The Dell XPS 15 is the closest any manufacturer has come to a perfect device. What you get here is a machine that’s powerful enough to tackle most tasks this side of 3D design and sublime enough to use due to its excellent keyboard and trackpad, impeccable display, and great sound. All that combined with the line’s already impeccable design elements and relative affordability have made it a paragon of excellent laptops.
The XPS 15 gets plenty bright for work and play, registering an average brightness of 434.2 nits on our light meter. That’s a bit brighter than the 16-inch MacBook Pro’s 429 nits and better than the Surface Laptop 3’s 380 nits
Dell Xps 15 Touch Screen Review
Dell’s XPS 15 laptops continue to be crowd-pleasers. With its eye-catching, slim new design and photo-editing-friendly performance, display, and feature set, the latest 15-inch model can hold its own as a less powerful much cheaper alternative to a 16-inch MacBook Pro ($2,199 at Amazon).
Packed with an Intel intel Core i7-10875H and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, the Dell XPS 15 definitely falls into what we would call the “prosumer” market.
It’s not so powerful that professional video editors or 3D artists are going to jump for it, but it’s definitely powerful for anyone that does that stuff for a hobby, or just doesn’t want to get slowed down by any computing task that they may run into.
Dell XPS 15 Design
Like the new Dell XPS 13 before it, the Dell XPS 15 2020 refines one of the best laptop designs ever made to near-perfection. Its slim chassis is as sleek as ever, with a smooth silver aluminum lid and sharp 0.71-inch edges that contrast nicely with the soft-touch keyboard deck inside.
The latest XPS 15 makes better use of real estate than last year’s model, with bigger keycaps, a much larger touchpad and slim front firing speakers that are all laid out elegantly on the deck.
But the biggest design change is the laptop’s new 4-sided Infinity Edge display, which ditches the thick bottom bezel from previous iterations for Dell’s most seamless 15-inch laptop screen yet (more on that later).
It’s also about on par with the 15-inch Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 (13.4 x 9.6 x 0.6 inches), though Microsoft’s laptop is notably lighter at 3.4 pounds. It’s worth noting that the XPS 15 is a slightly lighter 4 pounds if you opt for a non-touch screen and the smaller 56Whr battery.
Dell XPS 15 Price and Availability
The Dell XPS 15 2020 starts at $1,079 (but it’s currently on sale from $1,259) and is available to order now from Dell. For that price, you’ll get a 10th Gen Core i5-10300H processor, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, Intel UHD graphics and a 15.6-inch 19200 x 1200 InfinityEdge display.
Stepping up to the $1,305 (normally $1,659) configuration gets you a speedier Core i7-10750H CPU as well as discrete Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti graphics. For $180 more you can double the memory and storage, for 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD.
The Dell XPS 15 doesn’t yet have support for Intel’s 11th Gen Tiger Lake CPUs but you can get modern processors if you go for a slightly smaller system
Dell XPS 15 Ports
The Dell XPS 15 2020 packs a total of three USB-C ports for charging and connecting to external displays and peripherals — two of which are Thunderbolt 3 for extra-fast connectivity. You also get a full-sized SD card reader as well as a headphone jack, as well as a USB-C to USB-A adapter out of the box.
Apple’s 16-inch MacBook Pro has more Thunderbolt 3 ports with a total of four, but lacks the XPS 15’s SD card reader.
That, combined with the included USB-A adapter, gives the XPS 15 a solid amount of connectivity, but you still might need a dock or dongle if you’re a power user that depends on a variety of peripherals at once.
Dell XPS 15 Display
The Dell XPS 15 2020 borrows the best thing about the new XPS 13: a truly 4-sided InfinityEdge display, with no chunky bottom bezel to distract you from whatever you’re working on, watching or playing. But the effect is even more dramatic on the XPS 15’s 15.6-inch display, which now has a 92.9% screen-to-body ratio for maximum immersion.
All of that real estate, paired with the rich 3840 x 2400 resolution on our review unit, made me never want to put the XPS 15 down.
When I watched Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker on Dell’s laptop, colorful red and green laser blasts popped nicely against a blue ice cave as TIE Fighters chased the Millennium Falcon.
The screen also did a great job preserving fine details, such as the stubble of Poe Dameron’s face and the orange-and-white patterns on BB-8’s outer body.
