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Best Dell laptop 2023: Brilliant Dell laptops to suit all budgets

From hybrids to gaming machines and rugged workhorses, these are Dell’s finest laptops

Dell makes just about every sort of computing hardware there is – from monitors and printers to workstations and data storage devices. Without a doubt, though, it’s best known for its laptops, which come in a huge variety of types and models to suit every need.

One of Dell’s most popular laptop families is the premium XPS range, with the Dell XPS 13, in particular, a long-time favourite of consumers and businesses. If you’re into your gaming, Dell’s subsidiary Alienware has you covered with a whole spread of gaming laptops, PCs and peripherals. And while those tend to be on the pricey side, there are plenty of cheaper options in the Inspiron series, while at the very bottom of the price ladder sit Dell’s various Chromebook models.

To list every single Dell laptop model would take an age – you can explore the whole range on Dell’s UK website – but if you want to focus on the top choices, here’s our pick of the best Dell laptops available right now, with great options to suit a range of budgets.

How we test Dell laptops

At Expert Reviews, we have decades of experience in reviewing laptops; we’ve tested and written about many Dell machines over the years. No matter how many times you do it, however, the process of assessing the quality of a laptop is always a challenge. That’s because there are so many different elements that contribute to what makes a laptop good or bad: the CPU, GPU, display, SSD or hard drive, the webcam, speakers, keyboard and touchpad are all essential; if any one of these is poor it can completely undermine the appeal of a machine.

So, no matter who the manufacturer is, we always put every laptop through the same battery of demanding tests. That way we can be sure we’re being as objective as possible in our assessment of each and every laptop that is sent in for review.

We run our own benchmarking tools as well as third-party app-based benchmarks and in-game benchmarks to assess overall performance, and we mix real-world and synthetic tests to ensure we deliver a balanced view. We also use a colorimeter and the DisplayCAL software to help us figure out how good the screen is: how bright it is compared to other laptops, the colour gamut it is capable of delivering and the accuracy of those colours, as well as the contrast level and backlight uniformity.

As for battery life, we prepare every laptop in the same way, to ensure a level playing field, setting the brightness of the display to 170cd/m2 and putting the machine in flight mode. We then play a video on loop in VLC, timing how long it takes to drain the battery from full until the laptop shuts down.

No laptop review would be complete, of course, without some form of usability testing, so we also make sure we use each Dell laptop for part of our working day – to write on, stream movies and TV, carry out video calls and more.

READ NEXT: The best laptops for gaming

The best Dell laptops you can buy in 2023

1. Dell XPS 13 (late 2020, Intel 11th gen): The best ultraportable 

Price: from £1,399 | Buy now from Dell

The well-made and well-priced Dell XPS 13 has been a mainstay on our favourite laptop lists for some years now. This latest update, which comes with Intel’s 11th generation silicon, keeps the sleek design of recent iterations whilst upping the processing power, as well as adding Intel’s latest Iris Xe integrated graphics.

Our review highlights the notable improvement in performance over the 10th generation XPS 13: “The new model is 17% faster in our in-house media-centric benchmarks and in the Geekbench 5 CPU tests, the improvement is 18% for single-core and 7% for multi-core operations.” The benchmark scores are even close to the much-lauded M1 Apple MacBook Pro 13in.

Beyond this, the Dell XPS 13 remains, in the words of our reviewer, “one of the most attractive, well-built, usable and portable Windows laptops on the market.” It is lightweight, attractively designed and has one of the best keyboards we’ve used in recent times. All in all, one of the finest Windows laptops you can buy.

Read our full Dell XPS 13 9310 (late 2020, Intel 11th gen) review for more details.

Specifications – Dell XPS 13 (late 2021)
Processor: Intel Core i7-1165G7 Display size: 13.4in
RAM: 16GBDisplay resolution: 1,920 x 1,200
Storage: 512GB SSDWeight: 1.2kg

Buy now from Dell

2. Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2019): The best all-round lightweight laptop

Price: £1,399 | Buy now from Dell

Convertible laptops may not be to everyone’s taste but it’s hard to deny that the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2019) is a thing of beauty. Its 13.4in FHD touchscreen display is stunning, and you’ll be more than happy even if you don’t bother using the touch functions – though we find that the tent or tablet modes do come in handy on occasion. We reviewed the £1,400 model powered by an Intel Core i7-1065G7 CPU with 8GB RAM and found that it delivered exceptional multi-tasking results. Graphics performance was great too, boosted by an Intel-branded Iris Plus GPU.

The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1’s battery life is brilliant considering its high-powered internals; it lasted over 9hrs in our standardised battery rundown test, so it’ll keep going on a long-haul flight, whether you decide to work or kick back and binge a series. Lightweight and stylish, not to mention practical, this is one of the finest high-end notebooks on the market.

Read our full Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2019) review for more details

Specifications – Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2019)
Processor: Intel Core i7-1065G7Display size: 13.4in
RAM: 8GBDisplay resolution: 1,920 x 1,080
Storage: 256GB SSDWeight: 1.33kg

Buy now from Dell

3. Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 (2018): Dell’s best laptop-tablet hybrid

Price: £1,600 | Buy refurbished from Laptops Direct

At the time of its release in mid-2018, the Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 was the company’s most powerful hybrid PC. It boasted class-leading performance, yet cost a lot less than rivals such as the Microsoft Surface Book 2 or the 15in Apple MacBook Pro. Its 15.6in FHD display is a real treat for the eyes, with excellent colour sensitivity and a superb contrast ratio. 4K variants are also available, although they’re naturally more expensive.

One notable feature of the XPS 15 2-in-1 is its “maglev” keyboard, which uses an innovative magnet system to enhance the tactile feedback of key presses. Factor in the responsive touchscreen and 360-degree hinge, and you’ve got yourself a hybrid laptop that’s very hard to beat.

