Top 7 Most Secure Laptops in 2022 (Expert’s Guide)
Technically speaking, all laptops provide some degree of protection and security to their users. However, some people may be inclined to buy a particularly secure device in order to safeguard their data and privacy.
If you are looking to buy a “secure” laptop, there are two different aspects that you have to consider.
First off, you have to pay attention to the physical security of a laptop. Rather than focusing on just software security, you also have to make sure that your laptop is not easily accessed by any person other than yourself.
For example, you should take care to buy a device that comes with a fingerprint scanner. Similarly, you should also look for a laptop that has a “closeable” camera so that you don’t have to worry about getting spied on or anything. Some laptops come with a shutter or a cap that closes the camera when it’s not in use.
Moving on, the second aspect that you should take care of is, of course, software security. The level of the provided software security varies from brand to brand depending on the type of technology they use for data decryption/encryption and for providing threat protection.
If you want to make sure that the laptop you are using is secure and protected, you should buy one that focuses on both the physical as well as the “virtual” security.
And if you don’t know where to start looking, don’t worry. That is what we are going to be helping you with in this article.
In a hurry? Here are our top 3 favorite picks when it comes to the most secure laptops in 2022!
What is a “Secure” Laptop?
A “secure” laptop can be broadly defined as a device that offers an enhanced level of security and protection to its users. These types of laptops are preferred by businessmen and other types of personnel that have to deal with sensitive data daily.
As we mentioned in the introduction, there are two different aspects of security that should exist in a laptop in order for it to be classified as “secure”. Firstly, it should have some features to bolster its physical security and secondly, it should use high-end technology to provide protection against cyber threats like hackers and malware etc.
Is Buying a Secure Laptop Worth It?
For people who have to work with sensitive and delicate information, buying a secure laptop can actually be a necessity. On the other hand, for students, freelancers and workers in general, the need is not that emphasized.
We did mention earlier that all laptops provide some degree of protection and security to their users, even if they are not classified as ‘secure’. So, for people like students and office workers, this basic level of security can be sufficient.
Moving on, let’s take a looksie at some secure laptops that you can buy in 2022.
Pros Excellent security features
Excellent security features Impressive memory and RAM size
Impressive memory and RAM size Compact and portable
Compact and portable Touch-enabled screen Cons Expensive Check the Latest Price on Amazon
The HP Elite Dragonfly is not the most affordable of options, but it does come with some awesome security features. And that is why we have mentioned it here at the top of our list.
First off, the HP Elite Dragonfly comes equipped with the HP Sure Start technology. The Sure Start technology essentially checks the validity of the BIOS code when the system is starting in order to save it from any type of malicious threat. And if a BIOS attack does occur, the Sure Start tech can automatically diagnose and fix it.
Furthermore, this laptop also comes with a vPro Intel processor, which further increases the level of its overall security.
As for the physical side of things, the HP Elite Dragonfly features a fingerprint scanner that you can use to make your sign-ins more secure and efficient.
Apart from providing these security features, this device also comes through excellently with regard to the other specs. It comes with 8GB RAM combined with 256GB SSD memory.
The screen size on the HP Elite Dragonfly is 13.3 inches. Since it is touch-enabled, the laptop screen doubles as a tablet.
What Makes the HP Elite Dragonfly an Excellent Secure Laptop in 2022?
The HP Elite Dragonfly is a great laptop to use for “secure” purposes due to the two-fold protection technology. It comes with both the HP Secure Start as well as a vPro processor.
Both these factors combine to give the HP Elite Dragonfly an overall remarkably secure system.
Pros Excellent combination of RAM and storage
Excellent combination of RAM and storage Touch functionality
Touch functionality Shuttered camera and fingerprint reader
Shuttered camera and fingerprint reader Support for Windows 11 Home Cons The mobile processor is not suitable for heavy stuff. Check the Latest Price on Amazon
If you are more worried about the physical security aspects, the Lenovo Flex 5 is a good choice to consider.
There are two main features on the Lenovo Flex 5 that make it a good “secure” laptop: the fingerprint scanner and the closeable webcam.
By setting up the fingerprint scanner, you can make it difficult for anyone to try and break into your laptop. You won’t have to worry about people sneaking a peek at your keypad while you type out your pin code.
On the other hand, with the shuttered webcam, you won’t have to worry about getting spied on. It’s a nifty little perk that can make your user experience more private.
Other than these features, the Lenovo Flex 5 also comes packed with an excellent array of hardware components. It features 256GB SSD storage along with 16GB RAM. It is powered by an AMD Ryzen 5500U mobile processor and comes pre-installed with Windows 11 Home.
Like the previous product we discussed on this list, the HP Elite Dragonfly, the Lenovo Flex 5 also has a rotatable design and a touch-enabled screen. It also comes with a stylus (or a “digital pen”).
The best part about this laptop is that all of these excellent features are available just for ~$600. Considering the outstanding RAM and storage memory, as well as the touch-screen functionality, this price is quite reasonable.