Dell XPS 15 Audio
The Dell XPS 15’s top-firing stereo speakers are some of the best I’ve heard on any laptop, filling my living room with lively, loud audio that was especially heavy on low-end.
The moody, bouncy bass of Hayley Williams’ “Simmer” popped loudly and cleanly out of the XPS 15’s speakers, getting me to bop my head along instantly.
I noticed that the song would get a tiny bit distorted at maximum volume, but it sounded impressively full and clear just a few notches below the max.
The bass was once again the highlight when I switched to the aggressive alternative rock of Dance Gavin Dance’s “Prisoner.” The massive wall of distorted guitars sat nicely against the high-pitched vocals of the songs chorus, while the cleaner, funkier guitar riffs in the verse also sounded bright and crisp.
When I jammed the somber acoustic rock of Phoebe Bridgers’ “Garden Song” on the XPS 15, the singer-songwriter’s voice was so lucid that it sounded like she was in the room with me. And as present as Bridgers sounded, the XPS did an equally great job preserving the reverberating guitar plucks under her croons.
Dell XPS 15 Performance
Packing a 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10750 processor with 32GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD, the Dell XPS 15 2020 is a genuine multitasking monster.
Dell’s powerhouse allowed me to bounce between dozens of Chrome tabs in split-screen mode while simultaneously conducting video calls, sending Slack messages, and rocking out to Spotify, all without a single stutter.
On the Geekbench 5 overall performance test, the XPS 15 scored 6,174, which is a bit behind the Core i9 powered MacBook Pro 16-inch (7,250). Dell’s laptop turned in a 25,934 on the older Geekbench 4 test, more than doubling the AMD Ryzen 5 3580U-powered Surface Laptop 3 (11,612).
Dell XPS 15 Graphics
Our XPS 15 unit came loaded with a discrete Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti GPU, giving Dell’s slim workhorse some respectable gaming and graphics muscle.
The XPS 15 ran Shadow of the Tomb Raider at a playable 29 frames per second at 1080p with max settings, just barely edging out the Radeon Pro 5300M in our 16-inch MacBook Pro (27.2 fps).
Dell’s laptop breezed through the less demanding Dirt 3 racing game at 134 fps on 1080p and 69 fps at 4K, trouncing the integrated AMD Vega 9 in the Surface Laptop 3 (56 fps at 1080p).
Dell XPS 15 Heat and Noise
With so much power and a discrete GPU packed into a slim design, the XPS 15’s fans can get quite noisy. While it didn’t happen often, I occasionally noticed that the laptop would start sounding like a miniature jet plane when I ran a lot of applications at once.
It can also get a bit warm, with the keyboard and underside reaching temperatures close to 100 degrees Fahrenheit on our heat gun (we consider anything below 95 degrees to be comfortable).
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Dell XPS 15 2020: Keyboard and Touchpad
Between their soft-touch coating, 9.7% larger keycaps, and snappy 1.3mm travel, the Dell XPS 15’s keys are an absolute delight to type on. I never got fatigued as I spent hours cranking out articles and composing emails, and performed at my usual pace on the 10FastFingers typing test at 90 words per minute with a 96% accuracy rate.
I typically hate ditching the mechanical keyboard at my desktop setup, but I was happy to use the XPS 15 as my primary work machine for days.
The XPS 15’s touchpad got an even bigger upgrade, now measuring 62% larger than the previous version at 5.9 x 3.5 inches. I was able to scroll through web pages and pinch to zoom with ease, and three-finger gesture controls for switching apps and entering multitasking mode registered instantly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Dell XPS 15 touch screen worth it?
Most people who buy a Dell XPS 15 laptop will spend more time using the trackpad or an external mouse, which means there’s an excellent opportunity to save some money and ditch the touchscreen. The savings outweigh the small use the touchscreen will likely have for most.
How do I know if my laptop is touch screen?
Open the Device Manager in Windows. Click the arrow to the left of the Human Interface Devices option in the list, to expand and show the hardware devices under that section. Find and right-click the HID-compliant touch screen device in the list
Why Dell XPS 15 is expensive?
The Dell XPS 15 is a premium laptop for everyday work requirements. Powered by 10th-Gen Intel Core i7 processor, paired with 32GB RAM (DDR4-2933MHz) While everything seems fine, the XPS 15 is marred by thermal issues and underwhelming on-battery life.