Dell has been running the bezel-less trend long before your smartphone could trim those black borders.
Sharp design, neatly dressed, fast performance and ports! Dell’s latest 15 incher is seriously good. That is, if you’re considering a Mac.
Too bad Google’s Pixelbook and Microsoft’s Surface Book 2 are a no show in India. But if you’re looking for something premium that doesn’t take much space and effort, the Dell XPS 15 is the answer.
Dell XPS 15 - build and design
Dell’s keeping up with all the top ₹1lac-plus laptops surely by the design and the elements used to construct such a beautiful looking piece of machinery. Just look at it. The beautiful silver coating on the sturdy aluminum body is absolutely gorgeous.
Even the back panel looks unanimous and seamless with the rest of the body. The whole thing weighs 1.8kgs and is 0.66 inches thick. That's barely a few grams above the Macbook Pro but nothing that will give your body a workout.
Open it up and the palm rest area is given a special carbon fiber treatment to welcome all types of button-mashing megalomaniacs. Spending extended periods of time typing and using the trackpad didn’t feel cumbersome or tiring to say the least. We’re a fan of unibody design but this kind of comforting layer around the keyboard area is why we would personally recommend a Dell over any other laptop.
Dell XPS 15 - Screen and sound
While the carbon fiber layer is by far our favourite, the screen easily steals the stardom. This 15 inch laptop is squished perfectly inside a 14 inch laptop’s body, thanks to the bezel-shredding around the screen. When compared to other 15 inch laptops, it makes you wonder what is taking the other guys so long to snip off those ugly black borders.
The 15.6in Full HD display is bright and vivid with great viewing angles. David Attenborough’s Birds of Paradise on Netflix came alive on the screen thanks to the bezel-less display. Even while tilting the screen, there was barely any change in the colour temperature. Unless you go around shifting it back and forth like a crazy person.
With 100% RGB, the colours don’t feel dull or overexposed at all.The screen has 350 nits of brightness which is easily bright enough to work at 3pm sitting in a garden under direct sunlight.
However, the sound quality from the speakers could’ve been better. It’s pretty loud and you can go about doing your work without needing to plug in headphones but we did notice some crackling noise when the volume was turned to the max, sometime pouring into the chassis and producing a metallic reverb.
That said, the WAVES MaxxAudio Pro Software on this lets you tweak and make adjustments to the audio to suit your liking. It also has dimensional surround sound mode for headphones that creates a 3D space for whatever you’re listening to. Playing CS:GO becomes really immersive, thank you MaxxAudio.
Dell XPS 15 - Performance and Battery life
Our review model was the 16GB RAM and 512GB storage variant with Windows 10 Home. There’s a lower variant with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage should you wish to have less storage and store your data on an external hard drive using the Thunderbolt 3.
Whichever model you select, you’re sure to bag the blazing-fast Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor that is zippy and doesn’t hog on the battery life as well. On Geekbench the Single-Core score was 4633 and Multi-Core score was 14640.
Daily office work was a breeze, and if you’re splurging a lac and above on a laptop for video editing work, the XPS 15 is a good option for pro-Windows professionals. Sticking to regular office work with occasional visits to Photoshop and Apple Music lasted us the entire day. I could keep the charger at home, which by the way is as small as a powerbank.
Pushing it to do heavy lifting like video editing and playing games can drain your battery significantly but with a pint-sized charger, I don’t think it would be much of a hassle to lug it around.
Dell has plonked in an Nvidia GTX 1050 inside, hence the added weight which is absolutely fine because apart from looking strictly professional, the XPS 15 can churn out steady gameplay for most new games. A sneaky round of PUBG during office lunch hours was exactly what I needed to cool off. Even Shadow of War and Doom were increasingly fun even though I had to turn the graphics settings a bit lower than I’d like. This does get the laptop hot and noisy but it isn’t a gaming laptop so we’re okay with that.
Dell XPS 15 - features
If you’re still confused to choose between the Macbook Pro and a Dell XPS, peep to the sides of both these laptops and see that Dell has graciously provided two USB 3.0 with PowerShare, one HDMI port, one Thunderbolt 3, one headphone jack and an SD card reader. Meanwhile, the Apple Macbook Pro has two Thunderbolt ports and one headphone jack. It doesn’t even have a dedicated graphics card.
At this point all those ports are your reason to grab the Dell XPS 15.
Funnily enough, there’s even a fingerprint scanner to easily log into your PC and a power gauge button with indicator on the side to check the battery life without starting the laptop. Though I’d rather have an extra USB port instead of a power gauge button.
Sure it’s a bit chunky when compared to the Macbook Pro, but it also gives you those extra ports that make it worthwhile.
What we didn’t like is the web camera that is placed awkwardly below the screen. Your corporate Skype calls will be showing your lovely flabby chin and nostril hair. The XPS 13 and the previous versions of Dell had the same problem, we don’t understand why they don’t fix it.
Dell XPS 15 - Verdict
For Windows-hugging pros, the Dell XPS 15 brings a lot to the table. It might not be as feathery light as the Macbook Pro but it does offer a decent amount of ports that will not have you bookmarking Amazon’s adapter section on your browser.
As far as durability goes, it’s got the classic Dell build quality here. It’s sturdy and the carbon fiber with soft-touch on the palm rest area is remarkable. Not to mention the InfinityEdge display that stays true to the era of bezel-banishing beauties.
There’s plenty of power here as well, the Intel 7th Gen is no sloucher and the added benefits of Nvidia’s GTX 1050 open new gates for casual gaming and handling a couple of graphic- intensive softwares.