Coming from the industrial design of the MacBook, my first impression of the Dell XPS 15 was that it was much more robust in appearance and to the touch. June Wan/ZDNET
When you buy a Dell XPS laptop, you know exactly what you’re getting. The edges are extremely thin, the screen is shiny and colorful, and the performance is up to the design. And over the years, the overall look and feel of what is arguably Dell’s most competitive laptop model has remained virtually unchanged. This is to say how timeless the original was.
Yes, this year’s model looks the same as last year’s. And I’m not complaining about it. But the laptop’s performance is higher, thanks to the switch to Ada Lovelace GPUs. And this although Dell continues to tell me that the XPS range is more suitable for prosummers, content creators, in short for all those who are not gamers.
I tested the Dell XPS 15 over the past month, relegating my faithful MacBook Pro and MacBook Air to the sidelines. And I end my evaluation period with the conviction that it remains one of the best options for Windows users. Here’s why.
The XPS 15 weighs a good 1.8 kilos, and this was clearly felt when I am on the go
After the industrial design of the MacBook, my first impression of the Dell XPS 15 was that it was much more robust in appearance and to the touch. The exterior is chiseled with sharp lines and rounded corners, and the brushed aluminum makes you understand that this laptop is not cold to the eyes.
The XPS 15 weighs a good 1.8 kilos, and this was clearly felt when I am on the move. On the other hand, in addition to the three USB-C ports – two of which are Thunderbolt 4 – Dell includes an SD card slot and a 3.5mm headphone jack. For meetings, I often need to transfer photos and videos – taken with my camera – to my laptop to edit them. And so the SD card slot is highly appreciated.
As for the lower part of the laptop, I found the keyboard of the XPS 15 a little too low for my taste. The soft-touch keys can feel soft and are not as tactile as I would have liked for my typing work, although the backlight is bright enough for night writing sessions.
This is one of the sharpest and most true-to-color screens I’ve seen on a laptop
The carbon fiber that surrounds what is one of the largest trackpads I have used on a 15-inch laptop is nice. It serves as a pleasant wrist rest when sliding and clicking. The sharp design can sometimes play against the trackpad, however, when my left wrist was simply resting a little too close to the central surface.
There was more to say about the design of the XPS 15 last year when the changes were profound, so read this article if you want a more in-depth analysis. What I remember is that even if I prefer the all-aluminum construction – inside and out – of the MacBook or the Microsoft Surface Laptop, it is good to see Dell sticking to its know-how, which, I am sure, has many fans.
The model that Dell provided me is equipped with a 13th generation Core i7-13700H, 32 GB of RAM, 1 TB of storage, an RTX 4070 (40 W) and an OLED screen with a resolution of 3.5K. This last specification being the most notable improvement of all. Visually, this is one of the sharpest and most true-to-color screens I’ve seen on a laptop. And this is a feature that I recommend if photography and video are at the heart of their concerns.
What impresses me the most is the autonomy of the XPS 15 between two charges
Combined with the speakers located on the sides of the keyboard, the XPS 15 offers a mesmerizing multimedia experience. This is one of the few screen and speaker combinations that I would rank alongside Apple’s 16-inch MacBook Pro.
The 3.5K screen also supports touch! June Wan/ZDNET
The possibility of configuring the XPS 15, from the processor to the Windows operating system via the graphics card and the screen, is very interesting. In fact, the XPS 15 that I tested was more than enough for my work week, with multi-window applications, 4K video editing on Adobe Premiere Pro, and some retouching on Adobe Photoshop.
What impresses me the most is the autonomy of the XPS 15 between two charges. Even using it to power an external monitor, I had an average of six to seven hours of use before the 10% battery drop warning appeared. Keep in mind that I use the device for video exports, frequent conference calls (with a suboptimal 720p webcam) and various things that happen throughout a journalist’s working week.
The specifications of the Dell XPS 15 (9530)
- Processor : 13th Generation Intel Core i7-13700H, 13th Generation Intel Core i9-13900H
- Operating system : Windows 11 Home, Windows 11 Professional
- Graphics card : Intel Arc A370M, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4050, 6GB GDDR6, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060, 8GB GDDR6, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070, 8GB GDDR6
- Screen : non-touch 15.6″ InfinityEdge FHD+ (1,920 x 1,200), 15.6″ OLED 3.5K (3,456 x 2,160) InfinityEdge touch screen, anti-reflective, 400 cd/m2
- Memory : 16GB / 32GB / 64GB
- Storage : 512GB/1TB/2TB/4TB M.2 PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive
- Ports : 1 USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port with DisplayPort, 2 Thunderbolt 4 ports (USB 3.2 Gen 2), 1 headphone port (earphone and microphone combo), 1 SD card slot
- Dimensions and weight : Height: 18 mm, Width: 344.72 mm, Depth: 230.14 mm / 1.86 kg for the FHD+ model, 1.92 kg for the OLED model
- Camera : 720p HD webcam at 30 fps
- Sound and speakers : Dual microphone, 2 2.5 W stereo subwoofers and 2 1.5 W stereo subwoofers for a total of 8 W
- Chassis : CNC machined aluminum with carbon fiber or woven fiberglass composite palm rest
- Wireless : Wireless Card Intel Killer Wi-Fi 6 1675 (AX211), 802.11ax, 2×2 + Bluetooth
- Battery : 6 integrated 86 Wh cells
s buying tips;
If I were to buy the Dell XPS 15, I would be comfortable with a less powerful RTX 4050 graphics card and a smaller storage size of 512 GB, since most of my work is backed up to the cloud. With the addition of the 3.5K resolution screen, it would cost me around € 2100, a relatively decent price for one of the most high-end Windows laptops on the market.
You will save an additional € 300 if you can accommodate the non-touch FHD+ screen (1920 x 1200). And if the appearance is your only concern, the Dell XPS 15 can be purchased for € 1450. But regardless of the price, you can count on reliable performance and autonomy, as well as timeless design.
Source: “ZDNet.com “