The best Dell laptops in 2022
Dell is now among the top PC makers out there: over the last decade it’s created some of the best, highest quality, and most lauded notebooks you can buy, building a loyal following as a result.
If you’re looking for the best Dell laptop to invest in, know that you’re already making a sound decision. Even better news is that Dell has a variety on offer, encompassing all types, designs, and prices, which means that whatever you want and need, you should be able to find the perfect fit from its roster.
Photographers can sit comfortable knowing that Dell laptops frequently make it into our guide of the best photo editing laptops (opens in new tab). Designers, content creators and those heading back to school hoping to get the best Dell laptop that is capable of seeing them through their creative workflows will want to stick with the more robust, premium options, packed with the vital trimmings (like all the necessary ports, an SD card reader, and a display that supports the right color space), which should shorten their list of options.
On the other hand, if they’ve already got that machine at home and are looking for a backup to use in the field or while traveling, then something less powerful and more portable or rugged should do the trick. Students might be looking for value for money, and, like the best student laptops (opens in new tab), there are Dell laptops to support those going back to school.
Meanwhile, those few who just want the best Dell laptop to use on the dryer parts of the business like jumping on video calls with clients, sending emails, and putting together invoices and contracts will probably want a capable business laptop with decent power and more robust security features.
We know that makes choosing the best Dell laptop sound like a lot of work, but don’t worry. Just figure out what you’re going to need it for the most, and consult our list. Below, we’ve gathered the best Dell laptops out there for creative pros and novices, keeping in mind their different needs and budget.
Best Dell laptops in 2022
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1: Dell XPS 15 OLED (2022) The best Dell laptop overall Specifications CPU: Up to Intel Core i9-12900HK GPU: Up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti Memory: 16GB - 64GB Storage: 512GB - 2TB Display: Up to 15.6-inch OLED 3.5K (3456 x 2160) touch Size: 344.4 x 230.1 x 18.54mm Weight: 4.06lb (1.84kg) - 4.62lb (2.1kg) Today's Best Deals View at Dell (opens in new tab) View at Walmart (opens in new tab) View at Amazon (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Plenty of power + Premium 3.5K OLED display Reasons to avoid - A premium purchase - Battery life nothing to write home about
The Dell XPS 15 has always been among the best laptops for prosumers, but it takes things to another level with this latest instalment. It’s one of a growing number of laptops to boast an OLED display - the finest screen tech money can buy. An OLED display means deeper blacks, wide colour gamuts, and excellent contrast ratios as well as HDR support – though if you want a non-OLED screen, that is still an option. There's also plenty of processing power inside, with Nvidia RTX discrete graphics that should see you through your demanding photo editing and less demanding video editing needs.
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2: Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2021) Best hybrid Dell laptop Specifications CPU: Intel Core i5-1135G7 - Intel Core i7-1165G7 GPU: Intel Iris Xe Graphics Memory: 8GB-16GB Storage: 256GB - 512GB Display: 13.4-inch FHD+ (1920x1200) touch Size: 297 x 207 x 14.35mm Weight: 2.9lb (1.32kg) Today's Best Deals Check Amazon (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Portable form works for its hybrid design + A lot of power for a laptop this small Reasons to avoid - Not a lot of ports - Still as expensive as ever
This hybrid notebook is an ace in so many ways. It’s one of the best 2-in-1 laptops out there; it’s thin, light, and portable – and therefore, travel-friendly; and it’s extremely capable for its size. It might waste a bunch of your time if you’re video editing on it, especially if it’s in 4K, as there is no dedicated graphics inside. But, it’s great for editing high-res photos on Lightroom, and for graphic design on Photoshop and Illustrator. And, once you’re done with work, you can seamlessly switch to relaxation mode on tent or tablet mode, which give this a lot more value than other options. See also Best 2-in-1 laptops (opens in new tab)
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3: Dell Inspiron 15 Best budget Dell laptop for students Specifications CPU: Intel Core i5-11320H - Intel Core i7-11390H GPU: Intel Iris Xe Memory: 8GB-16GB Storage: 256GB-1TB Display: 15.6-inch FHD (1920x1080p) Size: 356.06 x 228.9 x 17.99mm Weight: 3.6lb (1.633kg) Today's Best Deals View at Dell (opens in new tab) View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at Best Buy (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Great value for its features and performance + Best for productivity and everyday tasks Reasons to avoid - Middling battery life - Display and keyboard could be better
Unlike Dell’s flagships, the Dell Inspiron 15 delivers more than enough power for photo editing and graphics design (as long as you’re not doing 3D stuff), but for much less – specifically, under $1,000/£1,000. That alone makes it an already fantastic value. It isn’t exactly a budget, under $500/£500 laptop, but it is a mid-range option that’s accessible for most people. It also boasts an SD card reader, a variety of ports, and the option for a fingerprint reader for effortless login. There are some compromises here to keep the price down, but nothing major to be a deal-breaker.
