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The 7 best Dell laptops for students in 2024

If you’re a student, you really need to buy a laptop from one of the best laptop brands. Money is frequently tight and you want to enjoy a reliable experience throughout your studies. We rate Dell highly when it comes to making some of the best laptops which is also why we’ve taken a look at the best Dell laptops for students.

Below, we’ve picked out several different Dell laptops. We figure everyone has different budgets and needs. You might simply want a super cheap Windows-based laptop for typing up reports or taking notes, but you might also need one that’s perfect for content creation depending on the courses you’re taking. We also appreciate that fun is important too so we’ve featured a couple of gaming laptops that mean all your day can be spent in the company of it — from studying to gaming or watching shows. Here’s a look at our picks for the best Dell laptops for students.

The best Dell laptops for students in 2024

  • Buy the for the best all-round Dell laptop experience.
  • Buy the if you just want a basic Dell laptop.
  • Buy the for a large 2-in-1 experience.
  • Buy the for content creation.
  • Buy the for the best screen quality.
  • Buy the for light gaming.
  • Buy the if you plan on gaming as well as studying.

Dell XPS 13

Best overall Dell laptop for students

The Dell XPS 13, open on a table in front of a window.
XPS 13 9315 Digital Trends
Pros Cons
Great screen Not the latest processor
Comfy to use
No chance of gaming here

For a dependable all-rounder, you can’t go wrong with the Dell XPS 13. It has all the essentials you need such as plenty of storage, a good amount of RAM and a powerful Intel Core i7 processor. The processor isn’t the latest 13th generation of chips but it’s no great loss at this price. Instead, it’s all about dependability here.

Besides the core specs you need, the Dell XPS 13 is also the company’s thinnest and lightest 13-inch XPS yet while boasting a battery life of up to 12 hours which is perfect for a busy day of class. It looks stylish too thanks to its aluminum design, and it still finds room for bigger internal speakers than before so it’s good for streaming content in the evenings and downtime.

CPU: 12th generation Intel Core i7-1250U
Storage: 512GB
GPU: Intel Iris Xe
Screen: 13.4-inch full HD+ 1920 x 1200

Dell Inspiron 15

Best budget Dell laptop

The Dell Inspiron 15 at a side angle while showing an image of a man and a ball.
Pros Cons
Inexpensive Not exactly fast
Good build quality

If you’re on a tight budget, the Dell Inspiron 15 will still give you good quality without breaking the bank. While its hardware isn’t the fastest, it’s encased in a well-thought-out lineup. That includes enjoying roomy keycaps and a spacious touchpad so it feels good to type up your reports on.

Its low price doesn’t mean you miss out on extras like a built-in HD webcam and you also gain tiny rubber feet and bumpers on the hinge to keep it stable on any surface. The Dell Inspiron 15 is the laptop for those keeping costs down but it’s an ideal entry point for students who don’t plan on spending any more time around their laptop than they need to.

CPU: 12th generation Intel Core i3-1215U
Storage: 256GB
GPU: Intel UHD
Screen: 15.6-inch full HD 1920 x 1080

Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1

Best large 2-in-1 laptop

The Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1 in presentation mode.
Pros Cons
Large touchscreen Paying a premium for 2-in-1 capabilities
Fast performance

If you can’t decide between buying a tablet or a laptop, you can enjoy the best of both worlds with the Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1. Due to its 360-degree hinge and 16-inch touchscreen, you can easily move it around to use as a tablet before switching back to laptop mode.

It’s also pretty speedy for all your important tasks like typing up notes, writing reports, or conducting research. Fantastic battery life of up to 19 hours makes this a great deal for anyone prone to forgetting to charge their devices, while there’s Dolby Atmos spatial audio for taking in your shows or favorite music.

CPU: 13th generation Intel Core i7-1360P
Storage: 1TB
GPU: Intel Iris Xe
Screen: 15.6-inch full HD 1920 x 108016-inch full HD+ 1920 x 1200

Dell XPS 15

Best for content creation

Dell XPS 15 9530 front angled view showing display and keyboard deck.
Dell XPS 15 Mark Coppock / Digital Trends
Pros Cons
Handles video editing and gaming Expensive
Sleek design Limited storage

The Dell XPS 15 is the ideal laptop for content creation such as editing videos or making music, without becoming prohibitively expensive. It has powerful hardware under the hood along with a crisp full HD+ screen so you’ll always feel in control.

