Dell XPS 15 Review (Kaby Lake)

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Dell XPS 15 ReviewThe Dell XPS 15 ($999.99 to begin, $2,074.99 as examined) is the perfect 15-inch laptop money can buy. That’s because of sturdy build quality, an excellent screen, a comfy soft-touch deck and a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 GPU that can deal with entry-level gaming and a few serious Photoshopping. You will pay a premium price for the privilege. However, the experience of using the preeminent 15-inch consumer laptop available on the market is properly worth it.

Dell XPS 15 Review – Specifications

Processor                         2.8-GHz Intel Core i7-7700HQ CPU

RAM                                  16 GB

Storage                            512 GB PCIe SSD

Display                             15.6-inch Ultra-HD (3840 x 2160)

Operating System           Windows 10 Home

Graphics                          Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 GPU/ 4 GB VRAM

Dimensions                    14.06 x 9.27 x 0.45-0.66-inches/ 4.6 pounds

Dell XPS 15 Kaby Lake 4K UHD Touch Disply (3840 x 2160) 7th Gen Intel i7-7700HQ Quad Core 1TB SSD,...

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Dell XPS 15 Kaby Lake 15.6 inch Touch Notebook (Intel Core i7, 16 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD, GTX 1050...

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Dell XPS 15 Review – Design

Dell hasn’t modified the XPS 15’s design for the last couple of years, so the latest mannequin doesn’t look all that different from the previous few. It’s nonetheless a clear and useful design that’s built rock-solid. However, I’m hoping Dell switches issues up next year only for the sake of novelty. The XPS 15 has a silver-colored aluminum lid stamped with Dell’s emblem in black but is otherwise completely spartan.

Dell XPS 15 Review

Lifting the lid reveals the 15.6-inch, 4K InfinityEdge display with nearly no bezel on the top and sides. A black soft-touch deck surrounds the backlit, island-style keyboard. I admire the battery indicator on the right aspect of the laptop — with the push of a button, as much as 5 lights will illuminate, providing you with an idea of how much longer the notebook will last, even when it’s closed.

The Dell XPS 15’s tapered design allows for a few ports on either side, however, the machine suits in all of the essentials. On the left side, you will discover a USB 3.0 port, a Thunderbolt 3, an HDMI output, and a headphone/mic combo jack. The right aspect of the laptop houses a Kensington lock slot, an SD card reader, and an another USB 3.0 port. There’s a fingerprint reader on the deck of our review unit, just below the bottom-right nook of the keyboard. It’s a $25 optionally available add-on that worked flawlessly in my testing with Windows Hello.

At 4.6 pounds and 14.1 x 9.3 x 0.6 inches, the XPS 15 is an average measurement for a premium mainstream notebook. The HP Spectre x360 15-inch is smaller (weighing 4.4 pounds, measuring 14 x 8.9 x 0.7 inches), whereas the MSI PE60 Prestige is considerably heavier and bigger (weighing 5.4 pounds, measuring 15.1 x 10.2 x 1.1 inches).

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Dell XPS 15 Review – Keyboard and TouchPad

Dell XPS 15 Review

The keyboard on the XPS 15 feels flat. However, it’s spacious enough that you would be able to type without tripping over yourself. It has 1.4 millimeters of the key journey and requires 50 grams of force to press. While I didn’t discover myself bottoming out, I typed a tad slower than normal. The 4.1 x 3.1-inch touchpad is top-notch and supports Windows 10’s precision gestures. It felt natural to make use of three fingers to switch between programs and tap 4 fingers to open the Action Center.

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Dell XPS 15 Review – Display

The Dell XPS 15’s 15.6-inch 4K screen is beautiful, vivid and accurate that I would be completely comfortable using it for Netflix, feature movies, gaming or any other need without bothering about an external monitor. When I watched the 4K movie, the Tears of Steel, I was stunned by the intense colors, such as the purple, blue and green lights emitted from the holographic computers. The hues had been so vivid they popped against the black-and-gray walls of the lab. In close-ups, I could see the pores on the characters’ faces.

Dell XPS 15 Review

Dell’s panel covers an astounding 188 % of the sRGB color gamut (we take into account anything over 100 % to be fantastic). The mainstream category average is just 94 %, whereas the HP Spectre and MSI Prestige covered 113 % and 133 % of the color gamut, respectively. It’s accurate, too, with a Delta-E rating of 1.4 (closer to 0 is good). The category average is a higher at 2.6, whereas the HP Spectre (3.5) and the MSI Prestige (5.1) had been less precise.

The XPS 15’s screen is good and vibrant, measuring an average 282 nits on our light meter. It beat out the average (266 nits), in addition to the scores of the HP Spectre (255 nits) and the MSI Prestige (192 nits).

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Dell XPS 15 Review – Graphics

The XPS 15 doesn’t seem like a gaming laptop. However, it’s got the chops for entry-level gaming because of its Nvidia’s GeForce 1050 GPU with 4GB of VRAM. I played Battlefield 1 at 1080p and excessive settings, and the game rendered between 50 and 60 frames per second as I flew a British Royal Flying Corps aircraft alongside the Vosges Mountains in eastern France. The display shined; the sky was a clear blue, and the daylight bounced off the snowcaps. I couldn’t make the most of the 4K resolution, although because the 1050 GPU doesn’t have the power to push that amount of pixels.

