Dell laptops offer a solid combination of performance, dependability, and value. Dell also offers a wide range of options and sizes in their laptop catalogue. They've built their business on the slow but steady growth model, and it has allowed them to become one of the most widely respected computer brands in the last decade.
If you're ready to get a Dell laptop, read the following buying guide for helpful tips on picking the best one. We've also included reviews of some of our favorites, including our Best of the Best pick, the Dell XPS 15 9570.
Considerations when choosing Dell laptops
If you plan to use your laptop for work, you'll have different needs than if you plan to use it for casual personal use, or for serious gaming. For example, if you want a Dell laptop for gaming, you'll need a more high-caliber video card than a computer for simple work needs.
Screens for Dell laptops range from 11 to 18 inches. The greater the screen size, the larger and heavier the laptop will be overall. Think about the balance between portability and visibility when choosing what size of Dell laptop to purchase.
RAM stands for Random Access Memory. It's the memory used by a computer to multi-task and run different programs simultaneously. We recommend a Dell laptop with a minimum of 8GB of RAM for basic office use, or at least 16GB of RAM for more intense usage.
The CPU is the most important factor determining how well your computer performs. The faster a processor is, the more expensive the laptop will be. Most Dell laptops come with Intel i3, i5, i7, or i9 processors.
As mentioned above, if you plan to use your Dell laptop for gaming, or even watching lots of movies, then you need to be sure it has a video card that can handle your needs. The Dell laptops that can manage that heavy load will have separate video cards installed, as opposed to running graphics straight from the CPU.
Dell laptops offer a fair amount of variety in terms of storage options, operating systems, and processors. Below are a few of the most sought-after features.
eMMCs are small cards that extend your memory. They connect straight into the motherboard and are easy to install and remove. The advantage is that they cost less than permanent memory expansion options.
You can now get Dell laptops that function as Chromebooks. This means that rather than running Windows OS, they run a version of the Google Chrome browser as an operating system. Some people prefer this to a Windows OS computer, because it's similar to the operating system that they use on their Android phones.
A Ryuzen CPU can handle things like video editing or gaming easier than most Intel processors can. That's because they have multiple cores to handle more complex processes than a standard Intel CPU. Also, they tend to be either just as fast, if not faster than most Intel processors.
Dell laptops cover a wide range of price options. They cost anywhere from $200 up to $3,000. Perhaps the biggest factor impacting the price is the speed of the CPU. From $200 to $500 are the entry-level options.
Between $500 and $1,300, Dell laptops have powerful processors and lots of RAM for most of your needs. If you spend between $1,300 and $3,000, expect to get top of the line niche features, such as a fingerprint reader.
Q. Are Dell laptops that are refurbished worth buying?
A. That depends on who refurbished it. Even though there is an inherent risk in buying any refurbished laptop, you are less likely to have problems if Dell refurbished it themselves. They know their machines better than anyone else, so if you decide to go the refurbished route, get one from a reputable source.
Q. How long can I expect my Dell laptop to last?
A. The answer to that question will depend on your use and how you care for the machine. Dell laptops will generally last for a number of years. You can expect, though, that any laptop battery will begin to show some wear between 18 and 24 months.
Dell laptops we recommend
Best of the best: Dell XPS 15 9570
Our take: One of the fastest laptops on the market.
What we like: Intel i9 processor, 1TB SSD, fingerprint scanner, touch screen; what's not to like?
What we dislike: The laptop is expensive, and the video card isn't the best for gaming.
Best bang for your buck: Dell Inspiron Flagship Backlit Keyboard Laptop
Our take: A good, basic computer at a good, basic price.
What we like: The i5 dual core processor is powerful and the backlit keyboard makes low light use more convenient.
What we dislike: Not as powerful as many of its peers.
Choice 3: Dell 2-in-1 7000 Series 17579
Our take: State of the art machine, though pricey.
What we like: Tablet functions make this a useful tool for creatives.
What we dislike: The battery life isn't as long as others.
Adam Reeder is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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