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4. Alienware m15 R7 Best premium Dell gaming laptop Specifications CPU: Up to Intel Core i9-12900H GPU: Up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Memory: 16GB-64GB Storage: 512GB-4TB Display: 15.6-inch FHD (1920x1080p) - 15.6-inch QHD (2560x1440p) Size: 356.2 x 272.5 x 23.95mm Weight: 5.34lb (2.42kg) - 5.93lb (2.69kg) Today's Best Deals View at Dell (opens in new tab) View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at Walmart (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + A whole lot of power for gaming + Gorgeous design and solid build Reasons to avoid - Hugely expensive - Very short battery life
Often, gaming laptops make for great creative laptops, especially the best of them like Dell’s Alienware m15 R7. This powerful and great-looking laptop delivers a whole lot of power, thanks to those mighty innards. The lower-end configuration here will see you through your photo editing and graphic design needs, while the highest one with the RTX 3080 graphics inside should run your video editing workloads smoothly. And, even though it is a gaming laptop, its space-age inspired design looks good enough to show off to clients. Just keep in mind that it is expensive and has a very short battery life so you’ll need to be carrying that heavy charger around.
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5. Dell G15 Best budget Dell gaming laptop Specifications CPU: Intel Core i5-11400H - Intel Core i7-11800H GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 - RTX 3060 Memory: 8GB-16GB Storage: 256GB-1TB Display: 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080p) Size: 357.3 x 272.8 x 24.9mm Weight: 5.84lb (2.65kg) Today's Best Deals View at Dell (opens in new tab) View at Best Buy (opens in new tab) View at Amazon (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Great price for a capable gaming laptop + Decent port selection and a fast display Reasons to avoid - Don’t expect 60fps gaming at high settings - Big and bulky and simple in design
You don’t have to splurge on a premium gaming laptop to get the kind of power you need for your photo and video editing needs. Dell’s G15 line is among the most capable and most affordable gaming laptops out there, despite the fact that it sits in the budget to mid-range market. With solid-performing specs like the RTX 3060, plenty of ports for your peripherals (except, sadly, for an SD card reader), and a fast display, it can handle many creative workflows. Just keep in mind that it’s not going to be as powerful as the RTX 3070 and RTX 3080-powered ones, so it might take a while to get through rendering and exporting 4K videos.
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6. Dell Latitude 3420 Best Dell laptop for business users Specifications CPU: Intel Core i3-1115G7 - Intel Core i7-1165G7 GPU: Intel Iris Xe Memory: 8GB Storage: 128GB-256GB Display: 14-inch FHD (1920 x 1080p) Size: 326 x 226 x 17.6mm Weight: 3.36lb (1.52kg) Today's Best Deals View at BHPhoto (opens in new tab) View at Walmart (opens in new tab) View at Dell (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Plenty of built-in security features + More than decent port selection Reasons to avoid - 720p camera is a bit dated now - Screen not very bright at 250 nits
The Dell Latitude 3420 is more than capable of handling editing high-res images so it can be your go-to tool for photo editing on the go. However, this is first and foremost a business laptop, which makes it a versatile tool that will see you through every aspect of your business – from communicating with clients and drawing up contracts to the less demanding creative bits of it. Like most business laptops, it won’t come cheap. But, it isn’t that pricey either, which means it’s among the best value laptops out there for business. We only wish it has a high-resolution camera and a brighter display.
