Dell: 2017 Brand Report Card

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Dell offers one of the best and most diverse laptop lineups on the market, with affordable Inspirons, sturdy Latitude business laptops, premium XPS Ultrabooks and Alienware gaming rigs. The high-end machines did great in our reviews, while most of the mainstream and budget systems were acceptable, but unexciting.


Dell's tech support is mediocre, but its excellent warranty covers shipping costs on all laptops when you need to send them in for service, and it offers a slew of extension options.

Dell’s Key Strengths

  • XPS: The XPS 13 and XPS 15 are still as great as they’ve ever been, with drool-worthy InfinityEdge displays, comfortable keyboards, wonderful build quality and long battery life.
  • Alienware: Arguably the best gaming laptops in the business, Alienware pushes the envelope with high-end performance, gorgeous designs and cutting-edge features like an OLED display.
  • Great warranty: If you need to send in your laptop during the one-year factory warranty period, Dell will cover the shipping costs in both directions.

Dell’s Main Weaknesses

  • Forgettable low-end and business models: No Inspiron, Vostro or Latitude earned a score higher than 3.5 or received an Editor’s Choice award.
  • Mediocre tech support: Support reps didn’t know basic information about the company's preloaded software and kept us on hold for a long time.

Top-Rated Dell Laptops

  • Dell XPS 13: 14+ hours of battery life and beautiful screen
  • Dell XPS 15: 0.6 inches thick, Nvidia GTX 1050 GPU
  • Alienware 17: 4K display options, lots of ports, optional graphics amp

MORE: The Best Dell Laptops


Reviews (26/35)

A trend emerged in Dell’s reviews last year. The company’s XPS 13, XPS 15 and Alienware gaming notebooks are some of the best laptops on the market, but most other products were unimpressive.

We reviewed 37 Dell laptops, five of which earned our Editors’ Choice nod (two XPS models and three Alienware). Dell’s XPS 13 2-in-1 and a few select Latitude notebooks earned 4 stars, but Dell's Vostro lineup was poor, and both the Latitude and Inspiron series laptops were merely average.

Design (13/15)

Dell continues its quest to one-up Apple at every turn, with minimalist aluminum designs in colors such as silver, gold and rose gold, like you'll find on the Dell XPS 13. But Dell gets its biggest wins with innovative designs like the XPS 13 2-in-1, which measures an incredibly slim 0.32 inches and features a barely-there InfinityEdge display.


Mid-level laptops such as the Inspiron 13 5000 and the impractically large Inspiron 17 7000 2-in-1 combine style and functionality. Dell isn't afraid to play with colors, as evidenced by the bold hues of the Inspiron 17 5000 and the Inspiron 15 7000. The company also knows how to make a rather striking business notebook (Latitude 13 7000).

On the gaming front, the Alienware 13, 15 and 17 have undergone some major design upgrades that yielded thinner, lighter, more sophisticated frames while retaining the intergalactic aesthetic that we know and love. However, outside of a few prominent redesigns, many Dell laptops are refreshes from two- or three-year-old chassis.

Support (15/20)

Dell's website has plenty of tips, how-tos, diagnostics and FAQs to help you help yourself. However, when we called for phone support, we often got phone agents who didn't know what our test laptop was capable of, telling us that our XPS 13 had no audio control software (it does) and that there's no built-in way to change the network priorities (the preloaded Killer Network Manager does just that).

Innovation (9/10)

The XPS 13 2-in-1 is the best example of Dell’s innovative spirit. This hybrid offers the same stunning, bezel-free InfinityEdge display as the regular XPS 13, but it can be used as a tablet, too. More important, Dell figured out a way to squeeze more power out of Intel’s Y Series processor; its Dynamic Power Mode delivers more speed when you need it without requiring a fan in the design. Another true standout for the brand was the addition of an OLED display to the Alienware 13, providing the most colorful images we’ve ever seen from a gaming laptop.

Value and Selection (15/15)

Dell easily has the most diverse lineup of any laptop maker, including strong entries in the mainstream consumer, business and gaming markets. Its catalog includes super-tough systems like its Rugged Extreme notebooks, productivity powerhouses like the Latitude 7280 and affordable laptops like the pint-size Inspiron 11 3000. The company's Alienware gaming laptops are always among the very best in the industry.

