Dell packed a 13-inch machine into an 11-inch body with the Dell XPS 13. The company accomplished this impressive feat by putting an extremely small bezel (5-mm thick) around the full HD display. Under the hood, this laptop sports an Intel 7th Generation Core series (Kaby Lake) CPU and PCIe SSD for zippy performance, and the 60-watt-hour battery provides enough juice to last nearly 14 hours. We particularly like the soft-touch keyboard deck and new rose gold color option.
|Best Dell and Alienware Laptops|
|Dell XPS 13 (Kaby Lake CPU)||Best Dell Laptop Overall||4.5 out of 5|
|Dell XPS 15||Best 15-inch Laptop||4 out of 5|
|Alienware 17 R4||Best Gaming Laptop||4 out of 5|
|Dell Latitude 7280||Best Business Laptop||4 out of 5|
|Dell XPS 13 2-in-1||Best 2-in-1||4 out of 5|
|Dell Inspiron 15 7000||Best Affordable Gaming Laptop||3.5 out of 5|
|Dell Precision 5520||Best Workstation||4 out of 5|
|Alienware 13 OLED||Best Lightweight Gaming||4 out of 5|
Boasting a 4K display in an attractive aluminum and carbon-fiber chassis, the Dell XPS 15 is a multimedia powerhouse with an Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 GPU. It has a wide and spacious keyboard surrounded by a comfortable, soft-touch deck, as well as some monstrously loud speakers. It can handle entry level gaming when you're not editing video or watching films.
Beneath the spaceship-inspired paneling with its glowing alien head and look-at-me lighting lurks a machine that can't wait to tear into the latest graphics-heavy AAA titles. The Alienware 17 R4 features a powerful, 7th Generation Intel Core Series CPU, Nvidia 10-Series graphics and Tobii Eye-tracking technology. If configuring the laptop with a GTX 1080 card isn't enough for you, you can attach it to an optional graphics amp.
Lightweight, powerful and a pleasure to use, the 12-inch Latitude 7280 is a productivity worker's best friend. The 3-pound laptop features a snappy keyboard, a bright display and over 12 hours of battery life (with the extended battery). It also has all the ports a business user needs, including three USB 3.0 connections, USB Type-C, Ethernet and an SD card reader.
The XPS 13 2-in-1 takes the nearly borderless Infinity Display on our favorite laptop and puts it on a convertible that's thinner, lighter and completely fanless. The Y-Series Kaby Lake chip provides plenty of pep, especially when the Dynamic Power Mode kicks in, which automatically scales up performance when you need it. Add in impressive audio, a comfy keyboard and above-average battery life, and you have a winner.
Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 Review
Looking for a gaming laptop, but don't want to crack open that nest egg? Dell's Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming laptop offers solid overall and gaming performance with over 11 hours of battery life in a slick, red chassis -- starting at $799. While we recommend the $949 model, keep in mind that the display is duller than we'd expect from a gaming laptop. But for the price, it's a forgivable flaw.
If you like the sleek looks of the Dell XPS 15, but need plenty of processing power for CAD, 3D modeling or running demanding business applications, the Precision 5520 is your best choice. This 4.4-pound workstation has the same svelte profile and gorgeous, bezel-free Infinity Display as Dell's XPS laptops, but packs in high-end components such as an Intel 7th Generation Xeon processor and Nvidia Quadro M1200M graphics.
When it comes to sheer power, the Alienware 13 proves that size doesn't matter. As one of the smallest VR-ready systems available, the highly-portable system works with Oculus Rift and HTC Vive headsets. If that wasn't enough, the Alienware 13 is a stone-cold fox with its slimmed-down dimensions and a super-vivid OLED display that's sure to attract a fair amount of onlookers.
Dell's varied lineup of laptop fits every need, from 2-in-1s to education-focused Chromebooks to powerful gaming rigs in its Alienware line. We've identified our favorite Dell systems above, but this list of Dell's laptop lines can help you decide what the best options are for you.
For more details, check out our Which Dell is Right for You article.