If you’ve spent any time browsing the laptop options online these days, you’ve probably noticed the explosion of brands.
While many knock off brands offer cheap computers, they won’t always be of the highest quality or come with the best warranties.
When you demand a solid experience from beginning to end, you may want to stick to a bigger name.
We spent almost an entire week to gather, compare, evaluate, and finally come up with our top best Dell laptops 2021 for any kind of user.
Recommendations for January 2021
Review Of The Best Dell Laptops In 2021
Dell Inspiron 15 – Amazing Value
There aren’t many laptops out there that offer both a solid state drive and a full 16 GB of RAM for under $1000. You get both here, which is a rarity without resorting to buying a used or refurbished model.
This brand new option gives you all the speed you could want, along with a full size keyboard.
It doesn’t skimp on the ports for extra functionality either. Want to hook up a few extra USB devices or an HDMI monitor? No problem!
The only feature you don’t get with this entry-level option is a touch screen. If you need that function, scroll down to some of our other contenders below.
One other concession is made here to get such a low price point, and that’s the 10th gen i5 processor. For most home or office users, that won’t be an issue, but power users may want a higher end CPU.
If you prefer a more powerful processor to speed up Windows updates or run higher end software, there are still budget options available.
Recommended Configuration For Dell Inspiron 15
CPU: 10th Gen Intel Quad-Core i5-1035G1 Processor | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics | RAM: 16GB RAM | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-Glare LED-Backlit Non-Touch Display Narrow Border | Storage: 512 GB SSD | Operating System: Windows 10 Home | Battery Life: 5 hours | Weight: 4.03 lbs
Dell Inspiron 7000 – Best For College
For college students, whether this is your first semester or you are returning for your senior year, portability should be your top feature.
You want a laptop that’s thin, light, and easy to carry between classes and to your home or dorm room.
For the best overall Dell college laptop, we recommend the Inspiron 7000. With its 2-in-1 hinge and 13 inch screen, you won’t find a lighter, more portable option.
You don’t lose out on hardware either, as the combination of i5 CPU, 8GB RAM, and solid state drive will give you plenty of speed and power.
If you don’t mind getting used to the compact keyboard design of a 13 inch notebook, this is a perfect option for school.
Note that there’s no built-in graphics card here however, so if you game after class you won’t be able to play on high graphics settings. If you want more of a gaming machine that can also be used for schoolwork, check out the Dell G3 listed below instead.
Want to keep the low weight and slim profile of a 13 inch device but prefer a clamshell design over a hybrid 2-in-1? The Dell XPS 13 is a great option that’s still very lightweight but has the traditional design some users prefer.
Recommended Configuration For Dell Inspiron 7000
CPU: 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8265U | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620| RAM: 8 GB RAM| Screen: | Storage: 256 GB SSD | Operating System: Windows 10| Battery Life: 9 hours | Weight: 3.22 lbs
Dell Latitude 7390 – Best For Business
Thanks to the Intel Core i5-8350U processor, you can open as many applications at your disposal and have no compromise whatsoever in terms of lag time.
Not only that, but this 13.0” has a Full HD display that also boasts an IPS panel. That means you get to experience wide viewing angles and better color reproduction.
With 8GB of DDR4 memory and 512 GB of SSD storage, you can definitely rely on this laptop in terms of loading and boot times.
Working in a dim area? No problem! This has a backlit keyboard to make sure there’s no keys left unstroked.
With the Latitude 7390 you also get solid battery life, so you should be able to get your job done before any deadlines.
If you want the best laptop for office and work, get the Dell Latitude 7390.
There are potentially two reasons you might want to pick a different model however — if you need a touch screen, or if you prefer a full size 15” display.
In either case, the Premium Dell Inspiron 15 5000 will be your better choice while offering the same overall specs.
If you’ve got more money to spend on your work laptop, that model is also available with up to 32GB of RAM. For memory-intensive work tasks like CAD software, that can be a major plus.
