Best Dell laptop 2021: the top picks for work, school, and gaming


Included in this guide:

The stylish thin and light Dell XPS 15 on a white background

Dell

XPS 15 (2020)

The Alienware M15 R3 (2020) in Dark Side of the Moon on a white background

Alienware

M15 R3 (2020)

The portable Dell XPS 13 (Late 2020) in Arctic White on a white background

Dell

XPS 13 (Late 2020)

The breathtakingly powerful Alienware m17 R4 (2021) in Lunar Light on a white background

Alienware

m17 R4 (2021)

The 17-inch Dell XPS 17 (2021) on a white background

Dell

XPS 17 (2021)

Dell Precision 5750 from the back with its cover partially down on a white background

Dell

Precision 5750

The powerful yet affordable Dell G5 15 SE (2020) on a white background

Dell

G5 15 SE (2020)

The Alienware Area-51m gaming laptop on a white background

Alienware

Area-51m

The versatile Dell Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1 on a white background

Dell

Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1

Dell Chromebook 3100 11 against a white background

Dell

Chromebook 3100 11

Best Dell Laptop on an orange background with a Blue Dell laptop half open

The best Dell laptops are perfect devices for almost anyone. Even though the company makes some of the out there, which one is right for you depends on your needs. Of course, that just shows how versatile its offerings are, whether you’re looking for a , an excellent , a powerful , or one of the . There’s a stellar product for just about every category of laptop out there.

That extends beyond just flagship laptops as well. Dell has created some top-notch machines for every budget, so you can even find something in your budget range without totally compromising on power. Even if you’re on a limited budget, you can still find that’s going to get you through your daily computing needs.

It doesn’t matter what kind of laptop you’re looking for, a Dell laptop will be one of the top options for you to consider. However, figuring out which of Dell’s portables is right for you can be tough, since they have so many choices available. 

We’re here to help you sort through the top Dell laptops for every need and budget, as well as offer some advice on what to look for when buying one and pull out some of the we’ve found on the web so you get the best price possible for your next laptop. 

Our Top Picks for Best Dell Laptop 2021

Best Dell Laptop 2021

All-powerful laptop for creative students

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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. Our coveted 5 out of 5 rating should speak for itself.

A brilliant gaming beast that just got a little bit better

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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.

Dell does it again

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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.

The best Dell laptop for gaming

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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.

The best Dell laptop for creatives

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The Dell XPS 17 (2021) is pricey but for good reason. It comes with the kind of components that can get you through any task including up to an Intel Core i9 CPU, 64GB of RAM, and an Nvidia RTX GeForce 3060. The laptop also offers a beautiful screen and a design that will take your breath away. 

All of this fits into a 0.77 inch thin chassis that makes this among the most portable 17-inchers out there. We wish it came with more ports, but it is a nearly perfect laptop in every other way.

A thin and light portable workstation

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Those looking for a capable mobile workstation that might be the envy of everyone in the office will love the Dell Precision 5750’s elegant design and stunning, incredibly bright display. It’s a classy option that delivers many performance features that power users appreciate, giving them that much-lauded Dell XPS design in a business-worthy package. 

To be clear, Dell could have made it more powerful with a high-end RTX 3000 card. However, many professionals don’t need that much power, and if you’re one of them, this won’t disappoint.

Dell’s best budget gaming laptop

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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.

An out-of-this-world laptop with desktop-class hardware

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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.

A step up for Inspiron

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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

10. Dell Chromebook 3100 11

Best cheap Dell laptop

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The Dell Chromebook 3100 11 is a diminutive little machine, perfect for a student to cart around from class to class. It’s also ideal for students because it can take a hit and keep on ticking. In fact, it’s tested to MIL-STD standards, meaning it can withstand the kind of abuse that only devices meant to be used in the field (or military) can take. It also has rubberized edges, a spill-resistant keyboard, and covered ports so the elements will not damage the computer.

While it may not be the most powerful computer, or even Chromebook, out there, it can easily handle useful apps like G Suite for Education. The battery life on this little 11-incher is also enough to get through a full day of school. It should be noted that we have yet to review the 3100, but for the price, we think it’s a solid pick for anyone needing a budget laptop for the classroom.

How to Shop for the Best Dell Laptop

Which Dell laptop series is best?

There isn’t one best Dell laptop series, since different product lines emphasize and focus on different consumer bases. For enterprise-level workstations, you’ll want to look at the Dell Precision and Inspiron lines, as those are the most likely to have the kind of security features that are absolute must-haves for a business laptop.

The XPS line is a bit of a dark horse here if you’re looking for more portable options for productivity work, but it is also the most premium all-around laptop line Dell makes, competing directly with the MacBook Air in the ultraportable market.

When it comes to gaming, Dell’s Alienware line includes some of the best gaming laptops out there, so should definitely be on any gamer’s shortlist.

Are Dell laptops good quality?

Not only are the best Dell laptops industry-leading devices when it comes to design and quality, it’s more budget offerings are also well build, powerful relative to their price, and well designed. Some sacrifices have to be made on the lower end, so there are some plastic chassis construction on budget offerings, but Dell usually makes up for this by featuring more impressive hardware.

Today’s Best Dell Laptop Deals