Dell: Best and Worst Laptop Brands
Dell offers the strongest and most diverse lineup of PC laptops in the industry. From value-priced 2-in-1s to premium business systems and high-end gaming laptops, there's a high-quality Dell for every need and budget.
Dell also has one of the industry's best warranties, paying return shipping on even its least-expensive products. However, the company's mediocre phone support leaves a lot of room for improvement.
Dell has some very original designs that benefit from edge-to-edge screens or creative splashes of color. The XPS 15 and XPS 13 each provide a very unique aesthetic, offering impossibly thin display bezels with black, carbon-fiber interiors; the 13-inch model is even lighter than the MacBook air. There are some great flashes of individuality in the Inspiron 15 5000, which comes with an optional bright red or blue lid, and in the suave, dark-grayChromebook 11. The Inspiron 15 7000 is also a stunner, in sexy, black soft-touch finish.
The Alienware 17, 15 and 13 continue to shine with their built-in light shows and spaceship-gray frames. However, the chassis on these gaming laptops have remained the same for several years and could use a makeover. Unfortunately, a couple of Dell systems, like theInspiron 11 3000 2-in-1, look too derivative, with a bright silver aesthetic that screams "MacBook."
This year, Dell's average laptop rating slipped from third to fourth place. Even though the brand garnered the most Editors' Choice awards (nine in total), its score was held back by one too many merely decent 2.5-star models. Dell's XPS 13 and XPS 15 are shining examples of how good the company's laptops can be, featuring brilliant design, good performance and a wide range of configuration options.
Tech Support (16/20)
If your Dell needs professional help, you can reach out via live chat, email and even the company's proactive diagnostic tool. We only advise that you not try calling Dell, as the company secured the shameful title of Longest Average Call Time (40 minutes) in the most recent Tech Support Showdown. Dell reps accidentally hung up on us midcall and even advised us to roll back from Windows 10 to Windows 8.1, when the solution to our problem only required a single box be unchecked.
As part of its standard one-year warranty, Dell pays for return shipping on all of its laptops, no matter what they cost. If you have an Alienware laptop, you may also be able to get on-site service. You can upgrade your laptop without voiding the warranty.
Dell's Alienware gaming laptops ship with plenty of useful utilities and no bloatware at all.
Our reviewers have praised Dell for the limited amount of bloatware on the company's consumer notebooks this past year. A couple of notebooks, like the Dell XPS 13, came with a few stragglers like Candy Crush Saga and McAfee LiveSafe.
Several laptops, including Inspiron and XPS line, offered 20GB of free storage with Dropbox, which is 10 times the amount of free space you usually get without paying for the service. Dell Update keeps the system's software modernized, and Dell Backup and Recovery will help ensure you don't lose precious files.
Dell's Alienware gaming laptops ship with plenty of useful utilities and no bloatware at all. The Alienware Command Center suite on the Alienware 17 and 15 lets you change lighting settings with AlienFX, adjust program-specific settings with AlienAdrenaline, tweak power settings with AlienFusion and make backups with AlienRespawn.
Last year, Dell blew us away with the Dell XPS 13, an incredibly thin and lightweight laptop with a nearly bezel-free Infinity Display.
The company has since brought the same eye-popping display and svelte designs to other laptops, including the larger XPS 15, the Precision 5510 workstation and a couple of Latitude business laptops. This year, Dell's Alienware division will ship the first gaming laptop to have an OLED screen.
Value and Selection (15/15)
There's a Dell laptop for every budget and interest, from the $179 Windows-powered Dell Inspiron 11 3000 to the $2,449 Alienware 17 gaming rig. The Texas-based company offers a wide variety of mainstream consumer laptops as part of its Inspiron line, a couple of industry-leading Ultrabooks in the XPS 13 and 15, and a compelling Latitude business lineup. Dell offers plenty of 2-in-1s, from its inexpensive, consumer-targeted Inspiron 11 3000 2-in-1 to the pricey Latitude 12 7000 for enterprise. Though marketed as a separate brand, the company's Alienware laptops are among the best and most popular gaming systems in the industry.
You can get some great values from Dell, but you may have to compromise on specs. The company's low-end Inspiron 14 and 15 3000 start at less than $300, but offer shallow keyboards and dull screens and mediocre performance. The XPS 13 is a relatively good deal, at its starting price of $799, but for that price, you have to settle for a Core i3 CPU. We couldn't find any Dell with a 1080p display for less than $799. Like Lenovo and HP, Dell allows you to configure some of its laptops to order, if you purchase them directly from the manufacturer's site.
How Dell Can Improve
Top 2,786 Dell Laptops Reviews
Dell laptops offer innovative, streamlined computers made for work, personal use and school. The most budget-friendly Dell laptops average around $350 to $400, while premium models, such as the Dell Alienware M15, can retail for over $2,000.
Consumers who want the style and functionality of a Dell laptop without paying retail prices can purchase refurbished laptops, desktops, monitors and servers at the online Dell Outlet. These refurbished laptops are 15% less than new computers and have the same impressive specs.
Dell also offers a price-match guarantee. If you find a lower-priced (and similarly configured) computer, tablet or monitor advertised online, Dell matches the price. It doesn't matter if it is from Dell, HP, Lenovo or Apple — Dell will match it.