Recommended Configuration For Dell Latitude 7390
CPU: 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8350U Processor, | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB RAM| Screen: 13.3″ FHD Touch Anti-Glare Display Laptop | Storage: 512GB SSD | Operating System: Window 10 Pro | Battery Life: 10 hours| Weight: 4.78 pounds
Dell G5 15 – Entry Level Gaming
Gaming with this laptop is going to be smooth with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card. This should allow you to push in-game settings from medium to high preset without compromising the FPS count.
The 9th gen i7 processor will also handle most newer games without any hiccups.
For gamers who want something a little flashier, you also get a striking blue backlit keyboard for illuminating your late night gaming sessions.
To offer so much gaming power at such a low cost, there are a few trade offs, however. Notably, the 256GB SSD will fill up pretty quickly when installing new AAA games. However it does come with a 1 TB SATA HDD so you can just transfer game files if you really need to.
That’s not that big a deal however, as you can use an external hard drive as well, or just manually upgrade to a larger SSD.
Willing to double the price in exchange for a top-of-the-line graphics card for playing in ultra settings?
The Alienware 17 R7 should fit your needs. While the cost is much higher, you get an even more powerful GTX 1060 graphics card, as well as a 17 inch display.
Recommended Configuration For Dell G5 15
CPU: 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 with 4GB GDDR5 Graphics | RAM: 16GB DDR4 2666MHz RAM| Screen: 15. 6-Inch FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-Glare LED backlight Non-Touch narrow Border IPS display| Storage: 256GB SSD and 1TB SATA | Operating System: Windows 10 Home | Battery Life: 7 hours | Weight: 8.58 pounds
Dell XPS 13 7390 – Best Overall
For nearly any type of user, this is your perfect option if you crave performance, speed, and dependability. Want to stream videos all day? No problem, the IPS panel features an incredible resolution and ample viewing space.
Need to keep dozens of tabs open or run multiple programs at the same time? That’s not an issue with this laptop. It has a 10th gen i7 processor and a full 16GB of physical memory.
Like to keep things stored physically on your computer instead of in the cloud? Not only do you get fast boot up speeds with a 256 GB SSD.
You get the traditional clamshell design many users prefer, but don’t lose out on the touch screen functionality either.
Of course, last but not the least you get to use the XPS’s signature move of having a 360 degree adjustable screen. Say goodbye to neck pains because the Dell XPS 13 7390 is here to make your life a hell lot easier.
Recommended Configuration For Dell XPS 13 7390
CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10710U processor | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics| RAM: 16 GB RAM | Screen: 13.3” FHD (1920 x 1080) InfinityEdge Touch Display | Storage: 256 GB SSD| Operating System: Windows 10 Home | Battery Life: 12 hours | Weight: 5.69 pounds lbs
Dell XPS 15 – Infinity Edge Display
The Dell XPS 15 is a good choice if you think that the Dell XPS 13 is too small for you. They have similar specs and a big difference between the two is that the Dell XPS 15 is usually more powerful while the XPS 13 is more portable and convenient to carry around.
With that being said, the Dell XPS 15 sports a powerful Intel Core i7-9750H processor, and although it’s a little older than the Intel Core i7-10710U processor that our Dell XPS 13 has, they are very close when it comes to performance.
What the Dell XPS 15 has over the XPS 13 thorough is the graphics. It features a NVIDIA GTX 1650 for its GPU which allows it to render files faster and better than the integrated graphics of the XPS 13. This also makes the XPS 15 really good as well, so think about this when choosing between the two.
But the real kicker here is its display. The XPS 15 features a 3840×2160 UHD touch display, that’s 4K resolution in a 15 inch laptop. What’s even better is that its infinity edge display helps remove the edges allowing you to admire the screen better and enhance your viewing experience.
Recommended Configuration For Dell XPS 15
CPU: Intel Core i7-9750H Processor | Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 1650 4GB GDDR5 | RAM: 16 GB RAM| Screen: 15.6″ 4K UHD (3840×2160) Touch Display, | Storage: 512 GB SSD | Operating System: Windows 10 | Battery Life: 9 hours | Weight: 4 pounds
Alienware M15 – Best Gaming
Alienware being a subsidiary of Dell means that it’s part of it. Thankfully it is because although Dell has its own set of gaming laptops, they simply cannot beat a company solely dedicated in the creation of gaming laptops.
