Dell 15 Inch Laptop Best Buy
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If you're looking for the best laptop, Windows is likely to be your first choice of operating system simply because of its dominant market share. Windows accounted for 75.1% of the desktop (and laptop) market in November 2022, according to StatCounter, with MacOS a distant second at 15.6%. Linux (2.77%) and Chrome OS (2.48%), meanwhile, were stuck in single-figure territory.
Editor's note: Samsung recently announced the third generation of its Galaxy Book laptop series. There are four new Intel Evo-branded Galaxy Book 3 laptops -- three traditional clamshell designs and a 2-in-1 convertible. Screen sizes have stepped up a notch, from 13.3-inch and 15.6-inch models in the first two generations. Your choices now include the 14-inch and 16-inch Galaxy Book 3 Pro, the 16-inch Galaxy Book 3 Pro 360, and a new flagship 16-inch Galaxy Book 3 Ultra with Nvidia's latest GeForce RTX 4050/4070 Laptop GPU. ZDNET is currently considering whether the laptops should be added to this guide.
When ZDNET reviewed Dell's XPS 15 in 2020, we described it as setting 'a new high bar' for 15.6-inch laptops', while the 2021 model was dubbed 'the standard against which other laptops are measured'. It carries a premium price tag, but you're getting a solid industrial design and flexible configuration options that can be tailored for a wide range of use cases. The $1,449 entry-level configuration has a 12th-generation Core i5 processor with integrated Intel UHD Graphics, 8GB of RAM, a 512GB PCIe SSD and an FHD+ (1920 x 1200) non-touch InFinity Edge display with 500 nits brightness. At the top end of the scale, $4,674 buys you a Core i9-12900HK processor, a discrete GeForce RTX 3050 Ti GPU with 4GB of dedicated video memory, 64GB of RAM, 8TB of SSD storage, and a UHD+ (3840 x 2400) touch display with 500 nits maximum brightness. There's also a 3.5K (3456 x 2160) OLED touch screen option with 400 nits brightness for the same price as the UHD+ display.
Not everyone can afford the laptop they might like to have (students and employees of small businesses spring to mind), but that doesn't mean you have to settle for a substandard device. The top-tier manufacturers all have 'affordable' ranges, and there's any number of unashamedly budget brands, many of which offer excellent-value devices. Our choice, Acer's Intel- or AMD-powered Swift 3, is from a top-tier vendor and gets the nod thanks to its excellent combination of sub-$1,000 price and solid performance without making too many trade-offs on features, build quality or support options. Most Swift 3 models come with 14-inch FHD (16:9) screens and either Intel or AMD processors, with current prices ranging from $600-$1,100 (Intel) and $800-$880 (AMD). There is one current Intel-based Swift 3 variant with a 13.5-inch 3:2 aspect ratio screen at 2256x1504 resolution, and one with a 14-inch 16:9 QHD (2560x1440) screen. Not only are CPU, RAM and storage options well up to scratch, but wireless connectivity -- up to Bluetooth 5.2 and Wi-Fi 6E on certain models -- is bang up to date, which is impressive in this price band. The Swift 3's build quality is good, there's a good selection of ports (including Thunderbolt 4 on some models), the keyboard is backlit, and you can expect to get a full day's (not too demanding) work done on battery power. It's not too heavy either, starting at 2.65lbs.
Convertible 2-in-1 devices that can be used in conventional laptop mode or as a tablet, and can orient the 360-degree-hinged screen at points in between, can satisfy a variety of use cases depending on the specification. Leading the field, in our opinion, is Lenovo's 14-inch Yoga 9i, a premium 2-in-1 that currently starts at $1,453.
Many laptop users would like a large screen -- for more expansive knowledge work (multiple document windows, large spreadsheets), video viewing, or gaming, for example -- but are wary of the weight of a typical 17-inch device. If you fall into that category, the LG Gram 17 may be the laptop for you. It weighs from an astonishing 2.98lbs (1.35kg), but despite this its slim, lightweight magnesium alloy chassis is robust to MIL-STD 810G standard.
