The 8 Best Dell Laptops to Buy in 2018

Check out Dell's latest and greatest laptops

As the industry shifts between laptops, desktops, and tablets, Dell has stood the test of time and consumer interest and has been able to stay at the forefront of innovation and the computing experience. Whether you’re looking for something powerful enough for work or something that helps you stay productive at home, there’s a Dell model for you. Here’s our picks for the best Dell laptops available today.

Best Overall: Dell XPS9360-7758SLV-PUS

Widely regarded as the best overall laptop money can buy, the XPS9360-7758SLV-PUS is an outstanding computer complemented by superb performance and a gorgeous form factor. Ultimately, the XPS 13 is a 13.3-inch computer trapped in an 12-inch computer body thanks to its InfinityEdge display and Dell’s innovative and durable build quality. Powered by a 7th generation Intel Core i7 3.5GHz processor, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB hard drive, the XPS 13 is ready to tackle both work and play (with power to spare).

Beyond power, the focus is on the 13.3-inch QHD+ 3200 x 1800 InfinityEdge touch display, which is nothing short of outstanding. The lightning fast SSD (solid state drive) helps boost overall performance, specifically application loading time, making the Dell the definition of good things coming in small packages. Add in nearly 14 hours of battery life, a 2.7-pound lightweight aluminum frame, Windows 10 and it’s quite possible you’ve discovered the perfect computer.

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Dell XPS 15

Featuring an eye-popping 15.6-inch 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160) InfinityEdge display, the Dell XPS 15 is a worthy contender of being the best overall. Powered by an Intel Core i7 3.5GHz quad-core processor, 32GB of RAM and 1TB SSD, the XPS 15 takes it to another level with the inclusion of a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M video card, which comes with its own 2GB of dedicated memory. Containing all this internal power is a sleek and beautiful aluminum frame that’s firmly built and feels durable every time you pick it up.

At 4.6 pounds, it won’t be mistaken for an Ultrabook computer like its sister the XPS 13, but it has all the right moves in all the right corners. The display offers vivid and accurate colors that are ideal for Netflix binging or making Word docs pop out just a little bit more. Battery life lasts more than eight hours.

Best Budget: Dell 15.6-Inch Inspiron

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 for Business: 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. 

Take a peek at some of the other best business laptops you can buy.

Best for Portability: Dell Inspiron 11

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 for Students: Dell Chromebook 11

While Windows might continue to be the dominant force in schools across the country, Google’s Chrome OS continues to rise as a shining star, thanks to a cheaper price tag and less troublesome interface. Powered by an Intel Celeron N3060  1.6GHz processor, 4GB of RAM and 16GB SSD, Dell’s Chromebook 11 is built specifically with students in mind. Weighing 3.22 pounds, the Dell is made for student wear and tear courtesy of a durable construction that passes military standards for dirt, dust, pressure, temperature, humidity, shock and vibration.

The optional touchscreen is ideal for students who might already be used to a touchscreen computer in their home, so they can quickly switch between tabs. Without Microsoft’s Office platform, students will have to stick to Google’s suite of Office-like replacements, Google Docs, Sheets and Slides, which are very mature and equally capable.

Take a peek at some of the other best laptops for students you can buy.

Best 2-in-1: Dell Inspiron 7000

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.  

Take a peek at some of the other best 2-in-1 laptops​ you can buy.

Best for Gaming: Alienware 17 GTX 1070

Dell has owned Alienware, the flashy, gaming-centric hardware maker, since 2006. And the Alienware 17 is arguably the most powerful, best choice for a gaming laptop from Dell. Why? Well let’s start with the graphics card (this is a gaming comp, after all). The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 is the cream of the crop for mobile video cards, and it shows with ultra-fast operation and a seamless set of graphic movements and functionality. Speaking of how the graphics look, the 17-inch, virtually immersive screen is the largest that Alienware offers in its laptop line. To be more specific, the display is actually 17.3 inches, and it offers a full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080. It’s an IPS, anti-glare surface that also employs 300 nits for supremely striking color and brightness.

Now let’s get into the guts of the performance this thing packs. There is a quad-core Intel i7-7700HQ processor that gives you speeds of 3.8 GHz with turbo boost. In other words, this thing is lightning fast. To go with those clock speeds, there’s a huge bank of RAM…16GB DDR4 to be exact. And you can even expand the RAM up to 32 GB with a separate purchase if things are lagging a bit for you. It comes with a 1TB 7200RPM SATA hard drive that’ll store a small fortune of files, and it all runs on 64-bit Windows 10 HighEnd. There are Bluetooth capabilities and the usual suspects of display ports and USBs for all the peripherals you’ll inevitably need when setting up a proper gaming situation on the go. All in all, this is a competition-ready system.

Take a peek at some of the other best gaming laptops you can buy.

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