Dell XPS 15 – Full Evaluation and Benchmarks
Replace Dec. 9: We have up to date the pricing and configuration choices for the Dell XPS 15, because it now begins at a lower cost.
Dell’s XPS laptops are thought of the gold commonplace in terms of premium notebooks, and the latest XPS 15 is not any exception. Priced at $1,009 to start out (about $1,409 as examined), this is likely one of the strongest laptops available on the market, because of its Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti graphics. It is also drop-dead attractive with its slim, trendy industrial design, extremely skinny bezels and wonderful show. The 15-inch nonetheless suffers from the XPS line’s largest flaw — an ill-placed webcam — however, total, this is likely one of the greatest Home windows laptops you should buy and a formidable foe to Apple’s a lot pricier 15-inch MacBook Professional.
With its clear industrial silver aluminum lid and undercarriage sandwiching a soft-touch black inside accentuated by easy, rounded corners, the most recent XPS 15 appears fairly similar to its predecessors. It is not a foul factor, because the laptop computer may be very modern and appears nice in an workplace. The laptop computer is a bit of underdressed for a LAN get together, but it surely’s nonetheless a pretty system irrespective of the way you slice it. Much like the 15-inch Apple MacBook Professional, the laptop computer sports activities just one adornment — the shiny Dell insignia within the heart of the lid. It is a minimalist stylish that I dig.
Swathed in soft-touch black-carbon-fiber, the laptop computer’s inside is simply as acquainted as its exterior, right down to the ability button that doubles as a fingerprint reader within the top-right nook. The hardly there InfinityEdge bezel surrounds the 15.6-inch show, giving option to the massive backside bezel housing the webcam.
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Measuring 14.1 x 9.Three x Zero.5-Zero.7 inches, the four.2-pound XPS 15 is likely one of the slimmer notebooks in its class. The Microsoft Floor Guide 2 additionally weighs four.2 kilos, however has a a lot thicker profile at 13.5 x 9.9 x Zero.9 inches, very similar to the HP Spectre x360 (four.6 kilos, 14.1 x 9.Eight x Zero.Eight inches). The Apple MacBook Professional (13.Eight x 9.5 x Zero.6 inches) is slimmer and lighter at an excellent four kilos. The Huawei MateBook X Professional is the smallest of the bunch at 2.9 kilos, 12 x Eight.5 Zero.6 inches, but it surely additionally has a smaller 14-inch display.
The XPS 15 has sufficient ports to permit for a strong work or gaming battlestation.
On the precise sits a USB Three.1 Sort-A port, an SD card reader, a Noble lock slot and a battery standing indicator flanked by 5 lights.
There’s one other Sort-A port on the left alongside a Thunderbolt Three port, an HDMI 2.Zero port, a headset jack and a port for the AC adapter.
We examined the XPS 15 with each a 4K, Extremely HD contact display and 1080p non-touch display. As evidenced by the nice veins and deep purple coloration of the flower within the XPS 15’s wallpaper, the matte 1920 x 1080 show is able to producing wealthy coloration and sharp element. After I watched the trailer for Assist the Women on the 15.6-inch panel, Regina Corridor’s honey-brown pores and skin appeared to radiate, regardless of her silver-frosted eyeshadow. Particulars had been clear sufficient that I may see particular person strands of the actress’ chestnut-brown hair, together with her honey-blonde lowlights.
Given how vivid the colour is on the XPS 15’s panel, I wasn’t too shocked to study that it may reproduce 115 p.c of the sRGB gamut. That is an excellent outcome, however if you’d like the very best show, you will wish to improve to the 4K panel, which covers 160 p.c of the sRGB spectrum. Each fashions coast previous the 111-percent premium laptop computer common. In terms of coloration, the competitors falls someplace between the XPS 15’s 1080p and 4K shows, with the MacBook Professional, Spectre x360, MateBook X and Floor Guide registering 117 to 131 p.c, respectively.
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The XPS 15 carried out a bit higher on the brightness check, averaging 371 nits, which was sufficient to outshine the 310-nit common in addition to the Spectre x360 (340 nits) and the MacBook Professional (354 nits). Nonetheless, the Floor Guide (417 nits) and the MateBook X (458 nits) had been considerably brighter. Sadly, the 4K panel on the XPS 15 was dimmer than I’d have preferred, at 322 nits, which simply tops the class common however is much less luminous than its rivals.
I wasn’t anticipating a lot from the XPS 15’s audio system, however I used to be pleased to be enveloped in loud, comparatively clear audio. The laptop computer’s bottom-mounted audio system stuffed our convention room with Kevin Ross’ attractive voice as he sang Andre 3000’s “Prototype” a cappella. The melodies had been good and clear whereas the mouth pops and finger snaps had been exact. The one tough spot was when the singer went for the excessive notes, which launched important distortion that I attempted to easy out with the pre-installed Waves Audio software program, to no avail.
