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The best Dell laptops 2021

Best Dell laptop
If you’re in the market for a notebook, you’re going to want to consider the best Dell laptops 2021 has to offer. (Image credit: Future)
PRICE
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID

The best Dell laptops should be at the top of your list if you’re in the market for one of the best laptops money can buy right now. There are plenty of fantastic Windows laptops out there, including options from companies like Asus, HP, and Acer. Yet, Dell has just as many excellent portables as any other company, whether you’re looking at something in the budget range or a top-of-the-line flagship like the XPS 15.

Dell has been pushing the envelope these last few years the way the best MacBooks used to, taking its laptops’ design and construction to the next level. While its flagship models can get expensive, the company does have quite a few reasonably priced models that provide great build quality and robust hardware.

No matter if you’re in the market for gaming laptops, Chromebooks, or Ultrabooks, Dell has something that will fit your needs. And, to help you find that perfect portable, we’ve collected the best Dell laptops of 2021 here for you.

Best Dell laptops at a glance

  1. Dell XPS 15 (2020)
  2. Alienware M15 R3 (2020)
  3. Dell XPS 13 (Late 2020)
  4. Alienware m17 R4 (2021)
  5. Dell Latitude 7490
  6. Dell XPS 17 (2020)
  7. Dell G5 15 SE (2020)
  8. Alienware Area-51m
  9. Dell Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1
  10. Dell G3 15

The best Dell laptops: Dell XPS 15

(Image credit: Dell)

1. Dell XPS 15 (2020)

All-powerful laptop for creative students

Specifications
CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core i5 – i7
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics – NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti
RAM: 8GB – 64GB
Screen: 15.6" FHD+ (1920 x 1200) InfinityEdge Non-Touch Anti-Glare 500-Nit – 15.6" UHD+ (3840 x 2400) InfinityEdge Touch Anti-Reflective 500-Nit Display
Storage: 256GB – 2TB M.2 PCIe NVMe
Reasons to buy
+Amazing speakers+Beautiful display+Comfy keyboard
Reasons to avoid
-GTX 1650 Ti is a little weak

The Dell XPS 15 might be a bit pricey for regular students, but it’s easily one of the best laptops for students in the creative field. Combining staggering power in a stylish thin and light chassis, this laptop doesn’t hold back when it comes to internals and features that improve your computing experience overall, making this the best Dell laptop of 2021. Among those amazing features are a gorgeous bright display with 500 nits of brightness, an extremely comfortable keyboard, impressive speakers, and a terrific trackpad. We’re not saying that this laptop is perfect, but our coveted 5 out of 5 rating should speak for itself.

Read the full review: Dell XPS 15

Alienware M15 R3 (2020)

(Image credit: Dell)

2. Alienware M15 R3 (2020)

A brilliant gaming beast that just got a little bit better

Specifications
CPU: Up to 10th Generation Intel Core i9-10980HK
Graphics: Up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super
RAM: Up to 32GB DDR4
Screen: 15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) 144Hz 7ms 300-nits 72% NTSC – 15.6" OLED UHD (3840 x 2160) 60Hz 1ms 400-nits DCI-P3
Storage: Up to 4TB RAID0 + 512GB SSD
Reasons to buy
+Great build quality+Sublime all-round performance
Reasons to avoid
-4K OLED panel not optimal for gaming-Nvidia Max-Q GPU a little limited

Dell’s Alienware gaming laptop line has established itself as among the very best on the market. But for 2021, one of the best Dell laptops is back and better than ever, rocking the best internals for gaming that money can buy. Of course, that means that its configurations cost a pretty penny, but if you have the money to spare, it’s certainly worth the splurge because of its sublime gaming performance. That’s without factoring in its quirky yet attractive design, excellent build quality and display with fast refresh rates. We’ve been fans of the line since its design overall a couple of years ago, and that hasn’t changed.

