Founded in 1984, Dell is one prime example of a minor company founded by a University student that made it into the world’s top corporations. Michael Dell dropped out of college to take care of his tiny business, started producing custom-made computers, and became a multi-millionaire within years. Currently, the company’s name is Dell Technologies Inc. It is the world’s third biggest IT vendor and the biggest privately owned, after the merger with the data storage corporation EMC, it employs around 140.000 people, having revenue of about $75 billion.
We’ve compiled a list of Dell laptops you may want to have. We’ve covered all the categories described above, so you can either get one of these models or have an idea where to start when looking for a laptop on your own. Here’s what we considered best for you:
1. Alienware New 17 R4
This is a gaming laptop for those who want to spend their life gaming. There’s no way around it: this is a complete alien beast, made to laugh at the latest releases from the height of its 17.3” FHD Anti-Glare display. It’s something you want to keep on a leash and lock somewhere safe because otherwise, it’s going to make you play Watch Dogs 2 ‘til you drop. It’s the biggest, most powerful, heaviest, and priciest item in this list.
This monster is fueled by rage and an i7-6820HQ, quad-core, 8MB cache, clocked at 2.6GHz, TurboBoost up to 3.6GHz, dynamically overclocked up to 4.1GHz. The anger level is also increased by a nVidia GTX 1070M, 8GB GDDR5 VRAM, which can play every single one of the latest releases at high or ultra settings. In short, there’s nothing you can’t play with this and no game around will even max out your computer. This gaming rig is something Dell and Alienware can be proud of.
2. Dell Inspiron 15 7000: i7559-763BLK
Who says that gaming has to wipe your pockets clean? Of course, a budget gaming laptop will not be able to play the latest Deus Ex release on Ultra settings, but we believe high settings are enough for all practical purposes. In fact, we consider this model the best Dell budget gaming computer and also the absolute best value for money when it comes to gaming.
This budget beauty is a lot slimmer and lighter than any Alienware laptop. At only 25mm thickness, 15.6” size and 2.7kg (6lbs) weight, it’s not too different from any normal laptop. However, this apparently normal case hosts an i5-6300HQ, quad-core, 2.3-3.2GHz, as well as a GTX 960M with 4GB GDDR5. The rest of the components are also up to the task, including a 256GB SSD. All in all, we also think this is one of the most beautiful designs Dell has to offer, with classy, rounded lines and carbon black color with red highlights.
3. Workstation Laptop: Dell Precision M5510
What the Precision line of workstation laptops does is combine the sleek looks of the XPS series with the high performance required for 3D graphic design, AutoCAD, high-rez video editing, and similar demanding tasks. While not being cut out for gaming due to slimness and consequent overheating (they’re not optimized for gaming anyway), these laptops are Alienware-level when it comes to performance.
It features the same i5-6300HQ as the Inspiron 15 7000, but opts out of the gaming graphics card, choosing to rely instead on a nVidia Quadro M1000M, 2GB GDDR5, optimized for graphic design.
4. Multimedia Laptop: Dell XPS 15 9550
This is the nr.1 premium line of Dell laptops, on the same level with Asus’ ZenBooks and Apple’s MacBooks. Dell has been doing the best possible to make sure that the competition is utterly beaten and some say they succeeded. Their success is visible in the ultra-thin 5.7mm screen bezels, something that takes the XPS series as close to an Infinity Screen as ever achieved by a laptop.
There are many models in the series, but we believe that the cheapest is the best value for money. As we’re talking about multimedia, the i3-61200H is more than enough to manage, coupled with the integrated graphics chip Intel HD 530. The laptop is only 13mm thick and weighs just a bit less than 1.7kg, which is very little for a 15.6” screen. The battery is also pretty amazing, with 10-12 hours of life at medium use.
5. Business laptop: Dell Inspiron 15 5000 (2016 version)
The Inspiron series comprises classic laptops, and the model we have in mind makes no exception. It’s a great choice for everyday office tasks, study, presentations, and many more related tasks. Of course, using it as a multimedia device is an option as well, enjoying the same components as the XPS line.
The laptop relies on an Intel i5-6200U, quad-core, 2.3GHz with Turbo Boost up to 2.8GHz, as well as an integrated video chip Intel HD 520. It has a 15.6” FHD touchscreen, 8 GB DDR3L RAM, and 1TB HDD. While keeping a low price tag, this model is excellent for any and all day-to-day tasks.