Pros Outstanding security features
Outstanding security features Excellent combination of RAM and storage
Excellent combination of RAM and storage Touch ID
Touch ID 13” Retina display Cons Pricey Check the Latest Price on Amazon
From a totally fair and unbiased perspective, the Apple MacBook Air is one of the most secure and protected laptops that you can buy in 2022. Period.
Although it is being mentioned here in the third place, it is not because of its security features. In other words, if we wanted to rank these laptops purely on the basis of their security features and not the other factors, we would have promptly placed the MacBook Air at the top of this list.
The reason it’s down here in the third place is due to its hefty price tag.
Moving on, there is a whole host of security features that you can enjoy with the Apple MacBook Air 2020.
First off, there is the secure storage. In the words of Apple, the storage drive on the MacBook Air is “…encrypted with keys tied to its hardware.”
If your device happens to sustain some damage leaving it unusable, no one will be able to recover data from the drive. It is for this reason that Apple exhorts its users to keep their files backed up to an external source.
Moving on, the 2020 Apple MacBook Air also comes with Secure Boot and a Startup Security Utility. Thanks to the secure boot, the MacBook will automatically detect if the OS installed on the system is authorized or not.
If it finds something fishy during the startup, it will not start up the normal way. Rather, it will boot up from a separate secure recovery partition to diagnose and fix the issue. Apart from these, there are other security features as well that you can enjoy with your MacBook Air. You can do some more research about them on the official Apple website.
Although the security features alone make the MacBook Air worth buying, it also comes with an excellent set of performance specs. You can enjoy a 256/512GB SSD storage coupled with a hefty 8GB of RAM. It also comes enabled with Touch ID. All in all, its security stacked on security.
Pros Sleek and aesthetic design
Sleek and aesthetic design Outstanding combination of RAM and storage
Outstanding combination of RAM and storage Rapid Charge technology for quick charging
Rapid Charge technology for quick charging Pre-installed with Windows 10 Pro Cons Very pricey Check the Latest Price on Amazon
Since there is not just one version of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, let’s specify at the outset that we are going to talk about the Gen 8 version here.
There are a couple of nifty security features in this laptop.
First off, this laptop uses the ThinkShield technology by Lenovo. We could go into some detail about this technology, but we do want to stick to brevity.
So, suffice it to understand that ThinkShield is basically a collection of tools and utilities that allow users to increase the security of their devices.
It is mainly referred to as a technology for businesses, but then again, the ThinkPad X1 Carbo is advertised as a “business” laptop…
Apart from the ThinkShield technology, there are a few other security features in this laptop as well. Like the Lenovo Flex 5, the X1 Carbon also comes with a closeable webcam.
The “ThinkShutter” can be slid on the webcam to increase privacy and to keep yourself safe from prying eyes.
Furthermore, the X1 Carbon also has a fingerprint reader that you can set up to protect your laptop from getting easily accessed.
Moving on, the specs on this device are no joke either. With the Gen 8 edition of the X1 Carbon, you can get 1TB of SSD combined with a 16GB RAM and a 10th Generation Core i7 processor.
Pros Aesthetic aluminium body
Aesthetic aluminium body Small and compact size
Small and compact size Nice security features
Nice security features Excellent hardware components Cons Costly (~$1000 at the time of writing)
Costly (~$1000 at the time of writing) Has a Core i5 processor Check the Latest Price on Amazon
If you are on the look for secure laptops, you may also have it on your mind to buy something small and compact so that you can carry it around with you all the time. That is, by the way, another factor of security, isn’t it?
With the Dell XPS 13, you can enjoy a small and compact device body coupled with outstanding performance. Unlike other notebooks and smaller laptops, the XPS 13 doesn’t compromise on performance due to its small size.
However, before getting to talking about the specs, let’s talk about the security first.
There are essentially two factors in this laptop that make it nice and secure.
First off, it has a fingerprint scanner built right inside the power button. You can set this up to reduce the chances of someone accessing your computer by guessing the password.
And secondly, the Dell XPS 13 comes equipped with the Security Suite Enterprise. This suite basically lets you enjoy better security against cyber threats like hackers and malicious malware.
The above is, by the way, a very short description of the Security Suite Enterprise. There is actually a lot to it. You can learn more about it by doing some research online.
Pros Excellent security features
Excellent security features HUGE storage space and RAM size
HUGE storage space and RAM size Aesthetic body
Aesthetic body 4K display
4K display Touch-enabled Cons Expensive Check the Latest Price on Amazon
The HP Spectre X360 15T is yet another excellent secure laptop that you can buy in 2022.
This laptop comes with a highly aesthetic design, outstanding features (such as the 4K display, touch-enabled screen and backlit keyboard) and a collection of excellent hardware components.
And on top of all that, it also has a couple of remarkable security features as well. Let’s take a look at those before moving on to the rest of the specs.
First off, the HP Spectre X360 15T has a fingerprint reader situated on the right side of the trackpad. You can set up the biometric login to make it easier for you to open up your PC and to make it harder for anyone else to do so.
On the other hand, this laptop also comes pre-installed with the pro version of McAfee antivirus. Normally, you have to pay for this software, but with this device, it comes installed. This can highly enhance the security of your system against cyber threats.