As well as Core i7/i9/Xeon or Ryzen 9 CPUs, Nvidia RTX or Radeon Pro GPUs, at least 16GB of RAM (32GB or more preferable) and multiple terabytes of storage, workstation-class laptops need high-quality IPS or OLED screens with high resolution (4K preferable) and good colour space support (sRGB, Adobe RGB, DCI-P3). To signify that specific configurations are optimised for mission-critical apps, they also need certifications from ISVs (Independent Software Vendors) such as Adobe, Autodesk, Avid, and others.The leading mobile workstation vendors are Dell, HP and Lenovo, but your search for a suitable solution may also encompass recent entrants from the gaming market such as Gigabyte, MSI and Razer. We've chosen HP's 15.6-inch ZBook Fury 15 G8, which is a compact but highly configurable all-rounder (and also available with a 17-inch screen).The ZBook Fury 15 G8 can be had for a modest $1,507 with a Core i5-11500H processor, a 4GB Nvidia T1200 GPU, 8GB of RAM, 256GB of SSD storage and an FHD IPS screen with 250 nits brightness and just 45% of NTSC colour gamut coverage. But that doesn't touch the sides of what this well-built chassis can pack in. Processor options rise through 11th-generation Core i7, i9 and Xeon CPUs, discrete GPUs go up to a 16GB Nvidia A5000, RAM to 128GB, SSD storage to 8TB. The top-end screen configuration is a superb 4K IPS DreamColor panel with 600 nits brightness and 100% coverage of the DCI-P3 colour gamut. It's a shame the webcam is only 720p, though.
The Surface Studio is an unconventional convertible laptop, with a 14.4-inch screen that can operate in laptop mode, be pulled forward to cover the keyboard in 'stage' mode, or lain almost flat over the keyboard in tablet (or 'studio') mode. Based on 11th-generation Core i5 or i7 processors with integrated (Core i5) or discrete Nvidia GeForce RTX graphics (Core i7), up to 32GB of RAM and 2TB of removable SSD storage, this is a laptop that can be configured to handle a range of workloads, from mainstream productivity to demanding creative applications. The PixelSense screen has a maximum refresh rate of 120Hz, which makes for smooth scrolling, the keyboard is a comfortable typing platform, the touchpad is a good size and its compatible with Microsoft's Surface Slim Pen 2.
If you go for the Core i7 model, you get a portable discrete-GPU laptop that handles most creator and developer tasks with ease. It's not cheap (Core i7/dGPU models start at $1,600), but it can handle workloads from machine learning to gaming, and features one of Microsoft's best screens, which quickly converts from studio to stage to laptop.
Our choice in this tough-laptop category is Panasonic's 14-inch Toughbook 40 a fully rugged modular device that can be configured for a wide range of challenging use cases in sectors like the military, police and utility companies. As well as undergoing MIL-STD 810H temperature, humidity and vibration tests, and carrying an IP66 rating, the Toughbook 40 has been extensively drop-tested from a height of 1.8 meters (6 feet).
The Razer Blade 14 delivers a 'perfect balance of power and portability', according to ZDNET's roundup of the best gaming laptops. With a powerful AMD processor and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti graphics, along with a 165Hz QHD (2560 x 1440) screen, it packs a lot into a 1.78kg chassis. Quality specs mean a hefty price tag, but at the time of writing Razer is offering this specification at 15% off.
For 2022 we've picked out the Asus ZenBook 17 Fold OLED, which was announced in January at CES and is now making its way through reviewers' hands and onto the market. It's a folding display that can work in laptop, tablet or desktop mode. Strictly speaking, the Asus Zenbook 17 Fold isn't a brand-new laptop form factor because Lenovo got there in 2020 with the first-generation 13.3-inch ThinkPad X1 Fold (now superseded by a 16-inch Gen 2 model). However, it's definitely the first 17-inch transformer-style laptop.
Unfolded, the 17.3-inch OLED screen -- which offers 2560x1920 resolution, 500 nits brightness and 100% of the DCI-P3 color gamut -- can be used as a large tablet, or propped up with its kickstand and used along with a Bluetooth keyboard as a desktop PC. Inside there's a 12th-generation Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM and 1TB storage. There's no discrete GPU, which benefits battery life but rules out demanding graphical apps and games. Fold the screen down the middle and you can use an on-screen keyboard or drop the physical one onto the bottom half of the screen, giving you a 12.5-inch clamshell laptop.
HP's Pavilion Plus 14 is one of the best laptop deals for college students right now. To be the top pick for most students, a laptop should have an affordable starting price, quick performance, premium build quality, and ideally (for those with bigger budgets) room for upgrades. The Pavilion Plus 14 has all of these features and more at a starting price of under $800. With its thin design, powerful processor options, and a high-resolution OLED display option without breaking the bank, the Pavilion Plus 14 is an unbeatable value. Even the highest-end configuration, which includes the OLED screen, 1TB SSD, and a potent Core i7 H-Series CPU, is priced at a reasonable $1,279.99. Although the laptop has a few minor shortcomings, it's an excellent deal for a well-made and fully featured laptop that's perfect for college students.
If you want a quick, lightweight, and hassle-free laptop, then look no further than the Pavilion Plus 14. It's particularly friendly to those who are willing to spend a bit more for faster and fancier upgrade options. While there are larger-screen alternatives available, the Pavilion Plus 14 is ideal for students who need a lightweight laptop for everyday tasks, such as taking notes, writing papers, and streaming lectures. Its af