Warranty (5/5)

All Dell laptops come with limited one-year warranties, and unlike some competitors, the company covers all shipping costs if you need to send a product in for service.

Upgrading your RAM or storage drive does not void your warranty. Dell also gets points for offering a wide variety of extended-warranty options, which include increasing the length up to four or five years with on-site service and adding accidental-damage protection.

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  • peter dalessandro Says:

    Have had an Inspiron 11 3000 Series now for three years. Substituted the HD with an SSD just after purchase. Unit has operated quite satisfactorily. However, I do have a service contract, which has been immensely helpful with updates and glitch resolution. Am now anxious to upgrade and take advantage of Black Friday with purchase of an Inspiron 15 5000. But these bad review, across the board, have put me off. Have Dell products become that bad in so short a time, or was I simply lucky with what I purchased. I`m frankly stymied.

  • d. wik Says:

    Purchased a Dell 5000 series Laptop based somewhat on reviews found here. It lasted 10 months, was returned under warranty and the repair lasted 4-months, or long enough for warranty to expire. Not minor problem, they supposedly replaced the mother board and 2 more parts. It will not boot; defective GPU again. Retired, fixed income; afraid to buy another piece of junk. Thank you.

  • Suzanne Stannard Says:

    I have a Dell All-in-One computer. I haven't had it that long. I got it during the winter. I have good Antivirus. But I will never buy a Dell again. This so called fast processor is slow. It takes forever to restart. I started a restart 2 hours ago aND it is still restarting. Sometimes it goes to sleep and won't wake up. Don't EVER buy a Dell.

  • Rejina Says:

    Very informative post! thanks to share this

  • ninganagouda Says:

    Sir i am planned to purchase laptop from dell the online price is different and shop price is different which is the better way?

  • NeverBuyDellAgain Says:

    Do not buy Dell if you travel abroad.
    Dell as most US based company do not give a s$#t about worldwide service.
    Try you cannot even contact Dell International only if you are a US citizen and you are located there too.
    I purchased a 2-in-1 with 3 years of "next business day" warranty which day passed about 5 months ago.
    The technical problem was "taken care" by the Israeli Dell representative so after ruining the laptop I have to organize the swap with them too. Meantime I travelled to Belgium, England and South Africa too, but I have to deal with the slightly retarded Israeli tech-support and they have an issue understanding why I won't accept half the resolution, RAM and warranty compared to the one I paid for.
    I had Dell computers in the past but after 5 months to get my laptop or money back, I get back to a different brand. Gave up on them.
    I will spend my time blogging about this issue and raise awareness how bad this company is.
    If any Dell worker ever reads it, here is an official SWAP DPS 25319257672

  • OBXconsumer Says:

    Dell is a horrible company. It is like Ponzi scheme - they sell stuff and fight with you when it does not work and pay employees to put good ratings on the internet. They are like the insurance companies that deny all claims until you literally have to get a lawyer and sue them. Mailing computers is stupid anyway, because they get shaken up and thrown around. It is time US Citizens stood up for themselves and use their hard earned money to buy well made computers that actually last for years. Also, the software and hardware changes all the time and we are supposed to buy new stuff constantly, we are all going broke and filling the landfills. I hate dell. They ripped me off with a lemon I paid $1,577 dollars for and it has never worked for more than a few months at a time. Buyer Beware!!!! They expect you to pay, pay, pay for warranties, etc. and the machines are designed to fail. If you get one that actually works, it was an accident. The people in India never contact supervisors – they put the phone down and say the same thing – I just checked and I am sorry but there is nothing we can do – or they say they will submit the complaint and someone will call you and when they call back, it is just the same person saying I just checked and I am sorry but there is nothing we can do.