There are different models and versions of the Spectre X360 15T. The product we’ve described above is the 10th Gen i7 version.
In this model, you get to enjoy 16GB RAM combined with 1TB of SSD storage.
Pros Excellent security features
Excellent security features Outstanding storage and RAM
Outstanding storage and RAM Liquid Retina display
Liquid Retina display M1 Pro or M1 Max chip
M1 Pro or M1 Max chip Available in two elegant colours Cons Pricey Check the Latest Price on Amazon
“Save the best for last”, don’t they say?
Like the MacBook Air, the 2021 Apple MacBook Pro also comes equipped with a range of excellent security features.
The 2022 Apple MacBook Pro features the M1 Pro or M1 Max chip. With this model, you can enjoy security features such as the Secure Startup and drive encryption.
It also comes with Touch ID, which means you get some degree of security from the “physical” side of things as well.
Apart from the security features, the rest of the specs are just as you would expect to find on a MacBook Pro. The 2021 version combines 16GB of RAM with a 1TB SSD storage.
How to Choose the Best Secure Laptop in 2022?
While we have listed some products above that you can check out to get started; you may want to do some browsing on your own as well.
However, looking for a secure laptop is not very easy. There are a bunch of different aspects and factors that you have to be careful of when making your purchase.
For your ease and edification, we’ve mentioned some of them down below:
Secure Booting Options
Here, we don’t mean to refer to the “Secure Boot” feature found in the Intel UEFI. Rather, when we say “secure booting options”, we’re talking about any and all features or options present in a laptop that can help to save it from malicious attacks during the boot-up phase.
In the very first product that we discussed above, you may recall that we mentioned the “HP Sure Start” technology. Essentially, with the help of this type of tech, the device can stay protected from any sort of threat or attack during the booting process.
In MacBook models, this feature is known as the Secure Startup.
When you want to buy a secure laptop, you want to make sure that you pick one that has this type of technology available in it. This is, by the way, available in most Windows and Apple laptops nowadays.
This feature exists in the MacBook models that we mentioned in the list above. In MacBooks, the storage drive is encrypted with hardware keys…which can make it well-nigh impossible for anyone to access them outside of their system.
With this type of system, you won’t have to worry about your files and data getting into the wrong hands in case something happens to your laptop.
Similarly, on the other hand, Windows users can manually encrypt their storage drives with a password so that only they can access them.
So, basically, when you are buying a laptop, you want to make sure that you pick one that supports manual encryption or it comes with a built-in system for the same (like in the MacBooks).
Available Antivirus or Threat Protection Software
While all Windows laptops come pre-equipped with the standard Windows Defender, some devices may take it a step further and provide additional security software.
For example, in the list above, the HP Spectre provides its users with a pre-installed pro version of McAfee.
When buying a secure laptop, you should try and look for one that gives some type of antivirus software by default. This will help you further bolster the overall security of your system without spending additional money.
Hardware Security Features
This basically refers to the features that the laptop has regarding “physical security”.
For example, you should try to buy a laptop that comes with a fingerprint scanner. You should also try and look for a device that has a closeable webcam.
All of the products that we discussed in the list above come equipped with fingerprint scanners. However, the closeable webcam is not a very easy-to-find feature.
While it is important for you to check for security features when buying a secure laptop, that doesn’t mean you should be completely negligent about the rest of the performance specs.
Even if you buy a secure laptop, you will, after all, have to do some sort of work on it. It could be anything from typing, surfing, programming and whatnot.
And in order to do that, you have to make sure that you get a laptop with a good RAM and processor. Nowadays, having 6GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD storage are the minimum requirements that you should aim at getting.
And lastly, you should try and look for a product that you can easily afford.
If you are looking to buy a secure laptop, you will probably have to spend something from $500 to $1,000. This is because a) features like fingerprint readers are usually found in premium products and b) expensive laptops usually come equipped with better security features.
While you can normally find a laptop in much less than this, it won’t exactly be particularly “secure”.
Frequently Asked Questions About Laptop Security
How is a Laptop Characterized as “Secure”?
A laptop is said to be “secure” when it comes with some extraordinary and unusual security features.
These features can pertain to software as well as hardware. In other words, we could label a laptop to be “secure” if it comes with some extra antivirus software or data protection system.
Similarly, we can also call a laptop “secure” if it has a fingerprint scanner or a closeable webcam since these types of features increase user privacy.
What Is The Best Secure Laptop To Buy In 2022?
If one can afford it, the best secure laptops to buy in 2022 are the MacBook Air and Pro series. Apple laptops come with a range of different security features such as drive encryption and Secure Startup. Due to these features, MacBook models are generally very safe and secure.
How Much Money Should I Spend On A Secure Laptop?
You will have to pay a bit more for secure laptops than you would for a regular laptop. With that in mind, you should set your budget from $500 to $1,000. If you can comfortably go above that, it’s even better.
Let’s wrap it up, shall we?
