Best Dell and Alienware Laptops 2018

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Best Dell Laptop Overall

Dell XPS 13 (8th Gen, Kaby Lake R)

Editor's Choice

One of our favorite laptops for several years running, the Dell XPS 13 comes in two awesome models that we can equally recommend. Both boast stunning aluminum and carbon fiber chassis, a nearly bezel-free InfinityEdge display and powerful Intel 8th Gen Core CPUs. 

The newer version, the XPS 13 9370, is slimmer and has a more beautiful display, and endures for up to 12 hours (8 hours on a 4K model). It offers Thunderbolt 3 and USB Type-C ports for connectivity. But if you don't mind a slightly thicker design, the older XPS 13 9360 offers a full-size USB port and even longer battery life at over 16 hours on a charge.

Dell XPS 13 Review

Best Dell and Alienware Laptops 2018
Product: Use Case: Rating:
Dell XPS 13 (8th Gen, Kaby Lake R) Best Dell Laptop Overall 4.5 out of 5
Dell XPS 15 Best 15-inch Laptop 4 out of 5
Alienware 17 R5 Best Gaming Laptop 4 out of 5
Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 Best 2-in-1 3.5 out of 5
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Best Affordable Gaming Laptop 3.5 out of 5
Dell Precision 5520 Best Business Laptop 4 out of 5
Alienware 13 OLED Best Lightweight Gaming 4 out of 5
Dell Inspiron 11 3000 Best Under $200 4 out of 5
Dell XPS 15 9570 New and Notable N/A
  • Best 15-inch Laptop

    Dell XPS 15

    Editor's Choice

    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.

    Dell XPS 15 Review

  • Best Gaming Laptop

    Alienware 17 R5

    Editor's Choice

    Alienware's spaceship-inspired laptop is back with a new black finish and powerful performance. With up to a Intel Core i9 "Coffee Lake" CPU and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 GPU, it can tear into intense games. It also includes Tobii Eye Tracking and a powerful new Alienware Command Center that makes it easy to overclock your CPU and customize the laptop's many RGB lights.

    Alienware 17 Review

  • Best 2-in-1

    Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

    The XPS 15 2-in-1 has the incredible InfinityEdge display you've come to know and love and lets you flip it into a tablet. It's really thin, and Dell's new "maglev" keyboard feels great despite low travel. Toss in Kaby Lake G with Radeon graphics, and you have strong performance for productivity and entry-level gaming.

    Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 Review

  • Best Affordable Gaming Laptop

    Dell Inspiron 15 7000

    Looking for a gaming laptop, but don't want to crack open that nest egg? Dell's Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming laptop gives you VR-ready gaming performance thanks to a GTX 1060 Max-Q GPU and over 7 hours of battery life starting at $899. The screen isn't particularly vivid, but that's a small price to pay when you're getting this much power for this little money.

    Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming Laptop Review

  • Best Business Laptop

    Dell Precision 5520

    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. It's a solid pick for any business user or someone who just needs a bit of extra oomph.

    Dell Precision 5520 Review

  • Best Lightweight Gaming

    Alienware 13 OLED

    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. 

    Alienware 13 (OLED) Review

  • Best Under $200

    Dell Inspiron 11 3000

    You can't get a ton of power for just $180, but you can get quite a bit of battery life. The Dell Inspiron 11 3000 lasted an epic 13 hours and 39 minutes on the Laptop Mag Battery Test. You also get surprisingly good audio, but the display is a dim 196 nits and covers a dull 67 percent of the sRGB color gamut. At least it comes in fun colors.

    Dell Inspiron 11 3000 Review

  • New and Notable

    Dell XPS 15 9570

    The Dell XPS 15 is getting an upgrade to Intel's latest Coffee Lake processors. It will come with your choice of Intel Core i5, i7 or i9, along with a new GPU option in the GTX 1050 Ti. There's also a new color option, Onyx black, and the Thunderbolt 3 option will work with eGPUs. It will start at $999 when it comes out in May.

Choosing the Right Dell

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.

  • XPS: Premium Ultrabooks like the XPS 13 and 15, which offer the best design and usability.
  • Alienware: Some of the best mobile gaming rigs on the market.
  • Inspiron: Mainstream consumer laptops, available in a wide range of prices.
  • Latitude: Business notebooks with the security, manageability and durability features that companies require.
  • Precision: High-end workstations for demanding tasks. Some use the XPS 15 chassis.
  • Chromebook: Dell's Chromebooks are primarily targeted at the education market.

For more details, check out our Which Dell is Right for You article.