With this being said, this means that the Alienware M15 is unparalleled when it comes to gaming in this list. First of all, it has a powerful Intel Core i7-9750H processor which is almost a standard for high-end gaming laptops.
It features the highly rated NVIDIA RTX 2060 that has over 6 GB of VRAM. Pair this with 16 GB of RAM and you’ll be able to play any AAA game that you want. Of course no gaming laptop is complete without a magnificent display.
The Alienware M15 offers a FHD display with 15 inches of goodness. It also has a fairy good refresh rate of 144 Hz allowing you to notice the enemy much faster allowing for competitive gameplay.
Lastly, despite being a gaming laptop, the Alienware M15 is fairly portable weighing only about 4.78 lbs. Now this isn’t really light but for a high-end gaming laptop, it certainly is! Lets not forget its battery life of 6 hours which is surprising considering it has one of the best graphic cards and processor around.
Recommended Configuration For Alienware M15
CPU: Intel Core i7-9750H| Graphics: NVIDIA RTX 2060 6GB | RAM: 16 GB RAM | Screen: 15.6″ FHD (1920 x 1080) display, 144Hz refresh rate and 300-nit brightness| Storage: 512 GB SSD| Operating System: Windows 10 Home | Battery Life: 6 hours| Weight: 4.76 lbs
Dell Inspiron 11 – Best Budget
The Dell Inspiron 11 is a small and portable laptop that is very cheap and affordable. It weighs only about 2.65 lbs and since it’s only 11 inches, you can easily carry this around effortlessly.
It has a pretty reliable AMD A6-9220e processor that can go up to 2.5GHz. That’s enough to handle most everyday tasks as well as some mid-end processes that are a little bit resource intensive. It also comes with 4 GB of RAM which allows for multitasking document files easily.
The only issue we have with the Dell Inspiron 11 is its storage which is only as big as 32 GB. That’s not a lot which goes to show that the Dell Inspiron 11 was not made to store large files such as videos, audio, and software.
But remember, this is the cheapest laptop on this list. So its understandable why it doesn’t have a lot of storage.
Recommended Configuration For Dell Inspiron 11
CPU: AMD A6-9220e| Graphics: AMD Radeon R4| RAM: 4GB RAM | Screen: 11.6-Inch 1366×768 HD display| Storage: 32GB eMMC| Operating System: Windows 10| Battery Life: up to 8 hours | Weight: 2.65 lbs
Dell Inspiron 14 – Affordable Business Laptop
The Dell Inspiron 14 is a cheap and affordable laptop meant for businessmen who want to use something reliable but who are on a budget. It’s very similar to the Dell Latitude 7390 except that it lacks power and has lower overall specs than the laptop.
Of course this means that it’s cheaper than the Dell Latitude 7390 and it’s actually more portable as well. Now pair this with its small size of 14 inches and you’ll have a laptop that’s very convenient for travel allowing you to carry it around easily wherever you go.
And since it has a battery life of 8.5 hours, you don’t have to worry about charging it at the airport while you’re waiting for your plane.
Recommended configuration for Dell Inspiron 14
CPU: 8th Generation Intel Core i3-8145u Processor | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: | Screen: 14.0-Inch HD (1366 x 768) LED-backlit Touch Display | Storage: 128 GB SSD | Operating System: Windows 10 Home | Battery Life: 8.5 hours | Weight: 2.9 pounds
Dell Chromebook – Impressive Durability
The Dell Chromebook is simply an amazing and reliable device that you can carry around with you all the time. Since its running Chrome OS, you’ll be pleased to know that it will run smoothly despite having a low-spec build.
This is because Chrome OS is lightweight and it doesn’t have bloatware like Windows laptops. This means that it will run smoothly and effortlessly despite its specs. What makes the Dell Chromebook standout though is its durability.
Its tougher than your typical chromebook and you can expect it to last for a very long time.