Buying a secure laptop can be a good choice for different reasons. You can save your data from getting stolen, and you can also protect your device from being damaged by cyber-attacks.
However, when it comes to buying a secure laptop, you have to be careful about making the right choice. You have to make sure that the laptop you choose has some extra security features in it.
We discussed some of those in the article above. We’ve also provided a list that you can go through if you don’t know where to start looking yourself.
As for our personal recommendation, we suggest buying the Apple MacBook Pro 2021 for people who can afford it. Although the device comes with a heavy price tag, it does have some excellent security features.
On the other hand, for people who have a limited budget, the Lenovo Flex 5 can be a better choice.
And for people who are somewhere in between these two extremes, the rest of the laptops mentioned in the listing can be suitable. You can look at each of them and do some research on your own to make a choice.
If you’re like us and want to get the most out of your money, here is an article on how much a laptop should cost in 2022.
HP Pavilion 15 vs Dell Inspiron 15 5505: which is better?
You can select specific configurations for the laptops to get a more accurate comparative review Display - 1366 x 768 1920 x 1080 1920 x 1080 Battery 41 Wh - 40 Wh 53 Wh CPU - Intel Core i5 1135G7 Intel Core i7 1165G7 AMD Ryzen 5 4500U AMD Ryzen 7 4700U AMD Ryzen 5 5500U - AMD Ryzen 3 4300U AMD Ryzen 5 4500U AMD Ryzen 7 4700U RAM - 8GB 16GB 32GB 64GB - 8GB 16GB 32GB 64GB Storage - 256GB 512GB 1024GB - 256GB 512GB 1024GB 2048GB
Key Differences What are the key differences between the notebooks Advantages of the HP Pavilion 15 Around 46% better multi-core CPU performance in the Cinebench R23 test
Display has support for touch input Advantages of the Dell Inspiron 15 5505 Supports next-generation Wi-Fi 6 wireless networks
41% sharper screen – 141 versus 100 pixels per inch (PPI)
Provides 20% higher max. screen brightness: 300 vs 250 nits
We may earn commissions from Amazon for purchases made via the links below. This does not affect our assessment methodology.
Tests and Specifications Comparison table of test results and technical specs
Case Weight 1.75 kg (3.86 lbs) 1.83 kg (4.04 lbs) Dimensions 360.1 x 233.9 x 17.8 mm
14.18 x 9.21 x 0.7 inches 356.1 x 234.5 x 14.1-17.9 mm
14.02 x 9.23 x 0.56-0.7 inches Area 842 cm2 (130.6 inches2) 835 cm2 (129.4 inches2) Screen-to-body ratio ~79.7% ~80.4% Side bezels 7.4 mm 5.4 mm Colors Silver Silver Transformer No No Opening angle 140° - Size comparison Cooling solution Cooling system Active Active Vapor chamber No No Number of fans 1 1 Noise level 42 dB -
Display 1366 x 768 1920 x 1080 1920 x 1080 Size 15.6 inches 15.6 inches Type TN LCD IPS LCD Refresh rate 60 Hz 60 Hz PPI 100 ppi 141 ppi Aspect ratio 16:9 16:9 Resolution 1366 x 768 pixels 1920 x 1080 pixels HDR support No No Touchscreen Yes No Coating Glossy Matte Display tests Contrast - 600:1 Response time - 35 ms Max. brightness Pavilion 15 250 nits Inspiron 15 5505 +20% 300 nits
Battery Capacity 41 Wh 40 Wh 53 Wh Voltage 11.34 V 11.4 V Full charging time 1:30 hr - Battery type Li-Ion Li-Ion Replaceable No No Fast charging Yes Yes USB Power Delivery Yes Yes Charging port position Right Left Charge power 45 W 45 / 65 W Weigh of AC adapter 304 gramm -
CPU CPU name Intel Core i5 1135G7 Intel Core i7 1165G7 AMD Ryzen 5 4500U AMD Ryzen 7 4700U AMD Ryzen 5 5500U AMD Ryzen 3 4300U AMD Ryzen 5 4500U AMD Ryzen 7 4700U Base frequency 0.9-2.4 GHz 2.7 GHz Turbo frequency 4.2 GHz 3.7 GHz Cores 4 4 Threads 8 4 L3 Cache 8 MB 4 MB Integrated GPU Iris Xe Graphics G7 80EU Radeon Vega 5 Fabrication process 10 nm 7 nm Benchmarks Geekbench 5 (Single-Core) Pavilion 15 +30% 1272 Inspiron 15 5505 979 Geekbench 5 (Multi-Core) Pavilion 15 +57% 4495 Inspiron 15 5505 2863 Cinebench R23 (Single-Core) Pavilion 15 +48% 1322 Inspiron 15 5505 894 Cinebench R23 (Multi-Core) Pavilion 15 +46% 4968 Inspiron 15 5505 3410
Graphics Card GPU name GeForce MX450 2GB Radeon RX Vega 5 TGP 15 W 12 W Nvidia Optimus Yes - Type Dedicated Integrated Fabrication process 12 nm 7 nm GPU base clock - 0 MHz GPU boost clock - 1400 MHz FLOPS 2.822 TFLOPS - Memory size 2 GB System Shared Memory type GDDR6 DDR4 Memory bus 64 bit - Memory speed ~8-10 Gbps 3.2 Gbps Shading units (cores) 896 320 Texture mapping units (TMUs) 56 20 Raster operations pipelines (ROPs) 32 7 GPU performance Pavilion 15 2.822 TFLOPS Inspiron 15 5505 n/a
RAM RAM size 8GB 16GB 32GB 64GB 8GB 16GB 32GB 64GB Channels 2x4 GB 1x8 GB Clock 3200 MHz 3200 MHz Type DDR4 DDR4 Upgradable Yes Yes Total slots 2 2 Max. ram size 64 GB 64 GB