UPDATE: The Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 (2018) has since been replaced by a newer model. However, you can still buy this iteration for a reduced price by going for a refurbished model.

Read our full Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 (2018) review for more details.

Specifications – Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 (2018)
Processor: Intel Core i5-8305GDisplay size: 15.6in
RAM: 8GBDisplay resolution: 1,920 x 1,080
Storage: 128GB SSDWeight: 2kg

Buy refurbished from Laptops Direct

4. Dell Inspiron 15 7000: The best mid-range laptop

Price: From £849 | Buy now from Dell

Striking a balance between Dell’s workaday Inspiron 5000 series and its premium XPS range, the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 is a compelling combination of value for money, power, convenience and style.

The 2-in-1 laptop can be folded through 360˚, and its touchscreen means it can be used much like a tablet. The screen itself is a 1,920 x 1,080 pixel, 141ppi IPS panel, with a maximum brightness of 330cd/m², which is perfectly respectable for a mid-range machine. Performance is strong, with Dell’s machine more than up to the job of doing anything 99% of laptop users will require – and doing it quickly.

The price, however, is perhaps the biggest draw. Starting at £849, it’s substantially cheaper than the other 2-in-1 machines on this list, as well as competitors such as the HP Envy x360 and Lenovo’s Yoga 940. All in all, it represents great value for money and makes the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 one of our favourite mid-range laptops.

Read our full Dell Inspiron 15 7000 review for more information

Specifications – Dell Inspiron 15 7000
Processor: 11th-gen Core i5-1135G7 or Core i7-1165G7Display size: 15.6in
RAM: 12-16GBDisplay resolution: 1,920 x 1,080
Storage: 512GB-1TBWeight: 2kg

Buy now from Dell

5. Dell Chromebook 11 2-in-1: Best low-cost Chromebook

Price: £280 | Buy now from Amazon

Chromebooks aren’t ideal for every role, but they’re great low-cost machines for everyday tasks. The Dell Chromebook 11 2-in-1 is as cheap as they come, with models starting at just £250 – and while performance might not blow you away, it’ll see you through happily if you just need to perform basic G Suite work and web browsing.

What’s more, as the name suggests, it has a fully rotating hinge and a touch-enabled display, so you can switch to tablet mode whenever the mood strikes. The chassis is more rugged and chunky than some of the luxury laptops on this list, but that means it’ll survive a bit of rough and tumble – and it’s ideal for children.

Specifications – Dell Chromebook 11 2-in-1
Processor: Intel Celeron N3060Display size: 11.6in
RAM: 4GBDisplay resolution: 1,366 x 768
Storage: 16GBWeight: 1.43kg

6. Alienware Area-51m: The most powerful gaming laptop ever

Price: £3,800 | Buy now from Dell

This isn’t just the fastest Dell laptop; it’s basically the fastest laptop full stop. We reviewed a top-spec configuration Alienware Area-51m and were absolutely blown away by its performance. This is the Godzilla of gaming machines, packing a 9th-Gen Intel Core i9-9900K CPU (which overclocks to 5.5GHz), an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 (8GB GDDR6) and 32GB RAM. For storage, it combines a 512GB PCIe SSD with a whopping 1TB SSHD, and its 17.3in FHD display has a refresh rate of 144Hz. This setup produces desktop-beating performance the likes of which had never been seen before.

Of course, it’s an incredibly pricey machine. At nearly £4,000, it’s totally beyond the reach of most gamers. But we can all dream. On top of its phenomenal CPU speeds, the Area-51m also produces best-in-class gaming results: it’ll run literally any game at max settings and still maintain a more-than-playable frame rate.

There are lots of fun features in the mix too, including built-in Tobii eye-tracking technology that offers a whole new way to experience your game. The Area-51m’s futuristic spaceship design is appealing too, but it won’t be lifting off anytime soon as it’s weighed down by not one but two chunky power bricks.

Read our full Dell Alienware Area-51m review for more details

Specifications – Dell Alienware Area-51m
Processor: Intel Core i9-9900KGPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080
RAM: 32GBDisplay: 17i.3n, 1,920 x 1,080, 144Hz
Storage: 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD, 1TB SSHD (8GB cache)Weight: 2.16kg

Buy now from Dell

7. Dell Latitude 7424 Rugged Extreme: Best rugged laptop

Price: £4,000 | Buy now from Dell

Not many of us need a computer that can withstand repeated drops, water jets, sandstorms and solar extremes, but for military and industrial professionals seeking a laptop that won’t let them down, the Latitude 7424 Rugged Extreme is a born survivor.

Despite its gruff appearance, it’s actually a highly versatile laptop. The incredibly bright, outdoor-viewable 14in display is touch-enabled for fingers and gloves, and its dual batteries are hot-swappable for maximum longevity in the field. There are an astounding number of ports and options too, including an optical disc drive and easy-access SSD slots.

If there’s a catch, it’s that, at 3.45kg, it’s the heaviest 14in laptop we’ve ever seen, although a convenient carrying handle built into the chassis makes it a lot easier to move around. It’s also one of the most expensive laptops Dell makes: our test unit is priced at £3,973, but custom configurations can exceed £6,000. For the money, though, you’re getting a laptop that’s as rugged as it gets – think of it as the Rambo of portable PCs.

Read our full Dell Latitude 7424 Rugged Extreme review for more details.

Specifications – Dell Latitude 7424 Rugged Extreme
Processor: Intel Core i5-8350UDisplay size: 14in
RAM: 16GBDisplay resolution: 1,920 x 1,080
Storage: 512GB PCIe SSDWeight: 3.45kg

Buy now from Dell

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