Dell vs HP: Which Laptop Brand is Better?

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When it comes to buying a laptop, the first names popping up in your minds would be Dell and HP.

Undoubtedly, these two laptop titans have been reigning over the digital world for ages. From superb specifications to offering variety in products, you can easily get your desired laptop from any of these brands.

But that’s what makes things tricky – the battle of Dell and HP keeps the users confused about choosing one!

So, in this article, we compare the two laptop giants – Dell vs HP – based on their design, specifications, use cases, and more. If you are puzzled about which laptop brand to buy next, then read along to identify your best pick.

Dell vs HP – detailed head-to-head comparison

Since HP is around for years, people are quite familiar with HP’s name, hence, making them think about this brand better than Dell. 

Nonetheless, comparing HP vs Dell in terms of years of existence isn’t wise. While Dell is relatively newer, it doesn’t lag behind when serving top-notch products to the customers.

However, you can certainly differentiate and compare them regarding what they usually offer. Below is a head-to-head comparison of Dell vs HP to assess the strengths and weaknesses of both.

A little about the laptop giants

Dell HP
Dell brand belongs to the American conglomerate Dell Technologies. The firm started off in 1984 as a computer manufacturing firm selling devices based on stock components.

It then continued expanding its product lines to include peripheral devices, data storage devices, servers, network switches, HDTVs, cameras, and more.

Today, Dell produces a range of laptops with diversified specifications, most of them supporting the Windows operating system.
Hewlett-Packard, commonly known as HP, is also an American brand that first emerged in 1934.

Its venerable existence makes it a credible name among computer manufacturers, particularly, for laptops. Though, the firm also deals with other computer hardware and software products too.

Being around for decades has made HP well-aware of the needs of the time. Hence, you can easily find your desired machine specification here. From gaming to student and business laptops, HP ensures enclosing sufficient specs in its laptops for all users.

Design

Comparing Dell and HP laptops in terms of design may be a bit deceiving considering the aesthetics. 

That’s because Dell doesn’t seem focused much on innovating this aspect. Assessing the designs of Dell laptops from the past will make you realize how they usually stick to the basic form factor with little to no futuristic touch.

HP, on the other hand, surpasses Dell as it keeps tweaking the visual appearance of its laptops.

But of course, that doesn’t mean you always have to bear with bulky laptops if you choose Dell.

Thankfully, both Dell and HP have produced some excellent laptops lately that not only exhibit impressive designs but also deliver smooth performance. Their latest flagships from the Dell XPS and HP Spectre series respectively, illustrate it.

The Dell XPS 13 is an ultra-slim 0.58-inches thick laptop with a sleek finish. It has a modest 13.4-inches display with thin bezels. Plus, it features a backlit keyboard with huge, wide-spaced keys and an ultra-wide touchpad. The textured design on the casing adds an aesthetic appeal to this laptop.

Similarly, the HP Spectre x360 is already available in different design variants to cater to the requirements of different users. These include the 15-inch, 14-inch, and 13-inch models.

But their 15-inch 2021 model is the most impressive one. It features an amazing 15.6-inch OLED display with thin bezels, an ergonomic, backlit full keyboard with large keys, a huge touchpad, and fingerprint reader – all of it integrated into a super-sleek, ultra-slim 2-in-1 design.

Build Quality & Hardware

Regardless of how cool a laptop looks, it would be of no use if it doesn’t feature robust hardware. 

Interestingly, Dell vs HP is a tough fight here as both of them offer a range of laptops with varied specifications. Some machines come with a powerful processor and more RAM, whereas some others feature robust GPU with lots of storage space.

Both Dell and HP predominantly source components from third-party vendors. So, if you have specific requirements for processor, Graphics, or display, etc., you will likely find your desired machine after some research.

Generally, Dell has an abundance of Intel chips in its laptops, whereas HP seems more inclined towards AMD. 