How we test laptops
When reviewing a laptop, we assess its internal hardware features, build quality, ergonomics, performance in a variety of usage scenarios, value for money, and its overall suitability for its target buyer. Although we'll evaluate a laptop with a typical user in mind, we will also pay particular attention to the perspective of photo and video enthusiasts, with special focus given to screen quality and color space coverage. Where possible, a monitor calibrator will be used to measure a laptop's display performance to assess whether it matches a manufacturer's claims, and software benchmarks like GeekBench are used to measure a laptop's processor and graphics card capabilities.
If none of these products fit what you were looking for, be sure to check out our expert guides to the best laptops for video editing (opens in new tab), space-saving Ultrabooks (opens in new tab) with a thin and light design or even (if you have the space), the best desktop computers (opens in new tab).
10 Best Dell Laptops for Business
If you’re a design professional looking to do design or CAD in 2D or 3D (depending on intensity), the Precision 5560 should be your go-to mobile workstation.
The 5560 is a particularly strong choice if you’re looking for a balance between power and portability. Relative to other mobile workstations in its class, the 5560 is very light at only a hair over 4 lbs. It also carries a strong yet power efficient NVIDIA RTX A2000 pro graphics card for workstations, which is built with the GA106 GPU used to power its desktop equivalents, the RTX 3050 and RTX 3060. This machine is made to run software like Autodesk AutoCAD and Adobe Creative Suite without a hitch.
You’ll find three USB-C ports total on the 5560, one of which is a USB-C 3.2 and the other two being Thunderbolt 4. The 5560 also features an SD card slot and audio jack. Conveniently, the Precision 5560 workstation comes with a USB-C dongle with both a USB-A port and standard HDMI output.
Also of note with the Dell Precision 5560 is the 16:10 aspect ratio of the widescreen ultra-extended graphics array (WUXGA) display, which gives you slightly more vertical real estate on your screen so you scroll less and see more. Typical 16:9, full HD displays have 1920 x 1080 px resolution whereas WUXGA displays have 1920 x 1200 px.
The 7 Best Dell Laptops of 2022
But read on for our selections of the best Dell laptops you can buy today. Dell isn't very creative in their naming schemes and it can be hard to sort through the alphabet soup. That's why we've laid out our picks for you in a nice, neat list.
Dell is known for providing a wide range of different laptops suited to a variety of needs. However, finding the option that's right for you can be difficult. We've collected what we think are the best options available from the Dell repertoire for different situations. Whether you need a tough notebook that feels at home on a construction site or a budget-friendly college-bound option, Dell has something for everyone.
Best Overall Dell XPS 13 9360 Amazon View On Amazon What We Like Great keyboard
Great battery life
Beautiful design What We Don't Like Poorly placed webcam Dell's XPS line has long been some of the best in the Dell laptop department, and the Dell XPS 13 9360 is a great example of that. Everything about the design is just gorgeous, especially with the Infinity Edge display that virtually eliminates the bezel on the top and side of the screen. It's a very immersive experience, but it also means the webcam is placed in the bottom bezel below the screen. The result is an unfortunate angle for video conferencing. Be sure to trim your nose hairs. But beyond that, this laptop has a luxurious keyboard that's amazing for typing. The rest of the body is covered in a soft-touch carbon material that simply feels great. The laptop isn't too heavy, slipping in under 3 pounds, but it's also not the lightest out there. All the same, the great keyboard and screen really make this the best overall pick for a Dell laptop. They're just that good. How to Take a Screenshot on a Dell Laptop
Best for Business Dell Inspiron 15.6" Amazon View On Amazon What We Like Ample memory and SSD space
Lots of input/output What We Don't Like Intel Celeron
Window 10 S The Dell Inspiron comes in a number of different configurations, but this one is particularly good for business. It's not terribly powerful, having a fairly low-end Intel Celeron processor and Windows 10S, but that can actually be good for business applications. Windows 10 S won't install apps from outside the Windows 10 app store which is flush with business applications. Windows 10 S is also resistant to a lot of different malware due to those restrictions. But the Celeron itself is underpowered and will really work only for some web surfing and document creation, which is perfect for business. On the plus side, this laptop offers a lot of everything else. There are 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage that will keep you going for a long time. There are also several ports on this computer, including an SD card reader, HDMI output, three USB Type-A ports and a headphone jack. There's a lot to like here, but don't plan on doing anything more than the basics on this laptop. The 6 Best Windows 10 Apps for 2022
