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The best Dell laptops in 2022

Best Dell laptop
(Image credit: Dell)

Dell has come a long way from its checkered past. Although its laptops used to be notorious for being substandard and prone to failures, the manufacturer has managed to re-establish itself as among the top PC makers out there. And, in the last decade, it’s created some of the best, highest quality, and most lauded notebooks right now, building a loyal following as a result.

So, if you’re looking for the best Dell laptop to invest in, know that you’re already making a sound decision. Even better news is that Dell has a variety on offer, encompassing all types, designs, and prices, which means that whatever you want and need, you should be able to find the perfect fit from its roster.

Photographers, designers, and content creators hoping to get the best Dell laptop that is capable of seeing them through their creative workflows will want to stick with the more robust, premium options packed the vital trimmings (like all the necessary ports, an SD card reader, and a display that supports the right color space), which should shorten their list of options. On the other hand, if they’ve already got that machine at home and are looking for a backup to use in the field or while traveling, then something less powerful and more portable or rugged should do the trick. 

Meanwhile, those few who just want the best Dell laptop to use on the dryer parts of the business like jumping on video calls with clients, sending emails, and putting together invoices and contracts will probably want a capable business laptop with decent power and more robust security features.

We know that makes choosing the best Dell laptop sound like a lot of work, but don’t worry. Just figure out what you’re going to need it for the most, and consult our list. Below, we’ve gathered the best Dell laptops out there for creative pros and novices, keeping in mind their different needs and budget.

Best Dell laptops in 2022

(Image credit: Dell)

1: Dell XPS 15 OLED (2021)

The best Dell laptop overall

Specifications
CPU: Intel Core i7-11800H - Intel Core i9-11900H
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 - Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti
Memory: 16GB - 64GB
Storage: 512GB - 8TB
Display: 15.6-inch OLED 3.5K (3456 x 2160) touch
Size: 344.72 x 230.14 x 18mm
Weight: 4.31lb (1.96kg)
Reasons to buy
+
Plenty of power for less demanding creative tasks
+
Gorgeous 3.5K OLED display
Reasons to avoid
-
A premium purchase
-
Battery life nothing to write home about

The Dell XPS 15 has always been among the best laptops for prosumers, but it takes things to another level with this impressive 2021 instalment. It’s one of the very first laptops to boast an OLED display, making it a sort of pioneer – as if it needs more accolades. And, an OLED display means deeper blacks, wide colour gamuts, and excellent contrast ratios as well as HDR support – though if you want a non-OLED screen, that is still an option. Of course, all that power inside, especially the Nvidia RTX discrete graphics should see you through your demanding photo editing and less demanding video editing needs.

(Image credit: Dell)

2: Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2021)

Best hybrid Dell laptop

Specifications
CPU: Intel Core i5-1135G7 - Intel Core i7-1165G7
GPU: Intel Iris Xe Graphics
Memory: 8GB-16GB
Storage: 256GB - 512GB
Display: 13.4-inch FHD+ (1920x1200) touch
Size: 297 x 207 x 14.35mm
Weight: 2.9lb (1.32kg)
Reasons to buy
+
Portable form works for its hybrid design
+
A lot of power for a laptop this small
Reasons to avoid
-
Not a lot of ports
-
Still as expensive as ever

This hybrid notebook is an ace in so many ways. It’s one of the best 2-in-1 laptops out there; it’s thin, light, and portable – and therefore, travel-friendly; and it’s extremely capable for its size. It might waste a bunch of your time if you’re video editing on it, especially if it’s in 4K, as there is no dedicated graphics inside. But, it’s great for editing high-res photos on Lightroom, and for graphic design on Photoshop and Illustrator. And, once you’re done with work, you can seamlessly switch to relaxation mode on tent or tablet mode, which give this a lot more value than other options.