Recommended Configuration For Dell Chromebook
CPU:Intel Celeron Dual Core N3060 | Graphics:Intel HD Graphics 400 | RAM: 4 GB RAM | Screen: 11.6inch HD(1366 x 768) Truelife LED Backlight Touch IPS Display | Storage: 32 GB | Operating System: Chrome OS | Battery Life: 8 hours| Weight: 3.16 lbs
Picking The Best Dell Laptops In 2021
There is no way to choose a “best” laptop unless we boil down to a specific criteria. Here, we decided to show the best options for gamers, students, business users, and the budget-friendly crowd.
When browsing Dell options, keep in mind different product lines are meant for different purposes.
Dell’s Alienware brand for instance is aimed squarely at the gaming crowd, while the XPS line tends to be thinner and features high resolution screens. If you don’t need a full Windows machine and just browse the web, Dell also offers several chromebook models.
What Features Do I Need To Check Before Picking A Dell Laptop in 2021?
While brick and mortar retailers and online shops will focus on the CPU and RAM, there are two major features you need to strongly consider when buying a new computer:
- Screen Quality
- Build Quality
The screen’s overall quality basically controls the window into everything you do with your laptop. Always aim for what best suits your needs.
A TN panel for instance is great for gaming since this has the fastest response time among the panel types.
Models like the Dell Latitude 7480 instead uses IPS panel technology. This means you get to see outstanding color reproduction and depth, perfect for professionals.
You can rely also rely on this design if you’re an engineering or graphics design student. IPS panels don’t just have great color reproduction and depth but also feature a very wide viewing angle.
Next up, evaluating the build quality of the laptop is another thing that consumers take for granted.
In fact, this is what every laptop consumer should be looking at first off.
Take some time to really examine the computer before laying down any cash. See if it has a sturdy design or that the hinges on the screen are properly fit. Is it aluminum or plastic?
The exterior of the laptop usually differs between models, so make sure you can check how easy it can be cleaned and if it easily attracts fingerprints in normal use.
Check these features out to make sure you get a laptop that’s not just fast, but will also last.
What Hardware Specs Do Buyers Often Overlook When Picking A Laptop?
Storage, weight, and battery life are three specifications that are often overlooked in the rush to find the most powerful machine.
Unless you use your laptop to download HD movies or record videos, any model with a smaller SSD storage should do just fine.
SSD is always superior to HDD in terms of performance and the difference in boot and loading times is like night and day. With how files are being stored in the cloud these days, you don’t necessarily need as much space offered by slower HDD models.
In terms of overall thickness and weight, always go with a lighter laptop if you’re a student or do actual work tasks on the machine.
The best Dell laptop for work and the best for students are less than 1.5kg, which means they’re easy to carry around.
Finally, go and get a laptop with great battery life. Period.
Smaller, lighter models with 8th gen processors tend to have better battery life and usually offer all day usage without needing to plug in.
Larger screens and dedicated graphics cards will consume power at a much higher rate. That usually means any laptop meant for gaming is going to take a big hit on battery life, which is a trade off you’ve got to expect.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Dell or HP better?
Both laptop brands have something that they excel in. Dell is better than HP when it comes to design and convenience. A good example of this would be the Dell XPS series which is known for its powerful specs, cool design and a convenient 360 degree screen.
HP on the other hand has better gaming laptops than Dell. This means that HP laptops are generally better for gaming but it comes at a cost of average design and focuses more on the hardware rather than convenient features.
Does Dell make good laptops?
Dell is one of the leading brands of laptop manufacturers worldwide. Their laptops are known for their durability, good specs, and convenience. This explains why the majority of Dell laptops are used for business and in professional settings.
They do have some gaming laptops but they really aren’t a company that makes gaming laptops in general. They do have a subsidiary company called “Alienware” where they leave the task of designing and the creation of gaming laptops.
Finding The Perfect Dell Laptop To Fit Your Needs
We spent plenty of time researching to come up with this list, so we hope our breakdown of contenders helped clear your mind on which laptop you should get.
Which one is best for you, and are you planning on picking any of these 5 best Dell laptop options? We’d like to hear your thoughts down the comments!