Best Rugged Dell Latitude 5420 Rugged Extreme Tablet Amazon View On Amazon View On Dell What We Like Bright display
Built-in handle What We Don't Like Stylus is hard to access
Touch screen is not accurate If you need a rugged laptop, the Dell Latitude 5420 Rugged laptop even has "rugged" in the name. It's built like a tank to withstand anything the outdoors might throw at it. It has built-in impact resistance and can withstand drops of up to 3 feet. Like any device designed to work outside, this laptop comes with a bright screen that you can read in direct sunlight. The keyboard has a great feel with nice pitch and 1.5 millimeters of travel. The base configuration doesn't include a touchscreen, but a small upgrade gets you a multi-touch display. You might not want it, though, because the touchscreen is not terribly accurate. Adding to that headache, the stylus, which has its own bay in the body of the laptop, can be difficult to get out. These might fall under the category of first world problems, however. If you have the base model, or don't plan to use the touchscreen, this is a tough laptop with a built-in handle that's easy to carry and will stand up to the elements. The 7 Best Rugged Smartphones of 2022
Best Gaming Alienware m17 R4 Alienware View On Dell What We Like Fast performance
360 Hz screen What We Don't Like Terrible battery life
Bottom firing speakers Alienware is Dell's gaming line of laptops, and they come by their reputation honestly. The Alienware M17 R4 is an absolute beast of a machine with an amazing graphics processing unit (GPU) that will punch through gaming, video editing, and more. You can choose between NVidia's Geforce 3070 and 3080, either of which is more power than you'll know what to do with. All of this comes with a quick, smooth 360 Hz screen which will be next-level for gaming. But with great power comes great battery depletion. This laptop won't last long when disconnected from the power cord—an unfortunate reality with these GPUs. Bottom firing speakers are also a choice I would not have made when designing this laptop. The sound gets muffled and a little distorted when the laptop is on a desk. You'll want to pack your gaming headphones along with this laptop.
Best Budget Gaming Dell G3 15 Courtesy of Amazon View On Amazon View On Dell What We Like Good performance
Solid battery life What We Don't Like Dull display
Mid-range GPU If you're a gamer on a budget, Dell has got you covered, too. The Dell G3 15 is an inexpensive gaming laptop with a mid-range GTX 1650 GPU. The plus side of this is that the laptop actually gets good battery life when you leave your cable at home. The laptop comes with 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD. Bear in mind, you might want to get an external hard drive if you plan to install a lot of games. But overall, the Intel Core i5 and GPU will give you really good gaming performance in a pretty slim package. The display is a bit dull, though, so you might not get the best graphics for your gaming. It's a compromise that Dell made here. But if you can look past that, this will give you all the power you need to grind out some games when and where you need to.
Best 2-in-1 Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 Laptop 4.6 Courtesy of Amazon View On Amazon View On What We Like Lightweight
Good battery life
Flips into tablet mode What We Don't Like Keyboard takes some getting used to Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 Laptop Review One of our favorite kinds of laptops is the 2-in-1 because you get both the laptop and the tablet experience. The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 is a great example, with a great build that is very lightweight. It comes in at under 3 pounds which is great to hold in tablet mode. The keyboard takes some getting used to. It has a MagLev design, resulting in a 24 percent reduction in thickness. But if you can get used to it, you'll have a great laptop with awesome performance and great battery life that can also turn into a tablet. All that is a pretty enticing package, which is why the XPS line is one of our favorites. It's a versatile and powerful laptop that will do anything you need it to. It's a good all-arounder. "The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 laptop is an impressive competitor in the laptop space. It’s nicely designed, lightweight, and packs a big, high-resolution touchscreen display." — Nick Jaynes, Product Tester Lifewire / Nick Jaynes
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