But Dell has a wider range of CPU variations, offering machines with AMD Ryzen 3 to Ryzen 9, and Intel Core i3 to i9. HP is limited as it offers the same AMD range but doesn’t yet offer Core i9 models.

Similarly, Dell offers broader ranges for RAM (4GB to 64GB), storage (128GB to 4TB NVMe M.2 PCIe SSD or 1TB HDD), display (11-inch to 17-inch), and graphics (Intel integrated GPU to NVIDIA RTX 3080 GPU) as compared to HP that has limited RAM (8GB to 16GB), display range (13 inches to 15.6 inches), and graphics (ends up with Nvidia RTX 3070 GPU only). Yet, it exhibits a slightly varied choice for storage drives (256GB to 1TB NVMe M.2 PCIe SSD, 512GB to 1TB Intel SSD with 32GB Intel Optane).

So, evidently, Dell wins over HP with small margins in terms of hardware.

Performance

Given the range of hardware specifications, one might expect Dell to deliver better performance. However, that’s not the case.

Of course, Dell laptops aren’t downright slow. Especially the high-end models like Alienware that come packed with top-notch hardware are quite impressive. For example, the famous Alienware Area 51M laptop has impressed customers with top-notch performance even during extensive gaming. The laptop neither lags nor exhibits any impact due to heat.

But you can’t generalize this performance metric for all Dell machines. Particularly, if you compare the prices of low-end Dell devices with low-end models of other brands, Dell usually lags behind.

On the contrary, HP ensures to enrich its laptops with all the relevant specifications to deliver top-notch performance.

Even the laptops advertised for regular use can afford moderate-level gaming. You won’t even face issues while multi-tasking regardless of how power-intensive are the apps you use. This remains true for the veteran HP EliteBook series business laptops to the latest HP Spectre x360 16.

Durability

Buying laptops isn’t something you do every day. That’s why it is important to pick the more durable one. While both the brands address this aspect, comparing Dell vs HP gives the latter an edge.

That’s because HP not only equips its machines with premium components but also enhances their durability with powerful batteries.

Most HP laptop batteries usually last for 8 hours or more after a full charge. Whereas they will continue to function normally for about 2 to 4 years. Combined with robust internal hardware, these batteries make your laptop accompany you for many years.

However, Dell slightly lags behind as most laptops only come with batteries offering 6 to 8 hours duration. Given that these include 2-cell to 6-cell batteries, you can’t expect them to serve longer. Also, Dell batteries may only last for 18 to 24 months. 

Budget laptops

While creating premium devices with expensive high-end components isn’t difficult, what makes a brand credible is how it takes care of its customers on a budget.

Here, Dell slightly gets an edge over HP. As discussed above, Dell has more hardware variations in its devices. Hence, it gets the margin to offer reliable products on a budget. 

But that doesn’t mean buying HP will blow your budget. The HP Pavilion series typically aims at budget users with low price tags, but they still cost somewhat more than Dell.

For example, you can get a Dell Inspiron 14 (2020) for under $800. Whereas the HP Pavilion X360 costs roughly $900.

Moreover, Dell wins here by letting you upgrade specific components to increase the device lifespan without spending a fortune. This makes Dell a budget-friendly option for users.

Customer Service & Warranty

The next thing determining the credibility of a brand is the after-sales service, particularly, the warranty and customer support. 

Again, both Dell and HP offer devices with extended warranty periods and customer support via different means. However, customers often find Dell more responsive than HP.

Precisely, Dell’s warranty isn’t just a selling feature. Rather these guys are open to accepting return requests from dissatisfied customers.

Also, if you face any issues after purchase, you can always reach out to them via phone call. Their knowledgeable agents will troubleshoot the problem in a step-by-step manner. If the on-call instructions don’t fix your issue, they will even manage your laptop settings via remote connection.

In case you aren’t still satisfied or the problem persists, you can visit a Dell repair center nearby for any hardware or software issues.

While HP also has similar offers for the customers, in reality, things are a bit different.