Storage Storage size 256GB 512GB 1024GB 256GB 512GB 1024GB 2048GB Bus PCI-E Gen 3.0 (4x) PCI-E Gen 3.0 (4x) Storage type SSD (M2) SSD (M2) Channels 1x256 GB 1x256 GB Upgradable Yes Yes Total slots 1 2 NVMe Yes Yes
Sound Audio chip - Realtek ALC3204 Speakers 2.0 2.0 Power - 2x2W Dolby Atmos No No Loudness 81.3 dB - Microphones 2 2
Connectivity Wi-Fi standard v5 v6 Bluetooth v5 v5.1 Fingerprint Optional Yes Optical drive No No Webcam Above the display Above the display Webcam resolution 1280 x 720 1280 x 720 Ports USB-A 2x USB 3.2 2x USB 3.2 USB Type-C 1x USB 3.2 1x USB 3.2 Thunderbolt No No HDMI 1x HDMI 2.0 1x HDMI 1.4 DisplayPort No No VGA No No Audio jack (3.5 mm) Yes Yes Ethernet (RJ45) No No SD card reader Yes Yes Proprietary charging port Yes Yes
Input Keyboard Keyboard type Island Island Numpad Yes Yes Backlight Yes Yes Touchpad Size 11.5 x 7.4 cm 11.5 x 8.0 cm Surface Plastic Glass Windows Precision Yes Yes
* Disclaimer! Ports, speakers, display, and other specifications can be different depending on the laptop’s particular configuration or region.
The Best Dell Laptops for 2022
Since 1982, PCMag has tested and rated thousands of products to help you make better buying decisions. See how we test. (Opens in a new window)
Whether you're after a fast laptop for crunching numbers at work, or a laptop for staying productive at home or on the go, there's a good chance that Dell has a model you've considered buying. The company has solid machines at all levels of the market. Read on for a breakdown of our current top tested Dell laptops in a variety of user categories, followed by a guide to Dell's various laptop lines. (There's a bunch!)
If you're familiar with Dell, you probably have some opinion regarding how reliable the company's products are, how its customer service works, and the general quality of the user experience that those products and services deliver. If you're brand-loyal, it's a reasonable way to whittle down your options, while still helping you zero in on a great product. Picking a brand you trust does half the deciding for you.
If you're shopping for a laptop , you have torrent of options to choose among, be it a thin mobile companion or a hefty, rugged notebook, with a vast range of options in between. Where even to start? Sometimes the easiest thing to do is to narrow down your options based on what you know. And sometimes that's a brand you've long used and trusted.
Dell Inspiron 16 Plus (7620) Best Overall Mainstream Dell Laptop 4.0 Excellent Bottom Line: Dell's latest Inspiron 16 Plus isn't a perfect desktop replacement, but it offers robust features at a reasonable price, with solid performance from its 12th Generation Intel H-series CPU and Nvidia RTX graphics. PROS Strong all-around performance for the price
Strong all-around performance for the price GeForce RTX 3050 Ti GPU can handle routine graphics tasks
GeForce RTX 3050 Ti GPU can handle routine graphics tasks 1080p webcam
1080p webcam Long battery life CONS Dull design compared to more premium-feeling competitors
Dull design compared to more premium-feeling competitors Middling display quality
Middling display quality No touch screen or OLED option Sold By List Price Price Dell $1,299.99 $1,299.99 See It (Opens in a new window) Read Our Dell Inspiron 16 Plus (7620) Review
Dell Inspiron 15 3000 (3511) Best Dell Laptop for the Very Tightest Budgets 3.5 Good Bottom Line: The Dell Inspiron 15 3000 (3511) excels as a budget laptop that can handle day-to-day tasks and some very light gaming, and it even comes with Windows 11—all for under $400. PROS Comes with Windows 11
Comes with Windows 11 Large 15-inch full HD display
Large 15-inch full HD display Solid build
Solid build Affordable CONS No USB Type-C ports
No USB Type-C ports Low maximum screen brightness
Low maximum screen brightness Weak speakers Sold By List Price Price Dell $459.99 $459.99 See It (Opens in a new window) Read Our Dell Inspiron 15 3000 (3511) Review
Dell XPS 13 (9315) Best High-End Dell Ultraportable 3.5 Good Bottom Line: The latest Dell XPS 13 maintains its classy ultraportable design, but going ever thinner brings some significant drawbacks, leaving this edition short of our typically lofty expectations. PROS Super-thin and light design with premium metal build
Super-thin and light design with premium metal build Efficient and quiet new "Alder Lake" CPUs
Efficient and quiet new "Alder Lake" CPUs Sharp edge-to-edge 13.4-inch display CONS Unimpressive performance
Unimpressive performance No headphone jack (adapter included)
No headphone jack (adapter included) Mediocre 720p webcam
Mediocre 720p webcam No OLED screen option Sold By List Price Price Dell $999.00 $999.00 See It (Opens in a new window) Read Our Dell XPS 13 (9315) Review