Read the full review: Alienware M15 R3 (2020)

Dell XPS 13 (Late 2020)

(Image credit: Dell)

3. Dell XPS 13 (Late 2020)

Dell does it again

Specifications
CPU: Up to 11th Generation Intel Core i7-1165G7
Graphics: Up to Intel Iris Xe Graphics
RAM: Up to 32GB 4267MHz LPDDR4x
Screen: 13.4" FHD+ (1920 x 1200) InfinityEdge Non-Touch Anti-Glare 500-Nit – 13.4" UHD+ (3840 x 2400) InfinityEdge Touch Anti-Reflective 500-Nit Display
Storage: Up to 2TB M.2 PCIe NVMe
Reasons to buy
+Stunning design+Gorgeous 16:10 display+Excellent battery life
Reasons to avoid
-Sound quality is just OK-Pricey

At this point, we doubt that the Dell XPS line can do anything wrong. Its yearly updates have consistently made it to our best laptops list, and they’re only getting better. The Dell XPS 13 (2020) is not only a gorgeous piece of kit. It also comes, as expected, with excellent performance, a stunning display and long battery life, alongside a few others. Much like its predecessor, it’s a pricey investment – but that is barely reason enough for us to discourage Ultrabook fans. This is among the best Dell laptops of 2021, and it’s worth every penny.

Read the full review: Dell XPS 13 (2020) 

Alienware m17 R4 (2021)

(Image credit: Dell)

4. Alienware m17 R4 (2021)

Big. Powerful. Beautiful.

Specifications
CPU: 10th-gen Intel Core i7 – i9
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 - 3080
RAM: 16GB – 32GB DDR4 2933MHz
Screen: 17.3" FHD (1920 x 1080) 144Hz 7ms 300-nits – 17.3" UHD (3840 x 2160) 60Hz 25ms 500-nits
Storage: 256GB PCIe M.2 SSD – 4TB RAID0 + 512GB PCIe M.2 SSD
Reasons to buy
+Blazing fast performance+Stylish chassis+A ton of RGB
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive-Basically no battery life

Dell’s best gaming portable is back for 2021 and better than ever, cementing its status as among the best gaming laptops out there. This breathtakingly powerful gaming laptop doesn’t compromise, tackling all the latest AAA games without even breaking a sweat. Those tired of the same dated "gamer" aesthetic will also appreciate its thicc yet attractive design decorated with lots of RGB lighting, which sets it apart from everything else out there. It’s a little on the pricier side and its battery life could use a boost, but if you want the best of the best, you’ll want this one.

Read the full review: Alienware m17 R4 (2021)

The best Dell laptops: Dell Latitude 7490

Dell Latitude 7490 has many of the makings of a great computer. (Image credit: Dell) (Image credit: Dell)

5. Dell Latitude 7490

Intel’s new silicon and a honed design make a great combo

Specifications
CPU: 8th-generation Intel Core i3 – i7
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620
RAM: 4GB – 16GB
Storage: 128GB SSD – 512GB SSD
Reasons to buy
+Reasonable price+Excellent performance+Great battery life
Reasons to avoid
-Dell proprietary PSU

Despite the derivative design, the Dell Latitude 7490 has many of the makings of a great computer and one of the best Dell laptops 2021 has on offer. It’s all thanks to its excellent performance, a long battery life, and more than decent memory and storage options. It isn’t the cheapest, but it’s definitely worth the price.

Read the full review: Dell Latitude 7490

Dell XPS 17 (2020)

(Image credit: Dell)

6. Dell XPS 17 (2020)

A brilliant 17-inch Ultrabook

Specifications
CPU: Up to 10th Generation Intel Core i9-10885H
Graphics: Up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6GB GDDR6 with Max-Q
RAM: Up to 64GB DDR4-2933MHz
Screen: 17.0" FHD+ (1920 x 1200) InfinityEdge Non-Touch Anti-Glare 500-Nit – 17.0" UHD+ (3840 x 2400) InfinityEdge Touch Anti-Reflective 500-Nit
Storage: Up to 2TB M.2 PCIe NVMe
Reasons to buy
+Great screen+Long battery life+Powerful
Reasons to avoid
-Not the most portable-Lack of ports

For a 17-inch laptop, the Dell XPS 17 (2020) is impressively thin and light, especially when you consider the fact that it boasts powerful specs for that top-notch performance that content creators require. Among the best Dell laptops out there, this is practically the whole package, touting a big, gorgeous screen, fantastic battery life that will last you the entire day and a gorgeous design on top of everything else. That’s without even mentioning its mid-range price of entry, giving the MacBook Pro 16-inch a good run for its money.

