Dell and Lenovo are two of the biggest tech giants in the world. In terms of market share, Lenovo has a whopping 20% market share. Dell is close behind with nearly 15%. This means that of all of the laptops owned in the world, nearly 35% of them are either Dell or Lenovo.
These behemoths are both incredible brands and have reputations to match. From their budget ranges to their flagship models, these are two brands that know what their customers want. But which brand is better?
In this article, we are going to examine both brands across several different categories. If you are here because you are torn between the two, this should help you make a decision that you are going to be happy with for years to come.
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Quick Comparison – Which Is Better Dell Or Lenovo?
Hardware & Components
Dell Laptops Overview
Dell, like many tech brands, started life under a different moniker. In 1984, an American student named Michael Dell, studying at the University of Texas, founded the company, working from his dormitory.
The company, called PC's Limited, started out by offering customers upgrades to their computers. Michael did this from his dormitory room, and very quickly, the venture became very profitable for him. So much so that Michael actually dropped out of school the very same year to begin building his own custom computers for his rapidly growing customer base.
In 1985, the company released their first branded computer, the aptly named Turbo PC. By selling products through mail-order catalogs, he avoided many of the costs that other tech companies had to pay to survive the retail market.
By 1988, the business was booming, and it was at this point that Michael Dell rebranded and renamed his company, taking it public. The new name?
The Dell Computer Corporation.
Since then, Dell has gone from strength to strength. With a focus on high-performance parts, impeccable build quality, and unrivaled customer service, Dell has become one of the most popular computer brands on the planet.
Pros & Cons of Dell Laptops
What We Like
What We Don’t Like
Lenovo Laptops Overview
The goliath that is the Lenovo Group originated in Hong Kong and was initially formed by 10 experienced computer engineers in 1984.
With initial funding of around 200,000 yuan (Around $30,000), the 10 engineers, all members of the Institute of Computing Technology, went to the Chinese government with their business plan and were granted approval that very same day.
Their company mission is to become the world's greatest technology company, and they mean it.
Lenovo has dominated the budget-friendly market and has been the main competitor to Dell in the executive workstation market for years.
Their laptops almost always come with lower price tags than their rival models.
Recently, Lenovo has been making waves in one of the newest up-and-coming markets, the gaming industry.
Their gaming ranges are packed full of power and innovation while still maintaining their low price tags.
This has allowed millions of gamers access to AAA+ gaming for a much more affordable price.
Pros & Cons of Lenovo Laptops
What We Like
What We Don’t Like
Dell Vs Lenovo - Important Features Compared
Design & Construction (Build Quality)
In terms of design and construction, both of these brands are at the top of their game. Dell makes laptops that are beautifully designed. They ooze luxury.
Their XPS range contains all of the roaring power and innovation of a gaming laptop, paired with the only display we think comes close to beating the Retina display found on Apple's range of products.
Their carbon fiber design gives them an executive feel too, which makes them the perfect choice for executives that don't want a flashy RGB laptop.
On the other hand, Lenovo has the same build quality as Dell, but their laptops lack substance in terms of aesthetics. Lenovo makes laptops that are brilliant in terms of performance, choosing instead to invest in better internal parts and less on the style of their models. This helps them keep performance up and price tags down.
Related: Dell Vs HP Laptops: Key Differences
Hardware & Components
When it comes to hardware, Dell has a slight edge over Lenovo. This is due to their flexibility when it comes to the brands they use for their parts.
Lots of Dell's higher performance laptops come with either the latest generation Intel cores or the latest generation of AMD cores. For the tech enthusiast or someone who needs precise specs for overclocking, this makes Dell the better option.
Lenovo tends to stick to Intel processors, and only rarely do their models contain any AMD parts. This doesn't affect the performance of the models that much, but it might be a sticking point for those that have a preference for AMD.
With so many ranges targeting different audiences, the tech performance winner is going to depend on the model you choose. In the lower price brackets, Lenovo is the clear winner.
Dell doesn't invest as much time and innovation into their budget ranges, and this shows when you compare them to their Lenovo competition.
When you look at the workstation brackets, Dell takes the lead back. Their XPS range contains the most cutting-edge technology around, and while Lenovo has really scored a home run with their Ideapad range, you just can't beat the XPS range for performance.
The Ideapad does come with a ridiculous amount of customizability, however. You can design your workstation from the ground up, taking the performance as high as your money will reach.
If you are looking for a laptop that can withstand a bit of a beating, few can compare with the Lenovo IdeaPad. These laptops come with rigorous MIL-STD 810G testing, which ensures they are protected against any environment.
They get Mechanical Shock testing, which includes 18 simulated drops. They are then subjected to vibration testing, ensuring they can survive on ships and airplanes for long periods of time.
Next, they are tested at an altitude of 15,000 feet and given seven 24 hour cycles of simulated sunlight to make sure they can handle UV radiation and heat.
Finally, they are put through sand dust and fungus testing, which checks to make sure they can survive 91-98% humidity and temperatures of -21 -+63 degrees C, as well as dusty and sandy environments.
Dell also scores highly in terms of durability. Their laptops have such a high build quality to begin with that most models will survive a hefty drop or harsh conditions.
Unfortunately, they just don't compare with the tougher range of Lenovo laptops that have passed rigorous military-standard testing.
In terms of display quality, the Dell XPS range comes with one of the most beautiful screens we have seen on a laptop. This panel is the only one that we think is stiff competition for the Retina screens used by Apple. This is their flagship range, though, and we expect no less.