Dell Latitude 9430 2-in-1 Best High-End Dell Convertible 4.0 Excellent Bottom Line: It's over three pounds and nearly 3,000 bucks, but Dell's Latitude 9430 2-in-1 is a first-class business convertible. PROS Bright, colorful touch screen
Bright, colorful touch screen Solid array of ports
Solid array of ports Available 4G or 5G LTE cellular connectivity
Available 4G or 5G LTE cellular connectivity Long battery life
Long battery life Above-average webcam and sound CONS Rather expensive
Rather expensive No OLED screen choice
No OLED screen choice A few ounces overweight Sold By List Price Price Dell $2,169.00 $2,169.00 See It (Opens in a new window) Read Our Dell Latitude 9430 2-in-1 Review
Dell XPS 15 OLED (9520) Best High-End Dell Desktop Replacement 4.5 Outstanding Bottom Line: With the latest Intel processors and a stunning OLED touch screen, the latest Dell XPS 15 is as good as desktop replacement laptops get. PROS Lightning performance with Intel 12th Gen CPUs
Lightning performance with Intel 12th Gen CPUs Gorgeous 3.5K OLED touch display
Gorgeous 3.5K OLED touch display All-day battery life
All-day battery life Comfortable keyboard and spacious touchpad
Comfortable keyboard and spacious touchpad SD card slot CONS USB-C ports require adapters for many uses
USB-C ports require adapters for many uses GeForce RTX 3050 Ti GPU isn't a powerhouse
GeForce RTX 3050 Ti GPU isn't a powerhouse 720p webcam is a little disappointing Sold By List Price Price Dell $2,399.00 $2,399.00 See It (Opens in a new window) Read Our Dell XPS 15 OLED (9520) Review
Alienware x14 Best Thin Dell Gaming Laptop 4.5 Outstanding Bottom Line: The brand-new Alienware x14 joins the upper echelon of 14-inch gaming laptops, delivering a sound gaming experience and fast overall performance in a super-portable design. PROS Impressively fast Core i7 “Alder Lake” processor
Impressively fast Core i7 “Alder Lake” processor RTX 3060 unit delivers a consistent 60fps-plus gaming experience
RTX 3060 unit delivers a consistent 60fps-plus gaming experience Compact design
Compact design Long-lasting battery
Long-lasting battery Wide range of connectivity, including three USB-C ports CONS Expensive
Expensive 14-inch screen size may be too small for some hardcore gamers Sold By List Price Price Dell $1,399.99 $1,399.99 See It (Opens in a new window) Read Our Alienware x14 Review
Dell XPS 17 (9720) Best High-End Dell Desktop Replacement With a Giant Display 4.0 Excellent Bottom Line: The updated 2022 Dell XPS 17 adds Intel’s latest 12th Gen "Alder Lake" CPUs to its winning design, amping up this already impressive laptop. It remains one of our top picks among 17-inchers. PROS Maintains earlier version's slim, classy design
Maintains earlier version's slim, classy design Beautiful 4K touch-display option
Beautiful 4K touch-display option Strong overall performance with new 12th Gen Intel CPU
Strong overall performance with new 12th Gen Intel CPU Graphics options up to GeForce RTX 3060
Graphics options up to GeForce RTX 3060 Four Thunderbolt 4 ports CONS Pricey as configured
Pricey as configured No OLED screen option
No OLED screen option Subpar 720p webcam is disappointing for the price
Subpar 720p webcam is disappointing for the price USB-C ports only Sold By List Price Price Dell $1,849.00 $1,849.00 See It (Opens in a new window) Read Our Dell XPS 17 (9720) Review
Alienware m17 R5 Best Hardcore Dell Gaming Laptop 4.0 Excellent Bottom Line: The Alienware m17 R5 is a powerhouse gaming laptop with the latest and greatest components and configuration options, keeping the brand's unique aesthetic while hitting new performance highs. PROS Standout style
Standout style Sky-high frame rates from our all-AMD test unit
Sky-high frame rates from our all-AMD test unit Display options include 480Hz full HD and 120Hz 4K panels
Display options include 480Hz full HD and 120Hz 4K panels Many configuration choices including Nvidia GPUs and satisfying Cherry MX mechanical keyboard
Many configuration choices including Nvidia GPUs and satisfying Cherry MX mechanical keyboard Impressive battery life CONS Bulky and heavy
Bulky and heavy Intel 12th Gen CPUs outpace our Ryzen chip in processing tasks
Intel 12th Gen CPUs outpace our Ryzen chip in processing tasks Full Speed mode is awfully loud with little performance gain Sold By List Price Price Dell $1,399.99 $1,399.99 See It (Opens in a new window) Read Our Alienware m17 R5 Review
Dell Chromebook 11 (3100) Best Dell Laptop for Young Children 4.0 Excellent Bottom Line: Designed to withstand the rigors of daily life in the classroom, at home, and in between, the Dell Chromebook 11 hits a trifecta: rugged, affordable, and great for kids. PROS Compact