Read the full review: Dell XPS 17 (2020)

Dell G5 15 SE (2020)

The Dell G5 15 SE (2020) boasts impressive AMD specs, especially in the CPU department. (Image credit: Dell)

7. Dell G5 15 SE (2020)

A fantastic value gaming laptop

Specifications
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 4600H – 7 4800H
Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 5600M
RAM: 8GB – 16GB
Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-Glare LED Backlight Non-Touch Narrow Border WVA Display – 15.6 inch FHD(1920x1080) 300nits WVA Anti-Glare LED Backlit Display(non-touch), 144Hz refresh rate
Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD
Reasons to buy
+Excellent CPU performance+Very affordable for a gaming laptop+Quick and vibrant display
Reasons to avoid
-Gets pretty hot under strain-Plastic build feels flimsy

Though Dell has its premium lines, it’s also been very good at building excellent budget machines. The Dell G5 15 SE (2020) is a very good example of that, touting impressive AMD specs, especially in the CPU department, to keep cost down without compromising performance. Here’s an affordable gaming laptop that delivers a staggering performance for the price, with a stunning display to boot. Of course, being a budget laptop, some sacrifices have been made – namely, its build and heat management. However, for the budget-minded, this is certainly among the best Dell laptops out there for gaming.

Read the full review: Dell G5 15 SE (2020)

The best Dell laptops: Alienware Area-51m

Alienware Area-51m is a performance beast fitted with high-end processors and high-end graphics cards. (Image credit: Alienware)

8. Alienware Area-51m

An out-of-this-world gaming laptop

Specifications
CPU: 9th-Generation Intel Core i7 – i9
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 – 2080
RAM: 64GB
Storage: 2TB SSDs + 1TB (+8GB SSHD) Hybrid Drive
Reasons to buy
+Extremely powerful+Aesthetic+Widely user upgradeable
Reasons to avoid
-Very expensive-Gets hot-Loud fans

Hands down, the Alienware Area-51m is a stunner of a gaming laptop, with a beautiful yet unique chassis and a comfortable keyboard to complement it. But it goes beyond looks; it’s also by far the most powerful gaming laptop on the market right now (and obviously, one of the best Dell laptops). Not that it’s perfect, as it does get really hot and its fans can get very loud. However, it’s a performance beast fitted with high-end processors and high-end graphics cards, and your gaming experience with it will be an absolute pressure.

Read the full review: Alienware Area-51m

The best Dell laptops: Dell Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1

The Dell Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1 is a versatile 2-in-1 with a lot going for it under the hood. (Image credit: Dell )

9. Dell Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1

A step up for Inspiron

Specifications
CPU: 10th Generation Intel Core i5 – i7
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics
RAM: 8GB – 16GB
Screen: 13.3-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) – 15.6-inch UHD (3840 x 2160) Truelife Touch Narrow Border WVA Display with Active Pen support
Storage: Intel Optane Memory H10 32 GB with 512 GB Solid-State Storage – 1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD
Reasons to buy
+Competent performance+Highly versatile+Premium design
Reasons to avoid
-Quirky display-4K battery drain-Bunk speakers

The Dell Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1 is a versatile 2-in-1 with a lot going for it under the hood.  This premium laptop is more than just about its premium design; it also has high-end internals to compete with the likes of the more powerful Dell XPS 13.  Rounding that out is a 4K display, and a clever stylus slot that makes us wonder whether they actually beat Microsoft to the idea. Granted, the display is a bit of a battery drain, and the speakers impressive, but this is still among the best Dell laptops out there.

Read the full review: Dell Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1

The best Dell laptops: Dell G3 15

Dell G3 15 (Image credit: Dell)

10. Dell G3 15

Budget gaming in style

Specifications
CPU: 9th Generation Intel Core i5 – i7
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 – 1660 Ti with Max-Q Design
RAM: 8GB – 16GB
Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-glare LED Backlit Non-touch
Storage: 1TB HDD – 512GB SSD
Reasons to buy
+Affordable+Great performer
Reasons to avoid
-Flimsy build

When it comes to gaming, more often than not, you have to invest in premium parts to get that gaming edge you want. That’s especially true if you’re going for smooth 1440p or 4K gaming. In other words, while there’s a number of budget gaming laptops out there, very few really get you to where you want to go. Among those few is the Dell G3 15 gaming laptop, Dell’s affordable answer for gamers who want solid performance without splurging. It's all thanks to those latest yet economically-priced internals it's fitted with. It's probably not going to get you competitive level, but if you want a cheaper laptop to game on for the sake of gaming, this will go a long way.

Read the full review: Dell G3 15