Whether you’re thrilled to bits about it or completely lack enthusiasm, back-to-school season is here and ready to roll. Fortunately, back-to-school season means there’s a ton of awesome laptop deals out there. Whether you’re a high school student or a college freshman, if you’re in the market for a laptop, there’s no better time than now to take the plunge.
Dell is currently holding its annual back-to-school sale. And, if you happen to buy an eligible laptop, the manufacturer will donate to UNICEF, which helps schools get onto the world wide web. Dell laptops are also known for being well-priced, durable, and luxurious (especially the XPS line). If you’re feeling totally lost, don’t worry, from lightweight 2-in-1s to powerful gaming machines, I’ve assembled a diverse list for you.
If you’re on the hunt for the best-rated laptops, be sure to check out PCWorld’s carefully curated roundup of laptops spanning all purposes and prices points.
Best back-to-school deals on everyday laptops
Sometimes all you need is a basic machine for writing papers and doing research on. If that’s what you’re looking for, you should check out the bulleted list below.
- Inspiron 15 Laptop, Intel Core i7-1255U CPU/Intel Iris Xe graphics/16GB RAM/1TB PCIe NVMe SSD/15.6-inch 1080p display, $579.99 ($170 off at Dell)
- XPS 13 Plus Laptop, Intel Core i7-1360P CPU/Intel Iris Xe graphics/16GB RAM/512GB PCIe NVMe SSD/13.4-inch 1200p touch display, $1,249 ($250 off at Dell)
My top pick: The XPS 13 Plus Laptop offers a good amount of processing power for the price as well as a nice display. The 13.4-inch, 1200p touch display has a maximum brightness level of 500 nits, which mean the picture should be nice and luminous.
Best back-to-school deals on gaming laptops
If you need a little extra firepower in the graphics department, you should consider picking up a gaming laptop. The options below are souped-up with powerful hardware as well as spacious high refresh-rate screens. This is important, especially when you’re in the middle of an intensive match in which every second matters.
- G15 Gaming Laptop, Intel Core i5-13450HX CPU/Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 GPU/8GB RAM/256GB PCIe NVMe SSD/15.6-inch 1080p display, $729.99 ($170 off at Dell)
- Alienware m16 Gaming Laptop, Intel Core i9-13900HX CPU/Nvidia Geforce RTX 4090 GPU/32GB RAM/2TB PCIe NVMe SSD/16-inch 1600p display, $2,999.99 ($500 off at Dell)
- Alienware m16 Gaming Laptop, Intel Core 17-13700HX CPU/Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 GPU/16GB RAM/512GB PCIe NVMe SSD/16-inch 1600p display, $1,499.99 ($250 off at Dell)
My top pick: If you’re after the ultimate gaming experience, then you should definitely check out the Alienware x16 Gaming Laptop (the RTX 4090 version). The Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 GPU is powerful enough to run most modern games on the High or Ultra graphics preset and the display’s crazy high 240Hz refresh rate means you can expect buttery smooth visuals.
Best back-to-school deals on 2-in-1 laptops
If portability is at the top of your priority list, 2-in-1 laptops are the way to go. They’re generally more lightweight than traditional clamshell laptops and you can swing the screen around 360 degrees. That means you can use it like a tablet or prop it up like a tent for sharing information.
- XPS 13 2-in-1 Laptop, Intel Core i7-1250U CPU/Intel Iris Xe graphics/16GB RAM/512GB PCIe NVMe SSD/13-inch 1920p touch display, $1,249 ($200 off at Dell)
- Inspiron 16 2-in-1 Laptop, Intel Core i7-1360P CPU/Nvidia GeForce MX550 GPU/16B RAM/1TB PCIe NVMe SSD/16-inch 2400p OLED touch display, $1,299.99 ($300 off at Dell)
My top pick: The Inspiron 16 2-in-1 Laptop offers a good amount of power for the price. For just $1,299.99, you’re getting 1TB of SSD storage and a stunning 2400p OLED touch display. That means you can offload a bunch of files as well as watch your favorite Netflix on a vibrant screen.
Best back-to-school deals on content creation laptops
Calling all graphics design students! If you’ve been shopping around for an ultra-powerful machine, you best stick around. The picks below are absolute beasts in the power department. They’ve also got gorgeous 4K displays, which is perfect for getting those tiny details just right.
- XPS 17 Laptop, Intel Core i7-13700H CPU/Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 GPU/16GB RAM/512GB PCIe NVMe SSD/17-inch 1200p display, $2,299.99 ($410 off at Dell)
- XPS 15 Laptop, Intel Core i7-13700H CPU/Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 GPU/16GB RAM/512GB PCIe NVMe SSD/15.6-inch 2160p OLED touch display, $2,099.99 ($300 off at Dell)
My top pick: If you’re a graphics design student, you should spring for the XPS 15 Laptop because of its stunning 2160p OLED touch display. It even has a maximum brightness of 500 nits, which means you’re in for a lusciously bright picture.
When does Dell’s back-to-school sale begin?
Dell’s sale is happening right now! There are many laptops that are on sale for up to $400 off. If you can wait, you may want to check back in mid-August. Discounts may drop even lower the closer we get to the beginning of the school year.
When does Dell’s back-to-school sale end?
I don’t have an official end date as of right now, but I suspect the deals will start dropping off sometime in September when the school year begins. Most people are buying their school supplies now, so you might as well strike now while the iron’s hot.