Dell: 2018 Brand Report Card

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Taking third place for the second year in a row, Dell makes some of the best laptops money can buy, while providing the top support of any PC vendor (tied with Samsung). The Round Rock, Texas-based company also got high scores for innovation and for its extensive selection; Dell makes every type of laptop you can imagine.

Though the XPS, Alienware and Precision lines stack up well against similarly priced competitors, the company's mainstream consumer and business laptops are mired in mediocrity. If Dell could take some of the DNA from its XPS 13 and sprinkle it onto the Inspirons and Latitudes, the company would finish higher.

 

Dell's Key Strengths

  • Great premium laptops: The company's XPS line remains the leader in consumer and prosumer notebooks, thanks to its innovative features, gorgeous designs, long battery life and brilliant screens.
  • King of gaming: Dell's Alienware line leads the pack regarding performance, features and value. Its Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming is a great value, and its upcoming G-line also looks impressive.
  • Personalized support: If you call Dell for help, you'll get your own, dedicated support tech. During our tech-support showdown, agents gave us their direct email addresses for follow-up questions.

Dell's Main Weaknesses

  • Uninspiring Inspirons: The company's mainstream consumer laptops just don't stack up to the competition. The Inspirons are usually affordable, but they suffer from bland design and mediocre screens and keyboards.
  • Lackluster Latitudes: While not as problematic as its Inspiron line, the company's Latitude business laptops just aren't as attractive or innovative as its competitors'. However, if your company is wedded to Dell, you can find some decent systems. The company's Precision workstations, particularly the Precision 5520, are impressive.

Top-Rated Laptops

Best Overall: XPS 13 9370
Best Gaming: Alienware 17
Best 15-inch: XPS 15

 

Reviews (31/40)

Dell's laptop lineup is a tale of two companies: It makes some of the best premium, gaming and workstations on the market, but its mainstream consumer and business laptops are uninspired. The Dell XPS 13 is our favorite consumer laptop overall and has been for the past several years, while the Alienware 17 and Alienware 15 dominate the gaming space. On the other side of the spectrum, there are laptops like the Inspiron 15 5000 Gaming, which suffers from a dull screen, weak battery life and a stiff keyboard.

The average XPS, Alienware or Precision laptop scored 3.9 out of 5 stars last year, while the average Inspiron scored 3. The typical Latitude fared better, scoring 3.7. A troubling five out of 38 (or 13 percent) of Dell laptops scored under 3 stars.

Design (11/15)

It's Dell's XPS line that continues to push the envelope, particularly the XPS 13 9370, with its white-and-gold chassis and almost nonexistent bezels. Made from aluminum and woven crystalline silica fiber, it's pretty and stain-resistant.

The Inspiron line is not as inspiring. Aside from the Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming, the line is pretty boring with its silver MacBook-clone-like design, which isn't ugly, but it doesn't stand out in a crowd, either. And while the Latitude line is incorporating the InfinityEdge display into a few of its laptops, it's still a rather meh presentation.

Although we love the customizable lighting zones on Dell's Alienware gaming laptops, the overall design language is getting old and could use an update.

Support and Warranty (18/20)

Dell does everything it can to make sure your system has been fixed, offering solid phone support, excellent social-media helpers and personalized, dedicated support agents who give you their direct email addresses for follow-up questions. During our Tech Support Showdown, we were never put on hold for a single moment when dealing with Dell, which is more than we can say for anyone else.

Not only can you upgrade your memory and/or storage without voiding your warranty, but if you need Dell to repair your product, it covers shipping to and from its premises. Also, the company offers two versions of its extended warranties: with and without accidental-damage coverage.

Innovation (9/10)

Dell has been on an innovation tear in its high-end machines. The company made its flagship laptop, the XPS 13, thinner and lighter with the use of new thermal technologies, and added software that lets you make calls and texts and, on Android phones, control your entire handset from your desktop. In addition, it just released the Dell XPS 15 2-in-1, its first XPS convertible of that size, using Kaby Lake G.

On the Alienware front, the company is adding a new Control Center with easy overclocking and settings on a per-game basis. But Dell isn't innovating as much on its lower-level Inspiron laptops and business-focused Latitudes. On those laptops, we're still seeing the same bland designs, middling performance and lackluster screens that are nothing to write home about.

Value and Selection (13/15)

A ton of Dells came through our lab in 2017, showcasing the company's wide range of laptops that target every market segment, from kids to gamers to business users. There were low-end Inspirons between $200 and $800, including some, like the Inspiron 13 5000 2-in-1, that flip back into tablets. If you don't need Windows, Dell offers a few Chromebooks, like the Chromebook 3189. Those who want the best of the best can go for an XPS 13 or XPS 15, with top-of-the-line specs and bezel-free displays.

MORE: The Best Dell Laptops

In business, there's a wide range of Latitudes, and you can configure them with a range of features. Creative professionals lean toward the Precision line, with high-end workstations like the Precision 7720, which has Nvidia Quadro graphics and a Xeon CPU.

Dell is also a leader in gaming. The company owns Alienware, which makes some of the best premium gaming rigs money can buy. The company also offers more affordable options, such as the sub-$1,000 Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming. In 2018, the Inspiron Gaming line will lose the "Inspiron" moniker and be renamed the Dell G series.

 
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68 comments
  • Kyle McWilliams Says:

    Stay away from these junky dell laptops, they're the worst. Any other brand is better.

  • Donna Daun Says:

    I purchased a Dell Inspiron 14 3000 series (Intel (R) ) -3452 and had problems from the start. Twice I sent it back for repair but it still has the same problems plus additional ones. I have asked for a refund but was denied even though I had problems from the time I purchased it (12-1-2017). I have purchased a different computer as I cannot cope with this one. I will NEVER purchase a Dell again.

  • John S Says:

    I've typically been impressed with Dell and my Inspiron 5567 is OK, but the battery dropped half its capacity in only 3 months requiring a replacement. That actually went fine, no complaints about Dell support. It was quickly handled and properly repaired. But the Inspiron convinced me that a good $500 notebook is no more what it once was. Next time I will have to spend more on a XPS or any more premium line of notebook. The screen quality on my Inspiron is dreadful, and the keyboard is not very good along with the ultra low powered CPU core i5 which feels much slower then I expected. I just come away feeling like I should have received better quality for that $500. The battery issue after three months didn't help matters in thinking I got a mediocre notebook.

  • Ian Coleman Says:

    Dell customer service is despicable.

    On multiple occasions they have promised to call me back and just not done it, they failed to repair my laptop and won't give a refund so I gone so worn down by them that I accepted a repair but now I apparently can't get the repair because my phone number has an international extension... so I'm sitting here with 2000 euro worth of laptop that won't boot

  • EdEdEd Says:

    Fingerprint scanner a waste! It's a Dell Latitude Laptop, bought brand new in early 2018. Thought a fingerprint scanner and SSD harddrive would make it fast to get into, and I was wrong. You expect it to work as well as the one on your cell phone and it's nowhere close. the minute it gets any dirt on it (guess what, your fingers are oily), it stops working entirely. I loaded four fingerprints into it and none work.

  • 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

  • BEERAM SURYA CHANDRA Says:

    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?
    Thanks

  • nick from chicago Says:

    I am looking for a home computer..no 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 world.......it 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,
    David

  • 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.

    Regards,

    Vishwesh Kamat

    Dell | Advanced Resolution Group

    DON'T BUY DELL PRODUCTS - YOU HAVE BETTER THINGS TO DO...!

  • 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.

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