. A step down from the popular Dell G5, the G3 a comparably affordable option that still delivers smooth gameplay and impressive visuals on its anti-glare, LED backlit display without splurging on top-tier specs within. It’s certainly not the ideal choice for heavy-duty, competition-level gamers (and it’s been reported to feel a little flimsy in hand), but it can absolutely handle the demands of today’s most popular video games, even at their higher settings.


Great graphics • Sleek, yet durable • Compact and lightweight

Shallow keyboard • Just two USB ports

An all-around great laptop with portability and convenient features, this 2-in-1 makes a satisfying choice for just about any user.

Dell XPS 13 9310

With 360 degrees of rotation and all-around solid features, it’s ideal for every use except heavy gaming.

  • CPU:
    Intel Core i7-1185G7
  • GPU:
    Intel Iris XE Graphics
  • RAM:
    16GB
  • Storage:
    512GB SSD
  • Display:
    13.4- inch Full HD touch screen

Most comparable to the MacBook Pro, this premium convertible laptop really shines in a packed field of impressive 2-in-1s across all the top laptop brands. Its sleek aluminum exterior houses a powerful processor and a beautiful Dolby Vision edge-to-edge screen that allows for maximum viewing in a very compact package. Not only is it ultraportable, it also feels quite sturdy so you won’t have to worry about transporting it from point A to point B. All that, plus the ability to use it any configuration you may need makes this 2-in-1 laptop a really great choice for just about any application, from work and school to streaming and even light gaming.


Lots of ports • Insanely powerful • Thin and portable

Wildly expensive with these specs

If you need a whole lot of power with portable convenience, this specced-out powerstation will do the trick.

Dell Precision 7550 Workstation

Powerful portability for professionals to take their business on the road.

  • CPU:
    Intel Xeon W-10885M 8-Core
  • GPU:
    NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000
  • RAM:
    128GB
  • Storage:
    2TB SSD
  • Display:
    5.6-inch Full HD

From designers to number-crunchers, this mobile workstation will allow you to get down to business wherever you may be. You can certainly build your own with lower specifications (for a much lower price), but with the top-tier components selected, you’ll be treated to an epic eight-core processor, gorgeous display, massive amount of storage, and intense memory for multitasking across several powerful applications. No matter the inner specs, however, you’ll get two Thunderbolt 3 ports, two USB 3.2 Type-A ports, a SmartCard reader, and an SD card slot, plus a Noble lock slot for security.

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