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You can spend a lot of time evaluating laptops, and they are likely to blend in the appearance of uniformity. Some exceptional models sometimes stand out from the crowd; I’m particularly impressed by the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo 15, with an up-and-down display positioned on the laptop’s back and the main screen. Then there’s the amazing Alienware M17 R4, with its real mechanical keyboard. These are, however, very specific (and costly) gaming machines. If you’re looking for an average performance-focused 15-inch laptop, Dell’s new XPS 15 is a great laptop that could be my favorite laptop for accomplishing work.
Dell has recently updated the XPS 15, and the result is a laptop that is greater than the sum of all its many components. It’s gorgeous with its sleek design, an all-metal, durable structure with a stunning display that could look like the best in all of the field. And most importantly, purchasing one does not have to cost a fortune; for instance, if I tried the mid-priced $2,300 model that comes with the Intel Core i7, GeForce OLED display, and RTX 3050, You can with the XPS 15 train for only $1,371 for the Intel Core i5. Intrigued? Let’s look at what Dell XPS 15 has to provide.
Dell XPS 15 In a Nutshell
- Amazing 3.5K OLED touchscreen
- Great performance
- The enormous touchpad
- Battery life is extended all day long.
- Only USB-C ports are available on the board.
- The RTX3050 Ti is one of the most powerful graphics that are available
- Dell XPS 15 Technical Specifications
Price Processor: 11th Generation Intel Core i7-11800H Screen: 15.6-inch 456×2160 pixels with 400 Nits Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Memory Storage: 500GB PCIe NVMe SSD Life of battery: 7:45 hours, as measured by the manufacturer The weight of the device is 4.3 pounds
Dell XPS 15 Design
Dell’s XPS 15 has long been an appealing laptop, and following the facelift it received this year, it’s now one of the most attractive portables for any price. It’s built from components like glass fiber, aluminum, and carbon fiber. My version came with an aluminum lid. A chassis machined from aluminum, and a silky smooth glass fiber deck surrounds the keyboard. It’s also possible to choose the carbon fiber black deck instead.
The description of the finish does not exactly do justice to what it offers, however. It’s a lovely laptop due in significant part to the stunning Dell’s Four-sided display, which is called InfinityEdge. There’s no bezel to mention, and the screen stretches from edge to edge throughout. The lower bezel has also been gone. XPS 15 used to suffer from a prominent chin, and now, the screen extends nearly up to your keyboard.
Whatever of the three choices you pick will receive, regardless of which display option you choose, you get a 15.6-inch display with a 16:10 aspect ratio and a striking 92.9 percent screen-to-body ratio. My test device came with what I believe to be the most effective alternative: the 3.5K OLED display with 3456×2160 pixels. It’s a bit one pixel short of an entire four-kilopixel collection, but I’d not be complaining. It’s hard to spot the slight decrease in resolution, but the stunning 400-nit OLED display makes up for it. Suppose you’d like to go with an FHD+ or UHDplus alternative. The low-end FHD+ isn’t a touchscreen.
The deck is as stylish as the screen. It’s a stunning display. XPS 15 features an enormous touchpad that is among the largest I’ve seen in a 15-inch laptop and two top-quality speakers situated between the backlit keyboard. (You’ll need to remember the position of the backlight control in the Function row since, if it’s turned on in normal daylight, the key labelings disappear completely. However, in low lighting, the backlight shines brightly.)
There are two options available to use Windows Hello biometric security; the power button in the upper-right corner with an embedded fingerprint reader and the webcam, which provides facial recognition. Whatever you choose the fingerprint reader, they function more or less immediately.
If you’re looking for connections about connectivity, it’s a great choice. XPS 15 is a thoroughly modern laptop and isn’t something all people will like. In particular, the only connectivity there is three USB-C ports. They include a full-size memory card reader, an audio connector, and a lock slot. There are two ports for USB-C (the ones to the right) that have Thunderbolt 4, which is fantastic, but if an old-fashioned type (or simply slow to update), there’s a chance you’ll be missing a USB-A or HDMI connection.