HP offers support via phone (90-day free support after purchase), and via their online HP Support Assistant. You can also reach out to them via their social media accounts. 

However, HP lags behind due to sluggish responsiveness. Even on a phone call, you might have to wait for some time to connect with an agent. Perhaps, their HP Support Assistant and online YouTube tutorials might resolve your issue more quickly.

Price

Comparing Dell vs HP clearly shows the latter as a pricier option. As explained above, Dell outclasses HP in producing budget laptops. But what makes Dell preferable for more customers is its generally lower price range when compared to other brands.

The reason is the same – Dell’s hardware variations let the firm adjust the laptop prices accordingly. So, while its Alienware gaming laptop costs more than HP Pavilion or HP Omen, you will also notice many other Dell laptops cost as low as under $400.

HP also offers some apparently budget-friendly options, but with somewhat lower specifications as compared to Dell. Whereas those with top-notch specifications bear a subsequently higher price tag.

Also, HP is only available via third-party retailers. You can’t get one directly from the firm. This factor also adds to the overall cost.

Use cases

Although, the overall specification, performance, and durability of laptops play an important role when it’s about choosing a device. But, what matters the most is how you intend to use it.

Sometimes, you might not what a high-end gaming device, rather a modest one that helps you play regular games alongside other activities. Likewise, you may want a budget-friendly machine that can handle your regular work activities as nicely as a business laptop would do.

Certainly, both HP and Dell realize this customers’ approach, and hence, they have launched various products serving different use cases. Here is a quick comparison of Dell vs HP for different purposes.

Gaming

When it comes to gaming, users have different expectations from their devices. From simple match-3 games to extensive multi-player games, there’s a huge range to play – all requiring different specifications. That’s why manufacturers address this aspect differently. 

Comparing both brands at this point clearly shows Dell as a winner. That’s because Dell produces a range of laptops for different gamers, from the entry-level Dell G Series to the high-end Alienware.

The latest models from these laptop series sufficiently demonstrate Dell’s innovation here.

For example, the Dell G15 5510 is an impressive gaming laptop featuring an Intel 10th Gen Core i7 processor, NVIDIA GeForce RTX3060 graphics with 6 GB GDDR6, 512 GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD, and 16GB DDR4 RAM. With these specifications, it certainly handles light-gaming to streaming and other intensive activities without hassle. However, it bears a bulky design and weighs over 5 lbs, thus lagging behind in portability.

Likewise, Dell Alienware M15 R4 is a feature-rich dedicated laptop for extensive gaming. While it too exhibits an unimpressive design and more weight, it does excel in the specifications. Notable components of this laptop include a 10th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, 16 GB DDR4 memory, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 with 8GB GDDR6, 1 TB PCIe SSD, and a huge 15.6-inch FHD display.

And of course, this isn’t the only gaming laptop from the Alienware series. Rather you can even trust the old Alienware models to support your gaming requirements.

In contrast, HP doesn’t offer as many variations for gaming laptops as Dell. If you want an HP device for gaming, you might have to pick one from the HP Omen or HP Pavilion series that includes NVIDIA GeForce graphics.

For instance, the HP Omen 15 laptop comes with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics, 12 GB GDDR4 memory, and 1TB storage. Of course, these specifications don’t make this laptop comparable to the Dell Alienware. Yet, it’s worth mentioning here since it’s upgradable.

Similarly, another HP gaming laptop includes HP Pavilion 17 featuring NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660, 10th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, 16 GB DDR4 RAM that you can upgrade to 32 GB, 256 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD, and a 17.3-inch antiglare FHD screen for an immersive gaming experience.

Business

While Dell wins over HP on gaming, business users find HP outclassing most laptop brands including Dell.

Hewlett-Packard produces a range of laptops catering to the requirements of regular employees, C-level officials, accountants, and other professional users. These include HP ZBook Studio, HP Envy, and the HP Pro series.

