The 10 Best Dell Laptops of 2020

Check out Dell's latest and greatest laptops

The Ultimate Laptop Buying Guide
The Ultimate Laptop Buying Guide
Introduction

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

The Rundown

Most Popular: Dell Latitude 7480 at Amazon

"A range of work-centric 2-in-1 laptops that pack in so many features you’d have a hard time not taking this laptop out of the office."

Best Overall: Dell XPS 13 at dell.com

"Comes with plenty of power and speed with Intel’s latest and greatest chip."

Best for Students: Dell Inspiron 15 3000 at dell.com

"Enjoy your favorite movies, shows, and websites on its crisp and vivid 15-inch HD display."

Best Portability: Dell 15.6-Inch Inspiron at Amazon

"Gets the job done and punches well above its pay grade with components often found on more expensive machines."

Best Budget: Dell Inspiron 11 at Amazon

"Has an 11.6-inch HD display and weighs 2.82 pounds, so if it's portability you're after, this is your guy."

Best 2-in-1: Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 at dell.com

"Our top pick for users looking for a powerful laptop that doubles as a sleek and lightweight tablet."

Runner-Up, Best 2-in-1: Dell Inspiron 7000 at Amazon

"A 2-in-1 laptop that’s ideal for both work and play and offers impressive performance in a slim design."

Best for Gaming: Alienware Area-51M at Amazon

"Alienware is a brand that needs little introduction, the house that Dell adopted has been crushing benchmarks for over a decade."

Best for Creators: Dell Latitude 5530 at Amazon

"A slim laptop with uncompromising performance, the Dell Latitude 5530 is a creative powerhouse."

Best Rugged: Dell Latitude 7212 Rugged Extreme at Amazon

"The Dell Latitude 7212 Rugged Extreme Tablet can endure pretty much anything short of a high-caliber bullet."

Our Top Picks

Most Popular: Dell Latitude 7480

The 7480 is the most recent addition to Dell’s Latitude business line — a range of work-centric 2-in-1 laptops that pack in so many features you’d have a hard time not taking this laptop out of the office and making it your pseudo-personal machine. To start, weighing three pounds, this 14-inch laptop won’t weigh down your briefcase bringing it to and from your desk. The 14-inch display is a full HD beauty with a resolution of 1920 x 1080. The four-cell battery in this workhorse promises full-day use (up to 13 hours) and quick charge tech, even with the amazing, anti-glare brilliance of that display up there.

Now let’s talk processing speed. There’s a 7th gen dual core i7 7600U processor that clocks impressive speeds up to 2.8 GHz, which means it will tackle just about anything the modern office day will throw at it. The 256 GB SSD is a top-of-the-line storage drive and the 16GB of DDR4 RAM will make sure that the processor has plenty of headroom when clocking high lift and high speeds. The machine comes with the 64-bit version of Windows 10 Pro, the standard for business, and there’s even an HD 620 Graphics card when you do want to get a little lunch break gaming/entertainment in. Finally, the connections offer a full suite of options, including Bluetooth 4.2 right out of the box, DisplayPort inputs for multiple screens, USB-C ports, HDMI and more. 

Best Overall: Dell XPS 13

Dell XPS 13

 Dell.com

4.5

Dell’s XPS 13 has always been considered one of the best laptops on the market, and with a 2019 update, Dell has fixed one major complaint about previous models: its webcam. The old camera was placed at the bottom of the screen instead of at the top, earning it the nickname “nosecam” because the camera angle placement often focused up users’ noses. But Dell got the message after this flub, and the 2019 XPS model returns the webcam to the laptop’s top bezel. The only real downside is that you can’t use facial recognition to log in anymore, but the laptop does have a fingerprint reader now, so you can still bypass traditional typed passwords if you wish.

The XPS 13 comes with plenty of power and speed with Intel’s latest and greatest chip: the Whiskey Lake 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8565U Processor. It also holds up to 16GB of RAM and a 256GB solid-state drive. The 13-inch display can be upgraded to include a touchscreen and 4K resolution, and while the port options are relatively limited (two Thunderbolt 3 ports and a USB-C port) they've also thrown in a handy microSD slot. At a lightweight 2.7 pounds and a width of just 0.3 to 0.46 inches thick, this powerful machine is also sleek and portable.

