- Quad-core, 2.8-3.8GHz Intel Core i7-7700HQ
- 16GB DDR4 RAM
- 4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050
- 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080 matte screen
- 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x Thunderbolt 3.0 & USB-C 3.1 combo, 3.5mm headset jack, HDMI out
- SD card reader
- SD card reader
- 802.11ac Wi-Fi
- Model reviewed: 9560
- 92wH battery (57wH in cheaper models)
- Weight: 2kg
- Manufacturer: Dell
- Review Price: £1,599.00
The Dell XPS 15 ($999.99 to start, $2,074.99 as tested) is the best 15-inch laptop money can buy. That’s thanks to strong build quality, a brilliant screen, a comfortable soft-touch deck and a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 GPU that can handle entry-level gaming and some serious Photoshopping. You’ll pay a premium price for the privilege, but the experience of using the preeminent 15-inch consumer laptop on the market is well worth it.
DELL XPS 15 – DESIGN AND BUILD
Dell didn’t change the XPS 15’s design at all, so new model doesn’t look all that different from the last few. It’s still a clean and functional design that’s built very well, but may Dell switches things up next year just make it look more prominent in terms of design. The XPS 15 has a silver-colored aluminum lid stamped with Dell’s logo in black. Lifting the lid reveals the 15.6-inch, 4K InfinityEdge display with almost no bezel around the top and sides. The backlit, island-style keyboard is surrounded by a black soft-touch deck.
The XPS 15 is available with an optional fingerprint reader. It supports Windows Hello, so rather than typing in a password you can use your finger to log in. It’s a neat feature and works consistently and quickly.
There are two minor downsides to the design of the XPS 15. First is the carbon-fibre finish. While it undeniably looks great, it does highlight sweat patches when you have your wrists resting on it. The other is that while the XPS 15 is a quality piece of kit, it lacks the unibody design of the MacBook Pro and therefore feels substantially less solid.
DELL XPS 15 – DISPLAY
If you’re interested in buying the new XPS 15, the big decision you’ll have to make is whether you go for the Full HD or 4K touch display. The 4K panel is a glossy IGZO IPS touchscreen. On paper, it’s a sharper, more vibrant and colour-accurate panel that photo and video editors will prefer.
At the same time, the 4K panel is very glossy and it has a big impact on battery life, dropping battery life from an average of 10 hours to about 6 hours.
Dell’s panel covers an astounding 188 percent of the sRGB color gamut (we consider anything over 100 percent to be excellent). The mainstream average is just 94 percent, while the Spectre and Prestige covered 113 percent and 133 percent of the gamut, respectively.
It gets bright, too, producing 369 nits according to my measurements, so it’s easy to use outdoors. It’s a personal preference, but for me the Full HD panel is the better option – and if you’re a gamer, it means you won’t need to reduce the resolution to get a smooth, playable frame rate.
It’s accurate, too, with a Delta-E score of 1.4 (0 is ideal). The average is a higher 2.6, while the Spectre (3.5) and Prestige (5.1) were less precise.
The XPS 15’s screen is nice and bright, measuring an average 282 nits. It beat out the average (266 nits), as well as the scores of the Spectre (255 nits) and the Prestige (192 nits).
DELL XPS 15 – KEYBOARD AND TOUCHPAD
You get a full-size, backlit, chiclet-style keyboard which offers 1.4mm of travel and requires 50 grams of force to press. The action is responsive and the keys are well-spaced. It lacks the sort of clicky feedback you’d get on a Macbook Pro, so it could come across as a little spongy.
The precision trackpad is just as good – the smooth surface feels great under your fingers and I’ve got no complaints about tracking or responsiveness. It’s Microsoft Precision-certified as well, meaning it supports all the multi-finger gestures you can use in Windows 10 as well as having an instant and reliable response.
The 4.1 x 3.1-inch touchpad is top-notch and supports Windows 10’s precision gestures. It felt natural to use three fingers to switch between programs and tap four fingers to open the Action Center.
DELL XPS 15 – PERFORMANCE
Loaded with a 2.8-GHz Intel Core i7-7700HQ CPU, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB PCIe SSD, the XPS 15 is a multitasking hero. Dell’s notebook achieved a score of 13,911 on the Geekbench 4 overall performance test, surpassing the mainstream average (11,008) and showings by the Prestige (Core i7-700HQ, 12,678) and Spectre (Core i7-7500U, 8,017).
As for storage, we don’t suggest to buy the entry-level model that uses a traditional hard drive and SSD combo and go for any of the other models that have much faster 256GB, 512GB or 1TB PCIe SSDs.
Processing performance is, as you’d expect, extremely competitive. It beat the Razer Blade, MacBook Pro and Gigabyte Aero 14 in the GeekBench 4 single- and multi-threaded benchmarks with scores of 4,327 and 13,259 respectively. This isn’t surprising since all three of those review models were running older-spec i7-6700HQ processors at the time of review.
It can game, too. In 1080p and with the High settings preset, the new XPS 15 scored an average of 43fps in the built-in benchmark. That’s a solid, playable frame rate from quite a demanding game at 1080p, but you can still lower a couple of settings to boost the frame rate up to 50 or 60fps.
DELL XPS 15 – BATTERY LIFE
Despite its 4K display and Nvidia Pascal GPU, the XPS 15 will last for an almost whole day. As per Dell, there battery stays for 19 hours of basic use, but these reading are for only those who want to test how long the battery lasts. For users like designers or programmers, it last almost 11 hours and those who wants to watch videos and stream music online can also look for a longer streaming of almost 10 hours.
|Screen Size||15.6 inches|
|Max Screen Resolution||3200 x 1880 pixels|
|Processor||2.8-GHz Intel Core i7-7700HQ CPU|
|RAM||16 GB DDR3L SDRAM|
|RAM Upgradable to||32 GB|
|Memory Speed||1600 MHz|
|Hard Drive||512 GB SSD|
|Hard Drive Type||PCIe SSD|
|Graphics Card||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 GPU 4GB / Intel HD Graphics 630|
|Graphics Card Ram Size||2048 MB|
|Wireless Type||802.11 A/C|
|Wi-Fi Model||Killer 1535 802.11ac 2×2 WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1|
|Touchpad Size||4.1 x 3.1 inches|
|Number of USB 2.0 Ports||1|
|Number of USB 3.0 Ports||3|
|Ports (excluding USB)||Headphone/Mic, Kensington Lock, Thunderbolt 3, HDMI-out|
Other Technical Details
|Operating System||Windows 10|
|Item Weight||4.6 pounds|
|Product Dimensions||19.6 x 13.7 x 3.9 inches|
|Item Dimensions L x W x H||19.56 x 13.69 x 3.86 inches|
|Processor Brand||Intel Core I7|
|Computer Memory Type||DDR3 SDRAM|
|Flash Memory Size||512|
|Hard Drive Interface||Solid State|
|Optical Drive Type||No|
|Battery Type||Litdium-Ion (Li-Ion)|
|Batteries||1 Litdium ion batteries required. (included)|
No other laptop right now comes close to offering the all-round experience of the XPS 15. It’s expensive and has a few minor flaws, but it’s absolutely worth the money. The Dell XPS 15 is a premium 15-inch notebook with an incredible screen and strong performance, along with enough power for some gaming, assuming you don't get the base model. The keys could be more tactile, but they're not a deal breaker.
- Stylish design
- Great CPU and GPU performance
- Good battery life
- Excellent screen
- A little heavy
- Could do with another ThunderBolt port
- Noisy fans