Dell XPS 15 Review

Dell XPS 15 Review

Pros of Dell XPS 15

  • Speedy performance
  • Fantastic speakers
  • Beautiful presentation
  • Comfortable keyboard
  • Attractive appearance

Cons of Dell XPS 15

  • The GTX 1650 Ti is not very powerful.
  • Not the most portable laptop

Design of Dell XPS 15

Design of Dell XPS 15

We indeed have never seen a laptop advance year over year as much as the Dell XPS 15 2020. The speakers are moved to the top of the device, which is lighter, slimmer, and has lower bezels. The XPS 15 has overtaken the 13-inch predecessor as the Windows laptop to buy because of all these upgrades.

We now realize that, despite the performance advantages provided by the more powerful technology, not everyone wants to carry a large 15-inch laptop. However, this XPS 15 weighs only 4.5 lb. and is only 0.71 inches (18mm) thick. Undoubtedly not the lightest laptop ever made, but with this sort of power and a battery that lasts as long as it does, it is much more compact than it has to be.

Three Thunderbolt 3 ports, an SD card reader, and a headphone jack are now the only ports available, significantly reducing the number of available options. That does imply that anyone who wants to employ a variety of legacy peripherals will have to lead the dongle life, but that’s essentially the environment we’ve been living in for the past several years. Given that we’re always looking for our USB-C SD card adaptor, the fact that Dell was kind enough to put an SD card reader on a thin laptop in 2020 is more than enough to merit our gratitude.

We’ll easily overlook this absence of legacy ports, given how lovely the laptop is in any case. This laptop is elegant; it’s constructed of CNC aluminum, with smooth edges and the familiar Dell logo on the outside. The keyboard deck’s carbon fiber is also returned and is once again comfy, albeit it could eventually start to look dingy.

There are two upward-facing speaker grilles next to the keyboard on either side. Underneath them is a quad-speaker system that is by far the greatest we’ve ever heard in a laptop, rivaling even the current 16-inch MacBook Pro.

One of the most significant issues we had with the Dell XPS 15 2019 was that the speakers weren’t powerful enough to cover even a tiny room with good sound, but the 2020 model’s speakers are adequate for prolonged music listening. When listening to Janelle Monae’s Dirty Computer in its entirety, the bass is consistently powerful without detracting from the arrangement’s finder subtleties.

But more than just the speakers contribute to a top-notch media environment. The spectacle is just stunning. This is one heck of a laptop to stream your favorite shows and movies on, especially with those incredible speakers. It has a 3,840 x 2,400 display that hits 100% of the Adobe RGB color gamut and 500 nits of brightness.

There isn’t anything wrong with the design. The Dell XPS 15 will set the bar for prosumer laptops for the foreseeable future thanks to the engineers at Dell who once again outdid themselves, but we would love to see someone surpass it.

Performance

Performance

The Dell XPS 15 unquestionably belongs to the “prosumer” category because it is equipped with an Intel Core i7-10875H and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti. Although professional video editors and 3D artists might not rush to buy it, anyone who does it as a hobby or doesn’t want to be slowed down by whatever computer work they encounter will find it very powerful.

The Dell XPS 15 is not a gaming laptop, even if the GTX 1650 Ti is technically a gaming GPU. The small and light chassis design isn’t particularly conducive to prolonged gaming sessions when heat might compromise performance.

While you won’t be able to play the newest AAA games at native resolution with all the bells and whistles pushed up to maximum, you will be capable of playing your favorite indie gems to your heart’s delight at 1080p with medium settings on this system.

The Dell XPS 15 only receives 3,654 points in 3DMark Time Spy, for example. To put that into perspective, consider that the GTX 1660 Ti in the Surface Book 3 that we just tested, combined with a somewhat less powerful CPU, achieves 4,840 points in the same test. With a performance loss of 25%, we should not have bothered to run benchmarks specifically for gaming. This laptop was not intended for that.

The XPS 15 sparkles, though, when it is shining. The CPU performs exceptionally well across the board, earning a GeekBench 5 multi-core score of 7,408, surpassing the Gigabyte Aorus 17G, a laptop with significantly better cooling(opens in new tab) but also approaches the AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS in the Asus Zephyrus G14. Color us impressed.

The Dell XPS 15 offers desktop computer performance in a slim and light design, so you won’t feel weighed down on the subway journey to work. Yes, the GPU could be more powerful, but it would probably add to the overall size because a more powerful (and hefty) cooling system would be required.

Battery Life

Battery Life

For a laptop this small, the 86 Whr battery that powers the Dell XPS 15 that we evaluated is substantial. In most cases, battery life reflects this; in the PCMark ten battery life test, the device had a battery life of 9 hours and 44 minutes.

The laptop is essentially put through several workloads you could experience daily and repeated until the battery is empty. When you return home and are rushing to find the charger, this laptop can easily survive the entire day and a little for office work.

Our movie playback test, however, paints a different picture. We only watched 6 hours, 16 minutes of that test. The 4K touch display is what decides this in the end. Therefore, you might want to connect the laptop if you simply binge-watch Sailor Moon while lying in bed and attempting to block out reality for a little while.

Software and Features

Software and Features

Unfortunately, Dell is one of those laptop manufacturers that include a tonne of its software on even its top-of-the-line models. Thankfully, it stays out of the way, but given that the laptop’s entry-level model SSD is so little, we would love to see businesses start making this program optional.

However, before you go ahead and erase everything, we suggest maintaining Dell Update and Dell Customer Connect, particularly if you don’t feel confident searching for driver updates whenever necessary. Even if you can accomplish all these apps alone, having them around is still beneficial.

The remaining apps, such as Dell Cinema Color, which adjusts your display’s color profile based on several presets, are optional. However, the XPS 15’s display is nearly flawless out of the box, so we don’t see any need to alter this.

But when it comes to security measures, Dell outshines the competition. Both Windows Hello versions are supported on the 2020 XPS 15, letting you sign in with your face or fingerprint. Some people might think this is excessive. However, if you frequently wear glasses or cosmetics, Microsoft’s face login isn’t very dependable, making the fingerprint scanner more trustworthy.

Price and Availability

Price and Availability

At launch, the Dell XPS 15 2020 costs $1,299 in the US (about £1,030 or AU$1,890). You get a 10th-generation Intel Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and a 1080p non-touch display for that amount.

Where you reside, however, affects the initial setting. For instance, the Dell XPS 15 costs £1,599 in the UK, and its principal distinction is a doubled SSD storage capacity of up to 512GB.

However, the XPS 15 starts in Australia at AU$3,698, which includes a Core i7-10750H, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti discrete GPU, which is not included in the entry-level machines in either the US or the UK.

You’ll have to pay $2,299 (about £1,830 or AU$3,350). To go all out, though, you can pay $2,749 (about £2,200, AU$4,010) for an XPS 15 outfitted with an i9-10885H, GTX 1650 Ti, 64GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD. This model will probably only be used by those who need to perform real creative work with this level of technology, but the choice is still available.

Final Verdict

The Dell XPS 15 is undoubtedly the most excellent 15-inch laptop available, and in many aspects, it’s the best laptop ever. It is sleek, relatively strong, and light enough to carry throughout town. We really can’t identify anything that hinders it.

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