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Dell XPS 15 (2015) hands-on review

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Dell XPS 15 (2015)

  • Design

We take a look at Dell’s recently updated XPS model

AUSTIN: DELL UPDATED ITS XPS laptop lineup earlier this month, giving the consumer devices a significant performance boost, including the addition of Intel Skylake processors and up to 1TB of storage.

But what’s most interesting about the upgrades is that the firm added an edge-to-edge ‘Infinity edge’ display to the XPS 15, fitting a 15.6 screen into the size of a typical 13 notebook, making what Dell claims is the “smallest 15in lap op on the planet”.

We got to take a closer look at the updated system at Dell World 2015 to see just how much difference this major update makes.

Dell XPS 15 (2015) hands-on review

Design

There’s no question that the Dell XPS 15‘s design and high-quality aluminum build ensures that it looks the part and reflects the premium price.

The tiny bezel is very impressive and allows the laptop to be around the same dimensions as you’d expect from a 14in or even 13in laptop in terms of length and width while retaining this nice big 15.6in screen.

Dell XPS 15 (2015) hands-on review

However, the XPS 15 is not the slimmest 15in a laptop on the market, and at 11mm at its thickest point, it feels chunky in the hand, probably because of the smaller chassis. Nevertheless, it’s still impressively compact considering its high-end specifications and large screen.

Dell XPS 15 (2015) hands-on review

The XPS 15 is also lightweight considering its power. At 1.72kg, the smaller frame with a bigger screen makes it slightly heavier than you’d expect for a 13in laptop, but we have to remember that this is actually a 15.6in the device, so keeping this in mind we were very pleased with its size and weight.

Overall, Dell has made good use of top-end materials and the XPS 15 impressed us with its design and build. It feels well made and the high-quality finish leads us to believe that it would be a pleasure to use for long periods. The super-thin bezel is something we would love to see on all laptops from now on. Why has this taken so long to bring to market?

Dell XPS 15 (2015) hands-on review

Screen

The Dell XPS 15’s touchscreen display is one of its finest features. The model we tested had an Ultrasharp 4K display with a 3840×2160 pixel count. It is also available with a Full HD display for those wanting to save a bit of dosh.

Dell XPS 15 (2015) hands-on review

The 4K display isn’t the full 4K resolution as defined by the DCI standard of 4096×2160, but it’s ridiculously vibrant and clear, and color reproduction is outstanding.

Brightness levels are excellent and we can imagine working on the XPS 15 outside, although not in direct sunlight.

Keyboard

The Dell XPS 15’s keyboard has good travel, allowing us to type rapidly with ease. Unlike some other laptops we’ve tested recently, the XPS 15’s keyboard had no trouble registering keystrokes. The well-spaced layout of the keyboard and the smaller chassis means that the XPS will be comfortable to use.

Performance and software

The Dell XPS 15 runs Windows 10 and is powered by Intel’s 6th-gen Core processors based on the latest Skylake architecture.

The model we tested had an Intel Core i7 6700HQ CPU, running at 2.6GHz alongside 16GB RAM.

Dell XPS 15 (2015) hands-on review

In our tests, the XPS 15 handled Windows 10 very well, with no lag when swiping between pages on the trackpad and touchscreen, and programs popped up almost as soon as we selected them. It also handled everything we threw it at with ease, probably owing to the Intel Skylake processor.

Dell said that the XPS 15 will launch with up to 16GB DDR4 RAM, but that there will be a migration to 32GB when Dimms become available later in the year.

Storage options go up to 1TB, which can be a mix of HDD and SSD.

In terms of battery life, Dell said that the XPS 15 will last for a huge 17 hours on a single charge, but this depends on whether you have the 4K Or 3K model as the higher resolution will lower the battery life by a few hours. We will test these claims in a full review.

Availability

The XPS 15 is due to launch later this month, with prices starting at £1,099.

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