A worthy mention here is HP ZBook Studio G5 (2020) – useful for designers and developers. This laptop encloses an Intel Hex-Core i7-8850H vPro processor, 32GB DDR4 RAM, 2TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD, and Intel UHD Graphics 630. With a hefty 4-cell battery that can last up to 64 hours, 15.6-inch FULL HD anti-glare display, an ergonomic keyboard, and a huge touchpad, this laptop is perfect for video editing, 3D modeling, and professional designing.

Similarly, the HP Envy x360 is a sleek 2-in-1 laptop serving design-specific business users with powerful specs. Whereas, the HP Pro C640 is an ultimate choice for all Chromebook fans who want to ditch Windows for their business activities. 

When it comes to Dell, however, you might not find such a variety of laptops for your business needs. Nonetheless, Dell won’t leave their business users dissatisfied, so they have come up with Dell XPS 13 (2020).

Bearing a 13.4-inch FHD display, this business laptop has impressive specs comprising of a 10th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, 256GB PCIe M.2 NVMe SSD, and 16GB memory. However, it still lags behind its HP counterparts as it has onboard memory and Intel Graphics. 

Studying

For students, the battle of Dell vs HP ends in a draw as both the manufacturers produce impressive laptops aimed at school and college students. From design to hardware and performance, you won’t notice many differences between the two.

For example, the Dell Inspiron series is great for students looking for 2-in-1 laptops. Particularly, Inspiron 14 and Inspiron 15 (2021) are feature-rich laptops with touch screen support offering huge storage (256GB and 512 GB SSD, respectively), powerful memory (8GB and 12GB upgradeable RAM), robust processors, (10th Gen Intel Core i5 and Core i7 respectively), and smooth antiglare touch screens.

Certainly, these specifications clearly hint at how Dell laptops can handle multi-tasking requirements for students.

Similarly, HP also has some great student laptops to offer. Like the HP Envy 15 (2020) is a power-packed device to cater to the requirements of college students. It features 512 GB PCIe NVMeM.2 SSD, 16 GB DDR4 memory (upgradeable), huge battery time (15 hours on average), and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti graphics. 

Likewise, HP Pavilion X360 and HP Chromebook 14 are also lightweight laptops for school students to meet their studying requirements on the go.

HP and Dell vs alternatives

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Dell vs Asus
Dell vs Acer
HP vs Lenovo
HP vs Asus
HP vs Acer

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better Dell or HP?

Both Dell and HP have their own strengths and weaknesses. If you want a modest laptop with impressive hardware at a low cost, and you aren’t concerned about the laptop design, then Dell looks better. Otherwise, HP is suitable for those wanting a premium device with a sleek look and expensive hardware components that last long. 

Is Dell better than HP?

Dell looks better than HP regarding hardware variations in its laptops, prompt customer support, and more device options to buy at affordable prices. Besides, for gamers, Dell’s Alienware is hands-down the best choice.

Is HP better than Dell?

HP wins over Dell in terms of design, innovation, durability (as it offers robust specs with better batteries), and performance. It’s also the best choice for business users.

Conclusion

Comparing both brands head-to-head clearly shows how they compete in various aspects. The weak spots of one brand are where the other improves and innovates, thus making it difficult to label one as better than the other.

Nonetheless, you, as the end-user, can better decide which brand suits you. But for that, you must be clear about your requirements and expectations. You should decide about the hardware you want, your intended use case, and your budget to buy the laptop. 

If you are an avid gamer and are ready to spare a fortune, Dell is the ultimate choice for you (thanks to its Alienware series). Also, you can choose Dell if you want a modest laptop with no specific design requirements.

But if you don’t like the old-school appearance of laptops, want a high-end device that can accompany you for several years, and supports your work or educational activities, HP might the best choice.

Alex Berg

Founder, writer, editor-in-chief at LaptopTalks. Starting LaptopTalks is like a dream come true, combining two of his passions – writing and technology. Even in his free time, you can often find him by his gaming laptop playing the latest video games.

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