Dell vs HP: Which Laptop/Desktop Brand Should You Choose?

Dell vs HP - Laptop & Desktop

Dell and HP are two of the most popular brands when it comes to laptops and desktops. Both brands offer a wide range of products with varying features and specifications to cater to different needs.

That’s why choosing between the two can be tough, as both have their strengths and weaknesses over one another.

In this article, we’ll look at how Dell and HP stack up against one another across a few different market segments, as well as provide more information on which brand you should choose.

Dell vs HP: Everyday Computing

When it comes to everyday computing tasks, Dell and HP are pretty much on par with one another. Both companies offer a wide variety of options, from budget-friendly family computers, to high-end workstations geared towards business consumers.

And for both laptops and desktops, the hardware and features that each company offers with their computers are similar enough that you could get away with either one for everyday use.

Case in point: the HP Spectre x360 14 and Dell XPS 13 Plus.

Both of these laptops, which are each company’s current flagship offering, come at a similar price point, offer similar power, and come with their own set of pros and cons. The Dell XPS 13 Plus does edge out the HP Spectre x360 14 in power and portability, with its slightly more compact design and more powerful Intel P-series processors, making it a better choice if you’re looking for a more powerful machine.

Dell XPS 13 Plus

But the HP Spectre x360 14 one-ups the Dell XPS 13 Plus in terms of battery life and versatility.

HP Spectre x360

Thanks to its larger battery, less powerful processor, and its 2-in-1 design that allows you to use it as a tablet or laptop, it’s a better choice if you’re looking for more variety with your portable computing experience.

Also Read: Best Gaming Tablets for Any Budget

On the desktop front, the story is much the same in that both brands offer similar competing options. For this, we’ll compare the Dell Inspiron 27 and HP Pavilion 27-ca1003na, both of which are very similar all-in-one offerings from each company.

Dell Inspiron 27

Both of these computers offer similar specs, brandishing 27-inch screens and 12th gen Intel Core i7 processors, making them excellent choices for everyday computing. Again, Dell edges out HP here in terms of performance, with marginally superior GPU and memory speeds.

HP Pavilion 27-inch All-in-One Desktop

However, for this comparison, HP comes out on top due to its higher screen resolution. Dell does offer a touchscreen model of its Inspiron 27, but with a 1440p resolution, the Pavilion offers more screen real estate in the same sized package as the Inspiron.

Dell vs HP: Gaming

On the gaming front, the story is the same as everyday laptops and desktops – neither brand is a clear-cut winner.

Alienware, which Dell acquired in 2006, specializes in producing high-performance gaming laptops and desktops, and are widely regarded as some of the best gaming computers on the market. The Alienware Aurora R13 is a good example.

Alienware Aurora 13

With a top-of-the-line spec sheet and a sleek, unique chassis that’s aesthetically pleasing and compact, it’s certainly a worthy gaming machine. But with a proprietary motherboard, power supply, and case IO, upgrading it to a beefier, more power-hungry graphics card or a next-gen processor can range from expensive and difficult to downright impossible.

Also Read: Best Graphics Cards Right Now

And its compact design comes at the cost of thermal performance, with its CPU thermal throttling before reaching its full potential.

HP’s Omen gaming PC lineup has also earned a solid reputation in the gaming space for their high-end specs and sleek designs. The HP Omen 45L is a good example of the innovation HP can bring to the prebuilt gaming PC market.

HP Omen 45L

Stellar specs and AIO water cooling aside, it’s the unique “Cryo Chamber” – which places the cooler’s radiator in a separate chamber above the PC to offer better thermal performance – that really helps it standout. Unfortunately, it lags behind identical hardware in a standard custom built PC – not due to thermal issues, but to HP’s decision to throttle the hardware. And the Cryo Chamber, for all its benefits, also adds extra girth to the system, making it bulky and impractical.

Also Read: Best Custom PC Builder Websites

Ultimately, the brand generally isn’t as important as the specific machine and your preferences. Both Dell’s Alienware and HP’s Omen series offer high-performance gaming computers and gaming laptops that cater to different needs and budgets.

Each brand has its unique strengths and weaknesses, and it’s up to you to determine which machine best suits your needs.

Things You Should Know About Dell and HP Computers

Dell and HP are two of the most recognizable names in the computer industry, with decades of experience and brand recognition that extends beyond just tech enthusiasts. But despite their impressive track records, and the notion that brand doesn’t matter as much as the machine, there are some issues with Dell and HP that are often overlooked by the uninitiated.

Limited customization and upgrade options

Dell and HP computers typically don’t allow for as much customization or upgradability as other brands, particularly with desktop computers.

Also Read: When Should you Upgrade your CPU?

With proprietary parts, such as power supplies and motherboards, this can greatly impede your ability to upgrade the computer or require aftermarket parts, such as 24 to 8 pin connectors, to perform otherwise standard upgrades.

Quality control issues

While Dell and HP have a reputation for producing high-quality products, there’s no shortage of models that have had quality control issues. In fact, when you look at user experiences on sites like Reddit and Quora, you’ll get plenty of accounts on both sides citing poor experiences with each brand.


Dell and HP computers can be more expensive than other brands for similar configurations. This is especially true for higher-end models or those that offer advanced features. And oftentimes, even their high-end models lag behind prebuilt and custom built PCs with comparable specs.

Also Read: How to Build A Gaming PC (Step-By-Step Guide)

Of course, that doesn’t mean both companies aren’t making strides towards innovation and improvements to set them apart from the competition. The HP Omen 45L’s “Cryo Chamber” is a brilliant, game-changing design for desktop cooling. Likewise, Dell’s “Concept Luna” project follows in the steps of Framework to transform the laptop market by designing laptops with modular, interchangeable components.

Dell vs HP: Which Should You Choose?

If you’re trying to decide between Dell and HP, the takeaway is that you should base your decision on specific machines, rather than on the brand at large.

As you can see in our comparisons above, trying to say which company is better comes down to the specific models you’re comparing and what you’re looking for in a computer.

Cody Brown

Cody is a gamer, writer, and computer programmer who's always looking to optimize and automate everyday tasks. When he's not immersed in prose and code, he's busy tinkering with computers, automating his home, and spending time with his wife and kids.

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