Keyboard and Touchpad
Usually, if a keyboard had shallow journey just like the XPS 15 (Zero.7 millimeters), I might be ripping it a brand new one, because it falls beneath our most well-liked 1.5mm. However the island-style keys’ saving grace is the above-average 70 grams of actuation pressure that provides some much-needed bounce to the typing expertise. I hit my typical 70 phrases per minute on the 10fastfingers typing check with out bottoming out.
The four x Three.1-inch touchpad offers loads of house to navigate net pages and paperwork, and was fast and conscious of boot. I had no downside pinch-zooming to enlarge or lower pictures or doing a three-finger faucet to launch Motion Middle.
For such a comparatively slim system, the XPS 15 packs fairly a punch. For this evaluate, we examined two high-end configurations. The 1080p XPS 15 packing a 2.2-GHz Intel Core i7-8750H processor with 16GB of RAM had no downside working Home windows Defender whereas I watched an episode of My Hero Academia with 20 open Google Chrome tabs — a few of which had Twitch streams and Slack working. Unsurprisingly, the 4K mannequin with a Core i9 CPU did not decelerate throughout our real-world exams, both.
The XPS 15 did equally properly on Geekbench four, the place it notched 19,775, besting the 11,492 premium laptop computer common. It cruised handed the Floor Guide (1.9-GHz Intel Core i7-8650U), the MateBook X (1.Eight-GHz Intel Core i7-8550U) and the Spectre x360 (Three.1-GHz Intel Core i7-8705G), and their respective scores of 12,505, 12,913 and 15,340. However the MacBook Professional and its overclockable 2.9-GHz Intel Core i9-8950HK took the win with a rating of 23,138.
For such a comparatively slim system, the XPS 15 packs fairly a punch. It had no downside working Home windows Defender whereas I watched an episode of My Hero Academia with 20 open Google Chrome tabs.
Throughout our Excel productiveness check, the Core i7-equipped XPS 15 paired 65,000 names and addresses in 44 seconds, crushing the 1:32 class common. The Core i9 mannequin was even faster, finishing the check in simply 38 seconds. The MacBook Professional got here in second at Zero:52, with the Spectre x360 proper behind at Zero:57. The Floor Guide and the MateBook X clocked in at 1:31 and 1:49, respectively.
After we ran the arduous drive check, the XPS 15’s 256GB M.2 PCIe SSD duplicated four.97GB of multimedia recordsdata in 23 seconds, which interprets to a write pace of 221.Three megabytes per second. That matches the Spectre x360 (512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD) however misses the 419.7MBps common. The MateBook X (512GB NVMe PCIe SSD) was a bit quicker at 282.7MBps, and the Floor Guide (1TB PCIe SSD) did even higher at 318.1MBps. However the MacBook Professional and its humongous 2TB PCIe SSD scorched the competitors with a ridiculous 2,599.6 MBps. The 1TB PCIe SSD in our 4K XPS 15 beat all however the MacBook Professional, duplicating four.97GB of multimedia recordsdata in four seconds for a fee of 1272.Three MBps.
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The XPS 15 rebounded on the Handbrake Video Enhancing check, taking solely 10 minutes and 12 seconds to transcode a 4K video to 1080p, smoking the 21:35 common. The 4K mannequin with a Core i9 required even much less time, at 9:51. The MacBook Professional wasn’t too far behind at 10:16. The Spectre x360 clocked 15:01, whereas the Floor Guide and the MateBook X posted instances of 23:00 and 27:18.
Gaming and Graphics
Beneath the silvery pores and skin of this premium mainstream laptop computer beats the guts of an entry-level gaming laptop computer. Outfitted with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Max-Q GPU with 4GB of VRAM, the XPS 15 can crunch numbers with the very best of them and play a sport or two at low-to-medium settings. The laptop computer demolished our Grime Three benchmark with a body fee of 189 fps. That is greater than half the 71-fps premium laptop computer common. The Spectre x360’s AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL GPU wasn’t far behind with 182 fps. The MateBook X (GeForce MX150 GPU) and the MacBook Professional (Radeon Professional 560X) delivered respective scores of 117 and 83 fps.
The XPS matched the 22-fps common for Rise of the Tomb Raider (1920 x 1080 on Very Excessive), however missed our 30-fps playability threshold. The Floor Guide and its GTX 1060 GPU obtained 33 fps. The Dell carried out a lot better on the Hitman check, attaining 60 fps, but it surely could not match the Floor Guide’s 72 fps.
Outfitted with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Max-Q GPU, the XPS 15 can crunch numbers with the very best of them, and play a sport or two at low-to-medium settings.
While you aren’t attempting to save lots of the world from impending doom by way of zombies, demons or aliens, the XPS will mechanically change to its built-in Intel UHD Graphics 630 GPU by way of Nvidia’s Optimus expertise.
