Dell Black Friday deals 2023: Score hundreds in savings on top spec XPS laptops

Black Friday Dell deals
(Image credit: Dell)

If you’re looking for a great laptop for music production, and don’t want to join the Apple crowd, then the Dell XPS range offers a great Windows-based alternative. And this time of year is the perfect time to invest, with countless Black Friday Dell deals circulating.

These laptops have been around in one form or another for nearly 30 years, but in 2018 the range was redesigned with Apple’s MacBook Pro family squarely in its sights. Promising power and performance on par with the MacBook Pro models of the time, Dell XPS laptops were pitched as content creation powerhouses, with a slick, premium design that tried to distance itself from the staid, boring Windows laptops many of us used for work. 

But with prices at, or at least near, the same levels as the equivalent Apple model, Dell had to back up that promise with specifications and features designed with music producers, video editors and digital content creators in mind.

The 2023 Dell XPS lineup features a range of models that boast - on paper - all the specifications you’d need to record, edit and mix audio, with the natural caveats around music production on a Windows machine. On this page, we’ll explain why the Dell XPS range should be high up your list for consideration, offer our expert advice on picking up a bargain Dell laptop on Black Friday ad highlights all of today's best deals.

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US Editor’s picks

Dell XPS 13 laptop: Was $799, now $599 at Dell

Dell XPS 13 laptop: Was $799, now $599 at Dell
The cheapest price we've ever seen for a Dell XPS 13 laptop, and it's one of the most recent models, too. For this price it's obviously not going to be the meatiest configuration - 12th gen Intel Core i5 chipset, 8GB of RAM, 256GB SSD - but it's a great machine for lighter music tasks and it's a premium machine overall.

Dell XPS 13 laptop: Was $1,099, now $799 at Dell

Dell XPS 13 laptop: Was $1,099, now $799 at Dell
Want more power? The Dell Black Friday sale also includes an fantastic deal on a Core i7-equipped XPS 13 model. With a tasty $300 off, you're paying a superb price for a laptop with a 12th-gen chipset, 16GB of DDR5 RAM, and a 512GB SSD - a fantastic spec for all your music creation needs.

Dell XPS 15 laptop: Was $1,999, now $1,549 at Dell

Dell XPS 15 laptop: Was $1,999, now $1,549 at Dell
The Dell XPS 15 is a fantastic laptop for music production, balancing power, great design and a great size display for most music tasks. It's packed to the gills with raw horsepower, too. This configuration features a 15.6-inch 1920 x 1200 LCD, Intel Core i7-13700H CPU, 16GB of RAM, 512GB SSD, and a Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050 GPU. One of the biggest discounts we've seen so far for this machine.

Dell XPS 15 laptop: Was $1,499, now $1,099 at Dell

Dell XPS 15 laptop: Was $1,499, now $1,099 at Dell
And, if you need a serious amount of power, this $400 discount on a top flight machine is well worth considering. For the money you get a 13th gen Intel Core i7 chipset, 16GB of DDR5 RAM, a 512GB SSD, and an Intel Arc A370M graphics card. This is a pro level machine that will more than handle music tasks.

UK Editor’s picks

Dell XPS 13 laptop:Was £1,049, now£949 at Dell

Dell XPS 13 laptop: Was £1,049, now £949 at Dell
Dell's answer to the MacBook Air, the Dell XPS 13 has long ranked among the best Windows laptops year after year, and this 12th-gen Intel i7-1250U model can still hold its own against Apple's best-selling ultraportable, especially with £100 off at Dell right now.

Dell XPS 15 (2023):Was £2,669, now £1,999 at Dell

Dell XPS 15 (2023): Was £2,669, now £1,999 at Dell
This powerhouse of an XPS 15 configuration currently has a massive £670 off right now, and features a 13th-gen Core i9-13900H processor, an Nvidia RTX 4070 GPU, 32GB DDR5 RAM, and 1TB SSD, making it easily one of the most powerful laptops you're going to get for under £2,000 and ideal for music making.

Dell XPS 15 (2023):Was £1,969, now £1,669 at Dell

Dell XPS 15 (2023): Was £1,969, now £1,669 at Dell
While not the most powerful XPS 15 model i the line-up, this Intel Core i7-13700H and Nvidia RTX 4050 configuration with 32GB DDR5 RAM and 1TB SSD offers competitive performance for the price to rival other music-making laptops, including the MacBook Pro.


