Best Dell and Alienware Laptops

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Best Dell Laptop Overall

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

Editor's Choice

One of the thinnest and lightest laptops on the market, Dell's XPS 13 features a sexy aluminum and carbon fiber chassis, a gorgeous nearly InfinityEdge display, powerful performance and long battery life. With an Intel 8th Generation Core "Kaby Lake Refresh" processor on board, the current XPS 13 is a full 60 percent faster than the prior model and lasts over 16 hours on a charge. 

However, even if you purchase one of the 7th Gen-powered configurations which are still for sale, you'll be getting plenty of pop from a speedy PCIe SSD and sharp images from either a 1080p or 3200 x 1800 display panel. A wide array of ports, which includes a Thunderbolt 3 connection and standard USB 3.0, rounds out this impressive package.

Dell XPS 13 Review

Best Dell and Alienware Laptops
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 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
Dell Inspiron 11 3000 Best Under $200 4 out of 5
New Dell XPS 13 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 R4

    Editor's Choice

    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.

    Alienware 17 Review

  • Best Business Laptop

    Dell Latitude 7280

    Editor's Choice

    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.

    Dell Latitude 7280 Review

  • Best 2-in-1

    Dell XPS 13 2-in-1

    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

  • 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 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.


    Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming Laptop Review

  • Best Workstation

    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.

    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

    New Dell XPS 13

    While we're waiting until CES 2017 for more details, the new Dell XPS 13 looks amazing. The showstopper is thinner, lighter and comes in a new white finish. We don't know much about specs, but you'll get two Thunderbolt 3 ports, a 1080p or 4K display and, of course, a bottom-mounted webcam. We expect that this will be more than just a pretty new look, so keep it locked for more news. 

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.