(Image credit: Dell)

3: Dell Inspiron 15

Best budget Dell laptop

Specifications
CPU: Intel Core i5-11320H - Intel Core i7-11390H
GPU: Intel Iris Xe
Memory: 8GB-16GB
Storage: 256GB-1TB
Display: 15.6-inch FHD (1920x1080p)
Size: 356.06 x 228.9 x 17.99mm
Weight: 3.6lb (1.633kg)
Reasons to buy
+
Great value for its features and performance
+
Best for productivity and everyday tasks
Reasons to avoid
-
Middling battery life
-
Display and keyboard could be better

Unlike Dell’s flagships, the Dell Inspiron 15 delivers more than enough power for photo editing and graphics design (as long as you’re not doing 3D stuff), but for much less – specifically, under $1,000/£1,000. That alone makes it an already fantastic value. It isn’t exactly a budget, under $500/£500 laptop, but it is a mid-range option that’s accessible for most people. It also boasts an SD card reader, a variety of ports, and the option for a fingerprint reader for effortless login. There are some compromises here to keep the price down, but nothing major to be a deal-breaker.

(Image credit: Dell)

4. Alienware m15 R6

Best premium Dell gaming laptop

Specifications
CPU: Intel Core i7-11800H
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti - Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080
Memory: 8GB-32GB
Storage: 512GB-2TB
Display: 15.6-inch FHD (1920x1080p) - 15.6-inch QHD (2560x1440p)
Size: 356.2 x 272.5 x 22.85mm
Weight: 5.34lb (2.42kg) - 5.93lb (2.69kg)
Reasons to buy
+
A whole lot of power for gaming
+
Gorgeous design and solid build
Reasons to avoid
-
Hugely expensive
-
Very short battery life

 Often, gaming laptops make for great creative laptops, especially the best of them like Dell’s Alienware m15 R6. This powerful and great-looking laptop delivers a whole lot of power, thanks to those mighty innards. The lower-end configuration here will see you through your photo editing and graphic design needs, while the highest one with the RTX 3080 graphics inside should run your video editing workloads smoothly. And, even though it is a gaming laptop, its space-age inspired design looks good enough to show off to clients. Just keep in mind that it is expensive and has a very short battery life so you’ll need to be carrying that heavy charger around. 

(Image credit: Dell)

5. Dell G15

Best budget Dell gaming laptop

Specifications
CPU: Intel Core i5-11400H - Intel Core i7-11800H
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 - RTX 3060
Memory: 8GB-16GB
Storage: 256GB-1TB
Display: 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080p)
Size: 357.3 x 272.8 x 24.9mm
Weight: 5.84lb (2.65kg)
Reasons to buy
+
Great price for a capable gaming laptop
+
Decent port selection and a fast display
Reasons to avoid
-
Don’t expect 60fps gaming at high settings
-
Big and bulky and simple in design

You don’t have to splurge on a premium gaming laptop to get the kind of power you need for your photo and video editing needs. Dell’s G15 line is among the most capable and most affordable gaming laptops out there, despite the fact that it sits in the budget to mid-range market. With solid-performing specs like the RTX 3060, plenty of ports for your peripherals (except, sadly, for an SD card reader), and a fast display, it can handle many creative workflows. Just keep in mind that it’s not going to be as powerful as the RTX 3070 and RTX 3080-powered ones, so it might take a while to get through rendering and exporting 4K videos.

(Image credit: Dell)

6. Dell Latitude 3420

Best Dell laptop for business users

Specifications
CPU: Intel Core i3-1115G7 - Intel Core i7-1165G7
GPU: Intel Iris Xe
Memory: 8GB
Storage: 128GB-256GB
Display: 14-inch FHD (1920 x 1080p)
Size: 326 x 226 x 17.6mm
Weight: 3.36lb (1.52kg)
Reasons to buy
+
Plenty of built-in security features
+
More than decent port selection
Reasons to avoid
-
720p camera is a bit dated now
-
Screen not very bright at 250 nits

The Dell Latitude 3420 is more than capable of handling editing high-res images so it can be your go-to tool for photo editing on the go. However, this is first and foremost a business laptop, which makes it a versatile tool that will see you through every aspect of your business – from communicating with clients and drawing up contracts to the less demanding creative bits of it. Like most business laptops, it won’t come cheap. But, it isn’t that pricey either, which means it’s among the best value laptops out there for business. We only wish it has a high-resolution camera and a brighter display.

Michelle is a writer and photographer based in Los Angeles, California. She regularly writes for Fodor's Travel, Steve's Digicams, Thrillist and Techlicious, and is currently a freelance SEO and Production Editor for TechRadar.