1. The list in brief
2. Best overall
3. Best 2-in-1
4. Best gaming
5. Best display
6. Best 13-inch
7. Best 16-inch
8. Best battery life
9. How to find the right laptop
10. Why trust Laptop Mag
The best Dell laptops aren’t limited to the fantastic XPS family of portable devices. While the Dell XPS 13 is currently on the list, this seasoned laptop manufacturer is by no means a one-trick pony. In fact, Dell’s diverse stable of quality clamshells is a key strength.
While there’s already an impressive assortment of business, productivity, and gaming-focused laptops available through their Latitude, Precision and G-Series product lines, Dell hasn’t let innovation lay by the wayside. On the contrary, they've made real strides over the years in terms of design, battery life and overall implementation for every new generation of notebooks.
Dell Precision 5470 is a marvel of both form and function. Not only is it the best Dell laptop on this list, it's one of the best overall laptops available -- period. The XPS 13 is a real jack-of-all-trades thanks to its powerful 12th Gen Intel Core processor, gorgeous display and long-lasting battery life.
Without further ado, here are the best Dell laptops for every budget and computing need. Whether you’re in the market for a premium laptop, 2-in-1 or workstation, these are the Dell that suit a variety of interests in education, creation, work, and play.
The Quick List
Best overall Dell laptop
Dell Precision 5470’s leading 12th-gen performance, gorgeous 14-inch touch screen and long-lasting battery life in a portable aluminum chassis are an unbeatable combination.
Best 2-in-1 Dell laptop
The Dell Latitude 9430 is a pristine 2-in-1 laptop with a super slim 498-nit InfinityEdge display and solid productivity performance in an ultra-light weight aluminum chassis.
Best gaming Dell laptop
The Dell G16 is an affordable gaming laptop boasting powerful RTX 3060 performance alongside shockingly high productivity metrics for a laptop of its price.
Best display in a Dell laptop
The Dell Precision 5760 offers excellent performance and long-lasting battery life, but its astoundingly bright and vivid 17-inch 4K OLED display is what makes it shine.
Best 13-inch Dell laptop
With a sleek ultra-slim design and impressive performance, the Dell XPS 13 Plus is a perfect fit for mobile professionals, although you might find the design to be a bit peculiar.
Best 16-inch Dell laptop
The Dell Inspiron 16 is a jack-of-all-trades laptop that’s perfect for anyone in need of a 16-inch with solid 12th-gen performance and a gorgeous 16:10, 3K display.
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Best battery life
Best battery life in a Dell laptop
The Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1’s powerful performance and impressive display brightness are great, but its nearly 14 hours of battery life earn it a place on this list.
There’s a new productivity powerhouse in town, and it’s much more mobile than the average workstation. The Dell Precision 5470 doesn’t exactly reinvent the wheel, of course, but it represents the gradual evolution of business-centric workstation laptops. It’s a premium machine for sure — especially if you splurge for a Core i7 or Core i9 configuration — but a fairly futureproof one at that thanks to Intel’s ever-evolving vPro tech.
Climbing over $3,000, the Dell Precision 5470’s price tag is nothing to sneeze at. The Nvidia RTX A1000 graphics inside may not be as powerful as the Nvidia RTX 30-series GPUs inside the Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 and MSI Creator Z16 laptops (both cost between $2,500 and $3,000), but keep in mind that the Precision targets business-oriented power users – not gamers nor professionals who need a laptop that pushes performance envelope for graphic-intensive tasks.
On top of that, if you purchase the ROG Strix Scar 17 and MSI Creator Z16 laptops, you’ll take quite a hit when it comes to battery life. Meanwhile, the Dell Precision 5470 delivers a decent discrete GPU and a relatively long battery runtime.
Pound for pixelated pound, the Dell Precision 5470 may be the most portable, powerful workstation you’ll find on the market, and it’s the ultimate tool for on-the-go creatives, workaholics, and multimedia junkies alike.
See our full Dell Precision 5470 review.
If you’re looking for a premium 2-in-1 laptop that can handle all of your multimedia multitasking (whether you’re on or off the clock) and much more, the Dell Latitude 9430 might well be worth the investment. From an aesthetic standpoint, it shares several similarities with the similarly priced Dell Precision 9430, and similar specs as the HP Spectre x360 14 and Dell XPS 13 (OLED). When it comes to battery life, however, the Latitude 9430 puts most 14-inch convertibles to shame.
There are plenty of cheaper 2-in-1 laptops and less-powerful Chromebooks on the market that’ll give you all-day endurance, but you get what you pay for, and Dell sweetens the deal with enterprise-level security features and a surprisingly capable sound system to boot. At the end of the day, the Dell Latitude 9430 is ideal for work and play, all the way.
See our full Dell Latitude 9430 review.
The Dell G16 surprised us in how well it handled productivity tasks, making it a great pick for someone who needs to run demanding software at an affordable price. It’s also pretty darn good at playing video games, which shouldn’t be surprising since it’s a gaming laptop, but we didn’t expect its performance to get so close to some of its competitors when they’re backed by stronger graphics cards.
It’s not without flaws though, as a lackluster display, hot underside, mediocre speakers, and subpar battery life hold it back. If you’re looking for a display with deeper colors and longer lasting battery life, this won't satisfy you. Otherwise, the Dell G16 is a great affordable gaming laptop.
See our full Dell G16 review.
Meet the workaholic’s dream. The Dell Precision 5760 is priced at $2,059 to start, with our review unit costing $3,941, is a sleek, sexy workstation that offers power and endurance in a thin, portable package. But the Precision’s just getting started.