Which XPS models should I look for on Black Friday?

Going on previous years, the base XPS 13 model looks most likely to be offered up at a lower cost, but for music production, we’d say it’s slightly underpowered and therefore not the best choice. If we’re lucky, and the higher-powered XPS 13 Plus is offered up at a reduced cost for Black Friday, then that would be the one to go for. 

If you’re looking for a studio workhorse, then the larger Dell XPS 15 might see some heavy discounts, along with its larger 17” brother. Both models featured heavily in last year’s reductions in the US, with the Dell XPS 17, with a whopping 32GB of RAM and Core i7 processor, reduced from $2,549 down to $2,049. The XPS 15, however, offered the biggest savings with the superb top-spec 2021 model reduced from $2,899 down to $2,199 through Dell directly.

What do I need to know about the latest Dell XPS laptops?

For its current range, Dell has split things up a bit and now offers two variants of the XPS 13. There’s the base XPS 13, which offers a balance between performance and efficiency - which means a longer battery life - and a newer Plus model which favours power over efficiency. Aside from that, both of the 13” models come with the same gorgeous, sleek design, with a lightness that rivals even the current super-skinny MacBook Air models. 

Alongside the two 13” models are the equivalent 15” and 17” versions, as per normal, with the larger screens and enhanced specs making for highly capable music production machines.

Where the current version of the XPS 13 has drawn controversy is in the removal of some of its connectivity options. While Apple users will, by now, be familiar with (and occasionally frustrated by) the smaller number of USB-C ports, it does mean users of the newest XPS models will have to be dongle or hub-ready.

What makes the XPS range great for musicians?

There is an elephant in the room with any Windows-based music production laptop, and it would be remiss of us not to reference it. When you purchase any new Windows PC or laptop from an established brand like Dell, your machine is going to come complete with plenty of ‘helpful’ (read: not helpful) built-in software which can have a negative effect on how your laptop performs under pressure. With the XPS range in particular, there are reports of their built-in audio sweetening software causing some issues, but there are workarounds and ways to solve the latency issues created by this bloatware.

Largely, you can overcome these issues and end up with a hugely capable, portable studio laptop but you should go with eyes wide open to the fact Windows laptops inherently need a bit of ‘optimising’ before they’re recording-ready. That said, with the XPS 13 being one of the most popular laptops on the market in 2023, it’s not like you’re buying into some obscure Windows ecosystem. Whatever issue you have, you can guarantee there’ll be another XPS user who had and then solved the problem online.

When everything is set up, the XPS line-up makes for superb audio production laptops. They boast decent battery life and are seriously slim, making them ideal for throwing in a backpack. The 12th-gen Intel Core i5 and i7 processors strike a decent balance between performance and battery life, so they remain as portable as you’d want them to be, although there’s still a way to go to beat the numbers Apple’s current ARM processors offer up. 

Is Black Friday a good time to buy an XPS laptop?

Based on last year’s activity, there’s every chance we’ll see some significant discounts across the board this Black Friday. Last year we saw a huge 25% reduction on the price of the base XPS 13 model, down from $999 to $749 in the US, while shoppers in the UK enjoyed a nice £120 off the price of the same model, down from £949 to £829 when bought directly from Dell. As ever, there’s no guarantee we’ll see the same discounts in 2023, but we’d say the smart money would be on waiting until Black Friday if you’re thinking of pushing the button on a new XPS model. 

Which XPS models should I avoid?

While it can be tempting when you see the size and scale of the reductions, there are some XPS models we’d advise steering clear from if you’re looking specifically at a machine for music production. The base XPS 13, for example, is a superb laptop for ‘most’ people, offering up all-day battery life and outstanding design, but as a laptop for music production, it might end up leaving you frustrated due to a lack of internal grunt.

Chris Corfield

Chris Corfield is a journalist with over 12 years of experience writing for some of the music world's biggest brands including Orange Amplification, MusicRadar, Guitar World, Total Guitar and Dawsons Music. Chris loves getting nerdy about everything from guitar and bass gear, to synths, microphones, DJ gear and music production hardware.