Here are some of the most popular Dell laptops and the average cost at the time of publishing:
Dell’s Black Friday Sale Offers ‘Lowest Prices of the Year’ on New PCs and Laptops
If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, Rolling Stone may receive an affiliate commission.
Dell laptops and desktops are some of the best you can find, but finding them at a discount is even better. If you’re in the market for a new computer right now, you’re in luck. There are a number of great Dell deals and discounts available right now for the brand’s Black Friday event, which is offering what the brand says are its “lowest prices of the year.”
What Are the Best Dell Deals?
Dell’s own site has a vast deals section where you can shop everything from laptop deals to monitor deals. Dell also offers special discounts for students and military personnel on top of its Black Friday offers. Students can get a $200 gift card with PC purchases of $1,399+ or a $100 gift card with a PC purchase of $799+. See here for more Dell student deals.
Military personnel and their families can take 10% off Dell products any time they want. See more information here.
1. Dell XPS 13
Dell’s XPS 13 is currently discounted on Dell, down to $1,149.99 — a $450 discount. This is one of the only Dell XPS deals so, grab this Dell laptop before the deal expires.
The Dell XPS 13 has a 13.4-inch UHD+ display, 8GB of RAM and 512GB of in-built storage — which can be expanded using a microSD card. It comes installed with the Windows 11 OS for ease of multitasking and the ability to download all the productivity apps you need. Plus, its display is a touchscreen — great for designers and creators who want a more hands-on experience.
Other noteworthy features include a dual-fan cooling system and a thin, sleek design that weighs only 2.60 pounds.
Buy Dell XPS 13 Touch $1,149.99
2. Dell Inspiron 15
If you need a good starter Dell laptop, go with the Dell Inspiron 15. This model is down to just $229.99, saving you hundreds of dollars off the regular price.
It’s got a wide 15.6-inch FHD display, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. These stats are good enough for you to use this Dell laptop for homeschooling or even as a work-from-home device. It’s also got the Windows 11 Home OS for all your productivity needs. And, there are decent Intel UHD graphics installed, meaning you’ll be able to stream your favorite TV shows and movies with ease — although it might not be the best for gaming. Editor’s picks
You can also use it for video calls, thanks to its 720p HD front camera and single-integrated microphone.
Buy Dell Inspiron 15 $229.99
3. Alienware Aurora Ryzen Gaming Desktop
For gamers, it doesn’t get better than the Alienware Aurora Ryzen. This high-functioning desktop is currently on sale starting from $899 — a whopping $580 off (originally $1479). This is one of the most coveted Dell deals live right now.
It’s packed with a powerful AMD Ryzen 7 processor which will deliver some of the fastest gaming performance you’ve ever seen. And, you’ve got NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics for crisp, clean visuals, even during the most intense action sequences. Dell also says the Aurora Ryzen uses innovative cooling technology to keep it from overheating, meaning you can play all the high-intensity games you want — all day long.
There are multiple USB ports and a headphone input included, plus a ton of in-built storage for all your gaming and editing needs.
Buy Alienware Aurora Ryzen $899.99
4. Alienware m15 Ryzen Edition R7 Gaming Laptop
Not everyone wants an entire PC setup for gaming — that’s where Dell gaming laptops come in. The coveted Alienware m15 Ryzen Edition R7 Gaming Laptop is now on sale for just $1,199.99, down $500 from its regular price of $1,699. This is one of the best Dell Black Friday deals available right now.
This laptop carries the 12th Gen Intel Core processor with 14 cores and 20 threads for powerful performance for hours on end. The screen itself is 15.6 inches wide and features an QHD resolution. RAM runs at 16GB and internal storage clocks in at 512GB — that’s enough to store all your favorite games or use this laptop for video editing.
It’s got Alienware Cryo-Tech Cooling Technology too to keep your system cool and stable, plus added airflow tech for optimal cooling of core components. There are multiple useful ports as well, including USB and HDMI options so you can add this gaming laptop to your existing setup.
Buy Alienware m15 Ryzen Edition R7 $1,199.99
5. Dell 27-Inch Monitor
Maybe you already have your desktop all set up, but realize your year-old monitor now has a ton of scratches and damage. If that’s the case, this Dell deal is for you. The Dell 27-inch Monitor is down to just $129.99.
It’s 27 inches wide diagonally and has a native QHD resolution (2560 x 1440). Dell also says that the screen is anti-glare, meaning you can place it in a bright setting with no issues. You can also tilt and adjust this display depending on your preferences.
It’s also got Dell’s ComfortView tech which reduces blue light emissions to protect your eyes as you work or game day and night. Trending Terry Hall, Lead Singer of the Specials, Dead at 63 RBD Are Officially Reuniting 15 Years After Their Farewell Tour Dave Grohl and Pink Blast Through ‘Get the Party Started' for ’Hanukkah Sessions' Mike Pence Says Man Who Wanted Him Dead on Jan. 6 Shouldn't Be Charged
Buy Dell 27-inch Monitor $129.99
Note: while Dell currently has its Black Friday event going on, you can also find certain Dell deals on Amazon with savings on computers, monitors and gaming accessories here.