Both Dell and Lenovo use almost identical display panels across the lower-midrange brackets. This means that neither brand has a clear lead. Your choice will most likely come down to whether or not you prefer performance or battery life.
Acer, HP, and ASUS, constantly push the limits of what we can do with computer hardware.
Amongst these giants, Lenovo is the king of innovation. They are constantly releasing new models with new features that tackle really niche environments and problems.
Their workstations can be used in the arctic, deep underground, and even on top of the tallest mountain peaks. They are also about as customizable as they come.
Dell, being the tech behemoth that they are, still does their fair share of innovating. Their XPS range, for example, is perhaps the best executive range of laptops on the planet. If you want an executive laptop that looks awesome in the boardroom and comes packed with the latest next-gen tech, you can't beat them.
Dell knows their market, and while their XPS range is cutting edge, their lower-priced ranges can't compete with Lenovo in terms of innovation.
Battery life is a tough category due to how subjective it is. Some people need laptops that can survive for as many hours as possible without needing to charge. Some people use their laptops as more of a desktop replacement. This means battery life is less important.
Usually, to obtain a higher battery life, you will have to sacrifice either performance or cost. High-performance parts require a higher level of power. If you want a high level of performance and a high battery life, you will have to fork out the dollars for more efficient parts.
Lenovo balances this better, though, and Lenovo laptops have a better battery life over all of their ranges compared to Dell battery life. The choice will ultimately depend upon your situation, but Lenovo wins on paper.
Tech brands don't succeed unless they have at least a moderate level of customer service. With Dell and Lenovo, you can expect excellence from each brand.
Dell offers rapid turnaround and ease of access. You can get in touch via phone, email, or live chat, and you will receive an answer extremely quickly.
When it comes to repairs under warranty, they also excel, with some of their business laptops coming with 24-hour turnaround repairs in the event of a problem.
Lenovo offers excellent warranties and support via live chat and email, but their phone lines have received criticism for long hold times. As such a large company, this is to be expected, but we would like to see some improvement nonetheless.
If you look at the more comprehensive picture, across all of their ranges, Lenovo is perhaps the most well-priced laptop brand on the planet. They are particularly good at creating laptops that perform way better than their price tag would suggest.
If you are looking for a laptop that is going to give you the most bang for your buck, you will almost always be better off choosing a Lenovo.
Dell has always been focused on quality and luxury, and their price tags reflect this.
Dell has always been brand-centered and focused on supplying the business and executive market. Their XPS flagship range is the best example of this.
The sleek carbon aesthetics are a nice change from the more popular RGB gaming style of performance laptops. This makes them a much more attractive choice for boardrooms and meetings.
Lenovo also smashes it out of the park with their business range. Their range, the X1 Thinkpad series, comes with the same power and performance as the XPS range but comes with an opposite aesthetic. They are plain and simple and do their job perfectly.
In terms of gaming laptops, both brands are at the top of their game. Lenovo is bringing high-end gaming to the masses through its affordable Legion gaming range.
These laptops cost a lot less than their competitors and come packed with high-end graphics cards, cooling systems, and high refresh screens. If you want affordable gaming, Lenovo is the better brand.
Dell targets a different audience. Their Alienware range of laptops are built to last, thanks to the high quality parts that they use. This makes them the best choice for those who are serious about their gaming.
If you want a gaming laptop that can keep up with the latest AAA+ games without breaking the bank, go Lenovo. If you want to play those same games in maxed settings or want to play competitive e-sports titles, stick to Dell and their Alienware range.
In the budget category, Lenovo laptops excel. They come with parts that synergize perfectly. This means their level of performance is usually higher than what you pay for. If you want to squeeze as much as possible from a lower budget, Lenovo is where we would spend our money.
Common Dell Vs Lenovo Questions
Which Is Better Between The Dell XPS 13 Vs Lenovo X1 Carbon?
In this battle of flagship models, the XPS 13 wins, in our opinion. Both have nearly identical performance and specs, but the XPS is actually a few hundred dollars cheaper, making it a clear winner.
Which Is Better Between The Dell Latitude Vs. Lenovo Thinkpad?
This is a close one to call, the Latitude range of laptops and the Thinkpad range are both excellent workstations. The Thinkpad comes out on top with rigorous military-standard testing as standard and an incredible price tag.
Which Is Better Between The Lenovo Yoga Vs. Dell XPS?
With both ultraportables running the latest generation of processors and convertible designs, they are both excellent choices. The Yoga has some great innovations onboard, such as a hinge that also functions as a soundbar.
For a nearly identical price, you also get an extra 500GB worth of SSD. Ultimately, the choice will depend on your preferences and whether or not there is a sale on your chosen model.
These are two of the top brands in the world when it comes to technology for a reason. Both have mastered the art of targeting a specific audience.
In broad terms, Lenovo is the better brand for the price. They offer excellent laptops at a fantastic price, and they do really well at squeezing performance from every dollar. They also have the best range of rugged laptops, tested to a military standard to survive all conditions.
Dell offers a sleek, luxurious, high-performance package, but you pay a heft price for the privilege. Worth it? We think so, but ultimately your choice will depend on what you want to spend.
Lenovo for the price, Dell for the performance.
Andrew White is the founder of TechGearoid, a leading technology review & information website that is designed to help consumers make better decisions when it comes to their IT purchases. As a specialist tech writer (nerd) with over 10 years of experience, he enjoys writing about everything there is to do with modern technology & the newest market innovations. When he isn’t providing value for his readers, he’s usually drinking coffee or at the beach. Andrew lives in Sydney, Australia with his wife and family.