  • Debbie OHara Says:

    I have not been able to use my new 17 inch Dell AMD, was ill a period after recieving... Barely on for a wk & the cursor disappeared.. Read issues regarding this ~
    Called Tech support, barely understood & he was clearly not in the mode to Help Anyone...he knew what the prob was but said I would have to purchase the tech support package, a huge monthly fee as well as yearly, told him not for me,,,

  • Erywans Says:

    So.i like laptop computer Dell 👍👍👍 the best DELL thank you and so i love dell


    I want to know the best dell laptop model

  • mcarthurdw Says:

    I have had a Dell XPS 15 model 9530 Laptop for les than a year. I can honestly say that it is the biggest piece of crap I have ever owned. The video driver crashes daily, I have had tickets open with Dell support on this issue from day one. They have updated the video drivers and BIOS multiple times, they replaced the AC Adapter, and a week ago they replaced the Motherboard, now this ten month old turd won't even power on. Dell is once again replacing the Motherboard and the AC Adapter, as soon as I can get this piece of crap running again, I am going to back up my data and sell it. I will never own another Dell product There computers are cheap rubbish!

  • Bob Greely Says:

    What happened to Dell? I am in the middle of laptop hell trying to: first get a laptop ordered, then when it arrived it did not turn on, then when I went to support they have my service tag id assigned to the wrong computer model, so support will not help me.
    I have had a Dell computers for years, so I figured when I needed a new one I would get a Dell. Big mistake. First ordering the computer took almost 4 hours with many calls to sales support. The web site would not let me put into my cart what I ordered. Then when I finally got my cart almost correct (gave up trying to get what I really wanted) it would not let me checkout. Finally had to email what I wanted to sales support and they entered the info.
    2 weeks later the computer arrived and failed to boot. So I called Dell support, they kept telling me the computer model they had on record for the service tag Id, of my new computer, did not match the model of the computer recieved, so they could not help me. I spent the next hour getting bounced from person to person until the call just ended on the Dell side. I called back and managed to get someone that did want to help. We got the computer booted up (battery issue) but then there was no wireless. They never installed the drivers. So now I have a computer that will not connect to the internet. This has been a terrible experience and I hope to send the computer back tomorrow for a refund. Something has gone terribly wrong at Dell. DO NOT BUY A DELL COMPUTER!

  • Rohini Dagade Says:

    Worst machine with low quality part, DELL sell the low quality laptop, I purchased a laptop which has WiFi issue from the first day of purchase, Part is replaced again with faulty part, as dell don't manufactur quality part, I bought a laptop from dealer, while testing WiFi was low, dealers said that WiFi is low at store, we took laptop to home at that tested with many router WiFi was not connecting, so we logged a complaint, faulty product was sold by dealers in this case replacement should hav been done, but dell replaced screen for the WiFi issue, after replacement of screen, touch was not working, again the screen is replaced, now laptop does not close properly and screen blink in every 2-3 min, still no as promised no on site service is provided, forget about all this, from time of purchase laptop is faulty, I want replacement,or need to file a case to consumer court, for musguiding and selling refurbished product

  • Rajeev Jaiswal Says:

    dell inspiron 3542 series is not user frndly.

  • Meisha Says:

    I used dell for 7 years and my laptop still run good. I never had problem for 7 years. Even if i ever drop my dell from my motorcycle. But my dell still working so good until now.Haha.. Recommend..

  • Bruno Says:

    Any computer which will not allow upgrade after four years is not with it.Cannot upgrade to windows 10 from windows 7 on the n5110 laptop. Dell never again.

  • Bruno Says:

    dell computer piece of crap,their support fo their product is very poor.

  • regularguy Says:

    How much did Dell pay you for this review? STAY AWAY FROM DELL. I've been a customer of Dell since their beginning. They started out really good. The last two laptops I bought from them were lemons. I decided to try again because I was a loyal customer. Maybe it was just those last two laptops. So I purchased another one. This one was by far the worst. The weird bizarre problems that come up range from being unable to start the laptop sometimes. Sometimes certain keys on the keyboard stop working for days and then it will clear up and start working again. This last laptop I bought from Dell is my very last. and hopefully I can help someone avoid save money and headache by avoiding Dell entirely. You'd seriously be better off with Asus.

  • Ian NoDell Says:

    I had three Dell laptops through work.