Compact Sturdy, kid-friendly design
Sturdy, kid-friendly design Spill-resistant keyboard
Spill-resistant keyboard Optional LTE
Optional LTE Plenty of USB ports
Plenty of USB ports Reasonably priced accidental damage coverage CONS Poor Wi-Fi signal reception
Poor Wi-Fi signal reception Display limited to 1,366 by 768 resolution
Display limited to 1,366 by 768 resolution No SD card reader
No SD card reader Clumsy touchpad Sold By List Price Price Amazon $259.24 $259.24 See It (Opens in a new window) Dell Technologies $518.39 $339.00 Check Stock (Opens in a new window) Read Our Dell Chromebook 11 (3100) Review
Dell Latitude 7420 Best Dell Enterprise Fleet Laptop 4.0 Excellent Bottom Line: Highly customizable and sporting an attractive carbon-fiber chassis, the Dell Latitude 7420 is our new favorite ultraportable for businesses. PROS Excellent performance from 11th Generation Intel Core i7
Excellent performance from 11th Generation Intel Core i7 Long battery life
Long battery life Eminently configurable
Eminently configurable Corporate chic styling with aluminum or carbon fiber
Corporate chic styling with aluminum or carbon fiber Optional LTE
Optional LTE Three-year warranty CONS Expensive as configured
Expensive as configured Heavier and pricier than Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
Heavier and pricier than Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Occasional fan noise Sold By List Price Price Dell $889.00 $889.00 See It (Opens in a new window) Read Our Dell Latitude 7420 Review
Dell Precision 5560 Best Dell Mobile Workstation 4.5 Outstanding Bottom Line: The workstation sibling of the celebrated Dell XPS 15, the Precision 5560 is a slim, splendid-screened laptop that can handle all but the toughest professional apps. PROS Quite thin and light for a mobile workstation
Quite thin and light for a mobile workstation Handsome high-res 16:10 touch screen
Handsome high-res 16:10 touch screen Stiff aluminum and magnesium build
Stiff aluminum and magnesium build Thunderbolt 4 ports, SD card slot included
Thunderbolt 4 ports, SD card slot included Excellent multithreaded performance for a thin workstation CONS Expensive
Expensive Short on ports (USB-A and HDMI dongle included)
Short on ports (USB-A and HDMI dongle included) No OLED screen option Sold By List Price Price Dell $2,819.00 $2,819.00 See It (Opens in a new window) Read Our Dell Precision 5560 Review
Dell Latitude 7220 Rugged Extreme Tablet Best Rugged Dell Laptop/Tablet 4.5 Outstanding Bottom Line: Dell's Latitude 7220 Rugged Extreme Tablet lives up to its name by laughing at drops, splashes, and temperatures that would blow the average slate to smithereens. It's ideal for first responders and factory floors. PROS Supremely sturdy construction.
Supremely sturdy construction. Extra-bright display.
Extra-bright display. Comfortable keyboard cover.
Comfortable keyboard cover. Hot-swappable, long-life batteries. CONS Expensive and heavy.
Expensive and heavy. No HDMI or Thunderbolt 3 port.
No HDMI or Thunderbolt 3 port. Glove-compatible touch screen and touchpad require extra pressure compared to civilian systems. Sold By List Price Price Dell $2,712.85 $1,929.00 See It (Opens in a new window) Read Our Dell Latitude 7220 Rugged Extreme Tablet Review
Buying Guide: The Best Dell Laptops for 2022
When you're looking at Dell's laptop product line, you'll want to concentrate on which of its six main families of laptop best meets your needs. The ones to familiarize yourself with are Inspiron, XPS, Alienware, G Series, Latitude, and Precision. You'll find both clamshell and 2-in-1 convertible entries in all of these families apart from the two gaming-oriented ones.
Inspiron: The Mainstream Choice
For use in home or school, Dell's Inspiron brand comprises consumer laptops of every stripe: power machines, inexpensive "just enough" machines, big displays, ultracompacts. Whether you're editing photos or managing your home finances, Inspiron's copious options fit both screen-size and budget needs for most buyers. These machines are mostly Windows models; if you want something a little less expensive for simple tasks and browsing online, consider Dell's Chromebooks, which put basic functionality into an affordable package that works great for kids and students.
(Credit: Molly Flores)
Dell breaks its Inspiron line into three gradations or levels: 3000, 5000, and 7000 series. As you go up that stack, you tend to see more premium features, and higher relative pricing. The number between the word "Inspiron" and the series number is typically the screen size of the laptop; an Inspiron 13 5000, for example, would be a 13-inch-screened laptop with middle-field characteristics.
