SOLVED: Which Dell Laptop To Buy? So Many Choices

If you are looking for a laptop you likely are considering Dell.  The problem is Dell has so much product it is difficult to tell which laptop is right for your needs.

They have 7 laptop product lines:

Dell Brand Consumer or Corporate Market Segment Priamry Feature
XPS Both ultra-portables executive laptops ultra light and thin
G Series Home gaming laptops high end video card
Alienware Home high end gaming laptops highest end video card & CPU
Inspiron Home consumer grade laptops very broad appeal
Vostro Corporate entry level business laptops low price with limited options
Precision Corporate high end computing high end CPU, Video and expansion
Latitude Corporate mid-level corporate very broad appeal

Each of those lines has a VERY wide range models.  There are so many models and combinations of models in different lines many have identical specs.  For instance the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 2-in-1’s are very similar to the Dell XPS 15 2-in-1’s.  These models are refreshed at different times so whichever one was released most recently is likely the more powerful.  As of Oct 2019, the Inspirons had CPU’s that were TWO generations newer than the XPS’s because of this timing.

Also note that all of these products are available in some way to consumers so do not be put off by the brand.  The name is just a broad category for Dell’s marketing department.

The bottom line is you need to look at the specifications and ignore the brand.

If you are looking for a retail laptop most consumers should concentrate your filtering on:

  • CPU
    • Intel ‘i series’ and AMD ‘Rizen’ are rough equivalents
    • Intel Pentium and AMD ‘A’ series are rough equivalents
    • Intel 8th ‘generation’ chips are 2 years old and today 10th ‘generation’ CPU’s are widely available now without a big premium
    • Intel i3 are nearly the same price as i5’s so most people will want and “i5”
  • Disk / Storage
    • Solid State Disks (SSD) is the minium most people should consider
      • Spinning disks are very slow and unreliable
    • an M.2 PCIe NVMe drives are the fastest, use the least electricity/battery and produce the least heat
    • 256GB is the minimum most people will want to consider
  • Touch Screen or Not
    • we would not buy a laptop that was not a touchscreen but you may not care
    • most people love touchscreens once they have them
  • 2 in 1 or Not
    • 2-in-1 means the keyboard folds all the way over so you can use it like a tablet or “tent” it to watch a movie
  • Backlit Keyboard
    • we would not buy a laptop that did not have a backlit keyboard but you may not care if you don’t travel
  • RAM / Memory
    • 8GB is the minimum most people will consider and is more than enough… for most
  • Weight
    • Most 12″, 13″ and 14″ laptops are near 3lbs
    • Most 15″ laptops are 4.5lbs
  • Biometrics
    • Many laptops will have finger print scanners or face recognition that is supported by Windows Hello and is awesome, but not required
  • Bezel and overall look
    • How thick is bezel, the space around the screen
    • More expensive laptops are usually made of more expensive, lighter, cooler looking materials

In our case we needed to replace one of our Microsoft Surfacebooks so to keep things straight I developed a grid of the features we wanted.

We looked at all the products but found the NEW Inspirons to have the desired professional look and weight characteristics we cared about most.

In the end we settled on the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 because it had Intel Optane Memory, WiFi 6 and space for a second NVMe drive in addition to the minimum spec we wanted.

MS Surface Book 1 Dell Inspiron 13 5000 Dell Inspiron 14 5000 Dell Inspiron 15 7000 
Sale Price in CDN $ $2,200 $1,050 $980 $1,099
Screen Size 13.5 13.5 14 15.6
Touch Y Y Y Y
Detachable Keyboard Y N N N
Backlit Keyboard Y Y Y Y
2 in 1 – Keyboard Fold Over N N Y Y
Numeric Keypad N N N Y
Weight 3.5lbs 2.7lbs 3.6lbs 4.4lbs
Resolution 3000×2000 1920×1080 1920×1080 1920×1080
CPU 6th Gen i5 10th Gen i5 10th Gen i7 10th Gen i7
RAM 8GB 8GB 8GB 12GB
Battery 69Whr 42Whr 42Whr 52Whr
Windows Hello Face Finger Finger Finger
Wifi 6 N N N Y
Storage Old 256Gb NVMe New 256Gb NVMe New 256Gb NVMe New 512Gb NVMe
Intel Optane N N N 32GB
Slot for 2nd NVMe SSD N N Likely Likely

 

 

 

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