    First one was huge, built like a tank and bomb proof.

    Second one was small, built like a small tank and bomb proof.

    Third one was the biggest lemon I have ever seen in the world of computing equipment.

    Plagued with missing driver issues which Dell tech corporate support took months to resolve.

    Then over the next 18 months, five, yes - FIVE screen replacements, one motherboard replacement, (and a partridge in a pear tree).

    I ended up saying to our IT department saying I refused to take it back a sixth time and they should tell Dell to stick it somewhere. They gave me a Toshiba.

    Maybe I was just unlucky but, five screens and a motherboard on a 2 year old laptop and they dont offer a replacement??

    Never again.

  • Mitchell Williams Says:

    Dell sucks so bad! I've never had the run around so bad in all of my life. Or spoken to so many individuals that have accents that are hard to understand.

  • jeffrey Says:

    Dell uses aggressive tactics after you buy your laptop you're kind of stuck finding phone calls from people that say you're infected want you to buy Dell sponsored software I'll never buy a Dell again because of that

  • MrJay Says:

    I am looking for a multipurpose laptop that does quick books , normal internet activities, photo and video management ( mostly storage) etc. I have narrowed it down to and XPS15, Latitude15 or the Inspiron 15
    I'd like an i-7. 1 tb storage. 8 RAM. HD
    I'm not sure about dual or quad core(my computer knowledge is limited)
    Touch screen not needed. Any suggestions or recommendations?

  • nick from chicago Says:

    I am looking for a home idea where to start. I use it to apply for jobs, resumes, other document files. Photo storage, CD burning, Internet searching. I had a Sony for years but downloaded a bad virus. Should I get it repaired and update the windows software or start over again. Any suggestions would be appreciated..thanks

  • ÑįŁe$H p@ŤeŁ Says:

    I have dell laptop it's has i7 proceser , 8 gb ram , 1 bt hd , 2 gb gc, and cool fetures

  • Henry Says:

    The computer that I bought has served me well except for one thing: the charger THAT CAME WITH THE PRODUCT is supposedlyt not compatible with hte computer. Sometimes it works, but two thirds of the time it says some nonsense about the charger being unknown and that the computer won't work properly before snailing through basic processes and refusing to charge like a grumpy schoolboy. I'm left trying to reinsert it repeatedly as if I was haplessly playing a game of Doctor and worried that the alarm was going to go off. Dell's decision to try and force everyone to buy all of their replacement parts at high rice from them by making everything else incompatible in faux iitation of apple is pathetic and they should get over themselves. I will continue to use this computer, but I will probably never buy another one unless I absolutely have to, essentially because I hate the company.

  • gregory Says:

    Bought two DELL Inspirons, a 17 inch that died two months after purchase under warranty thankfully, and motherboard was replaced, and a 5547 (multiple issues, touchpad, hinge, low range WIFI) that died as soon as the warranty expired. Decided not to replace motherboard as it would had been $200 and who know how long before it would fail again. I ended up buying a Lenovo G50-80 as we have another one in the family that is very fast and with zero issues. DELL used to be good, no more.

  • kerika Says:

    I just wana say dell is the one of most perfect brand in the bbrings exclent laptops for us.....we should be happy.........friends.....

  • dennis Says:

    looking for a dell laptop at 35000.

  • nehmmuel Says:

    i have a budget dell laptop dell inspiron 3531 celeron upgraded to windows 10 and im using it for 3 months so far so good no problems yet but my friends acer laptop had a battery problem already but my friends laptop is 30 days old
    by the way my dell inspiron 3531is my very first laptop because im only grade ten and no large ammount of money to buy xps 13 in the philipines.... i really recommend dell :)

  • foysol Says:

    Dell is very good laptop. But have some problems

  • Jess Dixon Says:

    Needing to upgrade from my HP Pavilion dv6-1030. Want good sound with capacity for research and writing a book. Not interested in games, but photos and communication capabilities. Wondering what would be Dell's suggestion.

  • D James Says:

    The business range look great. However, from experience, I'd avoid the cheap consumer laptops as they are very flimsy and underpowered for the OS they come bundled with. Not a company to buy a budget machine from.