The XPS 15 can conduct a grasp class on endurance. The pocket book lasted 11 hours and 53 minutes on our battery check, which consists of steady net browsing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness. It simply outlasted the Eight:26 class common, the Spectre x360 (5:20), the MateBook X (9:55) and the MacBook Professional (10:21). The Floor Guide got here closest to matching the winner with a time of 11:34, which dropped to three:12 once we examined the pill by itself.
As anticipated, the 4K show and Core i9 CPU take a toll on battery life, however even the decked-out XPS 15 lasted a decent 7 hours and 34 minutes on our check.
Regardless of its metallic lid and undercarriage, the XPS 15 did a very good job of staying cool. After we measured key factors of the laptop computer after streaming a full-screen HD video for 15 minutes, the touchpad hit 90 levels Fahrenheit. The middle of the keyboard reached 83 levels, whereas the underside registered 92 levels. Every measurement was properly inside our 95-degree consolation threshold.
Whereas I recognize super-slim bezels, Dell and different corporations must discover a higher place for the webcam than positioned proper above the hinge. After I launched the digicam app, the “nostril cam” lived as much as its title, capturing my chest and nostril within the shot. It took fairly a little bit of adjusting on my half to get an applicable angle.
Nonetheless, the XPS 15’s built-in digicam managed to completely seize the colour in my vivid pink gown. Particulars had been sharp sufficient to seize some pilling on the garment in addition to striations within the cloth.
Software program and Guarantee
Dell pre-installed a number of useful branded utilities, together with Energy Supervisor, which lets you run diagnostics on the system’s battery in addition to modify fan pace and energy consumption for extra demanding duties. Cell Join allows you to entry your smartphone out of your laptop computer, together with calling a Lyft or taking part in a cellular sport like Futurama: Recreation of Drones. If you must troubleshoot a problem, Dell additionally included Assist & Assist, which options informative movies, reveals your guarantee standing and runs system diagnostics.
Sadly, the system has its justifiable share of bloatware, together with Cooking Fever, Sweet Crush Saga, Royal Revolt 2: Tower Protection and Netflix. There are, nevertheless, extra helpful third-party functions comparable to Killer Management Middle, which helps you to prioritize community bandwidth. Dell additionally included McAfee Safety, and 20GB of cloud storage by way of Dropbox for a 12 months.
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The Dell XPS 15 ships with a one-year limited-hardware guarantee. See how Dell fared in our Tech Assist Showdown and Finest and Worst Manufacturers rating.
Dell XPS 15 Worth and Configurations
The bottom mannequin of the Dell XPS 15 prices $1,009 and features a 2.Three-GHz Intel Core i5-8300H processor with 8GB of RAM, a 1TB 5,400-rpm arduous drive, Intel UHD Graphics 630 GPU and a 1920 x 1080 show. Nonetheless, we advocate upgrading to a 256GB SSD for higher efficiency. That mannequin begins at $1,109.
A Dell XPS 15 that is much like the mannequin we examined prices $1,409 and contains a 2.2-GHz Intel Core i7-8750H processor with 8GB of RAM, a 256GB M.2 PCIe SSD, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Max-Q GPU with 4GB of VRAM, an Intel UHD Graphics 630 GPU and a 1920 x 1080 panel. Choosing 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD with the identical Nvidia graphics will run you $1,709.
Need a 4K display? Be ready to fork over at the least $2,559, which can get you the 3840 x 2160 contact display, 32GB of RAM and a 1TB M.2 PCIe SSD. In order for you much more energy, Dell has a $2,909 mannequin that gives an overclockable 2.9-GHz Intel Core i9-8950HK CPU.
Productiveness, multimedia and even a little bit of gaming — the Dell XPS 15 can do all of it — and do it properly. For $1,549, you get a system that has a pretty, slim design that is bursting with energy, together with an Intel Core i7 processor and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Max-Q. The keyboard is surprisingly snug, and the show is just pretty. Throw in practically 12 hours of battery life, and you have got an authorized beast. It is simply sufficient to miss the annoying digicam placement.
However if you happen to’re hungry for energy and have ridiculously deep pockets, there’s the 15-inch MacBook Professional, which begins at $2,399 and instructions a hefty $2,899 whenever you step as much as a Core i9 CPU and Radeon Professional 560X graphics. However if you happen to’re in search of a comparatively unassuming powerhouse that may perform a little of bit every little thing comparatively properly, the Dell XPS 15 ought to be on the high of your record.
Credit score: Laptop computer Magazine
Robust total and graphics efficiency; Glorious battery life; Vivid, vibrant display; Runs cool; Enticing, if dated, design
Awkwardly positioned webcam
The Dell XPS 15 presents critical energy and practically 12 hours of battery life in a pretty chassis.