Best Dell laptops 2023: Jump menu
00. The list in brief↴
01. Best overall: Dell XPS 13 Plus
02. Best premium: Dell XPS 15
03. Best budget: Dell Inspiron 15
04. Best OLED: Dell XPS 13 OLED
05. Best affordable gaming: Dell G5 15
06. Best premium gaming: Alienware M16
07. Best 2 in 1: Dell XPS 13 2-In-1
08. Best big laptop: Dell XPS 17
09: How to choose
10: How we test
If you’re looking for the best Dell laptops that 2023 has to offer, you’re in the right place. Dell is one of the most respected brands in the industry with years of experience creating Windows machines for all kinds of budgets and purposes.
There are so many options now, whether you’re looking for something for everyday use, for gaming and streaming, or perhaps you’re after a hybrid. Whatever you need, there’s a Dell laptop for it! We love that Dell offers some of the best laptops on the market, including some of the best gaming laptops and best student laptops, so all your needs are covered.
We’ve reviewed and broken down the features and benefits of each Dell laptop in this best-of list, so that you can make an informed decision on which is the best Dell laptop for you.
The biggest sale event in the calendar is Black Friday, which falls on 24 November this year (not long now). For the best Black Friday deals, however, the T3 team will be scouring all the best retailers ahead of the long sale weekend to bring you curated deals of all the hottest discounts, so we'll do the work and save you the hassle!
The Quick List
Best for most people
If you want a top performer without breaking the bank, the Dell XPS 13 Plus is the one to get. With a beautiful 4K screen and some impressive hardware under the hood wrapped up in a portable and stylish package.
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Best premium Dell
It's not cheap by any means but we do consider the XPS 15 to be excellent value if you are all about that sweet 15-inch display. You can get some serious hardware with up to an Intel Core i9 processor and 64GB of RAM.
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Best budget Dell
If you don't want to break the bank but still want a capable laptop the Inspiron 15 is the best budget Dell. You don't have to compromise however as the 15.6-inch screen is a delight, making this great for Netflix fans. Not one for gamers however.
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The best Dell laptops we recommend
Why you can trust T3 Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
The Dell XPS 13 series has consistently wowed us here at T3, and while the '9315' version of that laptop is super, it's the newer, longer-lasting and all-round better XPS Plus that now takes our top spot in this best-of list.
As with any XPS, the Plus is powerful, supremely well-built, and compact, so just about everything you could possibly want in your search for the best Dell laptop around at the moment.
With great Intel processors installed and up to 32GB of RAM if you spec it, this is a portable computer that's going to be able to handle everything that you want to throw at it. From late-night Netflix to early-morning report writing, you'll find the Dell XPS 13 Plus a highly capable and competent laptop.
It's that 13.4-inch display with the super-thin bezels that really makes this laptop stand out though: you can go from Full HD through to 3.5K or greater-than-4K options, the choice is yours (as is the expense!). Whichever you choose for your needs, though, you won't be disappointed by this stellar laptop. It's the best Dell for most people.
The latest Dell XPS 15 has wowed us too, so if you've got enough money to be able to afford this slightly larger model, it's undoubtedly one of the best Dell laptops in the business – you pay a little bit extra than the XPS 13 for the 15.6-inch display, of course, but we reckon that it's worth it.
We're pleased to see that display making use of the 16:10 aspect ratio: it doesn't work so well for widescreen movies, but it's perfect for working through documents and scrolling through websites. As you would expect from the XPS series, the whole laptop is beautifully built and a winner from an aesthetic point of view, whether it's open or closed.
You can trick out the Dell XPS 15 with some top-quality internal components as well: Intel Core i9 processors, some impressive graphics card solutions, and a maximum of 64GB of RAM (which should be enough for even your most advanced projects. Even at the higher price bracket, you get plenty of Dell laptop for your money.
If you're wondering how this stacks up against the cheaper 15-inch Dell below, here's our Dell XPS 15 vs Dell Insipiron 15 3000 guide.
Besides the premium, flagship laptops that Dell puts out, there are plenty of value-for-money models as well – the selection on Dell's website is so huge that you're bound to find something that fits your financial situation. The Inspiron line is a good place to start looking, and the Dell Inspiron 15 is particularly tempting.
The main highlight is an expansive 15.6-inch screen – large screens aren't always a given at lower price points, but the display attached to this particular Dell laptop gives your video streaming apps and your web browsers and anything else you want to run plenty of space to move around in.
You get some very decent specs to go alongside that screen, with SSD hard drives and AMD or Intel chipsets on offer to keep things moving along nicely. Shopping for the best Dell laptop at this end of the market means you'll have to forget about hardcore gaming or video editing, but for a good-looking computer that will take care of the everyday basics, this is ideal.
This Dell XPS laptop takes everything that's great about the XPS 13 and adds a stunning 4K OLED display to deliver inky blacks and pristine whites, making it even better for photography, video and anything else where colour reproduction matters.
Inside there's an 11th-generation Intel processor and up to 16GB of RAM. That's probably overkill for mobile use where running at full tilt will hardly sip from the battery, but it means serious processing power when you need it.
If you're considering whether to buy a Dell or an Apple laptop, check out our Dell XPS 13 (2020) vs Apple MacBook Air (M1, 2020) comparison or read our full Dell XPS 13 review to get all the information you need about this superb laptop.