  • Dr David Garber Says:

    What is your reccomendation for a computer- fast proccsesor--how much ram-storage-great download- size-touch screen- yes or no-reliability-storage and whatever I didn't think of. Also quality levels. Not a gamer just for business efficiency. Suggestions,sales?
    Thank you,

  • Another Shafted Dell Customer Says:

    He is still awaiting (6 MONTHS LATER) for refund of 'ommitted' 8.1Pro version. Customer Service continues to pacify - BE CAREFUL IF YOU ORDER FROM DELL!!!

  • Former Dell Owner Says:

    My son saved for quite awhile to buy a Dell only to have it die a month after the warranty was up. Dell support was pretty good on the phone but in the end the processor and mother board were both dead. I would never buy another Dell product.

  • ritesh Says:

    I want dell laptop of 5th generation with i5

  • waqas hussain Says:

    i want a need hp laptop core i3 core i4 andor dell in 4th generation with 4 to 8gb ram 2.8 to 3 processor
    hard is 500 gb please tell the prices of these

  • Dominic Says:

    I have been using Dell products for about 10 years now and for them they are easy to fix, and price to quality ratio is really good. and to you Frank and Cappy, your reviews are Dank and Crapy!

  • Chris Says:

    I have bough a Dell laptop for the second time in January this year. In less then 6 months Dell had to change the hard drive twice and the mother board. Out of those 6 months I was without my laptop for over 5 weeks. Barely an apology was given, of course neither any reasons or compensation ( at least an extended warranty ), as they NEVER admitted my equipment was faulty. I have sent 3 complaints - emails and post - in the past 5 weeks and have just received a final rude email, which is published below. No one bothered to reply..
    One of the worst customer service. It just proves Dell is happy for individual customers to buy their products, but just pray nothing wrong happens, if you are not a corporate company, where they will bend backward to get your £££££. We are too small fish.

    I write to you on behalf of Dell’s Executive Customer Support Team and we are the single point of contact for all correspondence (emails/letters/fax), received at any of our worldwide corporate offices addressed to our executives.

    Please note, Dell has assisted you as per the warranty and we regret to inform you that we will be unable to compensate for any time or data loss. As communicated before, as much as we aspire to offer computers/ printers which are fault free, technical issues with computers/ printers could arise and one can have the system serviced according to warranty policy.

    Please note this is the last point of escalation and this is Dells final position in the matter. We are not in a position to offer you any compensation. We also believe the Courts will look on this as a reasonable offer. Should you wish to bring a claim against Dell we must inform you we will defend our position.

    I regret you feel your experience with Dell on this occasion has not met with your expectations.

    Of course I am available should you wish to discuss the, matter any further.


    Vishwesh Kamat

    Dell | Advanced Resolution Group


  • Rebecca H Says:

    Dell's customer service is the worst I've ever experienced. What is up with selling computers that don't have ethernet ports? What is up with keeping customers on telephone hold for 3 to 4 hours, not resolving the issues and not providing adequate technical support? Before you know it , your warranty is up, seemingly only because they kept you on hold for so long. No more dells for me ever.

  • John Hudon Says:

    Bought Dell for my wife on valentines day. As of July 30 the laptop has crashed 5 times and has inoperable for two months dealing with tech support. Laptop still does not work and Dell is saying the return period is up. I can't believe Dell has back slid so much. I will never purchase another Dell product.

  • Marge Says:

    Made the mistake of buying a Dell laptop directly from Dell online. The monitor and other hardware failed within 3 months after only minimal use. I sent it back and the returned it to me "still broken". Spent between 7PM and midnight on the phone with incredibly UN-knowledgeable tech support people who seemed to be trying to wear us down and giving us the run-around. We were patient and kind with them. We finally turned Dell in to both Federal and Local Government Consumer affairs for an investigation. In the mean time, $399 down the drain with a computer that is under a year old and supposedly still under warranty.

