Dell XPS 15 review, guide and deals

XPS 15 Overview

Dell XPS 15The Dell XPS 15 is one of Dell’s main answers to the 15-inch Apple MacBook Pro and has been given a major refresh in 2012 to be able to compete with the newer versions of the MacBook Pro. The current XPS 15 comes with the latest Ivy Bridge versions of the Core i5 and i7 processors. The GPU in the XPS 15 is a choice between the NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M and the NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M. The storage options include hybrid drives of either 500GB/750GB HDDs with 32GB SSDs or 1TB HDDs with 128GB SSDs. There is 6-16GB of configurable RAM on the XPS 15 along with a choice between a DVD drive and a Blu-ray drive. The chassis is made out of aluminium but is not a unibody.

Full review of the XPS 15 and key features below...

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XPS 15 review

As a competitor to the Apple MacBook Pro, the design of the XPS 15 is a very important factor for its target market. The new XPS 15 comes with an aluminium body which, although is not a unibody, feels like a really premium device. The XPS 15 is also quite slim and has several features similar to the MacBook Pro such as a slot-loading drive. The display of the XPS 15 is a Full HD 1,920 x 1,080 pixels panel which is protected by Gorilla Glass. The image it produces is excellent and the resolution is also higher than the MacBook Pro without the Retina Display (although obviously less than the Retina Display MacBook Pro). The port selection includes 3 USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, Display Port, SD card slot and Ethernet. The XPS 15 beats the MacBook Pro in this respect as the MacBook requires adaptors for both HDMI and Display Port. However, the absence of a VGA port means that older projectors and monitors may not be able to connect with the XPS 15. The keypad is also quite good with a lot of space between keys and a large track pad. The mouse buttons are built-in into the track pad and aren't very easy to use - tactile buttons would have been better. The hybrid drives offer excellent performance along with a great deal of storage. The Core i5 and Core i7 processors along with NVIDIA graphics help the XPS 15 to be a great all-round performer and the battery performance was also satisfactory. In terms of head to head comparison with the MacBook Pro, the XPS 15 shares a similar design, specification and weight but is a lower price for better internals. However, it doesn't run Apple's Mac OS X operating system and this may be the deciding factor between the two laptops. If you want a better performing laptop with better internals and premium design in the same price range, the Dell XPS 15 is one of the best laptops out there.

The Good
The Bad
  • Great display
  • Nice aluminium design
  • Good overall performance
  • Excellent port selection
  • Tactile mouse buttons would have been better
  • Battery is not user-replaceable
  • No VGA port
  • Unibody design may have been better

XPS 15 Main features:

  • 15.6-inch display with a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels
  • Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors
  • 6GB to 16GB of available RAM
  • Hybrid drive options: 500/750GB HDDs with 32GB SSDs or 1TB HDDs with 128GB SSDs
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT630M/GT640M GPUs
  • Includes HDMI, Display Port and three USB 3.0 ports
  • 2MP webcam with 720p video recording
  • DVD/Blu-ray drive
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Weight: 5.79 pounds


Other Laptops to consider

  • Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch
  • Sony VAIO S-series

If you are considering buying an XPS 15 then these laptops are worth looking at as possible alternatives to the XPS 15.