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Is the base config of the XPS 15 worth it?

Is the bottom config of the XPS 15 price it?

Dell’s XPS 15 7590 is the ever-popular flagship ultrabook of the American firm, and as such it instructions a comparatively premium value within the lineup: Costs top-out at $2799 USD for a fully-loaded i9-9980HK/64GB/4K OLED/GTX 1650/97WHr configuration.

Nonetheless, the bottom SKU is priced at practically 1/Three of that, at the moment $1049.99 USD straight from Dell. As such, these of us on a good price range could be tempted to avoid wasting just a few hundred bucks and go for the most affordable configuration slightly than the costlier ones out there on Dell’s website and elsewhere. Is that this a good suggestion, nonetheless? This text will check out the specs and options of the bottom mannequin XPS 15 7590 from Dell and decide whether or not it’s price shopping for the bottom mannequin, shelling out extra for a higher-end config, or simply spending your hard-earned cash elsewhere.

The specs

Display screen 15.6” 1920 x 1080 (FHD), matte, non-touch, 500 Nits panel
Processor i5-9300H 2.Four GHz – Four.1 GHz , quad-core hyper-threaded CPU with 8MB L3 Cache, 45 W TDP.
Graphics Intel UHD 630
Reminiscence 8GB DDR4-2666 (2x4GB Twin Channel)
Storage m.2 NVMe 256GB SSD (a number of OEMs)
Connectivity Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650x (802.11ac, 2×2), Bluetooth 5.zero
Ports 1x Thunderbolt Three (x4 Three.zero PCIe), 2 x USB Three.zero, HDMI, Three.5 mm audio, SD card reader
Battery Three-cell (56WHr)
Working system Home windows 10 House
Dimension (H) 357 x (W) 235 x (D) 17 mm
Weight 1.eight kg / Four.zero lbs (with 56 WHr battery)

At first look, it would seem to be you’re getting value on one of many nicest-looking laptops on the market. Certainly, if all you need is the look of an XPS 15, underneath $1100 USD would possibly seem to be a discount (assuming you’re shopping for within the US).

Pictured: The XPS 15 7590 OLED. Visually, the bottom mannequin will solely differ in its FHD matte display and plastic bezel. (Credit score: Douglas Black/UltrabookReview)

Attractiveness, however what’s beneath?

There are two main caveats to contemplate with the bottom mannequin: Firstly, this SKU is powered by an i5-9300H slightly than i7. With eighth and Ninth technology Espresso Lake, the i5 designation signifies that you’ll be getting a Four-core (eight threads) CPU slightly the 6-cores/12-threads of an i7-8750H or i7-9750H. For a extra in-depth comparability, you’ll be able to take a look at an article Andrei wrote evaluating seventh, eighth, and Ninth-generation i7s right here, however the in need of it’s that the i5-8300H and i5-9300H are roughly equal to a seventh gen i7-7700HQ.

In different phrases, whereas the i5-9300 could be a technically “new” CPU by launch date, you’re nonetheless what is basically the identical 45W quad-core hyperthreaded CPU you’ve been getting from Intel for the previous Four-5 years. With roughly 175 factors in CB R15 single-threaded and about 750 factors in multi, the i5-9300H continues to be undoubtedly a reliable CPU, however there’s not a lot an a bonus to getting it over an older laptop computer with i7-7700HQ (and even 6700HQ, for that matter!) past some minor enhancements in energy effectivity.

A 45W quad-core CPU continues to be lots for many duties (particularly gaming) today, thoughts you, however that brings us to the largest downside with this SKU for the value: the shortage of GPU.

The bottom XPS 15 from Dell doesn’t include the Nvidia GTX 1650 GPU, which is among the main causes to contemplate the XPS 15 7590 this yr. The GTX 1650 will get you very strong (60 fps+) framerates in trendy video games as much as 1080p decision. With the low-end SKU, you’ll need to depend on Intel’s embedded UHD 630 GPU, although. It’s a succesful sufficient GPU for informal video games like Minecraft and Rocket league, nevertheless it gained’t get you a lot additional than that; you’ll have a big laptop computer that’s no higher (and even worse) at enjoying video games than a small ultrabook.

So what do you get?

The i5/built-in graphics SKU provides you a good-looking 15-inch Four.zero lb aluminum and carbon-fiber laptop computer for a bit underneath $1100 USD. You get a good number of ports (together with TB3) and the choice for a strong on-site guarantee. The FHD display is vibrant and clear for out of doors viewing, and the keyboard and trackpad are first rate sufficient for many work. You’ll get 2 RAM slots, socketed Wi-Fi, and each NVMe 2280 and a pair of.5″ SATA bays for enlargement, and the included 56 WHr battery will get you anyplace between 5-7 hours of battery life, as properly.

Nonetheless, it turns into more and more troublesome to justify this SKU when you look previous the chassis and concentrate on its dimension, weight, and efficiency for the value. By way of dimension and weight, the XPS 15 w/ 56 WHr battery weighs 1.eight kg/Four.zero lbs. That’s not lots for a 15-inch desktop substitute laptop computer, however do not forget that this SKU provides you a Four/eight core/thread CPU and no GPU. You’re not going to get significantly better efficiency with it than you’d with a a lot smaller and lighter ultrabook operating on Four-core and even 6-core ULV CPUs ⁠— notably the 25W configurations discovered within the very compact XPS 13.

In case you like the scale of the display dimension and the XPS 15 however not the load, then one thing just like the LG Gram 15 or Acer Swift 15 would make way more sense (particularly as they’re at comparable value factors). Whereas Four.zero lbs may not seem to be lots for a 15-inch laptop computer, I can attest that it’s a really noticeable weight once you’re carrying it with you daily, and also you simply aren’t getting a lot profit for it with out the GPU.


All in all, I can’t actually recommend anybody purchase the most affordable XPS 15 SKU out there. For a similar value or much less, you will get a much more performant gaming laptop computer from Acer, Asus, Dell, or Lenovo that can run circles across the i5 XPS 15 each in CPU and GPU duties. In order for you attractiveness with comparable CPU efficiency for the value, you can additionally get the a lot smaller and lighter XPS 13 as a substitute. Lastly, there at the moment are a lot lighter 15-inch laptops with quad-core CPUs that will likely be higher decisions for a every day work laptop computer, such because the Acer Swift and LG Gram 15, at comparable value factors.

In case you really need an XPS 15 however are on a price range, the most affordable SKU I’d suggest is both the i5 or i7 FHD/GTX 1650/97 WHr config. It’s usually just a few hundred extra from Dell or Amazon, however you’re getting a lot extra for the value with the GPU and bigger 97 WHr battery.

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