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The Dell XPS lineup of products are arguably one of the best lines of Windows laptops in the market and the larger XPS 15 is a MacBook Pro rival that packs on immense power for both work and play at a price (from S$2,799 on Dell Singapore’s online store) that threatens to undercut Apple’s flagship workhorse.

Basic Specs

CPU 2.8-GHz Intel Core i7-7700HQ CPU
Operating System Windows 10
RAM 16GB
RAM Upgradable to 32GB
Hard Drive Size 512GB SSD

 

Hard Drive Type

PCIe SSD
Display Size 15.6
Highest Available Resolution 3840 x 2160
Native Resolution 3840 x 2160
Graphics Card Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 GPU 4GB / Intel HD Graphics 630
Video Memory 2GB
Wi-Fi 802.11ac
Wi-Fi Model Killer 1535 802.11ac 2×2 WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1
Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.1
Touchpad Size 4.1 x 3.1 inches
Ports (excluding USB) Headphone/Mic
Ports (excluding USB) Kensington Lock
Ports (excluding USB) Thunderbolt 3
Ports (excluding USB) USB 3.0
Ports (excluding USB) HDMI-out
USB Ports 3
Card Slots SD memory reader
Warranty/Support 1 Year
Size 14.06 x 9.27 x 0.45-0.66-inches
Weight 4.6 pounds


Design

The Dell XPS 15, just like its predecessors and siblings in the XPS family doesn’t look radically different from its brethren. It sports the same squarish metallic look with a silver aluminium hood on the top. The lid opens up to a 15.6-inch screen, showcasing the signature 4K resolution display, dubbed the InfinityEdge display that has almost no bezels around the top and sides.

Opening up the lid reveals carbon fibre-reinforced plastic inside with a backlit keyboard, which is really beautiful.

Size-wise, the Dell XPS 15 seems to hit the average dimensions of 4.1 x 9.3 x 0.6 inches. This doesn’t make it an ultraportable laptop, but given its prowess, we can’t expect razor-thin standards for it either. It comes in weighing 1.95kg, which is a tad heavier than we like it to be, but once again, it wasn’t built as an ultrabook, so we’ll settle.

The XPS 15 manages to fit important ports onto the left and right frame. It holds a USB 3.0 port, a Thunderbolt 3, an HDMI output, and a headphone/mic combo jack on one side and also another USB 3.0 port, a Kensington lock slot, and an SD card reader on the other side.

In general, you can detect that the XPS 15 feels really like a business laptop, with a very modern and suave finish, which might feel a tad masculine on hindsight.

Display

Perhaps the highlight of the Dell XPS 15, the InfinityEdge display is a true work of art. The bezel-less design is simply gorgeous. It feels as if it’s a window into the virtual world.

With its 4K resolution, it’s almost impossible to see any pixelation at all.

Clarity is not all the XPS 15 offers. Colour reproduction and saturation is done exactly optimally. It’s pro-grade colour saturation is the stuff professional monitors costing more than S$1,000 are made of. The range of colours it produces is also fairly wide, hitting 188% of the sRGB color gamut (most monitors barely manage 100%).

The XPS 15 also offers a touchscreen which I found very useful, eliminating my need for a mouse in general. Usually, laptops with touchscreens tend to have their weight centered on the screen, which makes it hard to carry them single-handedly when the lid is open, but I had no such issue with the XPS 15.

Keypad and Trackpad

The keypad feels nice to hit, and is built rather ergonomically. However, I must say that although it feels good to type on, the keyboard is a little shifted to the right, which takes quite some time to get used to. Typing on it was a little slower for me than typing on a regular mechanical keyboard or even on laptops like the Asus UX305. Nevertheless, I believe its an issue about getting used to it.

The backlight on the keyboard is definitely a nice addition in case you are working in poorly-lit areas.

The trackpad is very smooth and I have never had a single issue with it, dragging it across the screen easily brings me from one end to the other end and yet slow movements are subtle enough to help me just hit the right areas of the screen I need to move the cursor to.

Performance

The XPS 15 is a true workhorse, the highest end of the XPS 15 comes with a 7th Generation Intel CoreTM i7-7700HQ Quad-Core processor (6M Cache, up to 3.8 GHz), 1TB PCIe SSD and NVIDIA GeForce® GTX 1050 with 4GB GDDR5 graphics. All of these chipsets are top-grade processors you can’t ask for more at this price.

Honestly, most high-end laptops can bear daily productivity processes like a breeze in the park and you can’t really tell the difference between an ultrabook with less intensive chipsets and an executive powerhouse like the XPS 15. Both of which are equally fast when typing emails, word documents and powerpoint slides. They both startup nearly instantaneously too, with SSD hard drives rapidly changing the scene in this area.

However, if you are a video editor that opens up tonnes of Adobe applications like Photoshop and Premiere Pro, you will appreciate the workload the XPS 15 can handle.

Running Geekbench 4’s OpenCL test and 3DMark’s TimeSpy gave me the following scores.

Battery Life

The XPS 15 is rather durable in this area too. The higher end of the XPS 15 series gives you a 97Whr battery. It’s not fantastic, but it should last a full work day with no issues if you don’t tax it too much with video editing or gaming. I generally have the XPS 15 last from 9am to about 87pm for regular word processing, internet usage and some YouTube video watching, with my display on most of the time.

Verdict

If you’re intending to get a powerful laptop capable of handling daily work processes, intense video editing and dual up for some gaming use, then you’ve come to the right place. The XPS 15 is one of the best laptops in its class, with its only shortcoming being its slightly heavy weight at 1.95kg.

 

 

Zayne Seah
A tech geek going beyond specs.

One thought on “Dell XPS 15 Review

  1. Matt

    You forgot to mention the rather obvious screen response time issue where everything ghosts, even basic web browsing. Literally the only thing that prevented me from keeping the laptop, had to send it back.

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