6. Convertible laptop: Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Series 2-in-1 (2016 version)
Rather than a simple 2-in-1, this laptop is 4-in-1, being usable in a laptop, tablet, tent, and stand forms. It has a 15.6” FHD touchscreen which can flip 360o, as any proper convertible should. It’s only 20mm thick and weighs just a bit over 2.1kg.
The processor is an ultra-low-voltage i5-6200U, which is more than enough for whatever you can do with a tablet – including casual gaming. It’s paired with the same Intel HD Graphics 520, 8GB DDR3L SDRAM, 500GB HDD, and all the necessary ports. Overall, it’s an excellent multimedia device, beaten only by the (way more expensive) XPS-series model reviewed above.
7. Chromebook: Dell CRM3120-1667BLK
Chromebooks are built under a partnership with Google, and they’re designed to be used with Chrome OS, a Linux variety. There are other manufacturers as well, including Asus and Acer. Chromebooks are designed to be used for really light tasks such as using the Office pack, watching movies, browsing the Internet and so on. They’re also designed to be lightweight and have very long battery life.
This model is based on an Intel Celeron N2840, dual-core, 2.16 GHz and up to 2.58GHz. It also features 2GB DDR3L SDRAM and a flash memory of 16GB. It’s up to the US MIL-STD (Military Standard) when it comes to resistance, being thus able to bear whatever a student can throw at it – it even includes Gorilla Glass screen protection. All in all, it’s the best option for a student with a low budget.
There’s not much to criticize about Dell laptops. After all, the company is one of the best in the world for very good reasons. There are only two things we can complain about, in fact, the first one being the design. While some Dell laptops have a very inspired design, with very thin screen bezels, light weight, and classy colors, most of them are fairly “plasticky,” and some simply look like 2005 is back Not to mention that certain models also look a bit too much like MacBooks. What’s more, the Alienware products (yes, Alienware belongs to Dell), while looking great in their respect, have also had the same design for years and, in our honest opinion, a makeover is in order.
The second thing to complain about is the phone-based tech support. Dell reportedly received the Longest Average Call Time award from a couple of reviewers, meaning that there are long queues and also that the representatives are not particularly sure of what they’re doing. Then again, this doesn’t mean that the tech support sucks. You can transmit your problems to Dell via live chat and mail as well, and there’s even a nifty self-diagnostic tool you can use. Speaking of problems, the warranty is also pretty great. The company pays for return shipping even for their cheapest models and upgrading the RAM and storage doesn’t void your warranty (like it happens with Asus).
What’s great about Dell? To begin with, they cater to all markets. While the actual Dell laptops are not gaming rigs, the company acquired Alienware in 2006, so they’ve got that part covered as well. They have classic laptops as well as hybrids, convertibles, Chromebooks, and so on. They also cover all price ranges, from under-$200 budget devices to… well, Alienware. Dell laptops are well-built and are shipped with little to no bloatware, which is great considering many other companies fill their products with software you will probably never use. They also stand at the peak of innovation when it comes to minimalism, beating even the overly praised MacBooks regarding screen bezel size, overall thickness, weight, and so on.
What to look at when buying a Dell laptop? Well, the budget is of no concern here, since we’ve established that you can find a laptop for pretty much any amount of money. The more important thing here is what you buy it for, as there are several different types of laptop available for completely different purposes and operation environments. What’s more, customization is indeed something that Dell is renowned for. For many models, you can choose between different CPU’s, graphics cards, RAM size, storage type and size, and so on.
If you’re a gamer, you’re in luck here, as Dell owns the very mother of all gaming laptop vendors – Alienware. Some say these laptops have a bit of an undeserved reputation but, in all honesty, they are fantastic gaming machines and have decent prices considering what they offer. If you just want a good old classic laptop, you shall not be dissatisfied. There are both simple, budget choices like many Inspiron models, and super-high-end, slim-profile, lightweight and high-performance devices like the XPS series. Considering that Dell also produces convertible laptops and Chromebooks, you’ve got all the markets covered. Whether you are a heavy-duty gamer, a graphic designer, photo or video editor, writer, accountant, student, teacher, DJ, or whatever other profession that requires the use of a PC, Dell can provide you with an excellent workstation.