All this adds up to 4.3 pounds (different laptop models differ slightly). It’s not a lot, but it’s certainly just a couple of ounces heavier than the typical 15-inch laptop due to its metal construction.
Dell XPS 15 Performance
Dell provides various options for processors and memory, including the Intel Core i5 and Core i9, which are available from 8GB up to 64GB. You can have a whole 8TB SSD storage on the underside of the machine should you need it (but I’d recommend sitting down before you click the option since 8TB drives are an upsell of $2,000).
The 11th-generation Intel Core i7 configuration I tested was incredibly smooth, no matter what job I attempted. I went between word processors to Photoshop tasks, even editing audio podcasts using Audacity. This isn’t the most powerful rig available, but it’s certainly not the slowest. The score was 1518/6544 on the Cinebench R32 benchmark, earning 4416 in the 3DMark Time Spy DirectX 12 tests. They’re decent numbers; however, they’re easily beat by gaming laptops.
Regarding podcasts, The top-firing speakers are among my favorite improvements over earlier XPS 15 models, which shot sound through the tabletop. The audio quality of the new model is full and warm. I played acoustic tracks, including Peter Himmelman’s Impermanent Things from Spotify, and didn’t feel the need to go out with headphones. It’s possible to enjoy a great volume from these speakers. Even blasting songs as loud and bouncy as Sunshine of Your Love, the speakers didn’t go overdrive when they were at their highest volume. Kudos Dell Dell for making sure that the sound is right.
Of course, among the highlights of the device I received was its 3.5K OLED display. This display, let’s put it straightforwardly, is incredible. It’s vivid and vibrant, and the blacks are the same regardless of how you adjust the brightness. For me, it’s identical to a 4K screen. Its anti-reflective 400-nit screen is extremely clear in different lighting conditions, such as in my front room, which has sunlight streaming through the afternoon through the windows. This is quite a surprise since OLED displays are notoriously dim.
Graphic processors are available in-board Intel UHD graphics, Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3050, and the RTX 3050 Ti. My laptop was equipped with RTX 3050, which is an impressive improvement over the 2xxx series RTX chipset, which enabled me to play Microsoft Flight Simulator and Cyberpunk 2077 on a laptop suitable for me with 60 frames per second. Are you looking for more horsepower in graphics, however? Dell only has chip sets that are 45W in the XPS 15, so if you’re looking to step into a 70-watt RTX 3060, you’ll need to test with the XPS 17 instead–that laptop features vapor chamber cooling that keeps the temperatures of the graphics card in control.
One of the reasons I like the XPS 15 and no doubt that it’s fueling its popularity is it’s a multi-purpose laptop with enough portability to be carried around, yet powerful and comfortable enough to function as an ideal desktop replacement. If you’re looking to use it on the road, it’s got the power to power through the day. The battery’s 86WHr capacity ran about 8 hours in regular use. That’s probably enough for most scenarios; however, when you’re planning to work for a long time, you’ll need to carry the power brick.
Final Thoughts on the Dell XPS 15
It’s not often that I come across a laptop that I’d want to use after you’re finished with the review period. I love playing with gaming laptops, and I am convinced that the more horsepower you have is always superior. But I’m always back on my computer because it’s more practical. The XPS 15 indeed packages its power in an incredibly versatile device that I can easily use at home and on the go. It’s the definition of practical.
And this isn’t all. This 15.6-inch OLED screen is remarkably impressive. It’s a touchscreen. It’s clear and bright, and the almost free of bezels makes the laptop appear bigger.
I also like that you don’t need to join the XPS 15 train at the premium end. I haven’t tried the Core i5 version of this model, but I’m sure it will be adequate for the most basic tasks. My only issue is about the battery’s lifespan. It is just in the middle of being inadequate to last a day without being from the power outlet. Unfortunately, Dell did not manage to squeeze more than 97 watt-hours from the battery the under the hood. In addition, switching to an FHD+ display could bring another hour or two to the running time.
What’s the bottom thing to consider? If you don’t have specific requirements, such as a battery with a 10-hour life, a chassis weighing 3 pounds, or a gaming system equipped with a 360Hz refresh display, the Dell XPS 15 could be the laptop you’ve always wanted.