Best for Students: Dell Inspiron 15 3000

Dell Inspiron

 Courtesy of Dell

From one of Dell's most popular lines of computers, the new Inspiron 15 3000 does not disappoint. The multimedia-forward design sets this laptop apart from the rest. Enjoy your favorite movies, shows, and websites on its crisp and vivid 15-inch HD display. High-quality audio provided by two tuned speakers with Waves MaxxAudio Pro complete the viewing experience. A headphone jack is available for more personal experience. The laptop also includes a built-in DVD for offline video consumption as well as high capacity file storage.

This powerful laptop delivers performance you can count on. It's decked out with a 10th-generation Intel core processor, 8 GB of DDR4 RAM, and a huge 256GB solid-state drive. The 42 watt-hour, 3-cell, integrated battery supports the device for over six hours of continuous use. The Inspiron 3000 is equipped with all the ports you could need, including two USB 3.1s, an HDMI, and an SD card reader.

Best Portability: Dell 15.6-Inch Inspiron

Dell 15.6-Inch Inspiron
Courtesy of Amazon.com

Dell’s Inspiron 15.6-inch touchscreen laptop might be budget friendly, but it sure doesn’t act like it with powerful internals and a great overall experience. An Intel Core i5 dual-core 2.4GHz processor, 6GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive all work together to power the 15.6-inch 1366 x 768 TrueLife LED-backlit display. Weighing 5.2 pounds and measuring just .9 inches thin, the Inspiron 15 gets the job done and punches well above its pay grade with components often found on more expensive machines.

The comfortable and well-spaced keyboard is paired with a 10-key numeric keypad for additional work comfort. Additionally, audio quality is also surprisingly promising with MaxxAudio, which offers a crisp and clear experience for both movies and music. For connectivity fans, there are a full suite of ports, including USB 2.0, USB 3.0, a DVD-RW optical drive and a built-in card reader for transferring pictures from an SD, SDHC or SDXC memory card.

Best Budget: Dell Inspiron 11

Dell Inspiron 11
Courtesy of Amazon.com

Dell’s Inspiron 11 sleek laptop has an 11.6-inch HD display and weighs 2.82 pounds, so if it's portability you're after, this is your guy. Powered by an Intel Celeron N3060 2.48GHz processor, 4GB of RAM and 32GB eMMC storage, performance is about what you would expect from a lower-end machine, but it’s more than enough power for everyday computing activities that include Word processing and Web browsing. Throw it in your bag, take it to work or school or on a trip where its small size can truly be appreciated without sacrificing a great keyboard or touchpad. The 1366 x 768 11.6-inch display isn’t terribly exciting, but In-Plane Switching (IPS) and Full HD 1080p displays are generally found on more expensive computers, so it’s still above average for its price point.

It runs Windows 10 and there’s a full suite of Microsoft options, including Office 365 software, plus a microSD card reader and USB 3.0 for added storage and quick-charging external hardware. The Waves MaxxAudio speakers punch well above their class with clear sound, especially during Google Hangouts or Skype calls.

Best 2-in-1: Dell XPS 13 2-in-1

Dell XPS 2-in-1

 Courtesy of Dell

Dell’s flagship XPS lineup of laptops also come in a 2-in-1 variety. With the enhancements made in 2019, it’s easy to recommend the XPS 13 2-in-1 as our top pick for users looking for a powerful laptop that doubles as a sleek and lightweight tablet. Fitted with an Infinity Edge panel that maximizes screen space and minimizes bezels, the XPS 13 2-in-1 has a radiant 13.4-inch display that benefits greatly from its 1920x1200 resolution and 16:10 aspect ratio.

Dell has refined the cooling system in the 2019 version of the XPS 13 2-in-1 in order to prevent the chassis from overheating. It has also provided a more comfortable user experience in both laptop and tablet modes. Though it’s certainly pretty, the true beauty of the XPS 13 2-in-1 is found on the inside. With four configurations featuring 10th-generation Intel Core processors, fast RAM, and lightning-quick NVMe SSD storage, the XPS 13 2-in-1 boasts stellar performance.

The base configuration — ideal for students and everyday use — has a Core i3 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage. To up the power, you may want to consider the mid-tier Core i5 processor fitted with 8GB of RAM. Those longing for optimal performance to handle intensive work and software should look into the pair of i7 configurations. Each Core i7 model has 16GB of RAM, more advanced graphics, and up to 512GB of storage. You have the option to significantly increase the resolution with an Ultra-High-Definition display.

