Information about Dell Laptops A Sauve's Guide to Buying a Dell Laptop

Image of a Dell Logo

We recommend Dell for all your laptop needs. There are a wide variety of choices (almost too many), so we’re offering tips on how to purchase a new Dell laptop. 

You can also decide to purchase a different brand using our basic recommendations. Any laptop that satisfies our minimum requirements will perform well. Dell, when combined with their extended on-site warranty, has better support than other brands. 

Dell offers several core model lines to start out with. Read on for information and buying recommendations.

This page is part of a series of pages outlining various aspects of laptops

Laptop Recommendation Page ( Start here if not already done so )
< Laptop Terminology FAQ’s 
Dell Information Page ( You are looking at this page )
< Dell Consulting Services
< Dell Purchase Page

General Laptop Information

  • Built-in CD/DVD’s are becoming increasingly rare. An external USB CD/DVD drive may be a required accessory in the event the selected model has none built in. Built-in drives can be found on the Inspiron models but are rare on others.
  • Most people don’t use touch screens on laptops, even if the screen is capable. We have found most still prefer an external mouse or the touchpad. However, when on the road or when space is limited, the feature may come in handy. It will increase the overall cost of the laptop. 
  • Our laptop recommendations satisfy what Sauve’s has been offering for years. 
  • We find that 15″ screens are the best compromise between weight, size, portability, battery life, view-ability, and cost. Choices range from 11″ to 17″. 

Currently Available Dell Models

Like all brands, Dell comes with a bewildering number of models, with each model representing many configurations. For the most part, the Dell universe comes down to the following 4 model lines. There are more, of course, but these are the most popular and match nearly everyone’s requirements.   

Inspiron

  • Consumer grade hardware.
  • Aimed at lighter duty, home use.
  • This model line offers 17″ screens.
  • Some offer built-in CD\DVD drives
  • Also offers 2 in 1 capability, which means the screen can flip all the way around and you can use the laptop like a tablet with touch screen capabilities.

Latitude

  • Business grade hardware.
  • Equipped with features sometimes needed for business, such as encryption capabilities.
  • Although more expensive than Inspiron, we recommend them for all users.
  • Maximum screen size is currently 15″.
  • No models appear to offer built-in CD/DVD drives.
  • Does NOT offer 2 in 1 capability, which means the screen cannot flip all the way around to be used like a tablet. However, some come with touch capable screens. 

XPS

  • Higher end, business class hardware but stilled aimed at consumers.
  • XPS and Precision models use the highest quality components.
  • The maximum screen size is 15″.
  • No models appear to offer built-in CD/DVD drives.
  • Some offer 2 in 1 capability, which means the screen can flip all the way around and you can use the laptop like a tablet with touch screen capabilities.

Precision

  • Higher end, business class hardware aimed at business.
  • For use with demanding programs such as gaming, engineering, CAD, video editing, and design programs. 
  • XPS and Precision models use the highest quality components.
  • This model line offers 17″ screens.
  • No models appear to offer built-in CD/DVD drives.
  • Does NOT offer 2 in 1 capability, which means the screen cannot flip all the way around to be used like a tablet.
  • Greater selection of options and features than the XPS line.

Others Models

There are other model lines aimed at gaming or Chromebooks. We typically do not work with them except in unique circumstances.

How Dell refines their models

  • Most models are made up of several sub-models.
    • 3000 Series
    • 5000 Series
    • 7000 Series
  • XPS uses different model numbers based on screen size.
  • The larger the number, the higher build quality, options and/or price.
  • An example Dell laptop would be stated thusly:
    • “I have a Dell Latitude “5590”. The first “5” is the series number.
    • “I have a Dell Precision “7520”. The “7” is the series number.
  • Each series contains numerous pre-configured laptops ready to buy. However, nearly all can be enhanced with additional options at the time of purchase. Dell, nor any other brand, is not shy about presenting you with upgrade options. 
  • As long as the features match or exceed our recommendations, you can’t go wrong.
  • You may want to add options, such as their highly recommended 3yr, On-Site, extended warranty. This is extremely important if you will be using it on the road. 
  • If the configuration satisfies our recommendations, it’s a good choice.
  • Click here for our laptop FAQ’s.

A word about 2 in 1 Laptops

The term “2 in 1” refers to laptops that can double as tablets, such as an iPad. It’s a normal laptop where the display lifts up like any other laptop. However, with 2 in 1’s the display can continue to “lift” until it rotates completely around to the back side of the laptop. 

See the examples below. The first is an example of a “2 in 1” laptop display positioned close to normal. The following images show the display rotated nearly or completely around.

Inspiron 17 7000 Right Side 

Inspiron 17 7000 Display View  Inspiron 17 7000 Image File

Dell 2 in 1 Half Folded        Dell 2in1 Fully Folded

Our Services

Once you take ownership of your new laptop, we offer setup, data and program transfer services from old or existing laptops and computers.

This page is part of a series of pages outlining various aspects of laptops

Laptop Recommendation Page ( Start here if not already done so )
< Laptop Terminology FAQ’s 
Dell Information Page ( You are looking at this page )
< Dell Consulting Services
< Dell Purchase Page

Contact Us

Feel free to contact us at (920) 794-7221 or send us an email with any questions you may have.

Author: Roaming Gnome

I sneak around the shop and watch everyone.