Best affordable gaming
Best affordable gaming
If you want to game on your laptop but you don't want to go overboard in terms of size and price, get the Dell G5 15: it'll play all the latest Windows games very nicely indeed (ranking as "next-level gaming" on the official 3DMark benchmark score), and comes with a subtle lighting effect underneath that you can enable or disable as needed.
Dell has kept this down to a fantastic price considering the components you get inside, components that include a healthy 16GB of RAM and up to Nvidia GeForce GTX 3070 Ti graphics card to keep those frame rates nice and smooth. The star of the show is the 15.6-inch display though, which offers either 1440 x 2560 or 1920 x 1080 resolution options, all the way from 120Hz to 240Hz if you're willing to pay the extra.
When you're not gaming, you can of course use the laptop for everything else as well – it's not so flamboyantly styled that you won't be able to get it out in the local coffee shop. We're impressed with the thermal management and the battery life of the Dell G5 15 as well – definitely one of the best Dell laptops for gamers.
Best premium gaming
Alienware laptops don't come cheap, but this high-end gaming laptop is one of the best you can buy. Specs vary but the most premium comes With a top tier 13th gen Intel i9 processor, and a stunning RTX 4090 GPU with 16GB of RAM, you'll be able to handle pretty much anything with ray tracing at the highest possible settings.
The main downside here is the battery: all that power needs a lot of power, so you're looking at about an hour of gaming and four and a half hours of general office apps. That's the trade-off you have to make for all of that performance and, provided you stay plugged in, it's the way to go.
Best 2 in 1
Our top pick for the best Dell laptop is also available in a 2-in-1 configuration, so you can prop it up to watch some movies or fold it right over and use it as a (thick) tablet – depending on your requirements and what you're going to be using your tablet for, the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 might be an even better deal for you than the standard version.
You still get the excellent build quality and the top-level specs: some of the latest and greatest Intel processors around, plus a maximum of 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage space (though the very best specs will of course cost you a hefty amount of money). On a laptop this size you can't expect too much in terms of graphics, but the integrated Iris Xe chipset will handle all the basics with ease.
All current XPS 2-in-1 Dell models come with a 3K resolution screen, on what is already one of the brightest and best display panels in the business. The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 isn't for everyone – those on a budget and those needing a more spacious screen will want to look elsewhere – but it certainly ticks a lot of important boxes.
Best big laptop
If you want the power of a workstation without sacrificing style, the New Dell XPS 17 is absolutely stunning. Its 17-inch, 500-nit display can be configured as FHD+ or 3840 x 2400 UHD, and if you max out the options you can have 64GB of DDR4 RAM, a 2TB SSD and a GeForce RTX 3060 in a PC powered by an Intel Core i9. You don’t have to max out the options to get great performance, but it’s a lot of fun if you do. If you can afford it, of course.
This Dell is pretty as well as powerful. The XPS 17 (9720) has the same stunning looks as its smaller siblings, but despite its svelte case there are still plenty of expansion options thanks to four Thunderbolt 4 ports with power delivery and DisplayPort. The XPS also has Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5 for all your wireless needs. It’s a little on the heavy side at 2.17kg, but laptops of this size are usually bought as desktop replacements so that’s not a huge issue.
How to choose
Choosing the best Dell laptop works the same way as it does for any other laptop: decide where your own particular sweet spot is in terms of price and power, and make your choice accordingly. Paying more will usually get you better performance and more longevity of course.
There's a balance to be struck between power vs portability that's worth considering – not only are more powerful laptops more expensive, they're more difficult to lug around, and if you want the top-tier laptop components, you'll also need a bigger laptop fit them all into.
The Dell badge gives you a certain guarantee in terms of quality, so whichever laptop you opt for it's going to serve you well – you just need to decide the sort of specs you need, the price you can afford, and the amount of effort you want to put into carrying it around.
It's worth browsing our Dell discount codes to get a saving on your new laptop.
How we test
Testing Dell laptops is just like testing any other brand of laptops, for which T3 has a multiple stage testing process.
Firstly we evaluate the system from a design point of view. We're looking for how well-built it is, how big the bezels on its screen are, what sort of keyboard and trackpad it comes with, how many ports it has and more. If the case feels cheap and plastic we'll find out, as too if its keyboard is spongy and not good for typing.
Once the system is booted up we then specifically test the Dell laptop's screen. We're finding out its core specs, such as resolution and refresh rate, but also how it performs in terms of colour accuracy, viewing angles, response rate and brightness and contrast. If a laptop has a washed out, not very bright screen, we will find out.
From this point we test the system's core functionality and hardware in a mixture of benchmarks and real world usage tests. If the system is fast, intuitive and easy to use, with applications like Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop running smoothly then we'll tell you. As too, if it has gaming credentials, what sort of score it gets in 3DMark, as well as how it runs modern AAA games like Cyberpunk 2077.
Penultimately, we test the system's battery life. We lean towards real-world battery testing here at T3 as we feel it gives the most accurate results, so we use a laptop to undertake our normal computing routine for a few days on end and see how far the battery stretches. If a system's battery has us running to a wall socket after only 6 hours we will let you know.
Finally, we sum up the whole system and compare it to other systems on the market that offer the same sort of performance or cost the same sort of money. We then bestow a star score on the Dell laptop (out of 5, with 5 being the best) and if it scores well we then consider it for our best Dell laptops buying guide.