Dell XPS 15 Review

On our budget gaming test, the XPS 15 played Rise of the Tomb Raider at 1080p with excessive settings and SMAA anti-aliasing at 41 fps, which is well higher than the category average 37 fps. The MSI Prestige (GTX 1050) played at 44 fps, whereas the HP Spectre and its last-generation Nvidia’s GeForce 940MX GPU hit only 15 fps. While you’re not gaming, the laptop falls back to its Intel’s HD 630 built-in graphics.

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Dell XPS 15 Review – Audio

The Dell XPS 15 provides crystal-clear audio, although it might use a bit more oomph on the low end. When I listened to Yellowcard’s “Five Becomes Four,” the vocals, drums, guitars, and the band’s violin crammed our midsize conference room with its crisp and clear sound. I opened up the preloaded Waves MaxxAudio Pro app and turned the bass up, which made it far more noticeable. I also played with the details knob, which made the cymbals stand out.

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Dell XPS 15 Review – Hardware and Performance

Powered by a 2.8-GHz Intel’s Core i7-7700HQ CPU, 16GB RAM, and a 512GB PCIe SSD, the Dell XPS 15 is a multitasking rock star. I opened up 40 tabs in Google Chrome, including one streaming Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, and the Dell XPS didn’t even break a sweat as I browsed in yet another Google Chrome tabs or switched between the open programs.

Dell XPS 15 Review

Dell’s laptop achieved a rating of 13,911 on the Geekbench 4 performance test, surpassing the mainstream category average (11,008) and showings by the MSI Prestige (Intel’s Core i7-700HQ, 12,678) and HP Spectre (Intel’s Core i7-7500U, 8,017). The Dell XPS 15 paired 20,000 names and address in our OpenOffice Spreadsheet Macro test in just 3 minutes and 23 seconds, which is speedier than the category average (4:19), and the MSI Prestige (3:39) and HP Spectre 15-inch (3:34) times.

Dell still hasn’t fixed the most significant flaw in its XPS line: the XPS 15’s web camera is built into the bezel at the bottom left-hand nook of the screen, and it seems to be straight up your nose. I went and blew my nose before testing it because I knew one of my sample pictures would end up on this website. While you type, whoever is on the other end of the video call will get an awful view of your face.

The 720p webcam is on the blurry side, and details in my face like my beard and dimple had been noticeable however not very sharp. Colors are precise, although, and my eyes appeared the perfect shade of blue.

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Dell XPS 15 Review – Heat

The Dell XPS 15 stayed remarkably cool on our heat test. After I had streamed 15 minutes of Full-HD video from YouTube, the underside of the laptop hit 79 degrees Fahrenheit, the middle of the keyboard, the area between the G and H keys reached 86 degrees, and the touchpad measured 80 levels. All of those temperatures are well under our 95-degree consolation threshold.

Dell XPS 15 Review

When I played Battlefield 1 and taxed the GTX 1050 GPU, the XPS 15 grew to become considerably hotter, climbing to a sizzling 121 degrees on the underside, 111 degrees in the middle of the keyboard and 90 degrees on the touchpad.

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Dell XPS 15 Review – Battery Life

Regardless of its 4K display and Nvidia’s Pascal GPU, the Dell XPS 15 will last you nearly all of the day. It ran for 8:23 on our Battery Test, thereby easily surpassing the mainstream notebook category average (6:49) and the MSI Prestige’s time (4:13). The 15-inch HP Spectre, which also has a 4K display but an older Nvidia GeForce 940MX GPU lasted just a bit more than the XPS’s time at 8:36.

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Dell XPS 15 Review – Configuration Options

The Dell XPS 15 I reviewed comes with a 2.8-GHz Intel’s Core i7-7700HQ CPU, 16GB RAM, a 512GB PCIe SSD, a Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1050 GPU, 4GB VRAM, a 4K Ultra-HD touch-screen display, and a fingerprint reader. All of that will cost you a cool $2,074.99. The base model of XPS 15 will cost you $1,000 and comes with an Intel’s Core i3-7100H CPU, 8GB RAM, Intel’s integrated HD graphics, a 500GB 7200-rpm HDD, and a 32GB SSD. It has a 1080p nontouch display, and if you would like a fingerprint reader, you will have to pay an extra $25.

Dell XPS 15 Review

The $1,699 config provides the perfect features for the money, providing you with the 4K Ultra-HD screen, an Intel’s Core i5 CPU, Nvidia’s GTX 1050 graphics, 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD. The most costly model you’ll be able to buy is $2,574.99; it is just like the model I reviewed, except that it has a 1TB PCIe SSD and 32GB RAM. You possibly can customize the XPS 13 to your liking, and Dell has seven builds with Core i3, i5 and i7 CPU options; 1080p nontouch screens and 4K touch screens; storage options as much as 1TB; and an optionally available fingerprint reader on each model.

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Conclusion

The Dell XPS 15 is a premium 15-inch notebook with an incredible screen and robust performance, together with enough power for some gaming, assuming you don’t get the base model. The keys could be more tactile. However, they are not a deal breaker. The only reason I’d suggest another 15-inch consumer laptop over the XPS 15 is if you need a 2-in-1 or, understandably, can’t cope with the horrible camera placement that Dell has failed to fix since 2015. In both case, the 15-inch HP Spectre x360, which begins at $1,279, is a good option so long as you don’t mind last-gen graphics.

Overall, the Dell XPS 15 is a standout system. Its 4K Ultra-HD screen is, without a doubt, one of the best I’ve ever laid eyes on (to get any better, you’d go for OLED display). You’ll be able to play video games on it, and despite the fact that the design is safe, it’s sturdy and has a comfortable, soft-touch deck. For those who want a capable clamshell at this size, don’t look any further.

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Review Score

Compsmag