  • Valerie Inglis Says:

    i just acquired my first Dell - an Inspiron 14-3451. I found it extremely slow and the drive was chattering almost continuously. I called Tech Support (Philippines) and went through hours of troubleshooting - including a reset. The problems persisted so the tech sent a replacement drive THAT I HAD TO INSTALL. they also sent a thumb drive with the operating system. - FOR ME TO INSTALL. The laptop has no internet now nor does it have an Ethernet port. NOW WHAT DO THEY WANT ME TO DO!!!!!! I am awaiting the next email from them. I will never buy a Dell in the future and will recommend the same to anyone who will listen. SHAME ON DELL

  • dikshit rekhi Says:

    shit laptops!!problem problem and only problem....i wasted my money on dell inspiron 15 5000 series i will recommend not to buy this piece of crap, instead go for hp or sony. if not money problem go for apple...!!

  • Dibyasundar Deb Says:

    I want to buy a dell laptop.....range 25000 to 30000 Indian rupee.......please suggest me which one is best And windows7 is comfortable for me.

  • A. mahmoud Says:

    i just have the dell inspiron 7000 brand new, and just found out that the hard drive is crashed and they have to send a person to replace the hard drive after 1 month having it, i ll never buy any dell product again

  • Edon Haziri Says:

    Hi i would like to ask u for a dell inspiron 15 3000 series cuz i have one its core i7 and its not working good i don know why or its only my notebook doing this defect ?

  • Ameen Says:

    Guys dont ever buy Dell Vostro14-3000 series. Its the worst laptop I have ever used.
    My first lappy was Toshiba with a 512 Ram and it was far better than i3 and 4gb Ram config by DELL.

    Its not with me but who ever using in my company has this problem.
    We recently started buying this becos of Nvidia but it is total pain...

  • Iqbal Butt Says:

    I buy a brand new Dell laptop from HELL. The laptop hard drive was bad and the laptop take 10 minutes to boot up.
    I send the laptop to DELL and when I get it back there is a dent on the top. I send it back again and now they dont have a part.
    Please buy Lenova, Sony, ABC, XYZ but dont buy Dell=Hell.

  • Don't Buy Dell Says:

    4 months ago, I paid $5000 for a brand new Dell 3800 laptop and 3 weeks ago it failed. Sure, these things do occasionally happen and I was only slightly perturbed when I called Dell support, and I was almost relieved when I was told that, as per my “next business day” service option, a technician would promptly arrive and replace the motherboard.
    3 business days later, the first technician arrived and proceeded to try and remove the back cover. However, he was so inept that he completely stripped two of the screws – not just one, but two! “Not to worry”, he assured me. He would simply break the back cover to gain access. But, he would have to wait until Dell could send a replacement cover.
    6 business days - he returned to wrench the back cover free from the screws he destroyed and finally replaced the motherboard. However, this “new” motherboard didn’t work properly. The laptop started, but when he tried to turn it off, the keyboard stayed illuminated, the screen froze and there was no way of restarting. Then this supposed Dell technician actually asked me “Does this model normally do that?!?” Trying not to choke on my complete bewilderment, I said “No”.
    So, while I waited for yet another “new” motherboard, I decided to call Dell to lodge a complaint. I was told to put this in writing and send it to customer service, which I did, and I promptly received an automated reply stating that I would receive a response within 8 business hours… But, I never heard anything.
    9 business days - a second technician arrived to install yet another motherboard, which, thankfully, he managed to do without breaking anything else. However, Dell had sent the wrong screws to replace the ones stripped by the first technician.
    So, I sent another mail to customer service and, once again, got the automated “We will respond within 8 business hours”.
    12 business days – I finally heard from customer service. But, not to say sorry for the terrible service I’d been receiving and not to say that my replacement screws were on the way, but just to say that my service job would be closed within 24 hours. I replied rather promptly to ask what had become of my missing screws??
    To my surprise, this person had absolutely no knowledge of my screwed screws and asked me to supply photographic proof, which I duly did.
    20 business days – and still no reply…..
    Paying $5000 for a laptop that fails after just 4 months is bad enough, but to get this kind of terrible service is simply insulting. Unless you have a penchant for wasting money and time – DON”T BUY DELL!!!

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