XPS: The Power-User Class
The various guises of the Dell XPS 13 have been our "near-perfect" mainstream and power laptops for some time now. Refresh after refresh, Dell keeps tuning to keep this hardy machine on top. XPS signifies, on both the desktop and laptop side of the fence, a premium-design, fully decked-out machine that bridges demanding consumers and business users. It's Dell's line of power tools that are equally at home in a home office, a coffee shop, a conference room, or a high-stakes business meeting.
(Credit: Zlata Ivleva)
XPS-class laptops also sometimes serve as guinea pigs for introducing futuristic features, such as the new XPS 13 Plus, which ditches a physical touchpad in favor of a haptic feedback mechanism integrated into the palm rest. These experiments aside, you won't find a lot of variety in the XPS laptop line in terms of screen size or stratification, just configurable versions of the 13-inch-screened XPS 13 and 15-inch XPS 15 as both clamshells and swiveling-screen 2-in-1s. The XPS 17, the biggest model, has a 17-inch screen and is only available in a clamshell form factor.
Alienware and G Series: Full-Spectrum Gaming
If gaming is more your style, Dell's Alienware brand delivers, if you're on the market for a serious, blinged-out gaming cruiser. The latest components combine with premium construction and design, earning Alienware a well-deserved reputation as an aspirational brand among PC gamers. The Alienware machines tend to be big, brawny models with heavy graphics firepower and prices to match, though the brand known for its classic Area-51m bruiser has made forays into some leaner machines with its m15 and m17 series models and the even leaner Alienware X-Series.
(Credit: Molly Flores)
Dell also sells gaming laptops under its G Series brand, introduced in 2018. Before this new sub-brand's introduction, this aggressively priced, lower-end line was part of the Inspiron family. Dell split it out as its own animal, and now the G Series is aimed at mainstream and budget-constrained gamers, with more modest designs than the Alienwares and component loadouts that are humbler but still workable for the latest games.
(Credit: Zlata Ivleva)
The G Series models hover above and below the $1,000 mark, while the Alienwares start north of that. Models in the G Series are gradated like the Inspirons, into G3, G5, and G7 classes, with the higher numbers indicating higher-grade builds and feature sets.
Latitude: The Umbrella for Business Machines
Then there's business. Dell's Latitude brand is the mainstay for its business laptops, competing with options from Lenovo (the ThinkPad T series) and HP (the various EliteBook lines). Latitude offers options for workers in the office or in the field, with a mix of thin-yet-powerful laptops and durable systems that can take a beating.
Like the Inspirons and the G Series, the Latitudes make use of the same 3000, 5000, and 7000 nomenclature, with the addition of a top-of-the-line 9000 series. The second number in the four-digit model number signifies the screen size. So a Dell Latitude 7390 is in the second-from-the-top of the four lines, with a 13.3-inch screen; a Latitude 9500 would be a top-grade machine with a 15.6-inch screen.
(Credit: Molly Flores)
Beyond the "simply" durable units, the Latitude line is also home to a few costly, highly ruggedized models that are designed to be used in hostile environments: doused in water, clipped onto an ATV, exposed to cold and wind, and the like. These are branded under the Latitude Rugged Extreme moniker.
Precision: Workstation Laptops for Demanding Professionals
Mobile workstations are a breed of machines that share some traits with business models, but they stand apart for their Independent Software Vendor (ISV) certifications and, in some cases, specialized CPU and GPU options and support for highly precise error-correcting-code (ECC) memory. ISV certifications give users of demanding professional business apps (in areas such as scientific computing, architecture, and engineering) assurances that the workstation will run up to snuff with a given application. Companies such as Adobe, Autodesk, Avid, Dassault Systemés, and Siemens tend to be the ISVs involved.
(Credit: Molly Flores)
Dell's line of mobile workstations is its Precision line, which comprises both laptop and desktop models. On the laptop side, Precision makes use of the same 3000, 5000, and 7000 series lingo as the other lines, with the screen size indicated within the model number.
A workstation might make use of consumer- or business-grade Intel CPUs, but the mark of a high-end workstation is the presence of a mobile Intel Xeon CPU and a dedicated workstation-grade graphics processor from Nvidia (RTX A-series, formerly Quadro) or AMD (Radeon Pro, much less common). The latter are in contrast to their consumer-GPU counterparts (GeForce GTX/RTX and Radeon RX, respectively) and are designed specifically for the kind of heavy-duty calculations that ISV-class applications require. Dell also offers a few 2-in-1 models in the Precision line; convertible workstations are far less common than their consumer counterparts.
So, What Is the Best Dell Laptop to Buy?
There are plenty of solid Dell systems to choose from, but don't be overwhelmed by the options. We've combed through our many reviews and singled out the best Dell systems in multiple categories. For more (Dell and non-Dell) options, check out our favorite laptops overall (updated constantly), as well as our lists of the best Chromebooks, the best budget laptops, and the best gaming laptops.
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