It has a massive 17-inch bright, colorful WLED 4K touch display that renders smooth eye-catching images and video. And you’ve got some solidly potent specs, including an11th Gen Intel Core i7 CPU, an Nvidia RTX A3000 GPU, and a 2TB SSD. Plus, you get a heaping helping of security features.
Its 17-inch display is captivating, endlessly immersive, and just a joy to work on. The 5760 is sleek and doesn’t feel at all like it weighs 5.5 pounds. From its 0.34 inches thick, tactile deck to its massive clicky keyboard and touchpad and 8-plus hours of battery life, it doesn't disappoint.
It's also within its test group the most affordable workstation, starting at just $2,059, and should you be in the market for a workstation, the Dell Precision 5760 is an excellent option.
See our full Dell Precision 5760 review.
Are you ready for the future? Dell certainly is, and for them, the future is the XPS 13 Plus. Although the laptop sports an incredibly minimalistic and polarizing design, it doesn’t skimp in the power department — thanks to its Core i7 processor. The 4K OLED display is a vision of loveliness and the keyboard is comfortable, which just serves to sweeten the pot.
However, as beautiful as the display is, it’s also a drain on the battery life. And then there’s that polarizing design. Some will be drawn to the ultra-minimalistic aesthetic while others will take issue with the invisible touchpad and absent headset jack. If you’re looking for a piece of the future right now, then the $1,910 ($1,273 starting) Dell XPS 13 Plus is for you.
See our full Dell XPS 13 Plus review.
The Dell Inspiron 16 Plus is a very likable mainstream laptop that reminds you that stability is a good thing – basically, it's Paul Rudd. Although it lacks a wow factor, its solid, consistent performance will cover the needs of most users. The Inspiron does enough of everything well and adds all-day battery life. It’s not the Hulk, but Ant-Man is a superhero and gets the job done.
At the end of the day, the HP Inspiron 16 Plus ($1,599.99) compares favorably with its competitors in every way and allows you to not only create and edit content, but get a little gaming in. The Dell Inspiron 16 is an excellent and relatively affordable performer.
See our full Dell Inspiron 16 Plus review.
Best battery life
You don’t typically get good battery life on a laptop with a large display — more screen space means more battery drain — but the Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1 (7620) says “bump that.” While we felt that it couldn't look more boring, it also feels premium thanks to its hard, metal chassis. If you don’t want to be bogged down by the monotonous silver paint, the Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1 (7620) also comes in a gorgeous Dark Green.
For $1,249, you’re buying a premium chassis packed with a bright 16-inch touchscreen display, strong performance, and a long-lasting battery. It’s not perfect — we didn’t like the keyboard and touchpad experience, and the audio wasn’t up to par. But it’s also not exorbitantly expensive.
See our full Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1 (7620) review.
How to Find the Right Laptop
When shopping for the best Dell laptop, there's a lot to consider. To help you choose a top-tier system, here are five key points to keep in mind.
Budget: What you get for the money
You can find plenty of Dell laptops for under $1,000. However, more powerful workstations and gaming laptops are often priced between $1,500 and $2,000. Premium systems typically cost more than $2,000 and come stacked with a host of high-powered specs and tricked-out software.
Screen Size: 13 to 17 inches
17-inch desktop replacements are becoming more svelte with every passing year; these big behemoths don't skimp on the specs. However, often weighing upwards of 8 pounds, they're better suited for at-home gaming. If mobility is a prime concern, you'll want to consider Dell's 13- and 15-inch offerings instead.
Screen Resolution: 1080p for high refresh rates, 4K for detail
Laptop displays should strike a balance between capable frame rates and sleek aesthetics. Panel makers are now serving up screens with higher refresh rates, topping out at 360Hz with a 3-millisecond response rate, but we're also starting to see 4K laptop displays with 120Hz refresh rate. Keep in mind that Dell laptops with lower resolutions tend to have longer battery life overall.
CPU: Intel or AMD?
A few years ago, the answer to this question would have been undoubtedly Intel. But AMD has made a furious comeback with its Ryzen CPUs, which are delivering great overall performance. Thanks to the architecture in the new Ryzen chips, they're super power-efficient without sacrificing productivity. The Ryzen 5000 series CPUs have consistently impressed with its performance versus battery life.
Still, Intel's 12th and 13th Gen chips are nothing to sneeze at. Dell has started rolling out more systems with Intel's 12th and 13th Gen chips and the performance is astounding.
Battery Life: 4 to 10+ hours
Laptop battery life has gotten increasing longer over the years, often topping off at 8 hours or more. There a handful of gaming laptops that'll last longer than 10 hours, but most Dell laptops can handle at least 6 hours of battery life or more.
Why Trust Laptop Mag
Laptop Mag reviews over a hundred different laptops every year, from paperweight ultralights to everyday workhorses to lumbering gaming notebooks that scorch the frame rates of even the hottest AAA games. We're not just experts in the laptop field, as we go one step further by meticulously testing smartphones, tablets, headphones, PC accessories, software, and even the latest in gaming.
We are 100% independent and have decades of experience to help you buy with confidence. In fact, Laptop Mag has been testing and reviewing products for three decades, and we continue to deliver trustworthy reviews you can rely on.
Our experienced team of writers and editors scour the available information about the laptop and put it through its paces to determine which is best for you. But before they start, the testing team subjects each system to a rigorous regimen of synthetic and real-world tests to see how a system handles the type of work and games you’re most likely to throw at it.
Our editorial trustworthiness is enforced by one of the world's largest technology publishers, Future Publishing. As a company, we have unrivaled experience across every tech sector — and we're the group's specialist for all things mobile tech.