Dell XPS 15 Review: A Luxury Windows Laptop

Maria J. Danford

In these unsure occasions, it truly is harder than regular to justify paying out as substantially as a absolutely loaded Dell XPS fifteen prices. But boy, the monitor is lovely, and the electric power below it will crunch as a result of whichever you toss at it—video encoding, software program […]

In these unsure occasions, it truly is harder than regular to justify paying out as substantially as a absolutely loaded Dell XPS fifteen prices. But boy, the monitor is lovely, and the electric power below it will crunch as a result of whichever you toss at it—video encoding, software program compiling, or gaming.

It is, in small, a powerhouse machine. It can be the Microsoft Home windows 10 equal of the fifteen-inch MacBook Professional, and as this kind of, if you prefer to skip the foreseeable future drama encompassing Apple’s chip migration, and just want a major, impressive laptop right now, the Dell XPS fifteen provides.

Greater Home windows

Like its more compact sibling, the Dell XPS thirteen (nine/10, WIRED Recommends), the 2020 refresh for the fifteen-inch XPS shrinks the monitor bezels to give you even more authentic estate. The result is lovely, at least for the 4K Extremely High definition touchscreen in my exam machine. Hues are exceptional, and it can in fact get far too brilliant. I seldom pushed it beyond 80 p.c, and I never had any difficulties viewing the monitor even in brilliant daylight.

As I stated in the assessment of the thirteen-inch XPS, on paper this greater-sized monitor seems negligible, but in every day use it truly is actually wonderful to have, especially when modifying photographs, movies, or playing online games.

Photograph: Dell

Dell has a wide range of spec configurations out there. There is certainly the foundation model, which receives you a more recent tenth-generation Intel Main i5 processor, 8 gigabytes of RAM, and built-in graphics. This model is $one,three hundred, but it lacks the 4K show and has a relatively paltry 256-gigabyte tough generate.

If you bump the processor to an Intel Main i7, increase a discrete movie card (Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti), the three,840 x 2,400 pixel (4K) touchscreen, and sixteen gigabytes of RAM, it will price tag you $2,two hundred. Which is on par, each on specs and rate, with Apple’s sixteen-inch MacBook.

The model I tested was even fancier. It prices $2,350 and comes with sixteen gigabytes of RAM and a 512-gigabyte tough generate. Like on the MacBook Professional, there’s also an choice to go with an Intel i9 processor, which places the rate up to $2,800, but it consists of a greater one-terabyte tough generate and the 32 gigabytes of RAM. If you are a developer compiling software program, or are wanting for a cellular movie modifying station, you are going to want to adhere with the mid- to larger-conclusion configurations.

This most up-to-date model options a new trackpad, which is, frankly, huge. But it comes in helpful for going quickly about the enormous monitor.

Battery life on the XPS fifteen is so-so. It can be not as very good as the more compact XPS thirteen. I managed to get about nine hrs out of it most times, but when I looped an High definition movie on it to exam how very long it lasted, it barely managed to hit the 8-hour mark. Which is undoubtedly sufficient to edit movie at the coffee store for a several hrs, but if you are performing just about anything processor-intensive with this point, you are going to want the electric power twine handy—especially right after you have owned it for a couple decades. It can be also likely really worth noting that the electric power twine is greater and heavier than what you get with the XPS thirteen.

Photograph: Dell

As on the more compact model, there are three smaller USB-C ports, any of which can supply electric power. The two USB ports on the remaining side also help Thunderbolt three for an exterior watch. There is certainly also an SD card reader and (luckily) a headphone jack. Dell also consists of a helpful minimal dongle with greater USB-A ports and a USB-C-to-HDMI cable.

Dell packs all of this into a slender aluminum chassis with carbon-fiber palm rests and a Gorilla Glass monitor. The result is astonishingly smaller for a fifteen-inch laptop. Thanks to these thin bezels, the whole package is just thirteen.5 inches by nine inches.

What is Not to Like?

As substantially as I like the fifteen-inch monitor and optional Nvidia graphics, there are some trade-offs with the XPS fifteen in contrast to the XPS thirteen. The major problem in my perspective is the additional bodyweight: The XPS fifteen feels heavy (it weighs four-four.5 pounds, based on your configuration). Where the thirteen-inch model feels trim and lightweight in a bag, the XPS fifteen feels like a guide brick on my shoulders. Not the major guide brick, brain you it truly is not unbearable by any suggests. But if you prize portability, go with the XPS thirteen.

My other dilemma with the XPS fifteen is that it can be loud, or at least what passes for loud in laptops these times. All that electric power has thermal discharge right after all, and you have to get that warmth out someway, which suggests the XPS fifteen spins up its fan relatively regularly—and it truly is not especially silent. This was most pronounced when I was exporting big 4K movie clips.

Prepared to Go

If you are a developer, you want your $three,000 laptop to do all the things. Even when Apple moves to its possess ARM-dependent chips, your software program will likely continue to have to have to operate on X86 chips as nicely. Apple’s prepare to emulate the total X86 stack on ARM seems rough. I want them luck with that, but I would not want to be the guinea pig paying out $three,000 to see if it in fact functions. Primarily when the XPS fifteen is currently right here and is not going to be jumping chip ships any time soon.

The XPS fifteen can tackle whichever you toss at it, and even during a pandemic, that is from time to time really worth paying out for—if you can continue to afford it.


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