Best Dell laptops 2022: top-rated Dell portables for work and play

These are the best Dell laptops in 2022, from budget Dell laptops to powerful gaming machines

A silver Dell laptop closed on desk, next to keyboard
(Image credit: Dries Augustyns Unsplash.com)

Dell offers very reliable devices that will last you for years to come, so if you’re looking for the best Dell laptops 2022 has to offer, you’re in the right place. We love Dell at T3, and so we’ve taken the time to rank some of the very best options Dell has to offer.

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’ve reviewed and broken down the features and benefits of each Dell laptop in this list, so that you can make an informed decision on which is the best Dell laptop for you.

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.

Before we get into it, here are our top 3 favourites:

The best Dell laptop for most people is the Dell XPS 13. It’s powerful, stylish, and boasts clear graphics, a beauty for everyday use. There's also a beautiful OLED version with 4K resolution and great colour reproduction for photos, videos and graphics of all kinds.

The best premium Dell laptop is the Dell XPS 15. Boasting even more power, screen size and crisp graphics, this one is worth the investment and will last you for years to come.

The Dell Inspiron 15 3000 is our choice of the best budget Dell laptop. At half the price of the Dell XPS 13, this laptop is great value for money, still offering the high-quality computing experience you’d expect from Dell!

The best Dell laptops you can buy today in 2022

Dell XPS 13 laptop shown open on white backgroundT3 Award

The best Dell laptop for most people? That's the Dell XPS 13.

(Image credit: Dell)
The best Dell laptop for most people

Specifications

CPU: Up to 10th-gen Intel Core i7-1065G7
Screen: 13.4-inch (up to 3840 x 2400 pixels)
Graphics: Intel Iris Plus
RAM: Up to 16GB
Storage: Up to 1TB

Reasons to buy

+
Powerful internal hardware
+
4K screen variant available
+
Stylish and portable

Reasons to avoid

-
Average battery life
-
Limited number of ports

The Dell XPS 13 series has consistently wowed us here at T3, and the latest version of the laptop continues that trend – it's 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 the latest 10th-gen Intel processors installed and up to 16GB of RAM installed, 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 a highly capable and competent laptop.

It's that 13.4-inch display with the super-thin bezels that really makes the XPS 13 stand out though: if you want to, you can go all the way up to a 4K resolution, but the 1,920 x 1,080 resolution models still look fantastic (4K doesn't make a huge amount of difference on a laptop display this size). Wondering what the differences are between this and the 15-inch model below? Here's our Dell XPS 13 vs Dell XPS 15 guide.

Asus VivoBook S15 vs Dell XPS 13: two of the best laptops head to head

Dell XPS 15 laptop shown open on angle on a white backgroundT3 Award

The best premium Dell laptop? That's the Dell XPS 15.

(Image credit: Dell)
The best premium Dell laptop

Specifications

CPU: Up to 10th-gen Intel Core i9-10885H
Screen: 15.6-inch (up to 3840 x 2400 pixels)
Graphics: Up to Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti 4GB
RAM: Up to 64GB
Storage: Up to 1TB

Reasons to buy

+
Elite level internal hardware
+
Nvidia graphics card built in
+
4K screen option

Reasons to avoid

-
Would you be better with an XPS 13?

The brand new Dell XPS 15 for 2020 has wowed us even more than previous versions of the flagship laptop, and if you've got enough money to be able to afford it, this is undoubtedly one of the best Dell laptops in the business – you pay a little bit extra than the XPS 13 for that 15.6-inch display, 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.

Dell Inspiron 15 3000 laptop shown facing forward on a white backgroundT3 Award

The best budget Dell laptop is the Dell Inspiron 15 3000.

(Image credit: Dell)

3. Dell Inspiron 15 3000

The best budget Dell laptop

Specifications

CPU: Up to Intel Pentium Gold Processor 5405U
Screen: 15.6-inch (1920 x 1080 pixels)
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 610
RAM: 4GB
Storage: 128GB

Reasons to buy

+
Definitely affordable
+
Light and portable
+
Inoffensive design

Reasons to avoid

-
Screen has large bezels
-
Outpunched by XPS range

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 3000 is particularly tempting.

The main highlight is an expensive 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 chipsets on offer on certain models. 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.

Dell XPS 13 9310 OLED

(Image credit: Future)
The best Dell OLED laptop for most people

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i7
Graphics: Intel Iris Xe
RAM: Up to 16GB
Screen: 13.4-inch, 3456 x 2160 resolution
Storage: 256GB/512GB

Reasons to buy

+
Great looks
+
Very impressive hardware
+
Amazing display

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited ports
-
All that power may strain the battery

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. 

Dell G5 15 laptop shown playing game on white backgroundT3 Award

The Dell G5 15 is a great Dell laptop that also has some good gaming chops, too.

(Image credit: Dell)
A compact gaming powerhouse laptop from Dell

Specifications

CPU: Up to 10th-gen Intel Core i7-10750H
Screen: 15.6-inch (1920 x 1080 pixels)
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 512GB

Reasons to buy

+
Compact and portable
+
1080p gaming unlocked
+
Understated looks

Reasons to avoid

-
Outpunched by Alienware gaming laptops

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 8GB of RAM and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB graphics card to keep those frame rates nice and smooth. The star of the show is the 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 display though, with a maximum refresh rate of 144Hz.

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. Curious what you get here that the also-powerful Dell XPS 15 doesn't offer? Here's our Dell XPS 15 vs Dell G5 15 head-to-head.