Runner-Up, Best 2-in-1: Dell Inspiron 7000

Dell Inspiron 7000
Courtesy of Amazon.com

Dell’s flagship Inspiron 7000 computer is a 2-in-1 laptop that’s ideal for both work and play and offers impressive performance in a slim design. It's juiced up with a 7th generation Intel Core i5 3.4GHz processor, 8GB of RAM, 256GB SSD and a 13.3-inch 1920 x 1080 IPS touch screen. Weighing 3.59 pounds doesn’t allow the Inspiron to slide into the Ultrabook category, but it’s still very much a portable computer. The display itself offers a 360-degree hinge that enables four modes for your computing needs, including laptop, tent, stand and tablet mode for varying levels of viewing and enjoyment.

Dell also included its well-performing MaxxAudio speakers for an improved audio experience that helps highlight the entertainment and business side of this computer for video viewing or Hangout/Skype calls during the workday. Additionally, the backlit keyboard will help keep you going right into the night, though the seven hours of battery life will have you charging throughout the day if you’re constantly online.  

Best for Gaming: Alienware Area-51M

Alienware is a brand that needs little introduction, the house that Dell adopted has been crushing benchmarks for over a decade, and the latest iteration of their gaming laptops, the Area 51-M, continues that fine tradition. A step up from the previous m17, the Area 51 sports the same 17-inch 1080p 144Hz display, but has a much larger chassis, capable of carrying hardware that rivals most desktops.

Just like other Alienware laptops, the Area-51M has a variety of configurations available based on your needs and budget. The full tilt configuration features an i9-9900 CPU, Nvidia RTX 2080 and 32GB of RAM, easily capable of handling any modern game at 1080p. The price for any of these configurations is certainly steep, but with Alienware, you always get what you pay for.  

Best for Creators: Dell Latitude 5530

A slim laptop with uncompromising performance, the Dell Latitude 5530 is a creative powerhouse. Packed with enough hardware to make light work of any photo or video editing and paired with a gorgeous 4K touch display. An Intel Xenon processor and an Nvidia Quadro P2000 make this the perfect laptop for anyone juggling multiple creative projects.

At just under an inch thick and less than 5 pounds, the 5530 is a laptop that punches well above its weight and is extremely portable. However, this performance comes at a cost well beyond most conventional laptops.

Best Rugged: Dell Latitude 7212 Rugged Extreme

The Dell Latitude 7212 Rugged Extreme Tablet can endure pretty much anything short of a high-caliber bullet. It may not be the only ruggedized laptop available to consumers, but the 7212 is certainly one of the best and is available at a price that makes this robust piece of hardware surprisingly accessible.

The 7212 is built to military durability standards, meaning that its capable of withstanding drops, explosive pressure or temperature changes, and even electromagnetic interference. Your typical user might scoff at these standards, but this type of endurance is a godsend to anyone who works outdoors or in potentially hazardous environments. Dell also provides an array of accessories specifically for this device, including hot-swappable batteries, a chest harness or a scanner module for barcodes.

Equipped with a 2.6Ghz CPU, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, the specs aren't going to blow away any gaming benchmarks, but packs enough heat to handle just about any task you can throw at it. This tough laptop certainly serves a very particular niche of the market, but for users that need a computer that can withstand some serious abuse outside of an office environment, the choice is obvious.

Our Process

Our writers spent 40 hours researching and testing the most popular Dell laptops on the market. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.

What to Look for in a Dell Laptop

Portability - Dell XPS laptops are classed as ultra-portable, so they’re super easy to carry around. If portability isn’t as important to you, a high-end Alienware laptop can weigh two to three times more than most of Dell’s other laptops, but its power blows the competition out of the water.

Windows vs. Chrome OS - The majority of Dell’s sub-brands are Windows-based, so you can find Windows-based Dell laptops that are perfect for business, students, entertainment, and even gaming. If you’re looking for a less expensive laptop that’s great for web browsing, word processing, and other basic tasks, take a look at Dell’s line of Chromebooks.

Gaming - Most Latitude and XPS models have enough power under the hood to run games to some degree, and a higher-end Precision model can do double duty as a business machine and gaming rig. If you want to really get down to the business of gaming, Dell’s Alienware line has the power you need to run newer games at higher settings.