It looks gorgeous right down to its 92.9% screen-to-body ratio while there are useful additions like a full SD card slot for importing RAW images from your camera. A large touchpad and edge-to-edge backlit keyboard maximizes space with large key caps further enticing you into creating more, whether as part of your studies or with an aim to become the next big thing online.

CPU: 13th generation Intel Core i7-13700H
Storage: 512GB
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060
Screen: 15.6-inch full HD+ 1920 x 1200

Dell XPS 15 OLED

Best OLED Dell laptop for students

A Dell XPS 15 laptop on an office desk next to a monitor.
Pros Cons
Very fast Expensive
Fantastic screen More storage would be good

This Dell XPS 15 OLED stands out due to its delightful OLED panel. Anyone with an OLED TV will be able to tell you all about the wonders of the technology with each pixel lighting up individually so you get truly vibrant colors and deep blacks all at once. It adds to the price tag along with the powerful i9 processor but if you’re in a position to invest in a high-end laptop for class, this is a great choice.

It has all the aesthetic benefits of the regular Dell XPS 15 so there’s a 92.9% screen-to-body ratio along with a large and comfortable touchpad, edge-to-edge backlit keyboard, and large keycaps. If you’re ambitious about your content creation or studies, this is a delightful way to achieve those goals.

CPU: 13th generation Intel Core i9-13900H
Storage: 1TB
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060
Screen: 15.6-inch 3.5K OLED 3456 x 2160

Dell G15 gaming laptop

Best budget gaming laptop for students

Dell 15 Gaming Laptop front view showing display and keyboard deck.
Pros Cons
Plenty of storage GPU is last generation
Attractive design

Just because you’re studying doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. Sometimes, you might want to play some games so the Dell G15 gaming laptop is a great way of doing that while also having all the benefits of a laptop for school. While its graphics card is a little older than others, it’s still fine for the vast majority of games without a hitch.

The laptop has a stylish aesthetic to it that will appeal to gamers and those looking to be more subtle. It also has a one-zone RGB keyboard which can be managed through the Alienware Command Center, while a Game Shift macro button boosts your performance as needed. It’s ideal for gamers keeping costs lower.

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 7640HS
Storage: 1TB
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050
Screen: 15.6-inch full HD 1920 x 1080

Alienware m18 gaming laptop

Best premium gaming laptop for students

Someone typing on the Alienware m18 laptop.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends
Pros Cons
Powerful Expensive
Huge screen Not exactly portable

If you’re an avid gamer but trying to keep vaguely to a student budget, the Alienware m18 gaming laptop could be just about affordable depending on your needs. Crucially, while it isn’t exactly portable, its huge 18-inch screen means it’s perfect for keeping in your dorm as an entertainment setup.

It’s rare to see laptops with displays this large which is what makes it so enticing. It also has an advanced cooling system while Dolby Vision support is useful for better quality viewing. You can even overclock your hardware via the Alienware Command Center.

CPU: 13th generation Intel Core i7-13700HX
Storage: 1TB
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060
Screen: 18-inch full HD+ 1920 x 1200 480Hz refresh rate

How we chose these Dell laptops for students

Picking a Dell laptop to take to school with you can feel overwhelming. With so many options to choose from, where do you begin? We considered a few elements that were most important so we’ve listed our criteria below to help guide you to the best purchase.

What’s your budget?

Everything comes down to how much you can afford. In an ideal world, we’d all spend thousands on a new laptop but in reality, few of us can do that. Instead, it’s important to consider if your budget is $500, $750 or much more. Plan accordingly and expect to temper some expectations depending on your budget.

Think about how you plan on using it

Some students just need to be able to type up reports sometimes. Others may wish to play games or at least watch shows on a great screen. Think about where your priorities lie so you can focus on these. There’s no point paying extra for features that you have no plans on using, such as a powerful GPU when you don’t game.

Do you need to be portable?

All these laptops are portable in terms of battery life but you do need to think about how light they are. If you’re carrying your laptop all day long, a huge system with an 18-inch screen isn’t exactly practical. Alternatively, if it’s sitting in your dorm all day, you don’t have to worry about going small.

This article is managed and created separately from the Digital Trends Editorial team.

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Jennifer Allen
Jennifer Allen is a technology writer with over 10 years of experience. She primarily writes about the best deals coverage…
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