Dell G7 17 laptop shown open facing sideways on a white backgroundT3 Award

If you've got serious money to spend and want a Dell laptop that delivers serious gaming credentials, but isn't obviously a gaming laptop, then consider the Dell G7 17.

(Image credit: Dell)
Top-level gaming power in a laptop

Specifications

CPU: Up to 10th-gen Intel Core i7-10750H
Screen: 17.3-inch (1920 x 1080 pixels)
Graphics: Up to Nvidia GeForce GTX 2070 8GB
RAM: 16GB
Storage: Up to 1TB

Reasons to buy

+
Buckets of gaming power
+
Large 17.3-inch screen
+
Doesn't look like a gaming laptop

Reasons to avoid

-
Higher spec costs

The Dell G7 17 is a step up from the Dell G5 15 in almost every respect, from the size of the display, to the available graphics options, to the dramatic looks of the device – the display stands a little way above the rest of the chassis, so it's almost as if you're got a separate monitor in front of rather than a laptop screen.

With a 144Hz refresh rate and a 9ms response time, that 17.3-inch screen is guaranteed to show off your games in the best way possible, and it should give you an edge against opponents and enemies (either real or computer-generated). This is of course a relatively chunky laptop thanks to that screen, but you can still carry it around fairly easily.

This model was recently updated to offer 1TB of storage, which means more room for your games without having to rely on the cloud all the time, and you get the same subtle lighting effect options as on the Dell G5 15. Definitely a gem of a gaming laptop.

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 laptop depicted with screen at various anglesT3 Award

The best 2-in-1 Dell laptop is the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1.

(Image credit: Dell)

7. Dell XPS 13 2-in-1

A premium, versatile 2-in-1 Dell laptop

Specifications

CPU: Up to 10th-gen Intel Core i7-1065G7
Screen: 13.4-inch (up to 3840 x 2400 pixels)
Graphics: Intel Iris Plus
RAM: Up to 32GB
Storage: Up to 1TB

Reasons to buy

+
2-in-1 functionality
+
Premium hardware

Reasons to avoid

-
Do you need 2-in-1 functionality?

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 32GB of RAM and 1TB 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 Plus chipset will handle all the basics with ease.

There's even the option of a 4K resolution screen here, 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.

alienware m15 r4T3 Award

For insane gaming power in a Dell laptop buy the Alienware M17 R4.

(Image credit: Alienware)
The best Dell laptop for ultimate gaming performance

Specifications

CPU: Up to 10th-gen Intel Core i9
Screen: 15.6 inch, up to 3840x2160 pixels, OLED option available
Graphics: Up to NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 3080 8GB GDDR6
RAM: Up to 32GB DDR4 2933MHz
Storage: Up to 2TB

Reasons to buy

+
Amazing performance
+
Stunning looks
+
Lots of customisation
+
Vibrant 1080p display

Reasons to avoid

-
Runs hot
-
Very expensive
-
Battery life could be better

Alienware laptops don't come cheap, but this high-end gaming laptop is one of the best gaming laptops you can buy. Inside that spectacular-looking case there's a choice of displays from 1080p 144Hz to 4K 60Hz and OLED too, and the processor is an 10th-generation Intel Core i7 with Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 and 16GB of RAM. It's very fast and very smooth even at the highest resolutions with ray tracing enabled, and we didn't experience any slow-downs or stuttering in even the most demanding titles. We didn't encounter any thermal throttling either, which is very impressive. 

The main downside here is the battery: all that power needs a lot of power, so you're looking at about an hour and a half of gaming and four and a half hours of general office apps. That's because this laptop is designed to be thinner, lighter and more portable than similarly specced gaming laptops, and certainly for us we'd rather have that than another half hour of battery.

Dell XPS 17 laptop facing forward on white backgroundT3 Award

If you've got unlimited budget to spend on a new Dell laptop then the Dell XPS 17 is the way to go.

(Image credit: Dell)
The one we'd buy if we were made of money

Specifications

CPU: Up to 10th generation Intel Core i9-10885H
Screen: 17” (up to 3840 x 2400 pixels)
Graphics: Up to GeForce RTX 2060 6GB
RAM: Up to 64GB
Storage: Up to 2TB SSD

Reasons to buy

+
Fantastic display
+
Exceptionally powerful
+
Lots of configuration options

Reasons to avoid

-
How much?
-
Do you need this much screen real estate?

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 64MB of DDR4 RAM, a 2TB SSD and a 6GB GeForce RTX 2060 in a PC powered by an 8-core, 5.3GHz 10th Generation 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. 

This Dell is pretty as well as powerful. The XPS 17 (2020) 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 3 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 2.11kg, but laptops of this size are usually bought as desktop replacements so that’s not a huge issue. Want to know exactly what you get here than the XPS 15 doesn't offer? Here's our guide to the Dell XPS 15 vs Dell XPS 17.


How to choose the best Dell laptop for your needs

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 the best Dell laptops

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 color 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 likes 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 out best Dell laptops buying guide.

Dave has over 20 years' experience in the tech journalism industry, covering hardware and software across mobile, computing, smart home, home entertainment, wearables, gaming and the web – you can find his writing online, in print, and even in the occasional scientific paper, across major tech titles like T3, TechRadar, Gizmodo and Wired. Outside of work, he enjoys long walks in the countryside, skiing down mountains, watching football matches (as long as his team is winning) and keeping up with the latest movies.