Most individuals shopping for a laptop computer as of late will get by simply nice with a 13- or 14-inch thin-and-light PC just like the Dell XPS 13 or Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Carbon. These laptops have fairly highly effective processors and built-in graphics which are ok for an exterior monitor or two, however they prioritize a skinny profile and lightweight weight over efficiency.
Nonetheless, generally you want one thing bigger and extra highly effective, whether or not it’s since you desire a larger display screen to make use of away out of your desk otherwise you want additional processor cores or graphical energy for enhancing movies or taking part in video games. And if you’d like these issues in a laptop computer that doesn’t completely disregard measurement and weight—and if you happen to desire or require Home windows as a substitute of macOS—that’s whenever you purchase one thing just like the XPS 15.
The latest XPS 15 (officially, model number 9510) is yet one more iterative enchancment for a laptop computer that has all the time appeared and felt like a blown-up model of the XPS 13. However six- or eight-core Intel Tiger Lake processors and a brand new Nvidia GeForce RTX GPUs with ray tracing capabilities make this model of the XPS 15 particularly interesting for professionals and lightweight avid gamers, even when up to date rivals like Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 4 (and, when it’s lastly launched, an up to date model of the 16-inch MacBook Pro with Apple Silicon) give it a run for its cash.
Look, really feel, display screen, and ports
|Specs at a look: Dell XPS 15 9510|
|Display||15.6-inch 1920×1200 IPS non-touch||15.6-inch 3840×2400 IPS touchscreen||15.6-inch 3456×2160 OLED touchscreen|
|OS||Home windows 10 House, 64 bit|
|CPU||Intel Core i5-11400H||Intel Core i9-11900H||Intel Core i7-11800H|
|RAM||8GB DDR4 (2 DIMMs)||64GG DDR4 (2 DIMMs)||16GB DDR4 (2 DIMMs)|
|HDD||256 NVMe SSD||8TB (2x 4TB) NVMe SSDs||512GB NVMe SSD|
|GPU||Intel UHD Graphics||Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti (4GB, 45W)|
|Networking||Wi-Fi 6 (2×2), Bluetooth 5.1|
|Ports||2x Thunderbolt 4, 1x USB-C 3.2 gen 2, SD card reader|
|Measurement||13.57×9.06×0.17 inches (344.7×230.1×18.0 mm)|
|Weight||3.99 kilos (1.81kg)||4.42 kilos (2.01kg)||4.31 kilos (1.96kg)|
|Guarantee||1 12 months|
|Different perks||Fingerprint sensor, white or black end|
The design of the XPS 15 hasn’t modified a lot since 2016-ish, when Dell took the then-new slim-bezeled design of the XPS 13 and blew it up. And as with the XPS 13, the adjustments within the years since have been incremental however important. The under-the-screen, up-your-nose webcam has migrated again to the correct place above the display screen. The laptop computer has gotten marginally thinner and lighter, the trackpad has gotten even bigger, and (aside from an SD card reader and a headphone jack) the laptop computer now makes use of Thunderbolt and USB-C ports completely, just like the MacBook Professional. The 2 ports on the laptop computer’s left aspect are Thunderbolt 4, whereas the one on the precise aspect is USB-C—any of the three can be utilized to attach an exterior show or cost the laptop computer, you will simply need to be sure you use any Thunderbolt equipment with the sooner ports.
The most important distinction in newer years is the introduction of a brand new 16:10 facet ratio for the display screen, slicing the underside “chin” bezel and filling that space up with display screen as a substitute. It’s not fairly as tall as the three:2 screens that Microsoft makes use of throughout the Floor lineup, however if you happen to’re utilizing an older laptop computer, leaping from 16:9 to 16:10 is a deceptively giant improve in usable display screen area. Extra symmetrical bezels additionally simply look higher. There’s no impression of wasted area.
We examined the “3.5K” OLED model of the display screen, which sits in between the 1920×1200 IPS panel on the low finish and a 3840×2400 IPS show on the prime quality. The distinction between “true” 4K and this display screen’s oddball 3456×2160 decision is unlikely to be observable by the bare eye—the factor you’ll discover is the OLED panel, which has the standard advantages and pitfalls of the expertise. The display screen’s capability to completely flip off particular person pixels will get you good, deep blacks and an primarily infinite distinction ratio.
However out-of-the-box shade appears a bit too vivid and oversaturated, and the height brightness takes a step down from to 400 nits from each IPS panels’ 500 nits. (I measured a peak brightness of 385 nits on our assessment unit with an i1 DisplayStudio colorimeter.) You could discover a slight “graininess” to the display screen whenever you’re wanting on the monitor up-close, particularly when viewing strong colours. It is a aspect impact of some OLED screens’ subpixel structure. It’s not a deal-breaker for many makes use of but it surely’s one thing you could need to keep away from for high-end photograph enhancing or graphic design, regardless of the show’s 100% protection of the sRGB shade gamut and 98.7% protection of the DCI-P3 gamut (once more, as measured with the i1 DisplayStudio colorimeter).
I examined the white XPS 15, which apart from the colour is completely different from the black-and-silver mannequin in some small practical methods. The laptop computer’s palmrest, which is roofed in a soft-touch texture within the black model, feels more durable and extra plasticky beneath my wrists. And a white-backlight-with-white-keys will now and endlessly look muddy and vague in something however a pitch-black room. The keys are completely legible in a dimly lit room with the keyboard backlight off, so I discovered myself retaining it turned off more often than not.
The white model of the XPS 15 limits your part selections—each the most affordable and the most costly configuration choices are solely accessible in black. On Dell’s website, selecting the white model of the laptop computer routinely bumps you as much as a Core i7 processor, 16GB or extra of RAM, a 512GB or bigger SSD, and devoted graphics as a substitute of built-in (although these are largely upgrades we might advocate for this sort of laptop computer anyway).
The backlight problems with the white model apart, the XPS 15’s keyboard feels good to make use of. Like Apple’s post-butterfly MacBook keyboards, the keys really feel agency however present a fairly comfy quantity of journey, and I’ve bought no complaints about key spacing or structure. I nonetheless have a slight choice for ThinkPad keyboards, which really feel a bit softer and have barely higher journey, however most individuals will have the ability to get comfy with both of them. Dell has additionally adopted Apple’s lead in together with an nearly comically giant one-piece glass trackpad within the XPS 15. I used to be nervous to relaxation my wrists immediately on high of it, however I didn’t discover any main points with palm rejection. Like all trackpads that meet Microsoft’s Precision Touchpad spec, finger monitoring and multi-touch gestures are all dependable and correct, too. There’s not a lot to report in regards to the power-button-mounted Home windows Hiya fingerprint sensor, both: It’s there, and it really works (Dell doesn’t provide an IR face-scanning digital camera like those in most Microsoft Floor fashions and some different PCs, however this isn’t a deal-breaker).
The XPS 15’s webcam and audio system are each serviceable however nothing to write down residence about. The webcam does a good job with white stability and publicity, however particulars look fuzzy and blurred. The audio system have good stereo separation and voice calls will come via loud and clear, however the bass is underwhelming in the way in which that laptop computer audio system are often underwhelming. This was true irrespective of how a lot I tweaked the “MaxxBass” setting within the laptop computer’s audio management panel. Quite the opposite, reasonably than enhancing the bass, I discovered that turning the bass up an excessive amount of simply made every part else sound worse.