DELL XPS 15 All in one review

As far as any manufacturer has gone, the Dell XPS 15 (2020) may have been the closest they’ve ever been to a flawless gadget – until its 2021 sequel, that is. Performance and features go hand in hand here, with enough power to handle most work outside of 3D design and top-of-the-the-line components like the keyboard, trackpad, display and speakers.

If you don’t want to spend a lot of money, you can acquire a Dell XPS 15 (2020) for less than $200, even though it’s been out for more than a year at this time. It’s already cheaper than the 16-inch MacBook Pro even without the reductions. The 256GB SSD, 8GB of RAM, and a 10th-generation Intel Core i5 Comet Lake CPU combo costs $1,299 (approximately $1,030, AU$1,890).

A Windows laptop standard-bearer, Dell’s XPS 15 (2020) has achieved legendary status. This is an excellent option for professionals, whether they are creative or not.

Price and availability

When it goes on sale in the US, Dell’s XPS 15 2020 will cost $1,299 (about $1,030, AU$1,890). On top of that, you’ll receive a 10th generation Intel Core i5 CPU with 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD for the same price.

According on your location, the first setup may differ. If you’re in the UK, you can get the Dell XPS 15 for £1,599, which has a doubling of SSD storage up to 512GB as the main difference. Nonetheless, the XPS 15 begins at AU$3,698 in Australia, which comes with an Intel Core i7-10750H processor, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD, whereas the entry-level variants in the United States and the United Kingdom do not.

However, the narrative doesn’t stop there; there are many more expensive versions available as well. Please visit this site if you’d want to set up the settings shown on the right. It will cost you $2,299 (approximately £1,830, AU$3,350) in total. For $2,749 (approximately £2,200, AU$4,010), you can purchase an XPS 15 with an i9-10885H, GTX 1650 Ti, 64GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD. If you need to perform a lot of creative work, this model is definitely best suited for you. However, the door is open.

DELL XPS 15 All in one review

Design

The Dell XPS 15 2020 has never improved year after year. Minimalist design with slimmer bezels and speakers on top. The XPS 15 now outperforms the 13-inch variant as the finest Windows laptop. We get it, not everyone wants to carry about a 15-inch laptop, no matter how much faster it is. The XPS 15 is tiny (18mm) and light (4.5 kg), yet (2.05kg). With such advanced technology and a long-lasting battery, it’s more portable than necessary.

Three Thunderbolt 3 ports, an SD card reader, and a headphone connector remain. That means older peripherals will need dongles, but that’s been the case for years. Thanks to our constant search for our USB-C SD card adapter, Dell has included an SD card reader on a compact laptop in 2020. The laptop’s elegance will make us ignore the lack of legacy ports. This is a stunning laptop, made of CNC aluminium with clean edges and the usual Dell logo. The keyboard deck’s carbon fibre is back, and it’s as comfortable as ever.

Two upward-facing speaker grilles flank the keyboard. A quad-speaker system rivals the existing 16-inch MacBook Pro. A tiny space was too small for the Dell XPS 15 2019 speakers, but the 2020 speakers are excellent enough to listen to music for long durations. The bass of Janelle Monae’s Dirty Computer is strong without being overwhelming. Bad speakers on premium PCs are unforgiveable, yet nice speakers in laptops are feasible.

But amazing media comes from the speakers as well. It’s a great show. This laptop’s 3,840 x 2,400 display and 500 nits of brightness make it ideal for viewing movies and TV shows, especially with those amazing speakers.

Best of all, the screen is practically unhindered by the display bezels. It enhances a wonderful laptop. Bright, color-accurate displays are vital for creative workers, but the XPS 15 also plays well with TV and movies.

The design is flawless. The Dell XPS 15 is certainly the gold standard for prosumer notebooks, but we’d love to see it surpassed.

DELL XPS 15 All in one review

Performance

With an Intel Core i7-10875H and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, the Dell XPS 15 is undoubtedly a “prosumer” laptop. It’s not strong enough for professional video editors or 3D artists, but it’s powerful enough for anybody who does those things for fun or doesn’t want to be slowed down by any computer activity.

In addition, the slim and light chassis design of the Dell XPS 15 does not lend itself to lengthy gaming sessions where heat might possibly create performance concerns. While this machine can’t play the newest AAA games at native resolution with high settings, it can play your favourite independent gems to your heart’s delight.

In 3DMark Time Spy, the Dell XPS 15 scores 3,654. In comparison, the GTX 1660 Ti in the Surface Book 3 we recently reviewed scored 4,840 points in the same test. That’s a 25% performance drop, so we didn’t bother doing pure gaming benchmarks. But this laptop isn’t designed for that.

But when it shines, the XPS 15 really shines. The GeekBench 5 multi-core score of 7,408 tops the Gigabyte Aorus 17G, a laptop with significantly better cooling, and comes close to the AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS in the Asus Zephyrus G14 – we’re pleased.

The Dell XPS 15 delivers workstation-level performance in a small and light design. Sure, the GPU may be stronger, but it would need a more robust (and hefty) cooling system.

DELL XPS 15 All in one review

Battery life

The 86Whr battery in our Dell XPS 15 review is big for a notebook this small. In the PCMark 10 battery life test, the gadget got 9 hours and 44 minutes of battery life.

This test simply puts the laptop through a range of everyday chores until the battery dies. This laptop will easily last all day at work and then some when you come home and have to locate the charger.

But our movie playback test shows otherwise. We witnessed 6 hours 16 minutes in that test. It all boils down to the 4K touch screen. So, if you’re going to binge Sailor Moon while laying in bed, you may as well connect in the laptop.

DELL XPS 15 All in one review

Software and features

Sadly, Dell is one of those laptop manufacturers that crams its software into even its high-end models. Because the entry-level laptop has such a little SSD, we’d want to see vendors start making this software optional.

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Before you delete anything, we recommend maintaining Dell Update and Dell Customer Connect, particularly if you aren’t comfortable manually updating drivers. Yes, you can do all these apps do yourself, but they are handy.

The remainder of the apps are optional, such Dell Cinema Color, which adjusts your display’s colour profile based on presets. The XPS 15’s display is almost excellent straight out of the box, so we don’t see the point.

However, Dell outperforms the competition in terms of security. The 2020 XPS 15 supports both Windows Hello facial and fingerprint authentication. Microsoft’s face login isn’t excellent if you wear glasses or cosmetics, therefore the fingerprint scanner is more trustworthy.

It’s unlikely anybody would utilise both alternatives, but we applaud Dell for providing them.

Bryan V. Root
Bryan V. Root
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